WordPress Ecommerce: 7 ways to improve your bottom line

WordPress is a solid, flexible and scalable choice for your WordPress Ecommerce website. You’re probably already using WooCommerce to power your WordPress Ecommerce shop but what can you do to really improve your Ecommerce revenue through your WordPress site? Here’s what you can do to really get your profits up.

  • Speed your WordPress Ecommerce site up No one likes a slow site. Speed it up and you’ll sell more
  • Improve your SEO Improve your site’s traffic from Google; more audience, more sales
  • Secure your site Security is important to online customers. Show them you take it seriously
  • Consider paid advertising Improve your traffic via paid adverts
  • Research your competition Learn from the competition; what are they doing you could be doing better?
  • Build your email list Email remains the most cost effective conversion channel; use it to your advantage
  • Improve your site user experience (UX) Making your site easier to use might just make your conversion rate increase

Speed your WordPress Ecommerce website up

One of the first things you should assess is whether your site is performing well for your visitors. If it’s not, you’re probably leaving money on the table; 40% of people will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Google’s threshold for acceptability on an Ecommerce site is 2 seconds. We usually work to optimise for a sub 1 second load time where possible.

A screenshot of the Google pagespeed result for this website

So how do you find out how fast your website is? There’s a couple of tools available for this purpose, most with a free version that will suit our purposes:

  1. Pingdom Tools: a great tool for getting overall metrics on your site’s performance
  2. GTMetrix: A little more techie, and slightly more biased depending on the location it tests from, but a good aggregator (it’ll show you PageSpeed and Y Slow results) along with historical trends for any given page
  3. Google PageSpeed: Industry standard and a very good benchmark but be prepared for plenty of techie jargon

I’d suggest starting with Pingdom. Hop on over to the Pingdom Tools page, put your shop page address into the URL box, choose a location near your intended audience and hit the “Start Test” button.

Your test will run and you’ll get a set of metrics describing how well your page performs. Be mindful we’re testing one page, not your whole site! It’s possible to have a page perform well on a poorly-performing site and visa versa.

Take a look at the “Performance Grade”. You want a C or higher here; anything below that’s way too slow. Take stock of the “Load Speed” too. As we mentioned above, sub 1 second is what we’re aiming for here (and certainly no more than 2 seconds).

If you find your websites not as fast as a formula 1 car fear not; there’s plenty of options for you to explore to get your site super speedy!

  • Set up CloudFlare You can get a free CloudFlare account set up in half an hour and use CloudFlare’s caching mechanisms to make your site super quick. Just be careful to test your site thoroughly; CloudFlare’s good but making a site-wide change like this requires careful checking to ensure there are no issues
  • Add a caching plugin There’s loads of caching plugins available for WordPress. A personal favourite (and one we include for all our supported customers) is WP Rocket but many people use the free (if a little harder to set up) W3 Total Cache. Both plugins, once configured correctly, will super-charge your website’s load time
  • Consider a Content Delivery Network A Content Delivery Network (CDN) works by taking all your images and other files and placing them in data centres around the world. This has various advantages but most of them centre on the files being geographically closer to the visitor (believe it or not, physical distance makes a difference) and coming from a separate domain optimised for that type of content. We use StackPath for our WordPress Ecommerce support customers, but there are plenty more out there
  • Remove some plugins Most sites are chocked full of clever little plugins for doing specific jobs when we start supporting them. Removing, merging or replacing them with theme functionality makes a huge difference, and can vastly improve a site’s load time
  • Change your theme If you’re not wedded to your theme in any way, choosing one built to be fast can sometimes be the best way forward. Storefront and Avada are both two examples that can be configured to get you that elusive A rating

Improve your WordPress Ecommerce website’s SEO

This is the one that most often comes to mind when WordPress Ecommerce shop owners want to improve their bottom line; get more traffic from Google. The reality is that this is actually a really good idea (we’ve seen a business go from very little to a £60k+ per month revenue stream in a year with a good SEO effort). The tricky bit is first finding the best searches to get found for your offering and second, getting yourself on to page one for those keyphrases.

A man at a keyboard doing some SEO analysis for a WordPress Ecommerce websiteThere are a few steps to getting your SEO right:

  • Find the right keywords First, you need to find out what words people are using to search for your WordPress Ecommerce business
  • Optimise your site for those keywords Create blog posts, landing pages and product categories around those keywords
  • Monitor and measure You need to use tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to see how you’re doing
  • Get links from other sites Getting other sites linking to yours is a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes. The more good quality ones you can get, the better

Finding the right keywords doesn’t need to be as hard as your think. Just brainstorming a list and checking it using a tool is usually enough. In fact, that’s generally how the professionals do it!

Once you’ve got your list, you’ll need to optimise for it. Yoast SEO is our preferred option here, and we install the pro version for our WordPress support customers. Install it, then use the snippet editor on each page to tailor your page title, URL and description for your new keywords.

Using WordPress SEO to optimise your website

Finally, use Google Search Console and Google Analytics (if you haven’t got either/both set up, get your agency or wordpress support agency to set it up for you) to see how well you’re doing. Make a note of when you started your SEO work, and look to see if you’ve got any serious improvements since then. Remember to limit the data you’re looking at to organic search traffic if you’re looking at it in Google Analytics.

Secure your WordPress Ecommerce site (and make it clear that you’ve done so)

Security is very important consideration to online shoppers. If they don’t feel your WordPress Ecommerce site’s secure, the downside is you’ll probably never even know about it. Luckily there are a few relatively simple things you can add to your site to enforce the idea that their shopping experience on your website is secure. Here’s some of the things we’ve done in the past.

