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Experiments in Conversion Rate Optimization

People talk a lot about SEO, and a lot of people think the goal is to make sure their website shows up on the first page in Google for some general keyword as though somehow, that’s going to result in a flood of sales, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Don’t get me wrong, search engine ranking is great, and if you can rank well for specific keywords, that’s going to be a feather in your cap; however, that’s just the start of a long journey towards the sale. You have to be sure to craft your listing so that the title is descriptive and the snippet description is compelling. Once they’re on your site, it’s a matter of engaging them – giving them enough options to keep them interested without them getting lost in the forest.

There’s plenty of other on-page SEO tips that go a long way towards conversion optimization, but the biggest items are removing barriers to complete the sale and suggesting additional last-minute purchases just before checkout.

In my case, I had been requiring registration to checkout as well as requiring a shipping address, even though I only sell digital products. While it’s cool to see my stuff being purchased by people from various other countries, I really don’t need to know where my customers live – I just want them to be able to make a purchase as swiftly and conveniently as possible.

After seeing some suggestions regarding the shipping address, I created the WooCommerce Disable Shipping for Virtual Products plugin. It’s not a very clever name, I know, but it does what it says. If there are people out there that sell both physical and digital products and want to be able to not require a shipping address for customers only purchasing the digital products, then this plugin will do just that. If any non-virtual products are in the cart, the billing and/or shipping fields will be required as normal, otherwise, only an email address is required (gotta have something to use to send the goods, eh?)

I just installed the plugin on my site to test it out a couple days ago, and my sales have increased by more than 10 times! Granted, that’s just over the course of a couple days, so it’s not really a large enough sample size to draw any conclusions on the level of effectiveness just yet, but I’m certain the plugin was a significant factor.

If you sell virtual products – either services or digital products, I urge you you give this plugin a try!