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Todd McPartlin, Author at iMarketing Leader | Website Design | Reputation Marketing | Display Advertising Todd McPartlin, Author at iMarketing Leader | Website Design | Reputation Marketing | Display Advertising

Author Archive

7 Tips To Increase Your Checkout Conversions

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, Website

The number of prospective buyers abandoning their shopping carts and stopping conversions just before checkout is huge at over 67 percent. This is according to documented abandonment statistics gathered by Baymard Institute (September 2014). The statistical figures this study provides are averages derived from a collection of 22 studies, making it a good representative sample of the population or checkout conversions. In certain studies, dropping out from the checkout page can be as high as 80.3 percent.

The significant cart abandonment happens for various reasons. The collection of Baymard studies successfully identified 14 of them. Some are what you may say are “can’t be helped” which includes “Presented with unexpected costs” at 56 percent, “I was just browsing (meaning no real intention to buy) at 37 percent, and “Found a better price elsewhere” at 36 percent.  

Majority of the identified reasons have something to do with complicated navigation and checkout processes, concerns over security, unsuitable delivery options, etc. These are all “actionable reasons.” In other words, you can generate sales and make profit by a huge margin if you can work on these problem areas.

There are numerous ways to enhance the checkout conversions.

Here are seven of them: 

1. Make your site and checkout mobile accessible. A large percentage of mobile users are now becoming more dependent on their mobile devises not only to browse or access social networking sites, but also to shop and complete their purchases as well. If you are savvy, you should consider having a site with a responsive design. Make sure it is also optimized and the checkout is responsive for use on a mobile device. This means that images and prints are large enough so details like shipping options, return policies and total costs of purchases are decipherable. Cut down the number of steps to simplify the process because it is hard to fill out forms using small hand-held mobile devices.

2. Offer several payment options. Find out the most common methods of payment and make sure you have those available on your site along with other payment plans. PayPal is a definite must-have with a large number of online shoppers preferring it over other less secured and less convenient modes of payment. Potential customers might be less likely to be deterred if you put the “Checkout with PayPal” button close to where the cart is and if the process will entail fewer characters and clicks.

3. Forget the login. Creating an account or login are friction points that stop many potential buyers on their tracks. All they want is to buy as fast and as easy as possible. If it is all that important to you, offer the option to happy returning customers, especially if you can offer them a reward of some sort when they create an account, login or return in the future. If you are a newbie site or a small retailer, do not demand logins the way big online companies do, like Apple or Amazon. 

4. Simplicity counts: If you want conversions, don’t overwhelm your site visitors. Asking for too much information is the bane of many online stores. Ask only for the most useful information you need to know to process the transaction and present this in a reader-friendly form. Veteran online shoppers are quite familiar with the information they must share with online vendors such as shipping address. Do not give them any reason to doubt you and your products by asking for more than is necessary. Lest you forget, make sure to use readable and strategically located texts and buttons that have been carefully thought out and tested. Finally, don’t make it hard for them to edit their selections.

5. Give them a “feel” of what they are buying: The biggest disadvantage of buying online is not being able to try on, feel, taste or touch the item customers intend to buy. It is critical to give your customers a good idea of the features are for the product they are buying. Having a good image is useful, but enhancements such as letting buyers get a sweeping 360 degrees of a view or the back of a dress can step up the shopping experience of your buyers. A product thumbnail located on the checkout page is both thoughtful and effective.

6. Make customers feel secure: Another inconvenience that online customers have to live with is not getting the item they paid for immediately after. With a huge number of scammers hanging around in cyber space, there is always that nagging thought of being conned until they have safely received the purchased item. Placing security badges on the checkout page near the fields reserved for credit cards effectively reassures the buyers. Studies reveal that those logos reaffirm security and actually increase sales by 4 to 6 percent. It will also help to provide your potential buyers ways to contact you – a mobile number, an email address or a webpage – to give them some sense of security.

7. Give them peace of mind through refunds and price guarantees. Offering price guarantees will make your customers think they just got the best deals so it is not necessary to continue to make price comparisons. With a sensible refund policy, the sale is sealed as you boost the shopper’s confidence and give them peace of mind. 

While cart abandonment cannot be completely prevented, it can be reduced from its staggering 67 percent right now. Several studies have already successfully identified the causes of meager conversions during checkout. These seven tips address the problem areas that ecommerce businesses usually have to deal with. Believe or not, those who improved what they can in their checkout processes successfully boosted checkout conversions and recovered their losses from 10 to 30 percent. 


