How to Drive Traffic to Your Website
We are going to talk about how to drive traffic to your website and build an online store that sells. We’ll discuss what needs to be on your website and where it should be located. A pretty website is not all you need to think about. And don’t worry, if all of this information gets overwhelming, we have a free checklist you can download below (P.S. it has extra items not included in this blog)
Building an online store is not easy. Most people think they can just put up a website and people will magically find them. Unfortunately, that is not how this works. Building a website takes a lot of effort. That is why we have two entire courses completely devoted to this topic. Online courses that you can take right now!
I am constantly meeting designers who ask me why they are not getting any sales online. And when I take a look at their website, I see all kinds of things that are either wrong or just really bad. So this is what I want to tackle with you.
Now there are many different things to do to actually drive traffic to your website. But we want to make sure that you also have everything set up properly to actually maximize sales.
Building Your Website to Maximize Sales
1. Make it Clear
Let’s talk about first making your website clear and easy. You need to have a clear and simple navigation process to get to your shop and everything else on your website. Don't go crazy. No flash websites. I pray that no one is actually doing flash anymore. Because flash is dead. It does not work.
2. Make it Functional
Keep in mind that your website needs to be beautiful. But that is not all. It really needs to be functional. If it is not functional and easy to use, people are going to jump off your website quickly.
It takes three to seven seconds for a visitor to decide if your website deserves more of their time. That is it. Three to seven seconds is all you have to grab their attention. So, it’s important to keep them on your website in order to purchase something. It is not a lot of time, so you really need to have everything very clearly laid out and easy to navigate. Your shopping cart icon needs to be in the top right-hand corner. Also, in the top right-hand corner, should be your ‘My Account’. That’s a place where people can sign in or register.
A little tip here, if you want to maximize your sales, make sure that the ‘My Account’ sign-in is a social media option to log in. Have you ever seen prompts to create a username and password or sign in with Facebook? You want to have that option so that they can sign in with Facebook or other social media. That way you can actually start tracking them and getting lots of information from them on social media.
3. Don’t Go Crazy With the Tabs
Now let’s talk about tabs at the top of your page. You do not need a home tab. Your logo, which is probably at the top of your page, should suffice as the home tab. You do not need your logo and a home tab. It is repetitive and it gets cluttered. People nowadays know intuitively that if they click on the logo, it is going to take them to your home page.
You should have a max of six tabs at the top. So, you should have a shop tab, maybe an about tab, a press tab, a blog tab. Maybe you have a sale tab if you have some sale items. And then a contact tab. That is it. Don’t put more than six tabs at the top of your page. Because it starts to look cluttered. It needs to look nice and neat.
4. Dropdown Tabs
Now onto the drop-downs under the tabs. If you have a ton of products, then you can separate them by product category. That means you can list them like tops, bottom, skirts, dresses, etc. But that is only if you have a lot. If you have only ten products, you do not need to do all that. Just put them all on one page. Again, you do not want to make the user have to click too many things to get to the type of product that they want to see.
5. Don’t Forget About Social Media
Make sure you have all of your social media links at the top of your page. This is so important to drive traffic to your website. I see so many websites that have their social media links all at the bottom in the footer. Don’t put it at the bottom. People who are visiting your site won’t want to scroll all the way down. Remember, you only have three to seven seconds to get someone. So, make sure they are on top right or the top left corner of your website. That way they’re all right there to easily find and click on.
Next, your live Instagram and Twitter feeds. This is really important. I recommend having them on your page, especially your Instagram feed. Why? Because it looks really pretty, and it helps to get drive traffic to your website AND to your Instagram page. And most of all, it is really good for SEO. Every time you are updating something on Twitter or Instagram, it is automatically updating on your website. That tells Google that your website is relevant because you keep updating it. So, for SEO purposes, you definitely want to have that somewhere on your homepage. That will definitely drive traffic to your website. You can have it on multiple pages, but I highly recommend having it on your homepage.
