Author: J Toral

ECOMMERCE CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION IN A MOBILE ERA

Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization in a Mobile Era

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Mobile eCommerce (“mCommerce”) has been increasingly accelerating in its prevalence across the Retail Landscape. In 2020 over 79% of U.S. smartphone users (that’s roughly 182 million people) have made recent purchases using their mobile devices. Additionally, over 80% of Shoppers use their mobile devices while shopping at physical store locations to supplement their retail experiences. Mobile shopping isn’t going anywhere and will likely soon be a primary method of shopping for most consumers. These trends are exactly why focusing on your retail website’s mobile-first conversion rate optimization approach is now paramount to any eCommerce success. Here are a few Concepts to get you started:

I. Consider how users interact with mobile websites.

Unlike using a desktop browser, the mobile experience is in portrait mode. This difference means that more attention and thought need to be given to the various elements of your website like button and link placement, image resolutions, layouts, loading times, pop-ups, and more from a visual and functionality perspective. User experience needs to be comfortable and not frustrate your eCommerce website visitors less they click away. A comfortable browsing experience it doesn’t frustrate website visitors yields more engagement and repeat customers. This kind of approach also prepares your website for the upcoming Google SEO update, dubbed page experience.

II. It’s time to lean into a mobile-first approach When developing your pages.

There is a shift happening and has been happening for a while and how the public-at-large approaches the internet. They’re still an ample amount of desktop users, especially during work hours. Overwhelmingly, however, mobile internet use is tipping the scales. In 2016, For the first time, desktop devices accounted for less than half of all internet traffic! The 2020 Global events have accelerated the transition to mobile, especially with activities like shopping. Internet user behavior is changing, and that means website managers need to catch up. If you haven’t done a rebuild or an update in a while, now is the time – but consider doing it backward. Start with a mobile version of your website, and then we work it into a desktop version as its complementary component. This approach will help figure out which order to load your elements in, avoid unnecessary scripts, and improve the overall efficiency, all of which affect your website visitor experience and your conversion effectiveness.

III. Lean into technical tricks that help you optimize

First, consider using one of the many already optimized website layouts available for free and for purchase across the different website building platforms. However, if that’s not your flavor, don’t sidestep some of the more critical practices in the mobile era. Pay attention to and use of applications like lazy loading big assets, setting up screen resolution breaking points, integrating popular and secure autofill check at options, and giving higher priority to optimizing your product pages over your main landing website. Your goal should be to enable people to find what they are looking for quickly, load your website seamlessly and without headache, and finalize customer purchasing without unnecessary extra steps. This approach makes your customers, the Google search algorithm, and your bottom line happy, a win-win all around.

Lastly, be strategic about where you focus your efforts. While mobile eCommerce also includes the use of tablets, pay attention to your website’s analytics, and you will likely discover that this type of device use is not as popular and doesn’t garner as much of a demand from website visitors. At the same time, emerging platforms like crypto DeFi payment options are picking up traction, so they might make sense to consider in the future.


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Case Study: Automated Dynamic E-Commerce Homepage for National Cycle Sports Retailer

Case Study: Automated Dynamic E-Commerce Homepage for National Cycle Sports Retailer

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In this case study, we go over the results of an extensive homepage and product page update for Texas Cycle Sport.

The static homepage presented an issue with both merchandising and generating search traffic. Updating it included many frontend and backend improvements allowing the site to dynamically update its layout based on which products were featured or on sale.

The user experience improvements on the product pages were also intended to reduce issues for users on mobile devices and to improve the overall look and feel of customizing products before adding them to the cart. 

The results of the work internally were that the workflow for the client was greatly improved saving them hours of work each day, amounting to hundreds of hours each year recovered for regular business operation. 

Externally, the results as shown in the case study were a massive increase in search traffic, converting at a higher rate than ever, nearly double sales year over year. 

Bottom line: This client is making more money with their website and spending less time managing it.

Results Preview

  • Increase in sales

    80%

  • Increase in average order value

    25%

See the full case study

Ready to improve your website?

Results like the ones Texas Cycle Sport got after they decided to focus on conversion rate optimization are not uncommon. Like we proved here, it doesn’t take build a whole new website to double your online sales either.