What to Make of the Recent Google Pigeon Update for Local

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, SEO

The 3 Effects of the Google Pigeon Update on Local Searches

Do you have a website for a local business? If you do, you should be concerned about the recent Google Pigeon Update as it is said to impact local search results. The update took effect July 24, 2014 and has an algorithm that is designed to improve local search results that are closely tied to customary net search ranking signals. Google intends to make distance and location ranking factors better with this update, but what do you know about it?

You can have be having a really bad business time recently without knowing that it has something to do with the newest Google Pigeon Update. Businesses relying on local searches are experiencing certain a difference as a result.

Strong directory Sites Got Stronger

Since the new update was rolled out, it seems that the ones with the stronger SEO signals, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, are benefitting from it. There are reports that these sites are seeing up to 10 percent increases in both rankings and traffic.

How does this affect your business? If you’re a directory, the Update will be your lucky charm, but if you’re a startup or a small company, you may have to quadruple your efforts and link with really influential networks to get to the top of the search page again.

The 7-pack Goes Pfft!

There used to a 7-pack before the update. This is a listing of the top seven local choices that interested customers can readily see once the search is made. After the Update, all these disappeared. Is it something that local businesses must be happy about, or does it foretell gloom and despair?

Even without fully understanding the full impact of losing page one rank, it is a discouraging effect for those who once made it there. Now, these sites have to work hard again against stronger brands to gain their old ranking.

The Mini Map

There is definitely a change in the size of the Maps with the Update; they have gone smaller. This logically reduces the quantity of businesses that can be shown in it. This invites a user to look for more directory results. With a smaller 3-pack and a reduced map radius, many local businesses are not showing up anymore. Experts have already reported a 16 percent drop in traffic for many sites since the Pigeon has flown.

Google Pigeon Update is thought to have been designed to improve local searches. There are certain factors that can influence local rankings such as backlinks, domain authority and other SEO-related ranking factors that are not completely understood by local businesses. Not knowing whether the Update is good or bad for business can make them helpless when dealing with dropping traffic.

Take the experts’ advice; find out about the top 20 local ranking factors, work on your local SEO, and make sure your business is on a G+ platform. 


Facebook Dos and Donts

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, Social Media

Keep  These Facebook DOs and DONTs in Mind

Who doesn’t know about Facebook? With almost a billion subscribers worldwide, it is not just a passing fad for interactive social conversation. For people website owners looking at doing effective Internet marketing, Facebook marketing is a powerful tool for reaching millions.

For the best results, you can’t just spontaneously post a status or post links without paying attention to what is being said. There are really rules about how you will conduct an online conversation in this social network, but you still need to pay close attention to your netiquette. To be able to maximize on this type of marketing, you need to pay attention to a few simple DOs and DON’Ts to effectively promote your business.

1. DO: Respond in a timely manner. Respect your customer’s time and give them a sense of importance by posting replies within a reasonable amount of time. When they post questions, make sure you answer them as soon as you can.

DON’T: Never ignore your audience. When talking to potential clients, you don’t want them to wait longer than necessary. Making them feel ignored can quickly annoy them.

2. DO: Keep your posts or status updates brief. Research has shown that shorter posts are likely to have engagement than very long detailed posts. If you have more to say, a good image or video with a personal message is still more effective than a very long post.

DON’T: Post endless posts and narratives. Many of your “friends” don’t have the time or interest to read lengthy chronicles. Long posts are not engaging. If you always do that, they will just skim your content, or worse ignore them.

3. DO: Post a variety of interesting content. Consider offering a variety of topics they might really like. Curating them with personalized comments and views are more likely to catch attention and spark quality conversation.

DON’T: Spare your “friends” from mind-numbing, monotonous topics. Regardless how passionate you are or how informative your posts are concerning a specific niche, they will wear out your audience. Keep them coming by posting great content about assorted topics.

4. DO: Build your page using organic strategies. Link your blogs, websites and/or email to your Facebook and let your friends, followers and influential networks know about it.

DON’T: Don’t set your sights on faux “likes” to the extent of buying them. This translates to poor engagement and conversion; it is something you don’t want to happen despite having so many “likes.”

5. DO: Breathe then read again. Proofreading takes but a few seconds. Be smart; do it just before clicking the “Post” button. Edit while you still can, especially with sensitive topics.

DON’T: Never click “Post” without proofing. You are responsible for your posts; it is important to play nicely on Facebook to have more audience following your page especially if you are doing Facebook marketing or using it in business.

Keep those rants off your wall and other personal things; private matters are best kept in private messages. Remember, don’t flood your Facebook with too many posts so that your audience’ heads reel. If you want your audience to stick with you. 


