Growing a WooCommerce Website – 4 Tips to Scale Your Online Store
Got an online store up and running? Ready to increase your sales? Learn how to grow your store traffic by refining your interface and creating a successful marketing strategy.
The difference between finding your WooCommerce store scaling up or flatlining lies in online marketing. Our guide to growing a WooCommerce website will show you the insights and methods to master the main cornerstones of digital outreach:
Online marketing used to be a hybrid strategy for the lucky few – tech giants and name-brand icons. Even at the start of this decade, most CEOs and store owners were hesitant to move their operations online since digital literacy came with a generational gap.
In hindsight, consumers have always adapted to new technologies that meet their needs. The pandemic boost to eCommerce sales has vastly changed how we view marketing today, but it’s no surprise.
Now, 78% of CEOs agree that buyer behavior has dramatically moved to online platforms. They’re right to agree – eCommerce expects to reach a 55% growth rate between 2021 and 2026. Digital marketing has become the foundation for scaling a modern business.
How can you build your foundation? You’re in luck – the WordPress WooCommerce plugin has flexible themes and integrations that help you begin your online marketing strategy right on your store page. Let’s start by optimizing your website for the best user experience.
Bring the Best Possible User Experience
User experience, or UX, determines how users and search engine algorithms perceive your webpage. To attract visitors, your site needs to be well optimized and attractive: fast load speeds, an intuitive layout, and helpful interface features. Users expect to be led to their product naturally, without having to seek help or make unnecessary search queries.
It’s essential to match user expectations and create straightforward access to your products that don’t waste time and attention. A part of that is knowing modern user shopping habits as well as the metrics that determine site visibility.
Website loading speeds influence your site visibility and buyer decisions. By the time you finish this sentence, 37% of new visitors can be expected to bounce from your site if it hasn’t loaded yet. Google prioritizes websites with a five-second load speed as the bare minimum for any internet service at 3G or higher.
You can have the greatest products in the world, it means nothing if no one waits for the pages they’re on to load.
To increase page speed conversions, you need to optimize and simplify your interface. Before we focus on UI design and layout, start by securing a fast WooCommece load speed:
- Choose a fast WooCommerce theme
Not all WordPress themes are designed to prioritize WooCommerce compatibility. New, specialized, or advanced templates can reduce your load response time.
Kinsta, a WordPress hosting service, has researched what makes a WooCommerce theme perform well. Their research team used four integrated speed test applications that looked at search engine insights, page sizes, load times, and speed indexes, among other metrics.
The researchers tested a new WordPress website with the WooCommerce plugin and the JetPack extension. They included page mock-ups and demo products to see how each theme functions on a realistic store page.
Kinsta compiled its results in a list of the best fast-performing WooCommerce themes. Browse and consider choosing a lightweight option, more customization, or the quickest response time possible. Most themes are free, but more advanced options may come with subscription purchases.
- Limit unnecessary plugin integrations
Too many features can be detrimental. Unique plugins might offer excellent ways to track data and create a competitive advantage, but too many interface add-ons, trackers, and management tools can significantly increase load times.
To limit this, disable any plugins you aren’t fully using and see if there are simpler alternatives. Read your plugin descriptions to determine whether they promote site flexibility and website load speeds.
While desktop shopping isn’t going anywhere soon, more people are relying on the convenience of smartphone transactions.
Half of all internet traffic goes through mobile devices – 79% of online users have purchased using their smartphones in the last six months. Almost a third of the US population owns a tablet.
No one wants to strain themselves by scrolling through a desktop website on a mobile device. Luckily, many WooCommerce themes and plugins already manage mobile-friendly integrations and are easy to install, requiring no back-end page design.
One notable mobile-friendly add-on is the JetPack plugin, which comes free as part of your WooCommerce installation. Besides managing site security and more creative interface options, it gets the title of “best WooCommerce extension” by fulfilling multiple crucial store needs with a full package that doesn’t require multiple installations.