Add an SSL certificate to get the green padlock

This one should be taken care of already if you have an ecommerce store. If you haven’t got one, you need one. Ask your hosting company about the (usually yearly) cost of registering and having one applied.

You may then need to set your wordpress ecommerce shop up to use it. With WooCommerce it’s fairly straightforward to set the checkout to use it, but you’ll need to ask your wordpress support company to do this for the rest of your site.

Technically, just securing the checkout, contact and login pages is enough on most sites, but that won’t give your customers the warm fuzzy feeling you’re looking for. Take the time and secure the whole site to make a real difference to your revenue.

Add logos to show your site’s secure

Most of the SSL certificate companies will provide a way to showcase that your site is secured using their certificate. On the one hand, this is free advertising for them. On the other, it shows your visitors that you’ve secured your site properly. It’s a good trust signal which shouldn’t take long to add to your website; ask your WordPress support company or designer/developer and they should be able to sort it out for you.

Add icons to buttons leading to a secure area

This tricks a small one but it can make all the difference. Research shows that the perception of security improves user’s confidence in purchasing from a site, and that it relates not just to the site as a whole but individual fields.

Adding a padlock to a button leading to an action that visitors think ought to be secure (such as checkout and logging in) reinforces that perception of security. This makes your visitors feel safer parting with their sensitive information, increasing conversion rates.

Consider adding in symbols of security to your checkout process. This can include:

  1. Padlocks
  2. Secure logos (such as your SSL provider’s logo)
  3. Visual sectioning off of secure fields, such as the area where customers enter their card details

Adding a padlock to checkout buttons to a WordPress Ecommerce website

Consider paid advertising

Pay per click advertising (whether through Google Ads, Facebook or any other platform) can be a great way to increase your revenue. It can also be a great way lose your profit, too! As a Google Ads agency, we offer pay per click management our customers account to ensure

  1. Their campaign is profitable
  2. The cost to get a sale is an acceptable part of their overall profit
  3. They’re not spending in areas that aren’t making them any sales

If your site struggles to get traffic via Search Engine Optimisation in an acceptable time frame, this offers a good alternative. With Google Ads, for example, you can set up a campaign, choose your daily budget and what keywords you’d like your adverts to appear for. When someone clicks on your advert, you pay for the traffic.

The key thing here is setting a reasonable cost per sale and working towards it. You’ll need to be able to see your Ad spend and sales in one place; if you’re using Google Ads, Google Analytics is a great tool for measuring this. You’ll need your WordPress support company to set up “Enhanced Ecommerce” on your site and in Google Analytics, which logs all your customer’s purchases into Google Analytics.

Research your competition

When you run your own business it’s easy to become blinkered by it; you do the same things you’ve always done, every now and then changing things, but generally iterating over things bit by bit. This has the potential to create some fairly large blind spots.

Your competitors have probably learnt some of the same lessons you have, but chances are they’re doing things slightly differently. Maybe they’re offering free shipping, maybe they’re including a free gift in all orders or maybe they’re structuring their shop differently. Either way, they’re probably doing it for a reason, and that might be why you should do it too.

Variations in web pages to show competitor researchCompetitor research can be a pretty simple affair. If you want a basic process, do the following:

  • Draw up a list of ten competitors You might already know who these are, but there are some great tools like SEM Rush out there that will help you find more
  • Analyse their site’s structure Do they list all variations as separate products or are they grouped together? How does the search work on their site? What’s their site’s menu structure? Do they have any pages you don’t?
  • Analyse their SEO efforts Using something like SEM Rush makes this far easier, but you can also do it manually. Look for what keywords keep popping up in page titles and descriptions.
  • Check out what they’re doing on social media Follow the social media links for their site and see what kind of content they post, how often and if there’s a pattern to it (e.g. they always post on a Monday morning).
  • Identify things that could be improved This is where you get your chance to shine. By noticing what they do wrong, and then doing right yourself, you’ll naturally be ahead of the competition.

Build your email list

In terms of channels a business can use to maximise their investment, Email marketing is by far and away the best. With an average return of £44 for every £1 spent, Email is one channel that’s definitely worth exploring. You could argue that it’s absolutely crucial for a WordPress Ecommerce business.

Building your email list is as simple as getting visitors to give you their email address in order to receive your email content. There are a number of tried and tested ways to do this:

  1. A Pop-up on the site that appears straight away, after a number of pages or after a certain amount of time on site
  2. A bar across the bottom of the window
  3. A sign up form in the footer
  4. The option for customers to add themselves to your list during checkout

Once you’ve got their email address, you have the ability to ensure your brand is kept in front of them regularly. This is in stark contrast to other visitors to your site; chances are they’ll land on it, move around a bit and leave, never to remember it again.

Building your email list for your Ecommerce website

Your email list is not just about sending out the monthly newsletter. With platforms like MailChimp now storing data about orders in your email database, you can use your list to send out much more targeted emails. How about following up automatically with a “thanks for buying” email 7 days after a purchase? Or following up a purchase for a particular product with an email showcasing another product you know people often buy afterwards?

The key here is starting small. If you try and do it all, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed. Start with a prompt for people to join your list, offering them an incentive, and go from there. Just make sure you’ve got something to send them!

Ready to improve your WordPress Ecommerce shop?

There’s an infinite number of ways you can increase your online revenue, but we’ve covered some of the most important (and often overlooked). Getting these right will get your site in good shape.

If you haven’t already got 24 hour technical support, I’d urge you to look into it. You may decide it’s not for you, but most WordPress Ecommerce stores can’t afford a few hours of downtime, let alone a whole weekend’s worth.

Want to know what else you can do? No problem. Just head on over to our contact form and let me know!