Last time, in Part 1 of Increasing Your Online Sales, we talked about 3 ways to increase your online sales, which had to do with building and managing your site properly. This post I’m going to share some great tools for doing testing yourself. I’ll also share some ways to collect information on your site and how to distribute your content better.
First, testing intimidates most small biz owners. It’s time consuming. It can be complicated. But these tools make it fairly easy and affordable.
Here are 11 free to low cost tools I’ve researched.
One last thing about design and testing, in general, whatever you want to be clicked, put it in the upper left corner. You can put it elsewhere, but so much research data, heatmaps, user studies, show people read in an F pattern and they scan the top two horizontal lines of the letter F first, then go down the left side. BUT, they start in the upper left corner. Hardly anyone puts their form or call to action right there. They put it to the right where it is less visible.
I’m not a fan of the so-called, Squeeze Page, where you give users/readers no choice but the back button to click out, but simplifying your copy and design to make it really clear is what I’m trying share here.
Create a way to collect customer information on your website
I’m amazed at how many companies don’t collect information. When they do, they have 20 fields they ask people to fill out. Stop. Research from MarketingSherpa and other expert firms show you should probably have only three to six (3 — 6) fields. Then, set up an autoresponder to immediately reply when someone completes the form. At the same time, have that autoresponder email a copy to the sales or marketing or customer service team to get someone engaged at your company. Automate as much as you can without losing the personal touch. I use Infusionsoft, but there are lots of webform companies out there and autoresponders like aWeber.
Distributing Your Content
Content is king, but location is queen and just about everyone listens to the queen… And the queen is keeping engaged with your customer’s problems, conversations, and challenges where they happen.
So, you start with your blog. Anita Campbell, well-known CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends says you shouldn’t be a digital pauper living inside the castle walls of social media empires. You should have your own site, your own blog. Don’t neglect that. If one of the social media giants crumbles, where will you be?
After your blog content is consistent, then start publishing similar or excerpts of posts on Facebook and/or LinkedIn, then share those links on Twitter and at BizSugar. You can also publish your work on sites like Slideshare, Postling, and article repositories like ezinearticles, diymarketers, and many others. Create screencasts of some of your more educational content and share it on YouTube. The main goal is to use that content in different forms and point it all back to your blog or website.
Tell us how this series on increasing online sales will help you in your business.
TJ McCue is founder of TechBizTalk which does independent web-product reviews and offers a Simple Website package to help small business owners get online fast and inexpensively with a $99 website. http://simplewebsite.techbiztalk.com
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