Mobile eCommerce statistics show us that 84% of users have experienced difficulty completing a mobile transaction, which, naturally, would lead them to choose a competitor with a better service. Make sure that you’re the better service.
Product Images, Videos, and Description
A significant part of a good user interface is well-managed product images. Create large, inviting photos that reel the user in for a modern online store aesthetic. Your photos and imagery should translate into beautiful mock product representation.
Similarly, adding your content, videos, and descriptions will legitimize your brand and give your store substance – attractive to users and search engines alike.
Optimizing images is a necessary time-sink. Initially, perfect your image resolutions in order to fit image borders in templates. Uploading straight to the WooCommerce gallery without looking at your image resolution and aspect ratio can stretch, compress, and significantly decrease quality.
Consider creating original, creative product photography, or hire a professional product photographer to do it for you. Good product photography can take a long time to master – if you have a unique photoshoot idea, check out our full guide for creating good product photos.
The minimum recommended WooCommerce image size is between 800 to 1000 pixels. The prerequisites for good product photography are consistent quality images with small file sizes to limit latency and load times.
Clean Design With Attention to Details
Flat design styles have taken online storefront UI by storm for the past few years. Flat design eliminates dimensional graphics, page pop-ups, and texture decorations to create a minimized look and feel for an honest and essential user experience.
Flat design uses bold colors, large fonts, simple navigation, and a focus on multiple large images and direct links to purchase pages.
With a focused design, you showcase products with large images and simple details, constructing easy-to-follow steps that navigate the buyer to check-out.
Easy navigation is super important. Make sure to add plenty of direct links whenever you mention your services or products. You can add your shop page link through the Products section in your dashboard settings. Remember that a search bar is indispensable for users looking for something specific.
Add a straightforward design with a compelling call-to-action statement, and you’ll have a responsive website that’s easy to follow.
Users should already know what they want when they reach your store page. Highlight your products but limit excessive marketing on your website since it can get repetitive and disingenuous. We’ll look at relying on external marketing efforts next.
Emphasizing UX is the initial step to managing an attractive eCommerce business. Before you begin marketing on other channels, you need to prove that your service is worth advertising in the first place. Let your store page speak for itself.
Make It Happen Today!
WooCommerce Email Marketing
Email marketing is your first line of communication with potential and existing customers – an extension of your store, brand, and messaging. Personal emails are a large value investment – for every $1 marketers spend on email campaigns, they get an average $36 return on investment.
Most users are one-stop shoppers eager to limit spam like everyone else. But the loyal few who come for recurring purchases will engage if given access. Existing customers are much easier to market to since they’re more likely to keep tabs on what else you have on offer.
Personalized emails are excellent for releasing product campaigns, updates, and trends, which, if paired with strategic discounts, can significantly increase your user retention.
We’ll list three initiatives for email marketing and how you can utilize them to better establish your online presence and keep customers informed.
Every time your customer triggers an action on your website, you can add to their experience through personalized marketing. Email marketing will facilitate a natural connection between you and the customer and remind them of your service.
Marketing automation allows you to open up a direct line of communications without doing the same manual work for each separate customer. Emails are easy to skip but hard to ignore, especially since most smartphone users have enabled email push notifications.
Some automated email examples include:
WooCommerce offers easy email automation. Navigate your WooCommerce store website to the left-hand dashboard and open the WooCommerce > Settings page. Click on the emails tab to see your list of automated email templates. To ensure your emails function properly, you can install the WP Mail Logging Plugin.
In the emails tab, you can create new templates, manage when an email gets triggered, specify details and track data insights for each customer. Use the WooCommerce site preview tool and set up a dummy account to see the whole process first-hand.
Encourage user reviews, target inactive users, or send happy birthday wishes for more advanced outreach. Find what your audience is comfortable with, engage with the crowd, and foster a community feeling, ensuring your customers look forward to what you have on offer.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
The brutal truth of online shopping is that almost 80% of online buyers abandon their shopping carts before purchasing. This can be due to simple window-shopping, but often enough, users need time to process their decision and might forget to come back if not prompted.
