Whilst Google has declared it will not be rolling out any more core updates to its algorithm in 2020, it’s time to prepare for what stands to be a bit of a game-changer to website rankings in 2021, with the introduction of the Page Experience core algorithm update.
In Google’s own words:
“The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.”
“Make the web more delightful” is what really stands out here and as with previous big core algorithm updates such as BERT, Penguin and E.A.T, again, Google is placing emphasis on understanding the user and delivering them not only what they want, but what they will seemingly ‘delight’ in.
The page experience update was supposed to be pushed live in mid 2020 however, with the world pushed to the edge of sanity already, and with hundreds of businesses rushing to move their proposition online, they have decided to give us time to make sure we’re set.
So it seems that after many years of speculation, Google does have a heart when it comes to releasing algorithm updates.
This is what they said:
“A note on timing: We recognize many site owners are rightfully placing their focus on responding to the effects of COVID-19. The ranking changes described in this post will not happen before next year, and we will provide at least six months' notice before they’re rolled out. We're providing the tools now to get you started (and because site owners have consistently requested to know about ranking changes as early as possible), but there is no immediate need to take action.”
Source: Google May 28 2020
Google has given us due notice:
“Today we’re announcing that the page experience signals in ranking will roll out in May 2021” (Nov 10 2020)
The clock is ticking and with this much lead time you can bet that the negative impact on websites that don’t meet Google’s Page Experience standards will be substantial.
So, what is this page experience update all about?
In May 2020, Google Chrome announced the new ‘Core Web Vitals’ that many of us picked up on when it was pushed live in Google Search Console. This new set of metrics aims to give site owners insights into the user experience of their website by tracking metrics such as page speed, responsiveness and visual stability.
Here are the main metrics now highlighted in Google Search Console:
As has long been the case, websites should aim to achieve an LCP (load time) of less than 2.5s
Google Pagespeed Insights tool has been around for a while and is the benchmark for checking your sites load speed. However there are many variables to take into account such as server and location, as well as the platform your website is hosted on.
It is important to bear in mind that different platforms have their limitations when it comes to page load times. For example, many custom sites will often score an average result in page speed insights, and this is fairly well documented and even the biggest brands out there (see Penguin below) who currently dominate search, struggle with poor site speed. There comes a point where a compromise is necessary because those custom sites that really do take into account user experience, often use several plugins and it is these plugins that will affect page load speeds. It will be interesting to see how these sites fare when the new update is rolled out.
It is absolutely worth getting your site speed as quick as possible now. However, it is widely recognised that some platforms’ websites run slower than others. For example, using several plugins on Shopify can have a negative impact on page load times. But this may be the same for your competitors. It is worth benchmarking your page speed compared to that of your competitors around you in the results for specific keywords, as well as against those who are a few pages beneath you, or above. This will give you an idea of whether you need to do in order to defend your position from a site speed perspective, or you can continue as you are with caution. Once the algorithm rolls out, see how rankings have changed and which sites are ranking top – what is their site speed compared to yours?
This is a metric to measure the load responsiveness of your web pages. It helps evaluate how a user will engage with pages that are unresponsive – a low FID shows that the page is usable. A low FID is considered anything less than 100ms.
Everyone has experienced websites that shift when you try and click a button and you end up checking out, or losing your basket, right at the crucial moment. The Cumulative Layout Shift check, assesses how much your content moves during load and as a user scrolls down a page, this is a direct check on the responsiveness of a website. The number to aim for is 0.1 or less.
Interactivity and stability are both areas that need to be looked at by developers. If your website is built using a template on a well-known platform (Squarespace, WordPress, Shopify), most of these areas should be ticked off. However, if you’ve gone down a more custom approach, you may run into some issues and it is worth getting your developers to have a look if any problems are being flagged.
Alongside these innocent-sounding tracking metrics (hmm?), Google is also including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS and non-intrusive interstitials as part of the latest ranking factor.
Increasingly users across all industries are using several sizes of screen a day to interact with content online and Google wants to ensure that websites are delivering their customers the best possible experience when they’re on the move, as well as when they’re at work or at home.
Google wants to drive users to websites that aren’t going to attack them, so it checks website to ensure that there are no potentially damaging downloadables or dangerous software. You can check your website to see if there are any suspected files in the Security Issues report.
Another factor that’s been on our minds for some time, but it remains equally important as it did when it was first introduced. Ensure your customers’ data is safe!
Hmm, this one is a topic for debate and whilst Google’s guidelines are clear, this can dramatically affect how people engage in websites. For example, many websites have country and language selector popups once you land on their website – this is within Google’s guidelines. What Google is trying to knuckle down on are those aggressive salesy ads and popups that frustrate users. The guidelines state that the size of the popup or interstitial is a key factor so this is one to watch. Read Google’s guidelines on interstitials for further clarification and we’ll be writing another article on this soon so sign up for update.
Don’t be too aggressive in pushing discounts and signups as soon as people land on your website. Give them time to browse and then move in with the more disruptive marketing tactics.
What’s more, as Google has done in the past, it suggests that it may even add icons in the search results that show what the experience of the page is like. As we know from previous trials they’ve run in the results, getting the nod from Google and having these icons displayed next to your listings will increase the click-through rates to your pages.
Covid has held the world in submission for the majority of 2020, and finding positives are few and far between. However, with the enforcement of national lockdowns, the shift to digital has accelerated and many businesses have been busy creating their digital platforms for the first time.
This is brilliant as even digital skeptics are reaping the benefits from their online offering and they will continue to do so once retail returns to normal.
As many are finding, the move to digital presents a steep learning curve and the competition to achieve visibility is often fierce, but people have been able to sustain their livelihoods and start generating incomes online in a year that is largely worth forgetting. Google has recognised this move to digital, and to speculate on Google’s feeling, they understand that many people are feeling slightly downtrodden owing to the current climate. As a result of this, or maybe by coincidence, this ‘grace period’ has given us all an opportunity to improve the way we sell online.
Feel free to get in touch with one of the Diffusion team if you have any questions about any of the above, we’re happy to help.
Thinking of building a new eCommerce store or replatforming an existing one?
We’ve put together the ultimate guide to choosing an eCommerce platform to help your store get off to the best possible start from the get go.
1) Getting Started / Business Objectives
So, what are the key considerations or questions you should ask yourself? Well…
What are the reasons behind the re-platforming? What are the key business objectives form this project?
Perhaps its your global growth ambitions that is spear-heading this, or potentially to reduce costs and management overheads.
