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automating sales in Woocommerce

Plugins that can help to increase sales and conversions in Woocommerce 2017

By | Business Growth, Ecommerce, SEO, Social Media, Woocommerce, Wordpress | 2 Comments

There are many great plugins that can help to increase sales in Woocommerce in this blog post I’m going to talk about 2 very effective plugins in this space: AutomateWoo and SumoMe .

 

AutomateWoo for increasing sales in Woocommerce

AutomateWoo has a lot of great features that can be setup to work automatically based on certain triggers, for example:

  • Win back inactive customers by emailing customers that haven’t shopped (after a certain time that you define) a discount code to Woo them back
  • Convert a percentage of abandoned carts into Sales by emailing customers that didn’t finish the checkout, to remind them of what is in their cart.
  • Follow up emails – Ask customers for reviews (good for seo), ask them to share on social media, show them other things they might like

automating sales in Woocommerce

There are many triggers that AutomateWoo can be setup to work on to increase sales and to help get your site shared on social media or content created for free in the form of product reviews. Product reviews is essentially free onsite seo (content). There are many other things AutomateWoo can do such as offer customers rewards and spending a certain threshold and so on.

This plugin has the ability to dramatically increase your sales.

 

SumoMe

This is plugin that pops up before a user is about to leave your website to

  • offer a discount
  • offer a signup form for your email  list (so you can market to them)
  • make it easy for visitors to share your website on social media

SumoMe uses a popup to capture user emails ( I used to hate popups for capturing emails, but this method of capturing emails has really improved in the last few years by building in intelligence to only popup when a user is about to leave your website).

 

 

 

 

The Bromley in London Coworking group

By | Business Growth, London | 14 Comments

This is page dedicated to the Bromley in London coworking group for freelancers, small business etc to come along and do some work in the company of other freelancers.

I started this group as a way to get out of the house and do some work with other freelancers locally.

update: June 2019 – There is going to be a co-working space opening in Bromley in 2019, for updates check out this: https://contingent.works/.

We meetup once a month for a morning of coworking (4 hours from 8am to 12 ).

We meet at a secret location, why secret I hear you ask. Well its secret as we want to limit it to other genuine freelancers, I organised a public coworking group on meetup.com some time ago. Lots of people turned up (all very nice), however they wanted to have a chat and abit of coffee morning, which isn’t what we’re about. The aim of this group is about doing work, with abit of chat much like working in a traditional office.

The group contains a mix of business types from web design (like me) , graphic design, solicitor, an accountant. It doesn’t matter what sector your in you’ll be welcome along.

freelance coworking group in bromley

So drop me an email if you’d like to come along. We usually meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

 

 

 

How to speed up Woocommerce (and WordPress)

By | Business Growth, Ecommerce, Web Design, Woocommerce, Wordpress | 11 Comments
woocommerce GTmetrix pagespeed scores

GTMetrix after I tuned up a client’s Woocommerce website

 

Speed tuning in WordPress and Woocommerce

This post contains details of how to supercharge your WordPress website.

Here are some speed tuning tips for getting your Woocommerce store loading quickly and keep customers on your site (slow loading = loss of customers).

Check file load times

In firebug look at the console requests (eg all the css/images etc, but especially important check for any php files like admin-ajax.php ). Any files that are taking a long time to load are slowing down the page for the user. It can be any type of file (but large uncompressed images are a common problem).

Look for any slow loading files:

speed page loading waterfall

A common one on woocommerce /?wc-ajax=get_refreshed_fragments  often there is a plugin calling this (which causes a speed issue) – this may well be called by admin-ajax.php

https://woorkup.com/diagnose-admin-ajax-php-causing-slow-load-times-wordpress/

 

Minify, Combine and Compress

A great way to reduce the number of requests hitting the server is to combine your css and js files. Autoptimize will do this for you, just install and tick the relevant boxes on the settings page (it will also minify your html/css/js).

Run javascript when the page loads

By default javascript will load and run as soon as soon as the browser sees it ( this can slow things down drastically, if it takes awhile for the js to load ) . Most javascript can be run after the page loads, add defer or async to your javascripts to prevent js becoming a bottleneck in the page loading/rendering. If the js is loaded via wp_enqueue_script then you can use the Async Javascript plugin  , if some script/s aren’t loaded with wp_enqueue_script you’ll need to add it manually to your scripts e.g.

I recently had this problem with a mailchimp script mc-validate.js , holding up the loading of a page by about 2 seconds, defered it and now it loads super quick.

Woocommerce cart tip

Many themes have the cart details drop down, by having a static link instead you can save on alot of Ajax calls to populate the cart ( if you have a busy store this can make a significant difference).

It says on homepage, but you can easy edit your theme slightly, to just have a static cart link ( not having that js running gives you a nice little speed boost).

From (first comment):

https://woocommerce.com/2016/03/woocommerce-speed-first-steps/

 

Check how many requests are being made

This is a follow on to the first step, the less files you need to load (the fewer requests), the faster the page load. Of course there’s a balance to struck here. Between functionality / design and speed. Use a tool like Chrome web developer tools or a website tool like GTMetrix to check how many requests are being made

Some plugins load lots of files, it might be a case of looking at some of them and checking if you really need them all. As baseline I try not to have more than 20 plugins (but again this is very subjective, some are big , some small etc …)

 

Disable wp-cron

By default this runs on every request to your website, if you have lots of requests this will drastically slow your website down.

Disable wp-cron default if you are getting lots of hits ( reconfig to only check a couple of times a day), see this article on how todo so.