You can use abandoned cart emails to nudge users back into finalizing their purchases. Consider it as positive encouragement. If a customer has made it to check-out, they’ve seen something they like and need an incentive to commit.
Many users quit after seeing shipping costs, have difficulties filling out their account details, or have concerns about site security. Once you’re familiar with the issues holding your customers back, you can create a clear and concise email that recaptures their interest.
If you want to share how your business is doing and offer a consistent flow of encouraging stories or PSAs, you can do so through newsletters.
Email newsletters are an add-on content feature. Instead of promoting sales, newsletters should enrich your brand by providing informative or entertaining stories that capture the interest of prospective target audiences in a direct and personalized manner.
If you’re willing to produce newsletter content regularly, create an email list option on your website for customers to sign up to, and offer it as a choice on checkout pages.
Newsletters should ideally have one call-to-action statement. Commonly, this is to read your new blog, accept an event invitation, take part in limited discounts, or fill out an engagement survey.
If done correctly, newsletters should return more revenue than the costs you’ve put into creating them. To see what strategies are worth repeating, be sure to track which users followed up on a call-to-action statement. The more trustworthy your input, the higher the chance of securing recurring customers.
Engage in Social Media Marketing
The driving force of online marketing is social media. Of all channel options, social media marketing is the most organic means of creating brand awareness and has remarkably flexible ways of linking people to your website:
The best part is that social media allows your brand to be shared, reacted to, and cross boundaries through organic user exposure. This, of course, has its setbacks because one casually misinterpreted message can turn you into this week’s internet punching bag. But hey, all publicity is good publicity, right?
You can reach 71% of all active adults with internet access with social media marketing. To fully capitalize on social media advertising, research your customer demographic and preferred online channels. Create a store presence through profile building and react to media trends to increase your outreach.
Here’s a list of steps you can take to begin establishing social media brand awareness:
Define Your Target Audience
The essential thing in any marketing strategy is defining your target audience. You can’t market to everyone simultaneously unless, of course, your service has universal demand.
You can define a target audience by creating demographic segments based on notable customer characteristics:
Woocommerce has an integrated shipping zone feature in the settings menu that can help you gauge how different locations determine shipping address costs and delivery times.
A wider geographic reach will also imply multiple currencies, adding to your necessary payment gateways, add ons, and WooCommerce plugins.
Having a multilingual website can significantly increase your reach, but quality translation is often very costly and might not be worth it if your business is still up-and-coming.
Being able to reference, incorporate, and add to existing customer hobbies – tv shows, fashion trends, social causes, slogans, and values – will establish your business as part of a community and also helps you be timely and closely follow trends.
In terms of challenges, you should consider what a community lacks and isn’t getting from your competitors. Combating customer challenges can be done through fundraising efforts, affordable pricing, inclusivity, or the right product for a beloved cause or franchise that otherwise doesn’t get enough recognition.
In general, eCommerce buying power has increased. As people continue to prefer shopping online, their willingness to purchase more expensive products is why online marketing is seeing massive growth.
Whether your brand markets to philanthropists, students, large families, singles, and pet owners alike, it will all account for your choice of product types and the costs your users are willing to pay.
Their stage of life determines how audiences want to be interacted with. Whether they’re more interested in quality or the gimmick of an item, look for utility or style – all matters when defining a target audience.
To research these and other metrics, you can start by finding forums and media your audience is likely to follow and share their opinions. Then, check your competition and where they post ads or use one of the many online analytics tools like Keyhole, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite Insights, to name but a few.
Knowing your target demographic will also let you find the social media channels they spend most of their time in, who they follow, and what kind of content they typically consume. Then, you can align your posts and filter them through the proper media channels.
Select Your Social Media Channels
Understand that different platforms have different uses. Varying between social media channels also requires basing your content to fit with how the channel operates.