Schedule your discovery session to see how working together could change the way your business works online.


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Preparing your eCommerce Website for the Summer 2021 Shopping Season

Preparing your eCommerce Website for the Summer 2021 Shopping Season

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While eCommerce was already on the rise, 2020 was the year it took off. With more people stuck at home, especially during the summer vacation months, eCommerce websites experienced a surge of new customers and order volumes. With the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, still grimacing at the possibility of a ‘back-to-normal’ 2021 summer season, it is likely we are headed for a repeated state of affairs for eCommerce websites during the upcoming summer months. 

But where do consumers shop? – There are many options as new websites continue to pop up in the online retail ecosystem. The ones that take advantage of Customer Conversion Optimization best practices, are the ones that ultimately benefit from stay-at-home shoppers. 

Here are 4 ways to instantly boost your chances of retail success and elevate your eCommerce venture: 

Be wary of big eCommerce platforms

This is not to say that there is no benefit from doing business on big retail websites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or others. However, it is essential to understand how optimization and customer conversion on those websites work, which hurdles you face, and which strategies exist to overcome the obstacles you face. Shoppers on those websites are significantly more likely to purchase products listed atop their search queries. These products are typically there because they either are a part of Amazon Basic’s brand or belong to retailers who were first adopters in that space. Therefore, trying to place your products at the top of those search queries is an arduous task since you will be competing against Amazon itself and retailers who have already proven themselves through existing volumes of sales and customer engagements. Unless you are the first comer in your niche, you may instead want to focus on a different tactic: referred sales, aka “advocacy campaigns.” Adjusting your marketing efforts to work with influencers who can funnel their loyal followers to do business with you can yield much better results. The benefits are that you will not be fighting against big platform search engines and their AI-based optimization, and you will be outsourcing your conversion activities to a person who already has built up trust among the target group.

Moreover, affiliates create content that help with that other thing you should be doing: Content.

Yes, content is still the king.

However, it is also often misused in favor of quantity over quality. Consider what your shoppers are looking for. Yes, your products are “it,” but there are other pieces in what your customers are looking for in their conversion journey, and that is a combination of reviews, how-to’s, ideas, and other content that depends on what you’re selling. If you’re selling toothpaste, it may not be obvious. Still, an article on how else the product can be used (i.e., cleaning that engagement ring or removing soap scum) can lead to increased sales, especially with well-placed product links in the body. Content can also be repurposed to drive new website visitors from other platforms, including social media and other blogs. Content creates a hook for the consumer to become your customer and builds a relationship by turning your website visitors into repeat customers.

Evaluate what drives your summer sales and optimize it

There is a notable difference in what drives shopping behaviors across the different seasons. Fall has more back-to-school shopping activities, and winter takes the lead on buying big-ticket wish list items for the holidays. Summer is a different beast where shoppers are a lot more likely to be spontaneous, picking things up on the go as they traverse their more lackadaisical days. These purchases tend to be less in monetary value but happening more frequently and often with a sense of urgency. During this time, customers appreciate expedient fulfillment.

There are also many more chances to grow customer loyalty during the summer months than the winter ones. Even though customers may be buying a lot cheaper items, smaller items mean that they are a lot more likely to return to your eCommerce website if they had a great experience. So make sure that the checking out process is as flawless and straightforward as possible. If you see lots of cart abandonment, this is a telltale sign that you should revisit that portion of your website and soon! There is always room for improvement.

Consider how your existing products fit into social causes

Are your products ‘Made in America’? – Great! You should absolutely advertise that. What about products you sell that are made conscientiously? – You probably have some in your inventory, too. This might seem like a minor thing among the greater scope of marketing activities, but consumers are fond of certain social causes, and if you’re already doing good, why not also do well by promoting your products in these less-than-obvious ways. You might not care, but your customers do, and very often, they are more likely to purchase a product that aligns with their values than the product of a less savory competitor. Shoppers prefer to support small businesses, locally made products, ethically managed manufacturing processes, and various other social causes, so it makes sense to lean into what they value. This type of marketing builds trust, loyalty, and advocacy, promoting long-term success.