6. Email Capture Box
Have a compelling email capture box. Email marketing is not dead! In fact email marketing is still 40 times as effective as social media. It is crucial that you are doing e-mail marketing. The only way to do that is to have a pop-up box and get people's e-mails. This is how you drive traffic to your website and increase online sales! You sort of have to give them something in order to get those e-mails. And this is a lot of what I teach all of my clients inside our online courses and on our one-on-one coaching.
Also, put an e-mail sign-up in the header, in the footer, and at the bottom of every blog post. I put it all over my website. I want any page that anyone lands on to have an option for them to sign up for our e-mail list. Then I can market to them via e-mail.
Here’s a tip, do not put the coupon code right there on your website. Make sure that they enter their e-mail, and then send them the coupon code in an e-mail. If you put it right there on the front page, then they do not technically have to enter their e-mail in order to get the coupon code. Just make sure you do not give away the code before you get the e-mail.
You want to have a search icon or magnifying glass too. I cannot tell you how many times I visit websites that do not have a search feature. If I am looking for a product, there better be a search feature so that I can find that thing. Preferably have it be on the homepage at the top right-hand corner. That’s the best spot to put it in.
7. Video of Your Product
This needs to be somewhere on your website, preferably your homepage. It is also a really great option for you to do like a look book type video type of something. The reason that this is so important is not only does it showcase your beautiful product, but it is great for SEO. And SEO is good for you. It will directly drive traffic to your website. Google owns YouTube. Any videos that you post to YouTube and then put a link on your website is going to help your website rank higher in Google.
8. Be Mobile Compatible
Your website needs to be mobile compatible. What better way to drive traffic to your website than having it available and useable on multiple platforms?
If I go to your website on my phone and things are all over the place, the words and pictures are cut off, and it just looks like a hot mess, that is not good. Most people are now shopping on their actual mobile phone. So, not only does it have to look good desktop wise, but it also has to look good on a mobile phone. Always double-check it. Make sure everything looks good. And make sure your web designer knows that this needs to be mobile compatible.
9. Customer Service is a MUST
Lastly, customer service. Super important. If people have questions, how can they contact you. Do you have certain hours that you can be contacted? Do you have 24 hours? Is there a phone number? An email? Make sure you are putting your customer service information on your website.
Shop Page (Product Landing Page) Must-Haves
1. Clear Product Photos
Now, let's move on to your shop page specifically. This is a really big pet peeve of mine. When you are doing your website, you really need to have clear product photos. It should be a nice mix in my opinion of editorial stuff and e-commerce product shots. There is a place and a method to where to put those. I like to have a little bit of both on your website in general. But keep in mind on the shop page, those images need to be all the same size. That means one is not a square image, one is not a rectangle image. It needs to be even all in a row. Organized, methodical, and really beautiful on the page. Do not have one picture really long and then one picture really wide. It does not look good on the actual page.
2. Model Symmetry
My next pet peeve is in regards to the models. The model in each image should be preferably the same model or the same two models if you have more than one. And it should be the same size of the model. So, if you have all pants, I do not want one pant zoomed in and one pant zoomed out. They should all be uniform. They should all be the same size, the same depth of the model, the same image of the model, etc. This is just for your shop page. We are not talking about the actual product page yet.
3. Zoom Features
Also, if I hover over an image with my mouse, it should do something. It should either show me a back view or a side view or zoom in a little bit. It should show me more information just by hovering over.
4. The Click Factor
Make sure that the photo itself and any of the text underneath the photo is all clickable links. If I want to click on a product to see more of it on your shop page, I should be able to click the photo. And I should be able to click the words underneath the photo as well. If you do have sale items, make sure those are clearly marked on your website as well, so that people can distinguish the regular price from the sale price.
5. Clear Prices
I recently looked at someone's website, and they did not have the prices on the product page. I had to actually click on one of the images, in order to find out the price. That is really, really bad. I want to see all the prices upfront. I do not want to have to click each one to then see the price. So make sure you can see the price on the actual shop page.