Whatever the reasons are its key to make sure that these have been discussed, considered and that everyone is in agreement.
What are the key success metrics of the website?
Increasing overall sales is probably up there but what other metrics can you attribute to the success of the website?
Knowing these is extremely helpful for both you and us when we take on a project as we can link back all of activity and proposed work to these to make sure we are achieving these initial goals.
If applicable, how is the current website failing?
What are the current pain points? – This could be user experience / navigation issues, it could be inflexibility with scaling or a dated look and feel.
Whatever they are, it is imperative they do not crop up again and therefore need to be made clear from the get go.
But also think about the successes that we can develop even further going forward.
What are the main features and functionalities that you want?
Of course you will refine this as you go through this process (and we’ll discuss this more in a minute) but its useful to lay everything out on the table to start with. From here you can try to organise them into must haves and nice to haves.
Knowing what the priorities are is really useful as it can help point us to the most appropriate platform, and in cases where there are budget limitations, it can help us put together a phased project plan.
There are a huge amount of factors that can and will consider in this process, but beginning with the four points above will get you off to a good start.
I think one of the most important takeaway’s here is to make sure you involve all departments in these initial discussions. As you go through the process it won’t always be necessary to have all departments involved, but including everyone at this early stage is only going to result in a much more rounded view of the needs and objectives.
2) Product Make Up
At the core of any eCommerce website are the catalogues of products. Again on the surface this may seem quite straight forward – items for sale, different colours, different sizes, prices, descriptions and images. But actually, the make-up of these catalogues can be quite intricate and there may be certain limitations on some platforms that could prevent you from running your business effectively.
Some of the SaaS platforms (like Shopify & Bigcommerce) are more suited to less complex catalogues than the likes of Magento. For example the number of variants a product can have cannot exceed 100 on Shopify. There are ways around this but it involves customisation and/or the use of a third party app.
In isolation this is not that much of a problem but if this type of customisation is needed throughout your product offering, it can become a bit of a pain to manage.
So, to alleviate the risk of this happening here are some of the the product questions you should be asking yourself:
How many products do you want to sell online? Quantity in isolation is rarely an issue but it’s good to know this nonetheless as it will have implications in various ways such as design and site speed optimisation.
How many categories and sub categories will you have? This could be quite small to begin with and then grow, so future ambitions is good to also bare in mind at this stage.
How Complex is your product taxonomy? Think about the number variants each product will have – colours, sizes, types etc. Will these be presented as single products or as SKUs within the products
Is there a requirement to be able to group / bundle products? This has implications for stock management so it’s good to know
Will products be sold on a subscription basis? If so, what are the rules here? What does this model look like?
Is pre order a requirement? If so should this be triggered automatically when a product is out of stock or manually? Can pre order be managed through other channels such as by phone?
Do you have a BTC and BTB product offering? How do these differ and should they be set up completely separately?
How will your product make up change and grow over the next few years? Linking back to what I mentioned earlier, what are the ambitions for all of the above?
Ultimately it is preferable to choose a platform that can accommodate as many of your requirements as standard features of the platform. Of course, one of the great perks of many of the eCommerce platforms out there, is the vast range of third party apps/plugins that are available that you can bolt onto the website to enhance functionality (we get to this later).
However from experience, it’s not advisable to have heaps of plugins as this can have a negative effect on overall site performance and speed.
If the majority of the functionality of your website comes from third party plug-ins, it’s probably a pretty clear sign that you are not on the most appropriate platform.
This is why it’s important to have all of this detail clearly available when selecting a platform, to alleviate the risk of choosing a one that restricts you and does not allow you to create and evolve in a hassle free manner.
3) Content Requirements
Content is at the core of every website and different platforms offer different solutions to the variety of different elements that you may or may not require, some making it easier that others.
Types of Content:
Ediorial – Blog, News, Press – archives
Campaign – Projects, Case Studies , Look Books
Brand – About, Philosohy, Process / Craft, History,
Social – integrating 3rd party content
Again, try to think about how this will evolve as well as what you’re launching with. How often are you going to be adding new content to the site?
If this is regularly (as, of course, it should be to help your SEO rankings) it is so important that it is an easy to do, otherwise it will cause such a headache to whoever has this job, wasting their time going through a tedious process or even worse deterring them from adding any new content.
WordPress, is a great option for content rich sites as there is no real limitation from a creative or management point of view. We have historically connected this with WooCommerce to offer a powerful eCommerce solution for our clients – and this is definitely a combination we still recommend.
Bigcommerce has recently developed a WordPress integration that creates a really powerful solution giving you all the benefits of WordPress, but weaving this into a very capable and solid ecommerce platform.
Shopify is also improving as a content management system and whilst it used to be tricky to manage editorial style content, this is no longer the case.
4) Technical Requirements/Integrations
You will find that a lot of the more common integrations are easily achieved with ready made plug ins available. These include:
Connecting to email marketing platform to capture newsletter sign ups
Connecting to Payment gateways – to allow a seamless check out experience
Feeding your instagram account onto the site to offer fresh and dynamic content
But it’s not always this straight forward. The recommend approach therefore is thinking about which integrations are going to add value for your customers and your business, rather than going off what you have on the existing site or copying current trends.
Once we have this list we can start to evaluate how these can be executed on different platforms, and what level of integration is needed.
As mentioned, on the one hand you don’t want to be in a position where you are having to completely customise and bolt on hundreds of apps to achieve your desired offering
On the flip-side you also don’t want to buy into an expensive enterprise level solution when you actually only need 2% of what they offer and are therefore hugely over engineering the situation.
We’d be here all day if I was to attempt to list all of the different types of integrations that could be incorporated into your site, but these are some of the potentially more complex but really useful ones that definitely need consideration, and will really help with the seamless running on your business:
ERP Systems – he
Taxes and Duties
Multi Currency Check Out – internationalisation
Fulfillment / Shipping
Internationalisation especially, is often one of the biggest factors that will shape platform choice. Giving your customers a local shopping experience, and allowing your business operations to work efficiently on a global scale is essential.
Up until now we would only have suggested the more enterprise level platforms – like Magento or Shopware, for this type of requirement.
This said a lot of the SaaS platforms are now getting up to speed with this.
For example, implementing Shopify to target several countries around the world was always the biggest deal breaker as the only option available previously, was to clone the store in order to enable check out in another currency. However now, multi currency checkout is available through their premium offering -Shopify Plus. In 2019 the road map for Bigcommerce also has Internationalisation at the top of its agenda.