Whichever niche your eCommerce website belongs to, summer is a great time to elevate your success and improve your marketing flows. More people during this time explore new products, take on new hobbies, and are looking for easy solutions. Catering to these shopping interests will help you improve your sales, customer retention, and ultimately, customer loyalty.


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what you should know and do about page experience by google

What you should know and do about ‘page experience’ — the upcoming Google seo update

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The latest Google SEO update dubbed ‘Page Experience is on track to roll out this June. This update is projected to shake up the Google search result rankings, especially for websites lacking an engaging mobile experience. If you are already practicing good SEO, the new update will not affect your website too much. However, there are a few things that website managers should keep tabs on.

Pay attention to which internal Pages users like and focus on ranking those even higher than your homepage.

The new update focuses on visitors’ page experiences and consequently ranks the more popular pages higher in the search results. Because of how natural language and user search queries work, your website’s internal pages frequently provide more value in funneling and retaining website visitors than your homepage. There’s no reason not to take advantage of this. Keep an eye on Your internal Pages, how long your website visitors are staying, and what your website visitors are clicking. Use that data, then rank your pages higher for the right keywords.

Use the Google Search Console.

This tool is designed to help website managers keep tabs on website search traffic, what type of performance, and any other potential user experience issues that impact engagement and overall website performance. Going through the tool is very self-explanatory and can help you prepare and spot-check your website for the upcoming Google SEO update.

Lean into your website’s mobile experience more than ever before.

There is a shift happening and has been happening for a while and how the public-at-large approaches the internet. They’re still an ample amount of desktop users, especially during work hours. Overwhelmingly, however, mobile internet use is tipping the scales. In 2016, For the first time, desktop devices accounted for less than half of all internet traffic! The 2020 Global events have accelerated the transition to mobile, especially with activities like shopping. Internet user behavior is changing, and that means website managers need to catch up. Google understands this, which is why the new Google SEO update includes a heavy focus on the mobile user experience. If you haven’t done a rebuild or an update in a while, now is the time – but consider doing it backward. Start with a mobile version of your website, and then we work it into a desktop version as its complementary component. This approach will help figure out which order to load your elements in, avoid unnecessary scripts, and improve the overall efficiency, all of which affect your website visitor experience and thus the effectiveness of your SEO in the upcoming Google SEO update.


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Customer conversion optimization: where you should start and what you should do when you already have an established website

Customer conversion optimization: Where you should start and what you should do when you already have an established website

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At one point in your digital marketing journey – as you move past social media, SEO, content management, and all other affiliate activities – you will undoubtedly encounter something known as Conversion Rate Optimization (“CRO”). Among the digital marketing portfolio, CRO is arguably one of the more critical tasks, especially to those looking to streamline their activities and maximize their results. While traditional digital marketing focuses on raising brand awareness (and thereby driving website traffic), it provides little-to-no positive results without proper CRO management. After all, just because someone knows where to find your website doesn’t mean they will engage with it or even make that purchase (or do that one thing you want them to do). This is where conversion rate optimization is useful, which, when done right, raises the frequency at which your website visitors do those online things you want them to do – make purchases, sign up for newsletters, email you, and whatever else you deem essential.

“So, when should I start doing Conversion Rate Optimization?” 

Conversion Rate Optimization can be divided into two strategies. The first strategy deals with tactics for businesses who are just starting their online journey. These businesses are either in the process of still developing their website or are at the start of growing their website traffic. Planning and executing CRO at this point of the journey should be integrated with the general web development and digital marketing activities, which you can learn more about here. In this article, however, we focus on the second strategy: for businesses that have been operating online for at least one year. And what do you know, January is the perfect time to start!

With the new year come new perspectives, resolutions, goal setting, and doubly so for businesses. Consider that you now have a full year of analytics that can help pivot you and position you to grow and improve your success rate. To do so, you need to look at your current conversion narrative analytics and start improving your weakest performers first.

“So, how do I identify which analytics matter most?”

There are a lot of data points available to you, but for this process to work well, you will need to focus on the “big picture” first. Think of how your customer journey works.

