Hey, welcome back Rankers! The beard is gone.
Oh, it’s so nice. Thank you for the all lovely comments last week, but seriously, beards
are filthy, disgusting things and I’m glad it’s gone. It’s like having a small rodent
attached to your face. What is the purpose of your website?
I wanted to talk to you this week about the Online Retailer exhibition that I went to
last week. I was lucky to speak on a panel with these three blokes; Jason Kencevski,
Nathan Huppatz, and Wayne Baskin. Basically, this was a live site review panel. This is
the second time I’ve done one of these and they are such fun. Because as a site owner,
you get to have about 50 years of experience basically bombarded at your site over a five
minute period. And you’re just going to be scribbling, taking notes, right? And I learned
a heap from these guys because they’re just so focused on user experience and conversions,
right down to little details. They are constantly testing these things, right?
So I’m Slacking back to staff, different ideas, different things to try, but some of the themes
that came out of it from these guys … And one of the questions that Wayne Baskin asks,
which I really like is, “What is the primary purpose of your website?” And people usually
come back with, “Well …” and then he’ll come back with, “No. What is the primary purpose
of your website?” And I ask myself that same question sometimes, too. And you might think,
“Well, B2B, well it’s to educate to …” No. It’s not. It’s to generate leads. That’s the
primary purpose of my website. Sometimes it helps to remind yourself and ask that question.
But the sorts of things that, the common threads, were people trying to get too many calls to
action on the homepage. Too much clutter on the home page.
Conversion hacks Some simple hacks that you could use to test
and maybe increase conversions are simple things, like labels on stock that says ‘In
Stock’. Or gives you some ‘On sale’, all those sorts of things. ‘Ships Today’
is another one, like back when we were doing this same sort of site like review panel at
Retail Global, one of the retailers there had a countdown clock to tell you how many
hours you had left to meet the ‘Ships today’ deadline. So things like that increase the
urgency and help people understand what the site’s about. De-cluttering the home page.
You know, one of the things Nathan said was to get those social icons away from the top
right-hand side. Get it off the valuable real estate. Put them down on the bottom, people
will find them if they need them. And similarly it goes with your disclaimers and all sorts
of things, they don’t need to be in the main menus.
So get the user to the thing that they are looking for as fast as they possibly can.
From my part I saw a lot of slow sites, which is not uncommon with e-commerce sites. That’s
really important now given that we’re in a mobile first world and Google had the mobile
speed update earlier this month. So just keep an eye on your speed everyone. The other thing
that I saw more than once was bad crawls. So Google’s being pushed into areas where
you don’t want it to be going. So things like crawling pages that really shouldn’t be getting
crawled. And sometimes this was happening because the website had actually just been
set up so that you would have multiple pages for the same product, but searched different
ways or configured different ways. You really shouldn’t do that.
You should have one page and that should cover all the products. Like if it is a brown one,
you should just change the brown, you don’t to bring out a whole new page. So there was
a lot of that going on and the reason that becomes a problem is because Google can start
crawling all these other pages and indexing them. They’re just duplicates of a main page.
Now there is a way around that and that’s by using a thing called canonical tagging,
but what I was seeing last week was a lot of the canonical tagging was wrong. So Google
would be ignoring those things. So just be aware of that.
And, of course, last week what also happened is that the new Chrome was released and now
we have the ‘Not Secure’ warnings in everyone’s browser for Chrome. So if you’re ASOS I can’t
see how that can be helping conversions right now. So we did a story on this last year,
around September last year, about all the sites that were going to start getting this.
Fortunately, our own government site’s asic.gov.au, they have actually upgraded to HTTPS, which
is great. Unfortunately, our Defence Department had not. So that one still is showing ‘Not
Secure’ as is our navy. So if you haven’t done that yet, well, there is a few others
who haven’t either. But I would strongly advise you, if you’re trying to sell anything through
your website, get your HTTPS sorted. That’s it for this week. We’ll see you next week.
Thanks very much everyone. Bye.