As the capabilities of every platform is constantly evolving, it is really important to think about what your technical requirements are and what integrations are needed so that we can help pair you with the a platform that’s the best fit, now and in the future.
5) Costs and Timings
And last but by no means least – money! Ultimately one of the determining factors in this process is going to be the available budget and deadlines.
The time (and therefore cost) it takes to build an eCommerce website will vary hugely based on the size, complexity and platform you are using.
Whether you choose to disclose your budget with your agency at this stage is up to you – from our point of view this is helpful as we can tailor an appropriate solution.
Either way, though, it is just crucial to have these figures worked out in good time.
So, there are two key factors that must be considered and budgeted for:
The initial cost of the build of the website
Ongoing costs to keep the site running.
This initial cost can include:
Discovery costs – could be UX, brand work, concepting, SEO
Design and build costs
Content creation – copy writing and photo shoots
Third-party integration costs,
SEO Set Up
Once the implementation is completed, you have to account for the ongoing cost. Items included in this are:
Maintenance and support retainers,
Ongoing host fees,
Platform licence costs
Payment gateway related fees,
Third-party apps / plugin subscriptions
Ongoing SEO and marketing
Depending on the type of platform you choose, some of these costs might not apply which might be a deciding factor for picking one platform over another.
So, there we have it. Once you have a good idea about all of the above points, let’s organise a time to sit down and discuss which eCommerce platform will help propel your business forward.
Digital marketing should already be an essential cog in your marketing machine because whether your goals are generating sales from your Ecommerce website, awareness for your brand or leads for the service you offer, in terms of cost-effectiveness, nothing does it better than digital marketing. Of course I would say that, and here is why….
If you’re still on the fence about whether to invest in digital marketing, this guide should give you a good understand of the origins of digital marketing, the channels available and which ones may be worth it for you. For those familiar with this, feel free to skip over to the trends section.
A lot has changed over the last year or two, with the rise in popularity of voice enabled devices, voice navigation becoming an increasingly used feature in mobile phones, as well as the rise of Internet of Things (IoT); the start of the year is a good time to brush up your digital marketing knowledge and set out a plan for the year ahead.
With so many choices of platform, devices and audiences, it is important to understand the features and benefits of each so you can take an informed decision about where to invest your marketing budget.
The Origins Of Digital Marketing
The term ‘digital marketing’ can be traced back to the early 1990’s when the Archie search engine was created. This indexed FTP files and worked alongside the huge stores of data that companies were collecting, allowing them to track customer information. The result was the ability to target a customer with more relevant marketing material and essentially was the beginning of modern digital marketing.
Competition and increased usage led to an increased use of digital matter which enabled the first clickable banner ad going live; as long ago as 1994. It could be argued that the success of this ad is what drove digital marketing forward. Estimates suggest 44% of the people who saw the ad clicked on it i.e. click-through rate (CTR). Sure, you could make the case that it yielded those high CTRs only because it was a relatively new concept but it was a good metric nevertheless.
Of course digital marketing really started to take off in the 2000’s when the internet started to become more commonplace and not just reserved for the tech-savvy amongst us.
Moreover, the introduction of mobile devices and other ways to access the internet on the move such as tablets (called Personal Digital Assistants back then), over the last 20 years, has driven increased growth and transformation of digital marketing.
Types Of Digital Marketing
There are several different ‘types’ of digital marketing, and by type we’re referring to how it is implemented and the platforms put to use.
Social Media Marketing
Even if you don’t use social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn to share information about your business and your products no doubt you’ve heard about advertising on it before. This is a great way to engage with potential customers and promote your products and in terms of maintaining brand loyalty, it is perhaps the most effective way of increasing and maintaining awareness for your business.
But, you do need to choose the right channel for your products / services. Each social media platform has its own features, use-cases and what it can deliver for your business, you just need to choose the one that best suits your objectives.
Not all that you publish as a business will be about sales and neither should it be. You need to publish a lot of useful and informative content online for people to engage with in order for them to find out about you, your services and what you could potentially do for their business. These are all important factors to most potential purchasers. Good quality content will pass on valuable information while engaging with the customer; it needs to be easy to read and appeal to your target audience.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the method by which you rank your page within the first few positions on the search results. You need to choose keywords that are relevant to your business i.e. those likely to generate leads or sales for you and then go about implementing a SEO strategy to promote the content and the website.
The key is to choose the right keywords for your business as this can make or break your SEO campaign.
To make things more complicated there are many different strategies within SEO that will have a huge effect on the campaign’s success.
Get in touch to find out how we can help with your digital marketing campaign
Search Engine Marketing is another way to ensure that you maintain visibility across the various search engines across paid for channels. The pricing models for SEM will vary from one channel to another.
For e.g., in Pay Per Click (PPC) Google is the undisputed leader. When it comes to display marketing aka impressions, which is how often a prospect sees your ad, Facebook leads the way.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Simply put, PPC marketing is when you pay each time someone clicks on your ad
Compared to SEM which is often based on impressions, PPC costs work on a click basis only and they are therefore generally more conducive if lead generation is your goal.
Another way in which you can increase the awareness for your business and generate more sales is to use affiliate marketing links. In short anyone can list a product that you’re selling on their own site. If they end up selling a product of yours you pay them something. Think of affiliates as your network of sales personnel.
The great thing about this approach is that there are no limits to the number of affiliate links you can have and you only pay out after a confirmed sale. This dramatically reduces any risks associated with online marketing campaigns.
The email has been a wonderful invention not just for personal communication everywhere but for marketing purposes too.
In terms of acquisition costs, few platforms can rival the cost-effectiveness of email marketing especially when you’re marketing out to a warm or hot list i.e. your previous or current customers and qualified prospects.
You can use email to market just about anything – a new product or service launch, an event or sale you’re having, updates about the company or simply to stay in top-of-mind of your customers.
The only caveat with email marketing is not to overdo it as it only takes a single click for your audience to have had enough and them abandoning your list.
It may seem old fashioned but advertising on the radio can still work very well for certain types of businesses and offering. A lot of people listen to the radio at some point during the day and often at times when their attention is undivided for example in the car or at work.
SMS messages sent directly to your phone is an established digital marketing technique and works very well for most B2C industries especially those in the restaurant trade and/or offering local services.
WhatsApp is often touted to be the next iteration of SMS marketing but hasn’t quite taken off fully yet but with Mark Zuckerberg planning on integrating Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook, hopefully this is going to be on the rise, giving businesses yet another way to interact with and market to potential customers.