  • First, a person finds you and visits your website – this is the part where you work to win the person’s attention and direct them to your digital real estate where the magic can happen.
  • Then the person converts into a “lead” – they are now open to more marketing and so this is where you start engaging with them and building trust that will lead to a sale.
  • Finally, the lead converts into a “sale” – and now your focus turns on making them a repeat customer and possibly a brand advocate, leading to move visitors and leads. 

What these three journey pitstops translate into are the three overarching metrics that you will want to work on improving: (1) website traffic; (2) lead generation; and (3) creating customers.

I. Improving Website Traffic

Website traffic is an integral part of any CRO journey. There are no customers to optimize for if there are no website visitors, so if you are struggling with getting visitors, start here. Online traffic is generated by one of three methods, including organic means (search engines and yellow pages), paid traffic (online advertisements), and social traffic (also called advocacy traffic). Take a look at which activities you are already engaging in (if any) and consider how much time, effort, and money you are already investing into these practices – are they getting any results whatsoever? If you’re already doing these things and the results are stagnant, then re-evaluate your approach, do some experimentation and amend your practices in the direction which generates better outcomes. For example, try different Calls to Action, work on your copywriting, apply different targeting, use other hashtags, and so on. If you are not already doing any of these activities, now is the time to start. Of course, there are tradeoffs to each approach. There are practical differences in how much time and money you can potentially spend. If your business is still in its revenue building stage, consider using social media and improving your SEO – both can be done practically free but will require more intensive time investments. However, if you are comfortable spending money, using online advertising can generate results faster, but you need to be prepared to spend money, and it is not cheap. Whichever way you go about improving your traffic flow is solely dependent on your preferences, but you must take an active lead in this part of your CRO strategy.

infographic-how-to-improve-website-traffic-for-cro

II. Increasing Leads

Another problem that often bogs down your conversion rate is lead generation. You may have ample website traffic, but little of that traffic stays on your page or does anything. It’s almost as if visitors are passing through, which is a problem you do not want to have. Of course, there still may be some website visitors that funnel through into the final sales activity. Nevertheless, you want to consider lead generation as an essential step, which creates long-term quality clients rather than one-time customers. A website visitor becoming a lead means they are open to more marketing but are still on the fence about doing that sales activity you want them to do. Unlike one-time customers, these leads are more likely to re-engage with you and continue to follow up when appropriately managed. Not putting effort into lead generating activities exposes you to problems further down the line and makes the conversion process less efficient, more expensive, and less fruitful. Without lead generation, you likely will not have repeat visitors – after all, why would a person revisit your page if they were not interested in engaging with it in the first place. This also means that it will be harder for you to pry your customers back, away from better-performing competitors, especially if they already felt you were not a fit. 

There are a couple of reasons why this may be happening, but they all lean into how you tap into your visitor’s emotions. For example, visitors are more likely to trust a website that has a sleek and appealing design, that is intuitive and looks like it’s constantly being updated. Good design communicates to your visitors that you care and are attentive. Take a close look at your page and ask your social network to give feedback – you’ll be surprised what you can uncover. And don’t be defensive; take criticism as an opportunity where you can improve! Another emotionally driven conversion variable is how quickly your visitors can find the information that caters to their specific needs. If a customer clicks an ad for a particular product but is then taken to the general homepage, they will be put off from searching the entire website and will leave. It may be easy for you to find everything on your website, but you also have bias and experience given that you developed it. Visitors are less patient, so make it easy for them and be transparent. Giving your website visitors transparent visual, informative, and navigational cues sells them on the idea of continuing to engage with your site, provide personal information and receive more digital marketing materials from you. Tap into this trust and use it to your advantage!

infographic-how-to-increase-leads-for-cro

III. Creating Customers

You may have your website traffic and lead generation down but still, struggle with “closing the sale.” This means there is a disconnect between what is appealing to your customer and what you are providing. Just like lead generation, there is a heavy emotional component that drives this conversion rate. You’ve got a person to visit your site, you’ve convinced them to listen to you and engage with your materials, but that person is (yet) not convinced you can give them what they think they need. You may feel that you know what they need, but that needs to align with what they think and feel they need.