 

php.ini

check the memory_limit allocated (this is the max memory any one request/process can take, so this is for each users http request).

A quick way to get a glance at php.ini info is make a file with this in  <?php phpinfo(); ?>

These are probably among the most important values you will want to configure (the values will depend on your environment, how much traffic etc…):

There are various ways to configure that depend on your server setup, I’m an expert in this contact me if you would like help and I can give you a quote.

 

Check the usage stats

Use something like awstats to see stuff like how much bandwidth you using, and any files that are being called alot.

Check the logs

Is there anything that seems to be causing a problem ?

Check error_log in webroot if available (or standard apache error_log if not), or debug.log in /wp-content if thats available.

memory errors will look something like this:

Database

You might need to optimise the database (always back up first!)

https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/wp-optimize/

https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/optimizing-your-wordpress-database-a-complete-guide/

Another thing you can look at to optimise your database is post revisions (they take up alot of space in the posts table, if you backup regularly do you really need them ?). This article tells you how to disable post revisions.

Database Problems with Woocommerce wp_options (especially true for Woocommerce 2.4 and before)

Woocommerce can be slowed down due to too many rows in the wp_options table, on a good host I’d advise keeping this under 10,000 rows as a max. On shared hosting you would probably want to halve that.

After all the above to speed up look at things like:

  • caching (there are many good caching plugins available)
  • image compression (smushit is a great plugin, smaller image sizes mean faster page loading times)
  • Look at using a CDN(content delivery network), this can take alot of load off your server and speed up the loading experience for your customers. Of the CDNs I’ve used Cloudflare is the best.

 

Onsite SEO for Ecommerce websites 2016

By | Business Growth, Ecommerce, SEO, Woocommerce | One Comment

In this post I’m going to talk about some of the things you can do to improve your Online Store’s visibility in Search Engines such as Google. To get more sales of your products and services. Onsite SEO for Ecommerce websites isn’t difficult but does require some perseverance.

Onsite SEO for Ecommerce websites

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate

This means encrypting communication between a users computer and the server that your website is on. Google has added this as a ranking factor in its search algorithm and it will also give your customers and potential customers more confidence in your website when they land on it (i.e. help increase conversions).

Unique Product Descriptions

Many online stores use the manufacturer’s description of a product on the product page on your website. The problem with this is Google doesn’t like duplicate data, so if you can write your own product description this is going to benefit your website ranking. Use tools like Googles Adword Keyphase planner to get ideas or tools like keyword checker to see what other stores are doing.

Speed of page loading

Another important ranking factor for Google is how quickly your pages load. Check out Googles PageSpeed insights to see how quickly your page loads from Googles perspective.

Use the Alt tag on images (especially on the product page)

Its another useful ranking signal (and there are tools that can automate it for you), that can help boost your product/s pages above the competition.

Product Reviews

Try to get your customers writing product reviews (maybe incentivise them with a discount). You will get unique natural content about your products. That search engines will like and boost you up abit more.

NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) in footer on every page

Another factor the search engines like is your Name , Address and Phone number clearly stated on every page.  Also use the itemprop attribute for every part of the address and phone number e.g. for phone number something like this: <p itemprop=”telephone”>873873873</p>

Offsite SEO Bonus Tip: Link Building is Dead

I know the tips here are onsite but I just thought I’d throw this one in as well. Alot of inbound links are no good (or very little good). The links that google likes are links that have been put there in editorial content, ie in the middle of an article / page etc.

The type of links that are pretty useless for SEO purposes are blog and forums comments and signatures etc. So be very careful about paying people todo offsite SEO link building.

Conclusion

There you have some of the ways that Onsite SEO for Ecommerce websites can help you start to rise above your competition and get more sales. If you would me to help with your Ecommerce SEO contact me to discuss an Ecommerce SEO package tailored to your needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

web design grow your business

Web Design how to grow your business

By | Business Growth, Freelance, Freelancing, Marketing | 2 Comments

Its nearly the end of the year so I’ve decided to look at what I’ve done this year to grow my web design business and what I can do to grow my web design business next year.

First a little background, at the start of the year one of my main clients went out of business. I was heavily reliant on this client (very much a case of all my eggs in one basket), this severely affected my income.

1. Increase your client base (to grow your business)

This year my aim was to increase my web design client base.  I have been trying out different ways to gain new clients see my article ( I found SEO to be the most effective way to get new clients contacting me by finding my website, the result being I gained about 15 new clients this year).

2. Sell to your existing clients

Its much easier to sell to existing clients than new clients as you already have a relationship with your clients and they know you are good at your job.

In the past I’ve just let the work roll in from my one main client (who had an endless stream of ongoing work). However many of my new clients want a website and the odd bit of work here and there (no more everlasting stream of income). In the new year my aim is to sell more to my existing clients (but sell things that are useful to them, for example looking at each clients site and seeing what useful things I could add or improve).

  • online booking or other useful forms
  • installing useful plugins (like a good SEO plugin)
  • user login areas for customers (e.g. a photographer I do work for wants this so customers can login and view their photos)

3. Develop monthly packages (recurring income streams)

This year I’ll develop products and services that will be beneficial to my clients but will also give me a recurring monthly income from my clients. Some of the ideas for packages I have include the following:

  • Maintenance and upgrades to WordPress sites
  • SEO
  • Adword campaigns
  • Social Media campaigns
  • Email marketing

So there you have it that’s the plan for the next year. I’ll post an update or a new article later in the year to let you know how  I’m getting on.

Feel free to follow my example to grow your business.