Is Your Web Site a Sales-Winning Machine?With recent reports showing that consumers are sometimes 80 percent more likely to be influenced by a Web site to make certain purchases as opposed to other traditional forms of advertising such as television and print, it has become obvious that equal attention should be given to ensure that a Web site is in fighting form to capitalize when consumers come calling, as is given to other online marketing efforts.
Similar to your car needing regular checkups to maintain optimum performance, your Web site needs to be checked regularly both from a technical and marketing standpoint to ensure that it is at the top of its game as far as its sales-winning elements are concerned. Because as important as search engine optimization and marketing are, they are only truly successful once a sale is made or a client is won.
So, having prospects arrive at your site only to have them leave either because the site is cluttered and messy, hard to maneuver or just plain disappointing in what it has to offer is unacceptable. And though a Web site might have seemed top of the line when launched, new technologies, techniques and competitors emerging daily mean the elements that might have put your site on top a year or even a few months before might not be enough to keep your site there now.
To ensure that your Web site stays competitive and able to capture sales in an obviously lucrative online market, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Make it a point to keep up with the Joneses. While it is highly unoriginal (and wrong!) to copy another Web site, it is perfectly all right to visit your competitors' Web sites as a means of gauging what techniques others in your industry might be using to win sales. Competitor analysis is a regular occurrence in offline marketing, so it makes sense that it would be adapted to your online marketing endeavors as well. And while you might find that you don't like the techniques employed by certain competitors, it's highly likely that you'll come away with a number of good ideas.
Regularly reinvent the original. Your home page is the face of your business, so you want it to remain recognizable, regardless of its age. But that doesn't mean that regular updates, which serve the interest of consumers and could help in winning sales, shouldn't be made. Additions such as Industry News, Hot Deals, Winter Bargains, Fresh Start on Savings, etc., help ensure that searchers have not only a good first impression when they get to your home page but will revisit your Web site regularly.
Get rid of the clutter. Wanting to provide searchers with a lot of good information is not a bad thing, but wanting to provide all of that information on one page is a very bad idea. Also, crowding pages with a lot of images can be detrimental to a Web site's load time. So, a balance must be struck between sufficient, sales-winning information and a clean, appealing site.
Help your fellow consumer. Ensure that your site's navigation serves its purpose instead of shooting itself in the foot. Visitors to your Web site should be able to move comfortably from one page to another without getting lost somewhere in the middle. More specifically, to serve your own goals as well as those of your visitors, make it very easy for visitors to search for products, locate them and ultimately make purchases. The more difficult it is for a searcher to find her way around your Web site, the more likely she is to find an easy way off of it.
Deliver on what you promise. Search engine optimization is never completely removed from any Web site consideration. Ensure that your site, specifically your home page, delivers what it claims in your ads so that when consumers click through to your site via a pay-per-click ad or an organic result that they are brought to a page related to the keyword topic area. Nothing frustrates a searcher more than feeling they've wasted their time or, worse yet, that they've been duped. So research those key terms carefully, and you will be rewarded in turn.
The opportunities for profiting online have never been more evident. So, take full advantage of them before your competitors do.