Prospects For The Digital Landscape In 2019
The traditional way of carrying out digital marketing is via a single channel. This could be something as simple as telling your existing customers to invite their friends to support your business; you could even offer an incentive to ensure people take the right action.
Alternatively you can do what Facebook and several other firms do and invite all your friends for you; you’ve given them permission somewhere in the small print. This is still a single channel approach but a very effective one.
Although this method does still work, it is no longer as effective as an omni-channel approach which as the name suggests, you target users at multiple ‘touch points’ and at different times.
With the myriad of ways consumers now engage with content online, from different devices, starting and stopping and then starting the explorative journey again, building a marketing campaign across multiple channels will dramatically increase a campaigns potency and effectiveness in 2019.
The internet has swollen to such a size that all the digital marketing channels are being flooded by online businesses. In order for you to stand out from the crowd and reach those customers you need to hit all the channels possible.
The types of digital marketing discussed at the start of this guide are all important, but the key here is you can’t target just one of these channels; you need to be utilising as many of them as possible in order to ensure your business is seen and heard as often as possible. This will help to ensure you are the first one they think of when after your specific product; helping to ensure they buy through or from you.
In addition, there are certain trends that are likely to be prevalent all of 2019 so it helps for you to familiarise yourself with these.
Understanding & Utilising Voice Search
It is estimated that by 2020 half of all the searches done on the internet will be by voice search. Searching using voice commands is the natural progression of the smart home systems such as Alexa and Google Home, and the beauty of these devices is that you will be able to find information on what you need while completing other tasks. This is important as most people lead exceptionally hectic lives making anything that saves time a hugely desirable commodity.
This means that you should start thinking about optimising your site for voice searches in order to ensure you are at the top of the page rankings when searches that are displayed may be read out on these devices. This obviously depends on the products you sell as it is widely accepted that repeat buy items are benefited by voice search where as one-offs and unique things will generally remain as they are in terms of search strategy.
The good news is that the tactics you are currently using for SEO and content marketing are still very relevant. In essence the voice search is no different to a typed search the only difference being the length of the search query.
Your website, the amount of time it takes to load, it’s engagement (or lack of it) are all important factors too so here are some things you can do to improve it:
In order to rank high when a voice search is performed you need to have pages that load quickly. You should take a look at each page and remove unnecessary clutter, pieces of code that are weighing the site down, heavy images and anything else unnecessary. The faster your page loads the better.
If your site is not already on HTTPS then you need to incorporate it today! This is essential for SEO and so must be an essential part of your digital marketing campaign in 2019.
It is important to keep your answers short. Users are increasingly asking long questions but want short answers that can be easily digested on the move.
You should perform a voice search on some of your keywords regularly to see how high you rank and what pages are linked; this will help you to improve your marketing focus. It is important to remember that people will phrase the same question differently; you need to infer the intent of a question not the literal response.
Getting good quality of traffic to your website is only half the job. You need to make sure that the website is doing the best it can to convert those visitors. and , it doesn’t matter whether you have a Shopify powered website you use to generate sales or a WordPress site to generate leads leads – having an engaging website is a must.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) – The Facts
Most marketing people don’t like to think about the conversion rate; after all marketing is about making people aware of your brand and getting them to visit your site. However as wonderful as it would be to have 1 million followers this is not much use if none of them are purchasing your products.
You must consider how to maximise your conversion rates. Whilst there are several great guides on this subject online, this section is about giving you a basic understanding of CRO and making your website more ‘conversion-friendly’.
The first step is to establish where the majority of your customers are coming from. You’ll probably find that an increasing share is coming via mobile devices. If your site is not optimised for mobile devices then you are going to lose conversions; people need to be able to see all the relevant information without having to scroll left and right continuously.
Your site needs to look good on a mobile device, be fast and be exceptionally easy to navigate – this is where my friends in UX come in. The longer a visitor spends on the site the more likely they are to become a customer. Don’t forget that people do still access websites on laptops and desktops, the screens are different sizes and your page needs to adapt to all of these sizes effortlessly and instantly. If you have an eCommerce website then simple things like showing when an item is out of stock will help customers not to waste time and help prevent them from leaving your site annoyed.
It’s also a good idea to create several mock sites and test them for conversion rates. This can help you to find the design that works best for converting visitors into customers. You can then change your official site to match.
Another key point is to answer the question of “why should I buy from you?” This is actually more important than what you are selling! Once people have connected to you and believe in your brand you’ll be able to guide them through purchasing your product. You can do this by making it instantly very clear what you do and what your values are.
You can do this with a prominent image and simple slogan. Although it’s simple, it will improve your conversion rate.
Conversion optimisation is intricately linked with leverage funnels. This is actually true for many of your digital marketing strategies and the reason why it can appear so complicated. A leverage funnel is the process of gently guiding the customer from their first awareness of you down to their ultimate purchase.
Not every customer will complete all the stages, hence the potential customer numbers will diminish creating the effect of a standard funnel. Getting this process right will help to ensure the maximum number of visitors possible will end up purchasing from your site.
The first stage is to identify the need. You’ve made the product but you need to let everyone know that they need it. This can be achieved through content marketing, SEO and social media, by illustrating your product and demonstrating its value, you’ll create a need for it.
Next you need to proceed to the second stage of the funnel, this is where potential customers will search for information regarding the product they now know they need. 70% of people will use a search engine to find out more info; you need to have your keyword orientated content ready to help them realise that you are offering the best product for their needs.
Stage three involves checking out the competition. This is when you need to have something unique on offer, whether it be an introductory discount or some other sweetener. If you’ve done these stages correctly the visitor will see your product as the logical choice and proceed to purchase.
At this stage you can attempt to up-sell a better version of your product or even use a down-sale to encourage the purchase. In addition you can link to other relevant products and increase your income via cross sales.
It is important to record the data from each customer, you will want to confirm the lifetime value of your best customers and offer them extra incentives as they past certain thresholds; this will help them to stay loyal.
People may tell you that content marketing is on the decline as more people use alternative ways to find the answers they need.
In fact the real threat to content marketing is the number of posts on the internet, all saying similar things. You need to design content that is unique, memorable and most of all, easy to read.
Content marketing remains one of the best ways to get your site established and known; with the right content and links you can build a good reputation. To do this you need to develop your content marketing plan today.
As mentioned all content should be original but it should also be relevant to the visitor. It can be difficult to make content personal but it is important as this will increase your conversion numbers.
Alongside this, some links to local and even national leaders of your industry will help to establish your reputation and advocate your brand. This will help you to get the visitors and conversions you need to stay competitive in 2019.