Approaching this step from understanding your customers’ point of view is the next step in increasing your conversion optimization. To bridge this gap, consider how your customer makes a purchasing decision. Are they coming from a place of frustration that your product can alleviate? Are they making an impulse purchasing decision that aligns with the holiday season? Are they making a planned decision that took months of consideration and budget balancing? Whatever their purchasing drive is, make sure that your website is designed to acknowledge and tap into their motives. Website copy and layout make the final push in the sales process of converting leads into customers.

infographic-how-to-covert-leads-into-customers-for-cro

Going through these steps several times will allow you to continually improve and optimize your customer conversion, leading to more effective use of your business resources and thus higher ROI between your marketing and sales.


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4 tips to help convert your website visitors into customers this holiday shopping season

4 tips to help convert your website visitors into customers this holiday shopping season

This year’s rollercoaster of global events has made it more difficult for traditional retailers to operate. Ongoing events and their correlating unpredictable and ever-shifting social circumstances make attracting new customers a drastically different and substantially more complicated process. With the Holiday Season upon us, the inability to know if, how, or when retailers can let customers back in only exasperates how unprepared and vulnerable many retailers continue to feel.

But here is the thing – consumers faced with the same problems have solved it by turning to online, mobile, and digital shopping without so much as a second thought!

… and this means online marketing strategies for retail businesses need a renovation. The more traditional and well-known marketing tactics (i.e., working around social media and online advertising) are sometimes good enough to get people to click a product or visit an eCommerce website. Still, they are not enough to substantively help convert online strangers into repeat customers.

During this year’s holiday shopping season, conversion rate optimization could mean the difference between ending a crazy year on a high note or locking the doors for good.

Here are 4 tips that will help you convert website visitors into customers:

I. Have your mobile website ready

A significant portion of customers now shop via mobile devices. According to the Salsify 2020 Consumer Report, 77% of eCommerce shoppers begin their online shopping search from a mobile device. Additionally, a recent 2020 Covid-19 U.S. Consumer Behavior Report from Worldpay by FIS revealed that 58% of consumers felt that they are spending more on eCommerce during the ongoing pandemic. With more shopping being via eCommerce, and much of that shopping originating on mobile devices, retailers should be optimizing for that type of user experience. Ignoring the impact of mobile shopping on your eCommerce website can lead to customer alienation and spell disaster in the long run. If your visitors are inconvenienced in their customer journey, they are likely to go to a more accommodating competitor. It then becomes more expensive and burdensome to rebuild that customer relationship – so avoid losing your customers altogether, especially on something so simple.

During the holiday shopping season – a time when customers are increasingly more engaged with retailers, including eCommerce – it is imperative to capitalize on the surging web traffic. To start, it’s best to pay attention to your analytics, which give insight into how your existing customers are browsing and what devices they ultimately use at checkout. A high bounce rate or a low conversion rate on your mobile devices will be the first signs that something isn’t right with the mobile version of your online store. You can then go from there to experiment and building a more agile and user-friendly mobile version of your website.

II. Optimize your landing pages for customer experience

The holiday shopping season can be overwhelming for both the retailers and the customers alike. It’s the end of the year, things are moving fast, budgets are tight, and nerves are high. But, that is no excuse to drop the ball on fine-tuning the landing page details. It makes your eCommerce website look neater, the user experiences better, and the shopping process more sensical. Customers do not want clutter, a complicated checkout process, unclear information, or a website that doesn’t “feel” right – and that’s where optimization comes in. Without it, you may have lots of website visitors, but a low conversion rate lowers your overall revenue and makes it difficult to build customer loyalty. Optimization, the tool to rapidly build trust, establish value, and allow customers to checkout without undue frustration, helps combat the problems mentioned above.

