When you own an e-commerce business you spend a lot of time trying to drive customers to your website. In fact, a huge amount of marketing dollars are spent on generating traffic and increasing unique users. But this is only half the battle.
Once you generate site traffic, you need to figure out how to make online visitors stay. The best way to keep your customers around is through customer engagement. Keeping prospects on your site is the key to turning traffic into sales. This conversion is the whole reason so much money is spent generating traffic.
But rather than spending hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to drive more traffic (the more visitors you get, the more stick), you need to concentrate on the other side of online advertising: engagement.
How Engaged Is Your Audience?
Before you get started, understand the difference between traffic and engagement. Traffic demonstrates the number of people who visit your site. Engagement demonstrates real people who are responding to your content in a way that can be measured.
Why should you care about engagement? Because customers who engage with your brand online will spend 20% to 40% more money with you.
Here are five quick fixes for your site to get customers coming back for more.
1. Get back to basics.
Optimizing your site so it is easily discoverable on search engines is not easy, but it is a necessary part of business. Yet, why offer your customers a site that does not function well? Customers expect your website to load quickly. They want to click through to a landing page that is informative and attractive. If you can’t offer these things, customers will write you off almost immediately and never come back.
Use tools like Pingdom or other site speed testing tools to make sure your site runs as quickly as possible. As a general rule, make sure your site takes less than three seconds to load to ensure customers do not leave before they even arrive.
2. Create a consistent experience.
Even though you are running an online business, you need to be easy to contact. The more options that a customer has to contact you, the more likely they are to engage with you.Offer links to your social media accounts along with a non-invasive live chat function to instantly connect customers with customer service.
When you can recreate some of the same customer service features shoppers would find in a physical store, you can improve engagement and this will keep customers coming back.
3. Build a loyalty program.
Most people think loyalty programs are hard on businesses, but this is not always true. loyalty programs will drain a business. A good loyalty program will draw in customers and make you their first point of reference when they need to make a purchase.
in a valuable free gift is a great way to ensure that customers come back to you rather than the competition. Think of it this way, the more customers you retain, the less money you have to spend chasing down more.
4. Offer online video content.
It may sound awkward right now but some research shows that 96% of online shoppers will watch your videos online. Online videos are far more engaging than text or photos because can bring your product or service to life.
5. Create a real ‘about us’ page.
People want to know who you are. They are curious by nature and because the Internet has anonymized business, they want to be able to at least know who they are dealing with when they buy online.
A great ‘About Us’ page will do more than engage with customers. It will also inspire them and draw them into your story. In a world where people supposedly use social media to find deeper connections, the ‘About Us’ page is a vital part of your website.
If your story remains mysterious, customers will either end up bored, frustrated or distrustful of your site.
If you’re going to spend time and money to increase your web traffic, make sure you spend those resources wisely by increasing the number of sales conversions. Making these quick changes to your website will help improve customer engagement and convert casual visitors to regular customers.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Kenny Kline is the owner of JAKK Solutions, a NYC-based SEO company. He is a digital marketing expert, MBA, and serial entrepreneurial. When not in front of his computer, he can be found beekeeping, knitting, and being as Brooklyn as humanly possible. Connect with @thisbekenny on Twitter.