There is no doubt that the modern marketplace is an online marketplace. Virtually every current method used to measure where consumer activity happens shows that the shift away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores has taken place, and customers are now most at home online.
Thus, for a business pursuing growth it’s crucial to recognize the reality of the shift: the screen has replaced the storefront. For a business to remain relevant and competitive, those screens that represent the business have to remain relevant and competitive as well.
Consumers can compare products, read reviews, and ask for recommendations more quickly and more easily than ever before. Thus, the websites that see the most conversions take place are the same ones that have been thoughtfully curated and optimized. Additionally, success for e-commerce business growth takes place when that optimization is recognized for the never-ending process that it is.
Mobile Website Optimization Basics
When Forbes laid out 28 predictions for what 2018 will entail for retail marketers, there was a common theme: the influence of mobile devices. It is all connected to the way that devices and technology are changing who we are and by extension the way that we’re choosing the products in our lives.
Indeed, Villanova University overviewed the shift in consumer spending and found that by the end of 2018, “Online sales are projected to reach $523 billion, an increase of 56%, from the $335 billion recorded in 2013. Mobile devices are expected to be a key driver in that growth.”
The latest from Pew Research shows that 79 percent of Americans are online shoppers. For the business pursuing growth, striving towards an effective online presence is truly non-negotiable.
Make a Plan
Practically speaking, for a marketer, this means crafting the kind of content and most importantly, the kind of experience that will attract and convert sales. There are a lot of tools that can be utilized to secure engagement, but success always comes as result of realistically assessing where your business is and where it needs to go.
This begins the same way most stories of success begin in the business world: by creating a plan for your marketing efforts. That plan should overview the following:
Your target audience. Who is your product for?
The story you want your marketing to tell. How will your product and content resonate with that audience?
Your budget. What can you afford to spend on implementing your marketing plan?
The timeline for user and financial goals to be met. What goals do you have for site traffic and conversions, and when do you want to see them met?
Optimize Your Content
The reality is that even if you offer the best product or service on the market if the content that is meant to lead customers to that product isn’t communicating the right things, then conversations aren’t going to happen. As we’ve communicated before, one of the most important components of SEO strategy is content.
According to AJ Agrawal, a top growth strategist for brands, three of the most important components of optimizing content include:
- Using keywords effectively. Using the right keywords is your best bet to rank on the first page of Google results for your specific industry, and capture the attention of the majority of potential customers.
- Optimizing multiple features. Don’t undervalue the relevance of your URL, post length, and images.
- Using links to reference other sources. Internal and external links are crucial components of SEO optimization.
Continue to Test
Optimizing site content always includes continuing to work on it so that it is t it is the best possible version it can be, at all times. One of the pillars of achieving this is A/B testing.
The optimization specialists at Optimizely write, “AB testing is essentially an experiment where two or more variants of a page are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal.”
Thus, every component from formatting to word selection will ideally be run through a test that will clarify a top performer. Entrepreneurs should constantly ask, “How can we make it better?”
Be Consistent With Invoices
It’s worth noting that all of this is for naught if your business isn’t successfully reaping the financial rewards of a job and a marketing plan well done. Business growth is absolutely dependent on that business’s ability to formulate a system for unpaid invoices.
As a small business expert, Azadeh Williams has noted, “One of the biggest drains on resources for any business is debt recovery.”
There are some fundamental steps a business can take to ensure that the number of unpaid invoices is limited.
Automate whatever you can: Automation is a key step to making sure that processes are completed as consistently and as efficiently as possible, which inevitably will also mean they’re happening in a cost-effective manner.
Communicate expectations from the get-go: To ensure that everyone is on the same page, the paperwork customers complete should include every expectation connected to invoices.
Use polite language: While it can be tempting to have a less-than-professional response when invoices are left unpaid, don’t let the temptation win-out; failing to use the right language will only serve to communicate that you aren’t to be taken seriously.
Send consistent follow-ups: Being communicative on a regular, scheduled basis is the best bet to ensure that those invoices are paid.
Consider incremental invoicing: It’s possible that incremental invoicing is just the thing your customer needs to make the full payment. It may be possible that their specific budget, and not dishonorable intentions, are the cause of delayed payment.
Optimizing in a climate of such fierce online competitiveness can be daunting, but even the complexities of SEO are absolutely within reach of the willing marketer. A business transitioning the weight of growth from a physical storefront to an online platform does have some work to do, but it’s the work of achievable goals. If done carefully, an organization is sure to reap financial returns online that far outweigh those outside the virtual marketplace.