6. Filters Make it Easy
Next, you want to have filters. I hate when I go to a website and I cannot filter by price or size or color. Again, this is kind of more along the lines of if you have a ton of products. If you only have ten items, you don’t really need to filter anything. I can see all 10 items on one page. But if you have a ton of products, I want to be able to filter, lowest to highest price, what is the most popular, etc. So, make sure you have that.
7. Smooth Checkout Process
Please have an easy checkout process. It should be no more than three clicks to buy. Have you ever noticed on Amazon, you can literally now buy with one click. There is a reason for that. They know that we are all lazy and do not like to spend time. So you want to make it super easy for people to check out. If there are more than three clicks from the actual product page to the checkout process, you need to consolidate your checkout process. I see this happen all the time. Do a test first. Have your website designer go in and purchase something–without actually buying it–and make sure that it is less than three clicks to actually buy.
Product Description Page Must-Haves
1. Get All the Angles
Let's move on to your actual product page. On the actual product page, if I click on an item and I want to see more about that product, I want multiple views of that product. There should be a front, back, side, maybe a detail shot, and maybe even a 360 video of a model turning around.
This is really important. And there are really easy ways to do these. You do not have to spend a ton of money on photography. I work with a great studio here in New York City. They are completely set up for e-commerce. You can literally ship them your samples; you do not even have to be here. They will shoot it and ship it back to you. They will edit it and send you all the images super quick. That’s so easy. They have ghost mannequins; they have flat lay machines. This means they have equipment that is used only in high-end retailers, like Macy's, Lord & Taylor Saks, etc.. And you can do these fun cool things like 360 videos too.
Also, be careful you are not covering the product with other clothing or other items. I went to buy a skirt the other day and I could not tell what the waistband on the skirt was because in every picture the woman was wearing a belt. You’re wearing a belt and it looks cool, but I want to see what the skirt looks like without a belt, without a T-shirt covering it. And as a result, I didn't buy the skirt. I needed to see what the waistband actually looked like.
It’s really important that you photograph these shots in detail without things in the way. These should be product shots, not editorial shots.
2. Alt Tags
You need to have alt tags on all of your photos. If you do not know what alt tags are, you are in trouble. Alt tags is the number one thing that will make your pictures found on Google. This, again, will directly drive traffic to your website. And it is what goes on the back end of your website. All this has to do with SEO. And what does SEO do? It drives traffic to your website! It helps your pictures be found on Google, which helps your website be found on Google, which helps you make money. I have one client that had zero keywords set up AND zero alt tags set up for her entire website. And she was wondering why she was not getting any sales…super, super important.
3. Product Description
Make sure that you have the price of the product. Make sure you have a good description of the product. I cannot stand horrible descriptions. You are a designer, you need to know what you are talking about. Do not use terminology that you do not understand. Do not talk about your fabrics if you do not really understand what they are made out of. Really, really have a good understanding of the shape, the fabric, the fiber content.
Even talk about where this can be worn in the description. For example, "this is a beautiful top that can be worn on date night with your best friend or to work with a jacket over it". Describe how it can be worn to different areas or occasions, etc.
Maybe there are some special measurements that you want to depict specifically for this type of style, but you should have basic measurements. You should have a size chart. You should have the washing and care instructions. All of this needs to be in the description. Because, if a customer has a question, they are probably not going to e-mail you or message you about the item. They are going to hop off your page and forget about it. So, you want them to have all the information that they possibly need. That way they can make the purchase right then and there.
Do not forget three to seven seconds they are spending on your website, that is it. If they cannot find the information easily, they are gone. And you have lost the sale.
Also, colorway options. If you have multiple colorways, show pictures of those multiple colorways. So, if you offer in red, black, blue, have a picture of those. You do not actually have to photograph them. You can Photoshop them, as long as whoever is photoshopping is skilled enough to get the color on point. I have no problem with photoshopped images. We used to do this all the time.
