The goal of any e-commerce website is to get visitors to purchase one or more products. This differs from many other websites since you have to educate, nurture and convert the visit into a sale all within a single browsing session.

Here are five tips to help you achieve all three goals (educate, nurture, convert):

1. Be User-Friendly

The top way to increase organic traffic, sales and brand awareness is through a strong focus on having a user-friendly website.

No matter how much time, effort and/or money you put into driving traffic to your website, you will not increase sales exponentially without a focus on user experience (UX).

What does this mean?

It means you should:

  • Write copy that is easily understandable (don’t keyword stuff and don’t use jargon).

  • Ensure copy is readable (think: font size, color contrast, font style).

  • Use eye-tracking software to see if the most important parts of your sites are even being viewed.

  • Use A/B (split) testing software like Optimizely to optimize your website for conversions.

  • Have people outside of your company use your site and provide feedback (you can use a service like for this).

Once you optimize your site for customers, you can begin focusing on the more direct aspects of SEO.

2. Be Pro-Active About Duplicate Content Issues

Dupliate content issues are a big problem for many medium and large e-commerce stores.

According to Search Engine Land “the use of URL paramets, session IDs and printer-friendly content versions are common culprits [for duplicate content] in e-commerce websites. The situation gets muddled even further when identical content is published under multiple categories such as [campaign] or [offers] in addition to their regular place in the content hierarchy.

To find and prevent duplicate content issues please read this post from Moz.

3. Design a Responsive Website that Works With Anything

I designed this. 

In an October 2012 article, Forbes reports that “more than 20 percent of all e-commerce shopping sessions are already happening on mobile devices – and that number is growing by 2-3X each year. Over the next 18-36 months, mobile will comprise more than 50 percent of all e-commerce shopping sessions, becoming the primary way people shop online.”

Because of this it is imperative that you offer a mobile-friendly version of your website.

You can do this by updating your website to a responsive design (meaning it self-adjusts depending on browser type  – desktop, phone, tablet) or by offering a separate mobile version.

Every website that TOFU Marketing builds is responsive. Contact us if you’d like a quote!

4. Create an Awesome Blog

There is no doubt that content marketing is a strong way to drive organic traffic to your site – and Google itself recommends writing a lot of high quality content.

High quality content attracts readers and also good inbound links from reputable sites.

Not to mention, according to HubSpot’s research a blog is a really useful sales tool:

Customer acquisiton chart

While some smaller e-commerce companies may find it difficult to produce a lot of long content, writing several small blog posts per week is doable for almost any team. And remember you don’t need one dedicated blogger – asking each member of your team to contribute one blog post per week can help spread the workload and keep things fresh.

5. Get Active on Visual Social Media Sites

Getting active on visual social media sites like Pinterst, Instagram and Vine all allow you to share images of your product and brand while building up a strong and loyal community. This in turn will help you generate sales. According to Julie Bornstein, Sephora’s [large makeup retailer] head of digital, “Pinterest users spend 15X more than Facebook users” on Sephora products. Bornstein says: “The reality is that when you’re in the Pinterest mindset, you’re actually interested in acquiring items, which is not what people go to Facebook for,” Bornstein said. “Facebook continues to be just a great customer interaction tool that gives us the real-time ability to dialog with our customer; it’s a big customer-service venue for us.”

She also tells VentureBeat, ““E-commerce really is still in the first innings of really leveraging the power of social,” Bornstein says. “But we’ve experimented a lot with social shopping, and this is the first one that has really gotten to scale.” Find which social networks your customers are hanging out on and engage them there. Don’t be afraid to make direct sales pitches through the use of promo codes, coupons and sales when appropriate. Also use social media widgets to showcase customer engagement on your website. These widgets make for great social proof which will help you sell even more products! And there you have it, five tips for helping you educate, nurture and convert on your e-commerce website.  

Your Thoughts

How is your e-commerce store performing? Anything you think we should have removed/included on this list? Let us know in the comments below?]]>

TJ has worked in the digital marketing space since 2006. He has worked at a number of agencies and and helped hundreds of clients grow their business through SEO, PPC, Social Media and Content Marketing. He currently lives in Lehi , UT and enjoys spending time with his family.