You can’t create galleries of stunning photos on Twitter and expect them to receive as much attention as Instagram. Similarly, you can’t expect to find younger people on Facebook when they’ve migrated to TikTok.
When selecting your main social media channels for marketing, keep these factors in mind:
Devise a Social Media Marketing Strategy
How do you know whether your marketing strategy will work and produce results? Before you begin devising a perfect post or a calendar of content updates, you should first define your metrics for success.
Prioritize whether you want to produce integrated website ads or advertise through word of mouth and direct engagement. Take stock of how different platforms manage their ad services by looking into types of social media ads. Pick out those that match your skillset and target audience habits.
It’s best to do both organic content and paid ads, allowing your free posts to guide and detail specific services, products, and company news.
Advertise on Social Media
Once you’ve decided on a target demographic, chosen your preferred social media, and picked out the types of ads you’ll be publishing; it’s time to start going live and seeing the results.
First, calculate a budget for a specific marketing cycle: daily, weekly, or monthly. Set a calendar of publishing dates and post during your target audience’s active hours.
Like all website interfaces, design your ads with mobile screens in mind, prioritizing large pictures and clear language. When posting through affiliate ads, don’t upsell your product but speak with a genuine passion for your business and the values you provide.
Finally, set a clear goal you’re willing to work towards: follower counts, impressions, engagements, sales, or something else. Social media offers instant feedback, so once you’re published, tweak, optimize and respond to feedback when necessary.
Create a report on your results to balance your budget for future marketing efforts.
Engage With Influencers
Influencer marketing is collaborating with individual social media users with a high following and a lot of sway in capturing audience attention and loyalty. If a highly regarded influencer mentions your product, you’re likely to gain a boost in sales from their fans.
This engagement strategy took in $13.8 billion in 2021 revenue, bringing partnered businesses a $5.78 ROI for every dollar spent. The increase in brand awareness was similarly significant, with an average of more than four times the increase in website visitors.
Note that influencers are not viral celebrities. Influencer marketing works with people who’ve researched and created a specific brand. They constantly track their statistics to develop an environment where marketing brings both reputation and money.
Influencer marketing, unlike traditional advertising, produces results slowly, methodically, because appart from just selling the product, they also sell a lifestyle. This includes trends, ideas, and a general feed of entertainment and news that keep users engaged.
You can either contact an influencer directly or search for influencer marketing agencies that can discuss an influencer strategy tailored to your business.
Influencer marketing should not be your only source of outreach. Their content, even if well informed, should not overshadow your own brand. Partner with a single influencer on a social media site and use their successful platform to increase your brand awareness without constant input on your part.
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SEO and Content Marketing
Good search engine optimization essentially entails optimizing your website to capture traffic from people searching on Google and other search engines. It’s a race to see how often and consistently your pages are present in people’s Google search lists.
WooCommerce SEO is not just stuffing keywords into pages and making clickbait articles. It has to match your content with user intent.
Content marketing expands your service to create a consumable, informative, and data-rich website that brings value to visitors apart from just purchasing your product. In doing so, your website gets more traffic, and a wider range of engagement brings in a higher conversion rate.
Potential customers will want to research, educate themselves on the quality metrics and trends that determine whether a product fits their needs, and compare different services to your own. By creating content, you get to decide how this information gets framed and highlight the advantages your business is bringing to the table.
For example, say you’re writing a general article about top clothing trends. Whose products are you using as examples? Yours. Why? Because your products have these unique features:…
There are different types of content marketing you can engage in. Here, we’ll look at a few tips.
Content Marketing Types
Infographics and webpages:
Informative content uploads like infographics and webpages inform customers about the objective methods, trends, and business practices that drive your products:
Blogs, articles, and books:
Blogs and articles are excellent for increasing your standing in search engine metrics. When a user has a question about the top trends of retail products or the manufacturing details of your industry, having website content that answers these questions will help you pull people to your webpage and allow your own offers to garner more interest.
