What is the purpose of your website?
It’s an important question, but one that people tend to lose sight of when they’re creating, updating or debating a website.
For businesses selling products or services, the main purpose of the website will be to sell more products and services. And every action taken with the site should, at heart, be about increasing sales.
We’ve put five strategies together to help online sellers. Although these tips are written primarily for ecommerce businesses, they can help you encourage more customers to get in touch, build a newsletter or pursue any other objective for your website.
Build trust with badges
Trust is an important commodity when it comes to online sales. Although millions of people buy online everyday – many are still suspicious when it comes to unfamiliar websites.
You need to prove to people that you aren’t going to scam them.
There are a lot of ways of doing this. One is to invest in a secure SSL certificate of your site – this will give you a little badge next to your URL, informing customers that your site is secure.
You can also foster trust by being transparent. Plaster email addresses, phone numbers and addresses across your website so people know they will be able to get in touch if anything goes wrong.
Identify your target audience
People will buy something if they think it is right for them. So the more you make people think that an offer is for them, the more likely they are to buy from you.
All businesses have a basic understanding of who their target buyer is. But by building up a more detailed buyer persona – including details about a person’s age, personality, motivations and so on – you can design messages just for them.
Remember, if everyone is your target audience, then nobody is.
Friction is the enemy of website sales. It is basically any unnecessary element that gets in the way of making a sale.
Friction is particularly problematic on checkout pages. Here, the customer has chosen to buy and needs to be guided through to completion in the easiest way possible.
They should not be asked to fill in any unnecessary information about themselves or asked whether they want to create an account.
Although you might think that this will help in the future, your customer probably isn’t interested in creating an account and just wants to buy the product.
Invest in pictures
Good visual content is an important part of any strong selling website.
The brain processes images up to 60,000 times faster than text so customers can digest this information much more quickly if you communicate your point optically.
If you are selling a product, you need to make sure that it is nice and big on your homepage and sales pages.
If you are selling a service, you need to make sure that you grab the attention of your customers and communicate the service benefits from them.
When it comes to website imagery, the temptation is often to use stock photographs. But you can make a significant return on investment with photographs.
Give users a good experience
Website user experience is an important but underinvested section of marketing. It basically means how easy it is to navigate and use your site.
Good user experience (UX) design can mean simple things, like making sure the navigation menu has clear headings. But problems can be less obvious, such as not communicating the price of a service up front.
The general ‘flow’ of your website is important. But you also need to look at certain specialist things like the site loading time and how the site looks on mobile.