The old cliche of “content is king” still holds. In the context of an online store that focuses on sales, it is appealing to present their goods and services in an appealing way.
Of course, the quality of the goods and services is just as important if not more so. Moreover, the buyer’s journey does not start with suddenly checking out the shopping cart and finishing a transaction.
No, it usually starts with ending up on a website’s home page and building expectations from first impressions. And where do these impressions come from? That’s right, from navigating the website.
The content in front of a website visitor determines how likely they are to continue browsing and ultimately converting. And this is especially true for organic traffic since visitors are coming in blindly.
In the case of personal recommendations and redirects from social media and other channels, site visitors have more information about what they can expect. Nevertheless, they get a full picture only after reaching the website.
With that said, if an eCommerce website struggles to make sales, focusing on content optimization is a sound strategy.
Let’s start with a call to action button. Some consumers feel lost, and they need guidance on what the next steps should be.
It is your responsibility as a website designer to give clear instructions on how to navigate the site. Effective CTAs also help with improving overall conversions.
One way to figure out the right call to action is to dedicate some resources to A/B testing. If it’s hard to choose from multiple options, take some time to test different variations, such as:
At first glance, a fair few of these calls look similar, but it is still worth discovering the very best to maximize the conversions.
In addition to containing an active and encouraging verb, your CTAs should also make sense visually.
Many online stores go with a color that goes well with the overall visual website design. Painting a button in a way that fails to draw attention is bound to result in a poor conversion rate.
Finally, A/B testing also helps with determining the best location for the CTA. Sometimes, it is best to place it at the bottom; sometimes, the middle works best.
A product web page serves the purpose of showcasing a specific product to potential customers. As covered in the previous section, a call to action plays a prominent role, but it is one part of the content.
As far as product pages go, images are the first thing that people notice. Producing high-quality product photos is not that big of a challenge these days, thanks to superb cameras on smartphones.
Renting an entire studio and hiring a professional photographer is also an option, but it can feel a tad bit excessive. The goal is to present products via images in a way that is appealing and not misleading.
Replacing images with videos is a consideration, but most stores tend to ignore it. For one, it requires a lot of resources to film videos for multiple products. Also, videos put a much bigger toll on the website’s performance than images.
Other than visuals, you also have the copy. Copywriting is one of the hardest things about marketing, particularly in a competitive industry.
A call to action is one example of a copy found on a product page, but there’s more. Take product descriptions, for instance.
They need to be informative and straight to the point. Explaining all the ins and outs to someone with a poor attention span is the opposite of what an online store should be doing if it wants to sell.
Sure, some customers might be interested in delving deeper, but the average consumer does not have the patience to read walls of text.
Lastly, a solid product page should have some proof to back up the claims of a seller. Such proof comes in the form of customer testimonials. Screenshots of reviews taken from social media or comments under the product page work perfectly fine.
Contact details are a must because they provide an opportunity for shoppers to get in touch with the store.
Moreover, missing contact details work against websites that want to avoid a suspicious look. According to a study published by Blue Corona, more than 40% of website visitors leave if they cannot see contact details.
One thing that some site developers miss is offering multiple contact options. Different people prefer different ways to reach out. Ideally, an online store should offer:
Ultimately, while the contact part of the website content is relatively small, it is a crucial part of the overall look.
Featuring bestsellers is a trick that more and more stores are incorporating into their strategy. Showing off the hot stuff on the home page works as a means to offer guidance to the shoppers. One might make a snap decision to buy a product they see displayed on the home page, especially if they are not sure what to purchase.
The bestseller content doesn’t have to be too intricate. Simply push product images in front and promote those that make the most sense. For example, if you run a custom merchandise store that specializes in print-on-demand goods, you can switch up the bestsellers depending on the season.
During summer, t-shirts and swim apparel should be the first options, whereas hoodies and warm hats would be great, leading to autumn and winter. You can combine bestsellers with sales to further incentivize conversions. A popular product that has its price reduced is bound to sell even better.
Online shoppers are aware of looming threats on the internet. As such, they tend to avoid suspicious websites even if the offer is attractive. Website developers should emphasize their site security. Add value to the content by placing trust seals and badges.
There should be a security provider that can hook you up with the badges you can display in the header or footer. Some websites also incorporate Google Reviews that focus on on-site security. A seal of approval from past customers is just as valuable as one from the website’s security provider.
Starting and maintaining a blog on an e-commerce site is a daunting task, and many believe that it is a thankless job. After all, the goal of such a website is to focus on sales rather than writing and publishing content, right?
Well, it’s the opposite. A blog brings value in the form of the following:
An FAQ section is yet another example of a page that has its uses. First of all, it serves as a reference to those shoppers who don’t want to engage with customer support and would rather seek solutions on their own.
Secondly, similar to articles on a blog, the content on an FAQ page also generates organic traffic because search engines identify valuable information in the section users seek via Google.
And thirdly, a well-curated frequently asked question page sends shoppers the message that you care about them and are happy to work on improving the section to give the answers.
You can even offer the entire FAQ section in a downloadable PDF that shoppers can keep as a reference. If somebody downloads the file and deletes it later, it should not take too long for them to figure out how to retrieve deleted files. Or they can simply revisit the site and re-download the PDF.
The last bit to cover is how important the mobile shopping experience is. Statista projects that roughly 50% of all internet traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.
The trend also shows that mobile browsing is bound to gain an edge in the future. Wi-Fi and cellular data accessibility help, and so does the fact that mobile devices are cheaper and more convenient to use than computers (take traveling, for example).
Failing to optimize the website’s content for mobile shoppers equals missing out on a big chunk of potential customers.
Thankfully, modern web development solutions come with a plethora of mobile-friendly themes, which simplifies things. Not to mention that developing a dedicated iOS and Android app to accommodate mobile shoppers is a trend as well.
Nevertheless, it is still recommended to constantly monitor different parts of the website and how they perform on mobile devices. Adjustments should be made where necessary.
To sum everything up, content optimization is a significant aspect of developing a successful e-commerce website.
The ever-changing digital landscape with its trends does not bypass website development. It is up to the developers to keep up with the trends after getting the basics down.
And while quality is more important than quantity, in the context of an online store, a lack of content is easy to spot.
At the end of the day, consumers come with certain expectations, and failing to present your store in a way that leaves a positive impression thanks to the content is a significant misstep.