You probably won’t find it surprising to learn that video content is becoming increasingly popular. Videos can help a subject to seem more entertaining as well as allowing potential customers to feel like they are connecting with a real person in a more interactive and visual way.
Videos need to be short and informative but they are also a great way of showcasing a specific product. However, remember it’s a video so you need to treat it like a mini-film and create a storyline that shows the value of a product without needing to feature the product too much.
This will appeal to the emotional side of a potential buyer and increase your conversion rate. Don’t forget many visitors will only stay on your site for approximately 10 seconds; your video needs to get straight to the point!
If you can get someone to forget reality for a minute and make them laugh then your video is sure to gain more traction. Tagging it across different channels as much as possible will help it to be seen which in turn will increase the likelihood of it turning up in organic results.
Finally consider adding podcasts to your digital marketing strategy. A whopping 45% of podcast listeners have a household income above $75,000; that’s a lucrative market you want to be accessing.
A podcast can be listened to in the car, while working, cooking or even when doing the gardening. This means people can be finding out more about what you have to offer when they wouldn’t normally have the time to be surfing the internet.
The great thing about a podcast is that your latest podcast will be made available, via applications such as iTunes, without you needing to do anything. Your customers can access you without any effort and all you need is a script and somewhere to record it; the script doesn’t even have to be rigid.
You can also add advertisements into your podcast breaks which are surprisingly effective at creating sales.
The Bottom Line
Digital marketing in 2019 is set to become even more competitive as more and more businesses began to abandon traditional forms of advertising in favour of going digital.
Looking at the types of marketing in this article and the trends that are likely to prevail in 2019 can leave you feeling a little disorientated; but it doesn’t have to. By creating a plan you can tackle each of these elements one step at a time; ultimately creating and applying the perfect digital marketing plan for 2019. Of course, if you’re unsure in any way or need some extra guidance then you can simply ask for the advice and support you need.
It’s great to have someone there to help you, try us out today to see just how much we can benefit you!
The website design and development racket is a tricky field to navigate.
If you find yourself in search of web design agencies, it’s sometimes hard to tell the wood from the trees in terms of differentiating between the good and the bad.
The aim of this blog is to give you a few pointers on why it’s worth your while getting professionals to design and develop your website.
#1 How hard can it be? I’ll do it myself for a fraction of the price
Don’t get me wrong many people have successfully designed, developed and launched their own websites using one of the well-known platforms such as WordPress or Wix.
But, have they created something that truly reflects their brand or business? Well I’d bet that 99% of ‘self-built’ websites entirely misrepresent their brand/business or simply don’t do it justice.
A website is often the first place a prospective new client will look – the importance of making a good first impression is essential in building trust, driving conversion and encouraging advocacy.
#2 Due-diligence whether it’s a new business or an upgrade – don’t go rogue
So, you’ve made the right choice and realised what’s best for your business.
You must be careful though. As in every industry, especially overcrowded ones, there are those who have your best interests at heart, and then there are the crooks.
Owing to how diluted the industry is, the web design and development space is littered with people trying to exploit other peoples ignorance and make a quick buck and whilst most agencies in question provide a similar service offering to one-another, it’s up to you to differentiate between them all.
It’s important to try and choose an agency that will take as much pride in the client’s business and brand, as the client themselves.
This is obviously easier said than done but finding a team with enthusiasm for not only their work, but also their clients, will ensure a positive outcome further down the line.
An obvious place you can check this is in their case studies. If there aren’t beautiful examples of past work proudly placed on a pedestal on the agency’s website, alarm bells should be ringing.
When it comes to costs, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is and somewhere down the line you’ll end up in losing out either financially or being lumped with a mediocre, under-whelming website.
Always bear in mind the number of different elements it takes to build a good website – design, UX, development and SEO. Each are very specific skills that people spend years honing and as such you expect to pay!
So, save your time and don’t engage with any company who quote significantly less than all the other quotes that you have received.
Especially in regard to SMEs and start-ups, budgets can be restrictive, but, considering the importance of a website plays on client’s first impressions, every effort should be made to make them as well-crafted as they can be.
Websites are often more expensive than people think but when youtake into account the expertise you are getting for your money, the juice is worth the squeeze.
75% of user judgment about your business’s credibility is based on your website’s design
University of Surrey
People are often taken aback by the costs of building a custom website. Whilst these costs are usually fair, the agency should provide fairly comprehensive breakdowns demonstrating how they are arriving at the forecasted costs, including an idea of additional development and post build costs should they be needed.
Getting several quotes from different agencies should give you a good idea of a ballpark figure you should expect to pay.
Whilst there are some very intuitive platforms out there that can walk you through every step to building an intuitive and responsive website for relatively little money, the chances of you creating a website that best reflects your business is hard with off the shelf templates. What’s more; by using the standard themes offered by the likes of WordPress and Shopify, it’s likely that your website will end up looking similar if not identical to someone else’s and correct me if I’m wrong, it’s in a businesses interest to stand out from the crowd, not mix about in it.
#4 Forming Lasting Relationships
Digital professionals helping ambitious brands thrive online.
This is the mantra at the core of Diffusion Digital’s ethos and fundamentally lays out our driving force, and, in danger of sounding self-righteous, it’s one that every digital agency should pursue.
I say ‘pursue’ because – owing to evolving environments, demographics and products, to name but a few – this process is changes with the times and we must adapt with it. Having an agency aboard throughout will make your life easier in the long run.
Agencies should demonstrate that they take genuine pride in the websites they help craft. They should take the time to truly understand what the brand or business stands for and the client’s objectives or vision into the future, as well as Key Performance Indicators.
When a collection of brilliant minds, hearts, and talents come together… expect a masterpiece
#5 Sit back and watch your business/brand evolve online
The beauty of using an agency is that you should expect all bases to be covered.
Magento, WordPress, Kentico, Salesforce, Shopify are just a few of the platforms that people host their websites on and which one to use depends on your business. Engaging the correct platform from the outset is critical to all businesses moving forward in terms of functionality abd scaling the business in the future.
It is essential to involve Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) from the earliest stages of a website build. Creating keyword optimised landing pages will help Google recognise what your business is and subsequently, with an ongoing content strategy, high quality organic traffic will be driven to your site.
Clever custom animations
Being able to customise apps and other integrations is essential to truly bringing a brand to life online. Agencies make it their mission to tweak existing apps to best fit the profile of the business they are working for. This allows entirely bespoke interactions that will truly enhance the appearance and performance of the site.