Video and podcast media:
Podcasts and videos give you visibility in a completely different medium, diversifying your content to exist independently of your website or social media.
Businesses rely on ideas, information, and movements. Most consumers aren’t business insiders. They’re looking for a simple but educated outlook on the industry and product, to prove to themselves that their buying decisions are the best they can choose from.
Audiovisual content is great if you want to become a reliable and trustworthy source of information. Since videos and podcasts have higher production costs and require more scripting and editing, they’re perceived as having higher value, which will reflect on your business.
Managing Good SEO
As you consider what types of content your business could produce, let’s look at the technical parameters you should build around to help you optimize your search engine visibility.
By anchoring your text with links to other sections of your website, you produce an organic navigation system that users, and search engines, can find much clearer to understand.
A part of internal linking is creating a collection page and distinct product pages. These sections connect to your homepage, creating an optimized sitemap.
As an example, a user might intend to look for polo shirts. Once they find a website advertising retail apparel, they will first want to find a catalog or highlighted examples, move on to a collection page, clothing section, and find links to shirts. Then, filter all the available types, bringing them to their desired product listings.
Maintaining an easy-to-navigate menu and navigation system should put the user first. You must make it easy for any new customers to locate and find what they’re looking for with as little clicking and typing as possible.
Keywords are specific instances of words that audiences are likely to input when looking for information online. Whenever you ask Google a question, the websites that provide the clearest and most direct answers using the same keywords typed in the search bar are more likely to appear first on the list of links.
Let’s say a user searches for the “best custom phone case US”. Their first click won’t be on a webpage titled “Scratch resistant polyurithane cases”. It’s even less likely that it appears on the first page of Google. Simple and direct – match the customer’s intent by using their own words. That’s the basis of keyword research.
Keywords can be:
- Navigational. User searches for a webpage or content that directly links them to a specific website, for instance, by writing “Facebook” in the search bar.
- Informational. A user might ask How-to or Why questions to find content that provides genuinely helpful information. For example, “How do I fill in a tax return?”
- Transactional. The user intends to make some kind of transaction or purchase, typing in a direct product or service name. For example, “tshirts”.
Conducting keyword research is crucial for understanding a customer’s intent and expectations when looking for your types of products and services.
You can conduct keyword research by using one of many SEO keyword tools on the market. With tools like Ubersuggest and Ahrefs, you can input various keywords, possible user questions, and webpage titles to analyze the monthly search traffic for each keyword.
In doing so, you can understand the types of content potential customers are more willing to search for and consume. Then, you can create content that directly tackles that issue.
Build keywords into headings, descriptions, meta titles, and other highly visible text locations. If they’re what the user is looking for, these words will determine whether they click on your link or not.
Finally, the more other websites link to your website, the better. This is especially true if that website is a good quality site that’s following good SEO practices.
Through guest posts, shared link requests, and PR campaigns, you can sell your unique business story to news outlets, bloggers, and journalists that can incorporate your vision into a larger market discussion on their channels.
Just remember, do not engage in external link building with your competitors. Find companies in your shared market that provide complementary services or have another target audience in mind.
Without proper online marketing, even the best WooCoommerce site can’t expect to be noticed. Effective online outreach determines your value to users and optimizes your website for search engine priority.
Let’s look at some of our key takeaways for building your online business:
Update your strategy based on your results and competitors. Don’t give up on a slow start. If one channel doesn’t produce enough engagement, it doesn’t mean your business won’t see success.
You can’t change audience preferences, media algorithms, or ad costs, but you can always find a way to compliment them and find flexible options. Diversify your online marketing through other ads or channels, but always keep your engagement modern, consistent and clear to the audience.
Finally, continue to observe SEO metrics and create your own content to increase your reach, customer retention, and engagement. Grow your WooCommerce store with patience, and then enjoy the benefits as sales roll in.
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