You took all the critical first-steps to ensure your business is set up for Google Ads success—your brand identity is rock solid, your budget and time expectations are reasonable, your selling proposition is one-of-a-kind.
The next step? Making sure your website is ready to convert.
After all, those precious ad clicks will lead customers to your virtual front door. And we need to make sure that door is open wide to welcome each visitor before we spend time and money on Google Ads campaigns.
Here’s how we’ll make that happen:
Website CRO Best Practices
Media (Images and Video)
Robust Titles and Descriptions
First Up: Website CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) Best Practices
Building an eCommerce store isn’t that hard.
Building an eCommerce store that converts? Whew! That is a different story entirely.
Here are some CRO best practices to ensure your site is ready to make sales:
The Big Three:
1. Website Issues and Errors You can’t drive traffic to a broken website. So, it’s crucial to ensure you catch any website issues or errors:
Frequently (at least once a month) check your site and make sure everything is working properly and there are no high-risk issues and errors.
Schedule a website audit at least once a month.
2. Website Speed Website speed has a massive impact on your quality score; in fact, it is considered slightly more important than content(!) according to Google. A few things to consider:
Mobile users are going to be less tolerant of slower websites due to the smaller size of the device and often slower connection.
The biggest contributing factor for slow sites are large image sizes.
3. Mobile Engagement
60-65% of website visits are done on mobile devices. So ensure your site is mobile-friendly!
Look at your conversion path: although many purchases happen on desktop computers, research is often done on mobile devices. In other words, consider each step of your buyer’s journey so you can make it as effortless as possible.
Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist Now let’s put those best practices to action. First up, run through this CRO checklist to make sure visitors have a smooth journey to purchase from your site:
Everything works properly
Website is fast (under 2-3 seconds load time)
Your email/phone number is in the header or footer
Customers need to know they can trust you (i.e. get in touch with you)
Website design is appealing to your audience
Make sure the design is centered around your product and isn’t a distraction
Website has high-quality images
Products are described clearly with all features displayed
CTAs are in a contrast color (bold!) and easy to find
Quality Assurance (QA) Checklist: Include quality assurance checkups in your monthly standard operating procedures to make sure your site is in tip-top shape. You can do this through internal QA and external QA:
Internal QA: Pretend to be your own customer
Try to break the site
Navigate through your site the way a customer would
Gauge how easy it is for a distracted customer to use your site.
Ask yourself, “If I weren’t paying full attention, could I still do this?”
Make an actual purchase
*You can hire someone to go through your site on fiverr.
External QA: Have someone else pretend to be a customer
Just tell them where you want them to go—but not how to get there
Analyze Top Competitors:
What is different between their website and yours?
Pro-Tip! Diagnosing Issues: Screen Recording Software You can install screen recording software on your site that tracks users’ navigation via heat mapping (note: it will likely slow the speed of your site). This works on desktop and mobile—so for eCommerce sites that aren’t converting, you can use this software to figure out what’s going wrong along the way.
Here are a few notable options:
Keep in mind: You don’t need to use these apps forever. Diagnostic tools are a great way to assess the state of your website and determine any site optimizations or product additions.
Product Page Preparation
Your product pages are the most important pages on your website. In most cases, it’s the landing page for your traffic: your very first impression.
Many businesses put tons of energy into optimizing their homepage, yet neglect the product pages customers land on. What’s worse? Smart Shopping can only drive traffic to product pages. So let’s make sure your product pages are ready to shine:
Product Page Checklist
Product title and subtitle
Make sure the product title is clear, descriptive, and honest enough for Google to identify the product and send relevant traffic your way (Look at Amazon for inspiration)
But avoid “keyword” stuffing! Honesty and simplicity are key
Product descriptions are supplementary to your title
Use this opportunity to elaborate on the specifics of your product: any particular materials, special features, ingredients that are worth highlighting but would be too long for your title
Product media (images and videos)
We purchase with our eyes first
Custom imagery is always going to be better than stock photos, particularly lifestyle images that help customers picture themselves using your product
Make sure navigation is clear, easy, and accessible—we don’t want people to get lost
Use breadcrumbs so users can always find their way back
Social proof (i.e. reviews)
Customers buy from businesses they trust—Enter: reviews
Aggregating enough reviews takes time, so ask your customers for a review after 30 days of purchasing and give them an incentive or reward for completion
The 30-day rule gives you at least a few days/weeks to resolve any issues—and get a good review for it
Once you have enough five-star reviews, you can add them to your site.
Clear call-to-action (CTA)
If you don’t tell people what you want them to do they won’t do it
A clear, bold CTA nudges your customer to the next step
Isolate the action you want them to take: make the CTA a BIG button (not just a hyperlink)
Clear customization options
If you offer customized products, make sure the options are clear and don’t overwhelm your customers to avoid cart abandonment
When it comes to adding images on your website, here’s the thing:
You don’t need to be a professional photographer. In fact, all you need to create high quality images is:
✔️ A smartphone (new iPhones or Samsung do a really good job)
✔️ A plain white background
✔️ Natural lighting
Don’t zoom in.
Don’t use flash.
And edit your photos if you can (check Fiverr or pixc for outsourcing options).
That’s all it takes!
Remember, your photos should give context and further showcase details of the product. If your product has a unique feature, it’s best to explain what that feature is in the descriptions and show it in your images.
Overwhelmed by how many products you need to capture? Start with your bestsellers. Make sure each of them has a decent product photo and (if possible) short video. 5-7 images per product should be enough.
We are visual creatures. High quality product media will close the sale.
Product Media Part Two: Lifestyle Images
Speaking of product media, lifestyle images are critical for customers to visualize your product in action.
*Remember: Lifestyle imagery is a photo or video of products being used*
Here are some tips:
✔️ Give context
Hey, your product doesn’t have to be the “main subject” in the photo. In fact, it could be in the background—like this poor Nespresso machine, competing with George Clooney’s eternal handsomeness:
✔️ You can use photos from your Instagram or Pinterest
Speaking of Instagram, you can send your product to influencers (for free) in exchange for promotional content on their page
Kasim Aslam is the founder and CEO of Solutions 8, one of the world’s top ranked Google Ads agencies.
Recipient of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association’s 2017 TIM Award for Person of the Year, Kasim was also named one of the Top 50 Digital Marketing Thought Leaders in the United States by The University of Missouri in 2020.
Kasim was hand-selected as the Traffic Coach for DigitalMarketer.com’s ELITE coaching program by their executive team. He is also the co-host of the long-running podcast, Perpetual Traffic.
His book, The 7 Critical Principles of Effective Digital Marketing, was featured as one of the Top 100 Digital Marketing Books of All Time by Book Authority.
Kasim helped launch the National Association of Child Helplines (NAACH) and worked with the United States Army, Intel, as well as a Gates Foundation-funded nonprofit, a 54,000 member PPO, the largest privately owned bank in the United States, and an Academy Award-contending documentary.
He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife and two sons.
Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.
In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.
“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”
Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.
There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.
The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.
“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”
Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.
Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.
While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.
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About The Author
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.