Seamless user experience
Creating a site that is easy to navigate, with intuitive integrations and that’s pleasing both visibly as well as practically is a crucial part of attracting engaging and retaining visitors to a site.
Increasingly people use a variety of devices to access the internet making it essential to develop a website that transitions seamlessly from one device to another.
#6 Key considerations
Does this agency have the right expertise?
The agency doesn’t necessarily have to be old but it is worth checking the experience of the team who is going to be working on your account. It has been known that experienced people will be in the discovery stages in order to win the brief and subsequently pass the account onto less able juniors. Whilst this is great in teaching other people skills, it might not be ideal in terms of building your website.
Does this agency offer all of the services I require?
Where possible find an agency where all departments — SEO, Development, UX, Copy Writing to name but a few — are housed under one roof. In terms of simplicity, efficiency and ease of communication this is far better than working with agencies who sub-contact elements out to people who might be based on the other side of the world
Is my business important to them?
Find people who care. If it is a small project don’t go to a big agency because they might not assign the same amount of time as they do to other projects.
How many people will be working on my account?
This will vary throughout the build. Expect all sections to be involved during the initial discovery stages but once designs and strategies have been laid down the teams will work individually on the sections that are relevant to them before passing it onto the next to complete theres.
Who will be my main contact?
Ensure clear lines of communication are set up and you know who you speak to directly should you need to
What am I paying for?
You are paying for a team of experts in their respective fields to help bring your business to life on line. In a world where digital is taking over a little more each day, it is essential that we keep up with the times and by creating a beautiful website you will extend your reach enormously.
Do you like and trust them?
This isn’t just an agency who you need to help you in the short term. These individuals are going to be dealing with something which is incredibly important to you and as such you need to not only to like them, but more importantly trust them. You need to be able to look at them and tell that they are going to treat your baby – so to speak – with the upmost respect. Essentially a website design agency becomes intimately involved in the development of your brand/business and as such you need to see that they care.
Are they asking the right questions?
The agency should develop a deep understanding of the business and how it works during the initial discovery stage, this should also look into key performance indicators and future targets.
Are they able to provide testimonials and examples of work?
Whilst the agency doesn’t necessarily have to be too old, it is important that at least a few of the people who work there have considerable experience working in the industry. This can be tested by looking at the testimonials on both the individual as well as the work they have done.
Ultimately what you ant to ask yourself is whether or not you will form a good relationship with the agency and especially the team who are going to be working on your account.
Contact with an agency rarely ends after the build is complete and usually an agency will offer retainer packages to manage a website into the future. Moreover finding an agency who offers on-going SEO and content marketing retainer strategies that will help drive high quality organic traffic to your site.
Much like Canon vs Nikon or Waitrose vs Lidl or Fiat vs Ferrari; choosing between WordPress and Shopify ultimately comes down to personal preference. It depends on what you are looking for in an eCommerce platform, and the performance you require to drive your site.
Define performance I hear you say. Well performance is driven by; convenience, complexity, cost, customisation, customer service, usability, the power to grow and the overall general aesthetic.
This article — with the help of some dubious metaphors — will compare two of the biggest names in eCommerce with the aim of giving you a better understanding of which platform will suit you and your business best.
Although WooCommerce is the most used platform by far, it is more cumbersome to maintain than a simpler Software as a Service (SaaS) solution like Shopify. This said, WooCommerce can be a great tool, especially for content heavy sites that also need an eCommerce element to their business and website.
Each of them have there positives and obviously — and perhaps more importantly — their limitations. Much like using a Swiss army knife in the rain forest; it might be ideal for lighting a fire with the little magnifying glass or sharpening a stick to make an arrow, but it’s no machete and isn’t very good at chopping down a path before you (I told you they were dubious!).
If you are looking at moving your business online then Shopify and WordPress will certainly cover your needs and by the end of this article, you should be able to determine which will propel your business forward most efficiently.
What to look for in an eCommerce platform?
Budget – the initial costing of starting a fully functional eCommerce store.
Ease of Use – It should be relatively easy to use, even for total novices.
Payment Methods – It should support multiple payment methods (Stripe, PayPal etc.)
Integrations – how many third party tools and services can you utilise to help grow your business
Scalability – as your business grows, your platform should be able to grow naturally alongside it.
These are the very basic requirements for choosing an eCommerce store. There are obviously other considerations that must be taken into account, such as shipping, invoicing and inventory management but, by asking yourself what your needs are in terms of the list above, you should end up using the most appropriate platform for you and your business.
Bang for your buck
Something that is at the heart of all business decisions is cost and these two platforms have varying approaches when it comes to pricing structures. Whilst Shopify’s pricing structure is relatively simple, WooCommerce is a little more abstract and can be frustrating. This frustration largely comes down to the open source nature of WordPress and the fact that WooCommerce, and many other features that are required to run a successful eCommerce site on WordPress, are plugins that must be bought.
Whilst Shopify offers various tiers that provide you with a ready-built, off the shelf eCommerce store that you can start using straight away, building a similar service to Shopify on WordPress can be complicated. A great deal of time can be spent building and managing a WooCommerce platform and as the famous phrase goes; time is money. Whilst WooCommerce might be cheaper on the surface, technically it is more demanding and this can lead to larger expenses.
Shopify’s smorgasbord of plans caters to all needs. Whether you want the equivalent to an egg and cress sandwich or filet of wagyu beef in freshly made Italian ciabata, fresh out of the oven – there is something to cater to all budgets and tastes.
Ranging from $29 a month for a basic site that provides all the fundamentals needed for starting a new business online, to $299 a month providing everything you need for growing a business as well as advanced features needed to help scaling up. (There is a free version, but this isn’t worth thinking about at this stage if you’re looking to move online seriously). With plans starting at 2000$ a month, you can joinShopify PLUSwhich will offers advanced solutions to scaling your business up to a global scale.
Advanced Shopify Features
Here is a list of the standard features you’ll have access to should you sign up to the Advanced Shopify plan; which is generally the tier we tend to use the most when designing and developing a Shopify website:
There is no limit on the amount of products that you can upload and display
Unlimited file storage
Shopify offers unlimited space so you don’t have to worry about site speed and limiting the amount of content on your site.
Automatic fraud analysis
This allows you to flag an order that you suspect might be fraudulent so that you can review it before sending the product.
Embedded Oberlo integration
Oberlo is a drop shipping method that allows storeowners or marketplaces to sell their products without actually having to stock the products themselves. Amazon uses a similar business model.
