25 Ways to Increase Online Sales Without Spending a Penny

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Spending too much on driving traffic, but not getting enough sales from your website? Looking for ways to increase sales from your same amount of traffic?

The good news is that you can use conversion rate optimization (CRO) to do this very effectively, and you can get started without needing to spend much initially. To help you with this I have created a list of 25 tips and free trials you can use to increase your online sales and conversions without spending a penny.

  1. Improve your homepage headline with this free headline checker.
    The more engaging and magnetizing your headlines, the higher chance that your visitors will stay on your website and purchase, particularly on your homepage.
  2. Offer a free incentive like a guide or discount to capture emails.
    Don’t rely on your visitors converting first time – getting your visitors email using a good free incentive means you can follow up using email marketing and get them to purchase in the future.
    lead magnet
  3. Analyze your form drop off rate using a free trial of Formisimo.
    Having confusing or unnecessary fields in your forms will lower the chances of visitors completing them – analyze form drop off with this great new tool.
  4. Use short testimonials on your homepage to build more social proof.
    Improving your testimonials is one of the best ways of increasing social proof and sales. Make them short and focused on benefits, and use photos or logos to make them believable.
    optimizely testimonials
  5. A/B test a radically new homepage with Google Optimize.
    Testing a radically different improved homepage (style, layout and improved focus on call-to-actions) will have a high chance of increasing your sales. This free tool helps you do this easily.
  6. State your unique value proposition clearly on your homepage.
    Don’t presume visitors know the benefits of using your site, or why use it instead of a competitor. Make sure you state your unique value proposition clearly on your homepage above the page fold.
    value proposition module
  7. Create landing pages for your paid search traffic with a free trial of Instapage.
    Don’t just send your paid search visitors to your homepage, build more targeted landing pages for each of your keywords to increase visitor engagement and sales.
  8. Try buying or signing up on your own website to check for issues.
    When was the last time you did this? Put yourself in your visitors shoes and see how easy it is and what could be improved. Then get your mom to try too.
  9. Use a free trial of Olark to get live feedback from your visitors.
    Using a free web chat tool to ask visitors their issues and what they think is lacking will help you come up with great ideas for improving your website.
  10. Mention ‘100% Safe and Secure’ in your cart and checkout pages.
    Reducing visitor’s purchase worry on these pages (where it will be highest) is key for reducing cart abandonment and increasing sales. Add this simple wording with a trust seal will really help.
    zappos security
  11. Get website usability feedback from visitors using UserTest.io.
    This excellent tool is essential to help you gain great feedback and website improving ideas from people using your website, and they are much cheaper than services like UserTesting.com.
  12. Use scarcity and urgency techniques using a free trial of Fomo.com.
    To get your visitors to purchase or signup quicker you should use scarcity and urgency techniques that websites like Booking.com use. These really help increase conversion rates.
  13. Run an A/B test for the subject line of your next email campaign.
    Your emails are an extension of your website, and testing them can also have a huge impact on driving more high quality repeat traffic.
  14. Run a five second test for free at UsabilityHub to find what your visitors think.
    It’s important to understand your visitor’s initial reactions to your site – if they don’t understand it, they won’t stick around and convert.
  15. Reduce the risk of purchase for visitors with prominent guarantees and free shipping.
    You should prominently show money back guarantee seals and offers for free shipping (and ideally free returns) on your homepage and product pages.
  16. Get rid of your homepage slider and replace with good static image.
    Homepage sliders often have too many slides and slide too quickly – a powerful image and headline can often work much better, like you can see below.
    good static intro
  17. Improve your webpage load time using Google Page Speed.
    Reducing page load time helps decrease the chances of visitors leaving prematurely – and Google gives rankings boosts to websites that load quickest.
  18. Add benefit driven and action words to your call-to-action buttons.
    Don’t use words like ‘submit’, you need to captivate your visitors by adding benefit related words to your call-to-action buttons, and action related words. ‘Get a free trial now’ is a good example.
  19. Try a better ecommerce platform using the BigCommerce free trial.
    Rather than trying to improve your ecommerce site, consider switching to a better platform with built-in conversion optimization best practices.
  20. Use Browserling to check if your website looks broken on any browsers.
    Even slight differences in how browsers show CSS can make a website look broken, increasing website exits and reducing sales – this tool helps you quickly check.
  21. Add a good call-to-action button at the end of your web pages.
    Make sure your key pages don’t dead end. Show visitors a good call-to-action at the end to check out your other content/products, like you can see in the image below.
    footer CTA
  22. Use bullet points and bold to highlight key benefits or features.
    You need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to notice your most important words – they often scan and don’t read long blocks of text. Make important words stand out using bullet points and bolded text to ensure they get seen.
  23. Use animated images and explainer videos to explain even better.
    Don’t just rely on using static images to convey your product or service. An animated image or short explainer videos can help explain in much better detail and they are much more engaging.
  24. Discover what your visitors are really doing using Hotjar.
    Don’t presume you know what your visitors are doing on your website. This tool helps you understand by looking at heatmaps and visitor recordings – great for creating website improvement ideas. They have an excellent free plan too.
  25. Declutter your side bars to focus on your most important content.
    Side bars often become very cluttered and visitors may miss key content in them – declutter yours to only show the most important content relating to your key goals.

So there we have it. 25 free tips and trials to kickstart and increase your website sales, all without you needing to pay for more traffic.

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  • Danny Michelson

    Love the examples Rich! Will have to try a few of these. Thanks.