4. Size Options
Alright, size options. It is no good to have size options if no one can figure out what size they are. So, make sure you have a size chart with body size measurements, not garment size measurements. I know what my body size is, but the garment measurements might change depending on the garment. That’s why you need to have a size chart with body sizing. And it needs to be easily found on every single product page. Not at the bottom or the footer–although you can put it there too. Have it right there on the product page so people can click the size chart and it blows up.
I also love it when they actually tell you what size the model is who is wearing the product. When they say ‘our model is a size 5’9 with 34” bust, 27” waist, 36” hip, and she is wearing our size small. That gives me something that I can compare to. I am not 5’9, and maybe my waist or bust is smaller or bigger, but now I can compare. I can compare what size the model is, and how it looks on her, to what size I should order. Sometimes I like things to look really big and oversized. Sometimes I want them to fit closer to my body. So it depends on the proportion and what you want it to look like.
You need to have customer testimonials. If you have people that have worn the products before, have reviews, have customer testimonials. This shows social proof. It is really important to have this, because at the end of the day, it is kind of like peer pressure. We all want to fit in. And if we see that a lot of other people have bought this and they like it, it is going to compel people to buy too. It helps to establish trust and credibility. And it makes people want to buy from your website.
6. Return and Exchange
Definitely have a clear return and exchange policy. This is super important. If I am buying something, I want to know if I can return it. And, make sure in the footer you have a separate link to your return and exchange policy. It should be very clear too. Tell them how many days, what condition does the product have to be in, possible shipping costs, etc. You can lay that all out in your footer.
7. Shipping Information
Let’s move on to shipping information. Your shipping information should be very clearly laid out. People want to know what the rates are, if the rates vary by weight or by item, if there are different methods of shipment. What are you using to ship? Are you shipping international or you just shipping domestic? What are the options.
Also, what is the estimated time to ship. The other day, I almost bought something from a London-based site, and I hesitated because I could not find the shipping information. I wanted to know, (A) how long it would take to get here from London, (B) how much is shipping is, and (C) can I return it with free shipping. I needed to know all this information. But, because they did not make it really clear and easy for me to find, I got off their website. It is that simple. Three to seven seconds. I hope I am drilling this in your brains.
8. Payment Information
Let’s talk about payment information. How are you going to collect payment? Are you going to accept credit card, PayPal, Google card? Make sure you have that all clear on your website so people understand. Also, have the sales tax, international taxes, currency conversions, and all of that stuff figured out ahead of time. I really recommend that you work with an accountant on that, because it is super specific to your state and country.
And then also, please make sure that you have an SSL security on your website. If I go to your website and it does not have HTTPS, if it is missing that ‘S’, that means it is not a secure website. I am not going to enter my credit card information on a non-secure website and no one else will either. You do have to pay for it, but it’s not expensive. It’s a yearly fee, and it will allow you to also store credit card information on your website. So, if someone wants to save their credit card for future purchases, this is going to allow them to do that. You want to make sure that you are PCI compliant, and that you have your SSL security and everything on there. There is a cost to have it.
If you are using PayPal as your method of payment, it has SSL security built into it. That's a nice little feature.
That's a Wrap
That is it! That is how to drive traffic to your website and increase your online sales. Don't forget to grab our E-Commerce Checklist.
Also, if you are interested in having an audit done of their websites, we can do that. We can do an audit of your website to make sure that you have got everything there to actually make money. Because having a beautiful website is only one part of it, having a functional website is the main thing you want to be concerned with.
If you’re interested in knowing how to actually drive traffic to your website once you have it built beautifully, we have two online courses. One is called our Mastering Digital Marketing Course. The other is a brand-new course, “How to Drive Traffic to Your Online Store and Boost Sales.” This is part two to our Mastering Digital Marketing course.
If you want more FREE information on how to drive traffic to your website, be sure to join our Fearless Fashionpreneur Facebook Group!
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