Manual order creation
Manual orders can be created which allows you to manually enter customer’s details directly – for instance if they have passed them over the telephone or paid in cash.
Give an added incentive to your customers by offering them discounts that can easily be redeemed on you Shopify site.
Whilst Shopify is principally an eCommerce platform, it is also becoming a platform that will allow its customer to write and maintain a lot of content that is designed to attract people to the site by using SEO techniques.
Free SSL certificate
SSL allows secure payments from a web browser to a browser. SSL are commonly used for secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins.
Mobile commerce optimization
Use gestures to improve your customers experience on mobile leading to greater conversions.
Editable HTML and CSS
This allows for further customisation of your Shopify site and enhances usability and customer experience.
Credit card payments
Credit card payments fall between 2.4% + 30c and 2.9% + 30c, depending on the plan you are on.
If you are looking at selling on a global scale you might require a multi language option on your page to fit the needs of all of your customers.
Adjustable shipping rates and taxes
Choose from a variety of shipping options from Free Shipping to Exact Shipping Costs to Flat Rate.
SEO-ready site structure
The structure of the site is optimised helping it to rank highly in search engines. It also gives you hints on your content by suggestion areas you need to improve or which areas are working in terms of Search Engine Optimisation.
Individual product reviews
Giving the customer the opportunity to have a say builds trust and increases conversion.
Facebook selling module
An important part of any online shop is the ability to connect easily to and sell on social media platforms such as Facebook.
Social media integration
Instagram, Facebook and Pintrest, including the ability to sell directly on these platforms
Physical and digital products in the store
Shopify is also an excellent platform for SaaS retailers.
Unlimited traffic to your store
Our servers will always be able to cater to the amount of traffic to your site; no limits will be put in place.
You can work safe in the knowledge that should the worst happen and you lose your site for whatever reason, Shopify will be able to regenerate it in a very short time frame.
Site stats and product reports
Manage your analytics dashboard so you can easily see the metrics that are relevant to you. Click rate, bounce rate, customer visits, conversion race etc.
Integrate with Google Analytics to give the most precise data possible allowing you to tweak and optimise even the smallest elements of your site.
Fully featured mobile app
Ensure your site is optimised across all platforms so regardless of how you customer is accessing your store, the experience will be seamless
Product importing via CSV files
Comma Separated Values (CSV files) is a file format for spread sheets. Shopify accepts the export and import of CSV files for products, orders discounts and customers.
Different product variations
You can add a variant option to each of the products that come with multiple options, such as weight, size or colour.
This enables you to print custom invoices, receipts, packing slips labels and more.
Gift cards Abandoned cart recovery
If your customer leaves your site with products in the cart, you can automatically send reminders letting them know they have products waiting at checkout.
Whilst there are plugins that replicate all of these features for WooCommerce; as I have already mentioned many of them must be paid for and you have to ensure they are all updated and correctly installed yourself, whereas Shopify manages all of these things for you. As far as pricing goes, it costs a relatively similar amount of money to set up a similar functioning WordPress site to a standard Shopify store, however further down the line when you come to more advanced customisation and require new plugins, this is where the charges will start racking up.
For any eCommerce site ease of payment is critical in providing a seamless path for your customer to take starting at the discovery of your product all the way through to conversion.
Shopify offers its own payment gateway called Shopify Payments, as well as allowing all major third party payment systems. However, depending on what plan you are on Shopify charges fees of up to 2% on each transaction made through a third party gateway. This is on top of the fees paid to the third party.
Woocommerce provides, by default, both PayPal and Stripe and it also supports all other third party payment gateways through plugins. Now, when considering the fees charged by Shopify for using third party add-ons, Woocommerce – as a self-hosted platform – doesn’t charge any transaction fees meaning you could save an enormous amount of money. This said, if you are a small store and Shopify’s default payment methods suits you, then these transaction fees make no difference.
Design and customisation
It cannot be denied that for most retailers starting out digitalising their business, time is of the essence and as Shopify offers an incredibly easy platform to design and develop you eCommerce site, within two shakes of a lamb’s tail you can be selling your products online. This said, users often complain that their site is similar to a competitor. Fortunately, besides the checkout design, which is fixed, almost all other aspects of layout and design are customisable – in the right hands, that is.
With this in mind and given that brands and business’ moving online for the first time want to make a positive and lasting first impression and so from the outset they’re keen to get the design spot on. This is where you will start looking towards a professional design agency to help craft a site that will directly reflect your brand, allowing it to truly stand out in an ever more crowded space.
Shopify offers a number of templates that can be tweaked to suit your needs or to fit better with your brand identity. This is limited though, and without hiring professional developers it is inevitable that your site will end up looking similar to another. Owing to the open source nature of WordPress however, you are able to completely customise your site as you wish, or choose from the hundreds of themed templates that people make, occasionally very cheaply.
WordPress is equally as customisable and options are limitless. However whilst Shopify is relatively intuitive, WordPress can become quite technical especially when you start diving into the source code in order to modify your site. If you are comfortable doing this however, then creativity knows no bounds.
This said, WooCommerce doesn’t come with a design, you must first set up a WordPress site and once this is in place you can add Woocommerce. Fortunately the plugin works with just about every theme WordPress has to offer, as well as fully customised ones.
Whilst there are many apps that will allow you to customise your Shopify website — as well as being able to adjust the palates and layouts — you ultimately are restricted to what Shopify allows you to do. For instance you cannot redesign the layout of the checkout area in Shopify. However, due to the open source nature of WordPress, your creativity is not bound by any restrictions and third-party developers are constantly producing new plugins that will enhance the usability and functionality of your website.
Content kings vs. streamlined Sales – which is easier to use?
There is no denying that Shopify is a eCommerce leader however — and despite the fact that it is getting better — content heavy sites will be better suited using WordPress, with WooCommerce as a plugin to make it transactional. As the world’s leading content management system, hosting around 28% of the world’s websites, WordPress’ versatility makes it hard to compete with when it comes to content management.
Even though WooCommerce allows you to do just about everything Shopify does, and whilst it WordPress may be a better CMS; Shopify is closing the gap. With ever improving, integrated SEO features the eCommerce native is opening up its arms to content heavy sites. Added to this the fact that, from the start, Shopify was designed to sell and as a result everything that the site offers is aimed at improving the stores functionality, and therefore the UX is very fine-tuned. Some WordPress eCommerce sites on the other hand are quite confused.
