So you have an online business – what’s your main goal?
To attract as many visitors as possible, turn them into customers and eventually, turn them into loyal customers – right?
When talking about “website performance” most people think in technical terms, like adjusting style sheets, optimizing images for your site and social media, so on and so forth…
But these elements will, in fact, improve your performance, but they don’t comprise performance itself.
True Online Performance is More Than Mechanics
Gabriel Shaoolian, and online marketing expert and the Founder of Blue Fountain media explains in this piece for AmericanExpress.com that every business owner has to have four main goals if he wants to perform well in his branch:
- Increasing conversions
- Placing as high as possible search engine results
- Customer retention and repeated visits
- Brand exposure and ultimately bigger sales
As you can clearly see, performance is comprised of a number of different business strategies that help you attract you’re a good number of visitors and turn them into regulars somewhere down the line.
So in order to help you boost your business, and improve your business performance, let’s take a look at four simple steps you need to take to ensure the success of your online business.
How to Boost Your Online Business in Four Simple Steps
Keep Things as Fast as Possible
Let’s start with something fairly obvious – the faster a web page loads, the more likely visitors are to do business with the company. And naturally, the inverse is also true and people won’t feel engaged (and won’t stay around for too long – but more on that later) if your site fails to load within 10 seconds.
As Web Performance Today reports, Wal-Mart discovered that when load times on their official website fell at a certain point from 1 to 4 seconds, their conversions declined sharply. And for every second of improvement, they’ve experienced a 2% conversion increase.
Once again, while we acknowledge that this is pretty self-explanatory, you’d be surprised to know just how many business owners don’t pay attention to the performance and speed of their website. And even though it’s nice to have a “trendy” website, you can’t sacrifice the usability for the looks.
Put Some Work into UX
If you’re new to the world of online marketing, this might sound a bit confusing, but things aren’t as complicated as they seem. You see, UX stands for user experience, and in this case, it refers to the usability of your website.
Nowadays, people aren’t prepared simply to hang around and wait more than a couple of seconds to load and to waste time searching something they can’t find within three clicks. In fact, according to findings from Forrester Research, around 50% of users leave a site when they can’t find the information they are looking for immediately.
So in addition to proper web hosting, which will ensure your site is up and running 24/7, you need to ensure that is easy to navigate and use. You can use certain heat map tools determine how your customers are using your website, and find what areas need improvement.
Start Thinking “Mobile First”
And while we’re on the subject of website speed, we need to say a couple of words about mobile UX. The number of mobile users is steadily increasing, so much so, that a vast majority of online consumers now use their smartphone to purchase everything from clothing to food on a weekly basis.
According to statistics gathered by InvespCRO, around 1.6 million people globally use their smartphones and tablets to shop online. And by the end of 2017, the number is expected to grow to 2 billion. Seeing how mobile dominates the e-commerce field, making sure that your site is useable on a number of devices is critical to your business’s success.
Furthermore, given the number of mobile users, you should start thinking “mobile first” because optimizing a desktop isn’t really that uncommon, it can cause some serious issues for mobile users and turn some of them away. So you should design a site with mobile users in mind first, and then slowly, enhance the user experience for desktop.
Don’t Offer Too Much Products
Ok, you have to be aware that today’s customers are not only impatient, but they are also pretty lazy and indecisive as well. While it may sound like we’re badmouthing modern consumers, the truth is, when offered with too many products, some consumers can’t be bothered to choose one.
A recent research paper titled “The News Science of Pleasure” revealed that making a tough decision (like what shirt to buy) is too mentally exhausting for today’s consumers. What’s more, online shoppers – millennials especially – aren’t quite sure what they want.
This means that you can’t stress your potential visitors with too much merchandise, products or services. Instead, you should offer them a carefully curated selection of your best offerings. Furthermore, explain what they can expect from each one, and which one will suit them best.
Final Thoughts – Always Try to Improve
So this may sound like a cliché – to be honest, it is a cliché – but it definitely needs to be drilled more and more. If you’re not observing, tracking and analyzing the behavior of your customers, you’re simply leaving money on the table.
You have a number of web analytic tools on the market today that can help you tailor your website, services, etc. to the needs of your customers. For example, you can easily learn where they are from, what type of device they are using to access your site and what their online activities are.
And once you gain these insights, you’ll have a better understanding of your customers’ needs and desires, which will allow you to cater to them, and personalize their experience.