This process doesn’t need to be complicated!
Here are the basics to get you started:

  • Increase your white space. It reduces the appearance of clutter and helps customers quickly find essential information without getting overwhelmed.
  • Improve your calls-to-action (“CTAs”). Using single or low-count verbs like “subscribe,” “submit,” and “start shopping” comes off as emotionless and fail to resonate with website visitors. Instead, elaborate on the core value propositions and get creative.  For example, if selling protein powder, instead of describing it as “a great source of protein” and adding a “buy now” button, try “Get the body of your dreams!” with a “Stop Procrastinating!” button. These little tweaks will make you stand out from the hoards.
  • Organize your navigation. Don’t let users get lost or confused trying to navigate your site. Ensure the navigation makes sense – in fact, ask a friend who has never seen your website before trying it. Was it easy for them to find information and products? If it takes more than 3 clicks to find a product or a solution, reorganize.
  • Make sure your links are not too close together on mobile. Like I said earlier, most shoppers are mobile now. Nothing will frustrate a visitor more than trying to click on one thing, only to end up clicking its neighbor.
  • Give your search bar the spotlight. It should be visible at the top of every page. Unlike physical retail stores, there isn’t much value in browsing. The first thing online shoppers like to do is find a search bar and fill it out. If your search is hard to find or hard to use, shoppers won’t stick around.

III. Make getting in touch and customer service fit your customers

Brick-and-mortar shoppers and eCommerce shoppers don’t have the same habits, but they do share the desire for easy and responsive customer service when they need help. There is a pivotal moment in the customer journey we all experience when shopping. Once a customer is almost ready to make a purchase, there is a need for validation. In brick and mortar stores, customers typically look for store clerks to help answer any final questions. Online, customers instead prefer to look for the most convenient way to answer those questions. If your website does not offer a convenient way to get in touch, it may send your customers to other forums and review websites where your competition makes their bid for conversion. Look at your customer demographics and how those demographics prefer to get in touch – and offer that.

IV. Diversify your payment options

Only offering credit card and PayPal options at checkout won’t cut it anymore. Retail shoppers have already gotten accustomed to more than that at the checkout counter, and they expect more from eCommerce websites too. While security – which required tedious inputs – is a priority, consider payment processors who offer more flexibility without security compromises. Payment options like Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay allow customers to checkout with a single click, without additional steps like filling out information. Allowing this type of flexibility will result in fewer abandoned carts and happier customers. New trusted payment options, like Klarna and PayPal Credit, are always emerging, so keep this in mind when doing your annual updates.

Action Items

At the end of every coaching session, I like to send everyone away with at least a few action items to improve their conversion rate right away. Here are four things you can do to make sure your site is secure and ready to convert visitors into customers
Here are your final action items:
  • Test your shop thoroughly on more than one mobile device. Make sure to test it with different platforms (Andriod, Google, Apple) and different screen sizes.

  • Make sure elements of the site are well spaced out, especially clickable/touchable links on mobile.

  • Update the language of your calls-to-action. Stick to more emotional, less literal CTAs
  • Add several methods to contact someone at your shop without delay. Leaving a visitor waiting has the same effect online as it does in your store.
  • Add a few instant payment options to your store. Don’t make your unfortunate mobile users fill out a twenty field form to buy your products.
Want to learn more about how you can grow and convert your customers? Subscribe to my blog and follow me on social for regular updates. Shoot me a message with your question, and it may be featured in a future post.

Why improving your website’s cyber security is crucial for effective conversion rate optimization

Why improving your website’s cyber security is crucial for effective conversion rate optimization

For most online businesses, getting and growing website traffic is only the beginning of their customer acquisition journey. Many things need to be taken into consideration to optimize that process further – but following online cybersecurity best practices when building your website is one of the most important steps in customer acquisition and conversion rate optimization. Ignoring these practices can quickly ruin your efforts and send your clients running to your competitors, never to be seen again. 

Here are 3 ways your website’s cybersecurity protocols enhance your customer acquisition and optimize your conversion rates: 

I. Cybersecurity practices build customer confidence

Customers are now spending more time online than ever before. Unlike just a decade ago, they are more knowledgeable and have higher expectations of the websites they interact with today. They expect great design, a flawless user experience, easy navigation, transparency, and an assurance that their personal data (like credit card information, names, and addresses) will remain protected and secured. Through their shared online experiences, customers have learned to recognize the common signs that point to a website being secure, and when a website fails to deliver these signals, they bounce. Users who bounce from websites often describe a “feeling” that a website was a potential scam without knowing why. Additionally, testing shows that adding proper security has demonstrated a significant reduction in those bounces. By ensuring that your website is secure and is using the latest cybersecurity protocols, you meet your website visitor’s expectations of what a professional website should be like, and subtly build your customer’s trust and confidence. Building customer trust and confidence is a crucial element of customer acquisition and conversion rate optimization.