Given that Shopify is a subscription-based tool, it is incredibly easy to go from point zero — where you have no digital offering what so ever – to a live site with products selling online. Simply by signing up and following an intuitive setup wizard, you’re site can go live in no time at all.
Scalability — Planning on conquering the universe, or just the UK?
You’d be hard pressed to find any business that doesn’t aspire to greater things and a lot of the time this aspiration connects directly to growth. Ensuring you have a platform that naturally evolves alongside your business is critical to get right from the off – for instance you don’t want to be changing belts because it doesn’t have enough notches in it to allow for an overindulgent Christmas expansion.
So, just like when you select a belt that will hopefully see you out to the end of your days (depending on build quality of course) you must select an eCommerce platform that will expand as your product range and customer base increases.
When it comes to technical functionality, Shopify handles everything from performance, security and scalability, meaning you can concentrate on growing your business. Once your business inevitably starts to grow, you can simply upgrade to a more appropriate plan (much like notching up on your belt!) and allow your business to breath.
Of course by upgrading plans you will have to pay more, but this countered by the fact you will not have to hire an in-house technical team.
WooCommerce on the other hand is a self-hosted platform. This means you are responsible for everything from ensuring you have backed up your site, to the overall security of your website. As you grow it is your responsibility to ensure you have sufficient and suitable infrastructure in place to allow for safe and efficient expansion. This can give you more control in terms of having a greater variety of options available for each service you offer however, this can add to the hassle — particularly in the form of maintenance – and a lot of people want to avoid this.
So, if you are looking at taking over the world Woocommerce will certainly give you the flexibility that you inevitably require or indeed desire. However if you have smaller targets and you can settle with little old England, then it might be worth avoiding the aggravation and go with Shopify. This said, some of the world’s biggest brands such as Tesla, Redbulland Penguin Books all use Shopify as a platform.
Growing your followers or customer base. SEO
The ease that customers can find your store online is crucial to sales, whether you are launching a new product online or simply trying to build a web footprint leading to your retail store. By using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) you increase the likelihood that your product page or website as a whole will match with common search terms, and this will lead to a greater amount of quality leads coming to your website.
Shopify has a number of built in features that help when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation. By optimising areas such as title tags, Meta descriptions, alt-tags for images and URLs for blog posts, you appeal to Google’s algorithms meaning the page is more likely to be ranked highly.
Additionally most themes require you to link with social media and also come with various sharing options as standard, which allows you to easily market your product or store across different platforms online.
As with many other differences between WordPress and Shopify, when it comes to SEO with WooCommerce and WordPress, you have to download various plugins to ensure your site is operating to the max. Furthermore these plugins can be optimised even more by installing add ons. Although this can become cumbersome and difficult to manage, the end result can be extremely powerful.
In reality only a very small percentage of eCommerce sites need to do the extreme customisation that WooCommerce provides and unless you are so content heavy that you require a blogging focussed platform, you might as well stick to Shopify and have ‘somebody else’ take care of the boring parts.
So here you are, standing confused — or hopefully less so after this blog — in front of the fork in the road. Ultimately, the two paths in front of you, whilst similar; also have some fundamental differences. One of these two world-leading platforms will suit your business and allow you grow and flourish in ways that you only previously dreamt of, whilst the other will only cause further complication.
If you are still confused as to which route to take and you need more personalised advice, please get in touch with one of our experts and we’ll be only to happy to lead you down the path that will take your business to the next level. If you have started to form a better idea of which suits you best and you would like a quote, then – again – speak with our team of Shopify and Workpress experts and we’ll get the ball rolling.
Google Analytics has the ability to give users valuable insights into the performance of their digital space. However, without much experience in data analytics, brand managers often struggle to understand the statistics and cannot use this information to their advantage. The knowledge of certain basic tools can go a long way in helping you understand how customers interact with your website. Instead of focusing on the tools, it is helpful to focus on what you’re trying to get out of the data. If it is one of the below, Google Analytics has the answers you need.
1. Targeted Advertising
AdWords and Internet advertising can seem like a costly proposition if you’re not sure of whom to target. The Audience tool gives you information about your users. In particular, the Demographics, Interests and Geo sections can tell you where your users are from and what matters to them. On the basis of this data, you can determine your likeliest customers, and specify that your ads reach out only to them. This can significantly reduce your cost-per-click.
If you use AdWords, you can also measure the performance of your ads using the Acquisition tool and further minimize your costs by getting rid of ineffective campaigns.
2. Identify Problem Areas on Your Website
Google Analytics reports a metric called “bounce rate”. Bounce rate is a session in which only one page was viewed (the landing page) and the visitor exited your site without exploring any other page. A high bounce rate for certain pages can alert you about the possible issues with it. Perhaps the visitor did not find the information they expected on the page, or the page layout was confusing and the content too overwhelming. This metric can alert you about the pages that need improvements. You will find this metric throughout your website data to measure different tools.
Another helpful measure is Site Speed. It gives information about how much time a page on your site takes to load. A high Page Load Time can be infuriating for visitors and could be the reason behind a high bounce rate or non-completion of goals. Perhaps the content size on this page can be reduced to allow a smoother experience for your users.
3. What to Highlight on Your Website
Often brands struggle to understand what is most important for their users and should be emphasized on the website. Just how GA can help you pinpoint problematic areas, it can also tell you which pages and products are most viewed.
The eCommerce tab gives data about your product offering, including which are the most purchased. These products should be featured on your homepage and should be placed at the top of your listings page.
The “site-search” tab gives you data about what is most searched on your site. If the searched items are products, feature them on your homepage. If they are general landing pages, increase activity on these pages to enhance performance on these pages. A high number of “Visits With Site Search” can also indicate a high level of engagement and familiarity of visitors with your brand.
4. Influence How Visitors Reach Your Website
GA gives you data about the channels, devices, browsers and OS from which your site has been accessed. You can use this data to understand what’s working for your website and focus on improving this. For example, if social channels are generating traffic for your website, you can increase activity on your account and/or engage influencers in blogging about your website. Most brands aim to increase organic traffic, that is, the traffic that comes in from search engines. If this is low for your brand, it is crucial that you rethink the content on your site and incorporate relevant keywords.
If you’re wondering whether you need a mobile site, the devices used data can help you make the decision. If mobiles and tablets are used often by your users to access the website, a mobile version of your website can enhance their experience on your site.
Google Analytics can give you cost-effective insights into your brand’s online performance and can alert you to possible issues with it. The full potential of Google Analytics will be realised once you use the data to optimise the experience of each and every individual that visits your website, but for now, this can be a great starting point.