Content is king. This has never been truer on an eCommerce site than it is today. If you have not done a content audit lately, now’s the time. It can really help you with optimizing your site for conversions and ensure your content strategy is on point.
The main thing you want to do with any content on your site is making sure it is up to date. This could be a formatting issue, text issue, user experience issue or simple sales funnel issue. Checking up on the health of your content can go a long way to ensuring your conversions are as strong as they possibly can be.
There are many ways to do a content audit, and we are not going to cover that process here, but you can check out this excellent article from MOZ on how this may apply to your site.
Here are Top 7 eCommerce Website Content Mistakes to Avoid to Boost Online Sales and Business.
Too Much or Too Little Text
The amount of text you supply in your content has long been a debate of copy experts. Will more text help people who are undecided to convert? Or will a wall of text simply turn people off?
There is really no right answer to this. Purchasing decisions are very different for a pair of sneakers and a computer graphics card. The amount of content and detail you need to supply will vary based on your business. There are some industry averages in terms of common attention spans, but you will want to find out what works best for you.
If your content is more than 6 months old, you will want to revisit the length.
- Try Some A/B Testing – Take some of that outdated content and try shortening it, or adding some length to see what happens. With A/B testing you can tell in relatively short time whether one or other is working better.
- Simplify Your Text – “Simplify” does not mean “shorter”. You can add a lot more text, but just simplify it by adding bullet points, being concise, and eliminating needless words. No matter the length, always simplify your content.
- Mix Up Content Types – Sometimes in infographic says it better than a video. Or vice versa. Rather than greeting people with a wall of text, try various forms and length of content.
Being topical on twitter and social media can help drive traffic to your eCommerce site. Talking about how great a product is for Valentine’s day in October, well, that’s a fail. If you are going to be seasonal, you will want to make sure it is updated for best results.
- Update for the Season – Pretty self-explanatory here. Refresh things for new seasons, or if it is purely for one season, update each year.
- Follow Best Practices – There are some great rules for seasonal content. Being relevant is the biggest one. If you are going to be seasonal, make sure it is relevant to the product.
The number one reason your content is likely outdated are the pictures on the page. As products are updated and new trends arrive, do you update your photos accordingly? Your photos should never just be “good” enough. You should always be asking, “is this the best we can do?”
Quality images boost sales. Not just by a little bit, but by three times as much.
- Resolution – Make sure the quality is there. Do not use pancake quality images.
- Professional Quality – There is a big difference between a photo taken on your coffee table and a studio quality, properly lit product.
- Pan and Zoom – Allow users to zoom in on the photo and look around. This is where quality matters most.
If your content features has any auto play media, or it is outdated. This is one of the most annoying things you can do to your visitors, and it just does not work. Below are some of the useful points to be noted for Autoplay Media:
- It is disruptive to the browser’s experience. If they were coming to read your page, you have no stopped their path to your info and started yelling at them about something else.
- It conflicts with the user’s thoughts. If they were thinking about checking out your product, you have broken that chain of thought.
- It does not work on mobile. That is probably a massive chunk of your audience.
- It leads to a higher bounce rate. Most people just close the tab when something auto plays rather than tracking down the source.
Shift in Audience or Goals
Depending on how long ago you created the content, your audience may have shifted. Maybe your website is much different now than it was when you started. Maybe you were once focused on reaching out to consumers, but now you are mostly talking to businesses.
If you have changed focus, and most businesses have at one point or another, the content may be seriously outdated. There is really no way to tackle this except going piece by piece and revising the content. Knowing your audience is key in this process.
The most famous example of this shift is probably Facebook. Initially designed for students in certain schools, it was originally a digital “Facebook” for them to use that gave them more information than they would find in the physical copy of the freshman Facebook. It also allowed them to interact. So how did Facebook handle this?
- The goal shifted to the masses. This also changed their audience. It went from students to suburban moms.
- The content changed. From school related topics to, well, everything.
- Requirements dropped. No longer needing an educational email address to sign up.
Cluttered Pages & Fitt’s Law
Fitt’s law is simply the prediction of human movement – primarily in the field of computer-human interactions. This means how they will interact on your webpage.
For a great overview of heat maps and cluttered pages, check out this article over at Wyse. There are no hard and fast rules for removing clutter and reorganizing things, so you are going to have to look at you own heat maps to extrapolate the data you need.
If you are using Google Analytics, you will have some version of this available to you. It is called “in-page analytics” and you can read more about that from Google. It is not perfect, but it is free. Some paid solutions that are a little more robust are included in the tools below.
The main goal here is to dump the clutter, track what people are actually doing, and organize your page accordingly. Once you are ready to tackle the content, here are a few tools that can help in this process.
- Heatmap.me – One of the most widely used heat map tools. It goes beyond just tracking and provides insights as well too.
- Readability Score – This will nail down how readable the content on your page is. There are free and premium versions.
- Trust My Paper – Using a writing service like Trust my Paper will cut down on the amount of grunt work you have to do yourself. Outsource writing for best results. This will help you avoid any clutter in your copy.
- Wildshark Spider Tool - This is a very helpful tool that will crawl your site and find older content that may be long buried. It will display URLs and descriptions to help you find dated content.
It is important that you look back at any of your content and see if it is promoting your assets to the best of your ability. On an eCommerce site, this may mean new products, new promotions, new offers, new affiliate programs etc.
Outdated content can often point users in the wrong direction, and the omission of assets can reduce conversion rates. There are many types of content assets you may not realize you have:
- Testimonials and case studies – When other people glow about your products, it helps them sell. Use this to your advantage.
- Statistics and inside info – You probably have some information in statistics that no one else has. Popular products, what works what doesn’t, etc.
- Turn customers into promoters – Tell their story. Have them help you.
- Day to day business – Go behind the scenes. It will help you be more human.
- Employees – Some of your best assets behind the scenes can be stars for you out front. Tell their story.