To be successful with your online business, whether you are
selling your own product, services or are selling for other
merchants as an affiliate, you need a web site that focuses
on that subject alone. The site must be easy to build,
maintenance-free, low cost, credible, and a powerful
traffic-builder and customer-converter.
Having the right tools or product alone will not ensure the
success of your website. There are many factors to be considered
when designing your web site. And unfortunately, most of these are
usually ignored by Internet business owners. Here are eight
simple steps to enhance your site and make it profitable.
1. Build It for Speed
There is no denying that in this day and age that people are
in a hurry. You have between 10 and 30 seconds to capture your
potential customer's attention. To minimize your load time,
keep graphics small. Compress them where possible. Use flashy
sparingly and only if it is imperative to your presentation.
2. Target Your Market
Know who your market is and make certain that your site caters
to their needs. It is critical that your site reflect the values
of your potential customers. Is your market mostly business
professionals? If so, the site must be clean and professional.
Is your product aimed at teenagers and young adults? Then your
site could be more informal and relaxed. The key is to know your
market and build the site to their preferences.
3. Focus the Site
Make certain your web site is focused on the goal of selling
your product or service. If your business offers many products,
dedicate a unique page for each instead of trying to sell them
all from one page. This can easily be accomplished through the
utilization of subdomains.
4. Build Credibility
The most professionally designed site won't sell if your
customers don't believe in you. Become an authority in your
chosen niche. The internet is all about information, not just
marketing. People go to the internet to find information on a
particular subject. Providing clear concise articles focused on
the subject of your site makes you an expert in your field.
Providing a clear privacy statement is also away to build your
credibility. Provide a prominent link to your privacy statement
from every page on the site as well as from any location that
you are asking your visitors for personal information. Provide
legitimate contact information on line, including your mailing
address and phone number. Don't hide behind a computer!
5. Keep Navigation Simple
Make site navigation easy and intuitive. Simple and smooth
navigation adds to the convenience of the visitors. Add powerful
search and catalog features. Many times a lot of visitors do not
have the patience to navigate through the whole website to find
what they are looking for.
6. Keep It Consistent
Make sure the site is consistent in look, feel and design.
Nothing is more jarring and disturbing to a customer than
feeling as if they have just gone to another site. Keep colours
and themes constant throughout the site.
7. Make Your Site Interactive and Personalized
Make your website interactive. Add feedback forms as well as
email forms that allow your prospective customers to ask you
any questions they might have pertaining to a product.
Personalization of your website is another key element that can
lead to customer delight and can increase your sales.
Personalization technology provides you the analytic tools to
facilitate cross-selling and up-selling when the customer is
buying online. It would give you an idea of what products to
cross-sell and up-sell. For example, when a person buys a CD
player, a disc cleaner can also be offered.
8. Content is King
Good content sells a product. Ask yourself the following
questions. Does your copy convey the message you wish to get
across to your visitors? Is it compelling? Does it lead your
visitor through the sales process? Have others review, critique
and edit your copy to ensure it is delivering the intended
message. Always double-check your spelling and grammar.
These eight, simple rules will go a long way toward the
improvement of your website and most importantly, turn
visitors into customers.
By Alden Smith (c) 2005