  • Cheers for the kind comments Danny

  • Shawn

    Great tips! But I wouldn’t recommend Bigcommerce, they have issues with using the ga.js tracking code (and universal) and have caused some data flaws with the way they implement tracking codes. Not sure what the timeline is for them fixing those issues.

  • Brian Dean

    Awesome article, Rich. Definitely some tips in there I hadn’t heard of before. Happily tweeted and inbounded ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hey Shawn – thanks for the kind words and the heads up. Interesting about Bigcommerce – hopefully they fix those flaws, because its a great platform otherwise.

  • Cheers Brian! Glad to hear you learned some new things.

  • Great article Rich! I keep going back to #5 – radical home page redesign and testing in Google Experiments. Aim for the fence! I think I’m going to take your advice and do this. Thanks for the impetus!

  • Testimonials do rock Rich. We like hearing word of mouth marketing. My GF and I check reviews before we rent any apartment during our world travels. Every one usually has a bunch of ravers touting it, so we feel good about our chances when we rent….and have only been disappointed once in 3 years. Not a bad track record. The power of testimonials.

    I Kingged this post on Kingged.com because it rocks!

  • Thanks Ryan! Testimonials are so important – but even more important to make them short and snappy, with a photo of the person giving the testimonial.

  • Glad you liked it Ron! Always nice to hear I’m giving impetus with these articles ๐Ÿ™‚

  • A combination of all these factors will sure help improve online sales figures! No doubt about that. And to implement the steps you suggested, no big investment is required and are very practical tips too.

    Things like improving page speed, using a good static image instead of a slider and getting rid of useless clutter from the site etc will help things easier for users, thus helping a lending hand in improving sales! Agree with that wholeheartedly.

    And the tools you suggested, like- headline checker tool, browserling, landerapp etc will also come handy!

    Thanks for this informative post.

    I found the link to this post on Kingged. I’ll definitely upvote and Kingg it there!

    Arun

  • Khuram Dhanani

    So amazing insights. How awesome it is to think that we can improve conversions unbelievably through some smart website alterations. Thanks for the tips, Rich:- Khuram Dhanani

  • Hi Rich,
    This is article is so “Rich” and practical. I love the simplicity of its message and the practicality of each tip shared. Some of the tools are new to me, and I agree they can help to increase online traffic without spending a penny!

    This comment was shared in kingged.com – the social bookmarking and content syndication website for Internet marketers where this post was shared.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    http://kingged.com/25-ways-increase-online-sales-spending-penny/

  • Thanks Arun! Glad you enjoyed my article.

  • No problem Khuram! Thanks for the comment.

  • Nice pun ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the kind words!

  • fammie

    Great tips that have little cost of implementation, Nothing as good as something that doesn’t cost a fortune but offers so much…

    Love its practicality and it is easy to understand, though I am oblivious to most of them but is sure works magic if not they would have died…

    Educative tips one willing to increase sales should grab with both hands, thanks for sharing

  • Thanks Fammie – glad you enjoyed the tips.

  • Ann07

    Awesome content!

    This is an interesting topic. How can you increase your online sales without spending money? Well, this article answers it.

    Thanks to Rich for sharing us these practical tips, tools and free trials that we can use.

    No doubt that these are all effective, and will surely help marketers.

    I agree with what your points are, Rich.

    I like how simplicity applies in this matter.

    Nice post!

    Best,

    Ann07

    By the way, I found this post shared on kingged.com

  • Mark Hall

    Great article, Rich. I love such lists – in fact I just learned about 3 new tools I hadn’t heard of before!

    #17 (Homepage sliders) These have always been my Pet Peeve. From a human factors standpoint they distract focus and are very presumptive (how often do the images/banner relate to a given site user’s intent?). I totally agree that better to go with a single static image.

    Question: Between Unbounce and Landerapp which do you prefer? I suspect your answer might depend on business and landing page type.

    Cheers, Mark

  • marianacarlos

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the site is also really good.flowers delivery in mumbai andheri east

  • Hey Mark – thanks for the comments! Yes homepage sliders are definitely abused by many. Unbounce and Landerapp are actually very similar – I’m about to try using Landerapp myself – it looks fantastic.

  • Hi ,

    This is unique, damn unique. I loved this list,’ 25 Ways to Increase Online Sales Without Spending a Penny’. The headline would itself draw mass attention ๐Ÿ™‚

    Increasing the sales promotions is another effective way to attract new customers to a business

    I think I don’t have to pin point anything around in this list. Everything is essential and I’m sure that these would really help anyone to increase their online sales.

    Thanks for sharing such a nice informative post. I appreciate your hard work.

    Sourav

  • Alex London

    This in an incredible article. It’s rare to get such great information all in one place. I hadn’t heard of quite a few of these services. I’m curious as to what you would suggest for a landing page that needs to be quite image heavy? I have a fine art photography website and the power of images is important, but that means headlines have to take a backseat! Thanks for this!

  • Ruth

    Thanks for sharing! Great tips!

  • We at eSignly which is an eSignature Solution Company surely gonna follow all if your tips. We are very much dedicated to increase our online sales and you guys have covered all possible ways to do so.

    Thanks you for sharing this useful information with us.

  • A/B test is really very important and helpful as well to increase the conversion. Many of the times it shows that how some kind of change in website can impact in increasing the visitors as well as sale. We are doing the same!

  • its very nice ways to increase online sales without spending a penny thanks fir such a great info info with sharing with us

  • Milo

    Bravo! Also, get a live chat widget! You’ll increase conversion. I’m using live chat from Deskun.com and recommend it.