LinkedIn Not Working For You? Here Are 7 Possible Reasons

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, Social Media

Why You Should Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

When it comes to establishing your credentials online, LinkedIn is a fantastic way to do it. If you use it properly, you can establish numerous professional contacts and leads. LinkedIn can even send four times more leads back to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook. If you want LinkedIn to work for you, you have to pay more attention to it.

A great platform like LinkedIn cannot work effectively for you because of the following reasons:

  • Poor picture quality or inappropriate picture. Potential employers need to see you clearly, so post a photo that is not blurred or dark. You also need to use a clear photo that is good in a company setting. Avoid posting a wacky or an informal photo that can send company owners and HR directors the wrong message.
  • Failure to use the Summary Section. In this section, you have 2000 characters to use. Here, you can tell your entire story, complete with your credentials, experiences, and accomplishments. Those who read this part have to become interested in you, by the time they finish.
  • Long headlines. See to it that you only consume not more than 120 characters to tell the world what you do. A headline that’s too short is not good either. Make your headline attractive. Grab the attention of the potential employers out there, so that they cannot miss hiring someone as talented as you are.
  • No links in your profile. You have to include links to your social network, websites you have, Skype page, or other links where you can be contacted. This makes it easy for potential employers to seek information about you.
  • Incomplete profile. You have to compete your profile, if you want potential employers to know you better. Fill in the necessary blanks and let the whole world see who you really are.
  • The presence of spam. Avoid using LinkedIn to send sales material or promotional offers. Potential employers can end up blocking you is you don’t remove these from your LinkedIn page.
  • Duplicated resume. Be original. Avoid copying other LinkedIn resumes. Future employers need to know how you can stand alone in the very competitive world of the employed. Make your LinkedIn resume unique and attractive.
  • Profile is not updated. You have to make sure that you update your LinkedIn profile every couple of months. This delivers the message that  you are serious about LinkedIn. If your profile is outdated, then potential employers can lose interest in you.
  • Your profile is unsearchable. SEO is important if you want your LinkedIn resume to be found instantly. It’s a vast ocean of competition out there and you need those employers to find you. Look at the job descriptions that employers post on their sites. If they match the job that you want, then you can use those as keywords for your profile. Be sure to indicate where you are, and if you are open to travel opportunities.

LinkedIn can help you land the job that you want. Just see to it that you have a complete, original, and updated profile that has complete information about you and what you do. So, work on your LinkedIn profile now and look forward to immediate employment soon.

Need Social Media Clicks? Here is How to Get Them

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, Social Media

How to Get More Social Media Clicks

Social media has become a huge superhighway of opportunities to gain more profit for your online business. Coming up with useful and clever posts for your LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook accounts can be a challenge at times. Whatever combination you think of using, if your guests don’t click on that link, nothing’s going to happen. You have to come up with ways on making your guests click on your links. Social media is a great means to do this. There is nothing like using the power of connectivity to get the results that you want.  Below are some effective ways to get more clicks through social media. Try them and watch the dramatic improvement of your website.

Social Media Click Tips

  • Establish trust. Trust is what guests and consumers want to have with online businesses. If you become trustworthy to them, they can surely click any link that you post. This is the power that social media brings—the power to trust a business through the right information, credibility, and efficiency. You are in an excellent place if a social influencer becomes interested in you. This person can get all of his or her followers to click on your link.
  • Simply ask for clicks. This is the easiest way to get more clicks through your social media posts. Make sure you have creative calls to action, so that your readers know what they should do. This is also effective when you want them to share your post. Suggest what you want and your readers will most likely be open to it.
  • Be interactive. Provide photos or videos in your posts. Infographics are fun, too. Visual stimulation helps entice your readers more. You can get more clicks if they enjoy what they see.
  • Give smart content. People know what they want and need. If you provide the right information consistently, you can lead your readers to clicking that link. Guests can easily turn into buyers or email subscribers, if they know that you can handle your business well.
  • Provide excitement on your landing page. Do something exciting, so that you can keep the guests that you have in your site. You can use incentives or rewards for clicking that link.
  • Be cohesive with your messages. Make sure that the people in your social network find what you post cohesive. Every detail about your post should fit one another. The image and text should fit each other perfectly.
  • Be creative.  Try something new now and then. This is how you can really gauge which can become a hit for your site.  If what you do doesn’t work, then this can be a means to start fresh with another concept.
  • Monitor.  Be aware of what people like to talk about. When you do this, you have more ideas to work with when it comes to new posts.

Getting more clicks from your readers can help your site gain more traffic. This is a great open door for your business for more profit and more credibility. The given click tips can help your business grow and your client pool deepen and broaden.