II. Cybersecurity practices improve your website’s performance …
and ranks you higher in search engines

Businesses also need to consider how much their cybersecurity protocols affect their website’s performance in search engines. Most search engines today pay close attention to a website’s security practices when ranking a page. When crawling your site – a technical term of what happens when search engines rank your website – they look for signs that a website is secure. If a website lacks at the very least, basic security practices, or worse, is hacked, a search engine will block visitors from opening the webpage and delist that page (and sometimes the whole website) from their search results. For example, Google lowers the ranking of sites that don’t have an SSL certificate installed for the entire website, and the lower in the ranking that your website is in, the harder it is for your potential customers to find you. This damage to your search engine results can be incredibly hard to reverse once it happens, so an ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure. It is no longer “good enough” to only secure your checkout pages and forms. That’s why diligent attention to your cybersecurity protocols throughout your entire website is paramount to customer acquisition and conversion rate optimization.

III. Cybersecurity practices prevent downtime

Unlike of brick-and-mortar businesses, website visitors expect websites to be accessible and operational at all times. This expectation is so prevalent that even a 15-minute downtime episode can lead to a long term loss of business. Customers experiencing downtime are more likely to lose trust and funnel to your competition. It is therefore important to secure your website against any potential hijackers, Distributed Denial of Service (“DDOS”) attacks, malware, and other malicious activities. Moreover, many popular search engines will block website visitors if they detect any nefarious code or cybersecurity compromises, further hurting your customer acquisition and conversation rate optimization.

Action Items

Making sure that your website follows the latest cybersecurity practices is an important start in your customer acquisition and conversion rate optimization journey. It doesn’t have to be daunting or a complicated process, but it is one that has to be managed. To help you along, at the end of every lesson, I like to send everyone away with at least a few action items to help you on your journey. Here are seven things you can do to make sure your website is secure and enhances your customer acquisition.
  • Make sure you have an SSL certificate. You can easily check if you have one by looking at your URL: does it start with “https” – yes? Good! You have one. If not, LetsEncrypt gives them out for free. Then make sure to add a security seal image somewhere on your site.

  • Force all website traffic to the secure version of your site – this may be a job for your developer or web host, but it should be a 2-minute task by adding this code to your .htaccess file:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301,NE]
  • Ask your host about their DDOS and uptime policy. If it’s not 99.9% uptime or better, it’s time to move hosting companies.
  • Talk to your host about what other sites are hosted on your server. Or even check yourself here
  • Back up your website every day. Most hosts allow you to automate this process. You should have at least: 14 daily backups, 1 month of weekly backups, and 3 months of monthly backups.
  • Keep your website’s features and widgets up to date. Updates are often security-related, so do them often. Every morning if you can, and since you are backing up every night, if anything goes wrong, you are covered.
  • Install malware scanning software on your website. If you are on WordPress or Joomla, I recommend Akeeba Admin Tools and mysites.guru. I’m not sponsored by either, but since I’ve used them across hundreds of websites, I trust them.


Why you need a personal website

Why you need a personal websiteSo you sent your resume to a potential employer. Fantastic. What was your email address? Was it joeschmoe@somemail.com, or was it joe@schmoe.com? Speaking of personal domains, lets review why they can make a huge difference in your career, as well as a major difference in your work on social media. Here are a few reasons you need a personal website.

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Business websites are the new real estate

Business WebsitesHaving a business in this modern era means one thing for certain, you need a website. Just a few years ago, putting up business websites with just your business name and a couple pages of information was enough. Now, you have a hundred buzzwords to remember from SEO to Responsive Design to Pay-Per-Click and on and on goes the list. So what gives, why are all of these things so important, and why can’t you just get on doing business?

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The value of a personal coach

value of a personal coachWhen you are sitting at work, stressed about where you are personally or professionals, who do you go to for advice? If you are a young adult trying to get the right kind of experience to meet ridiculous resume requirements, what do you do? This is where you should learn the true value of a personal coach or mentor when trying to move into the next chapter of your life.

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