In another of our series on website improvement tips, we provide our top 20 tips for making your website work harder for your business.
As you may now, we regularly speak at web design and other events around the North East, and the wider UK. We like to do this to share our knowledge as an established web design agency, and help people improve their businesses online, and avoid obvious mistakes and errors we sadly see time and time again. These notes are based on a talk for a business network I spoke to this month in Gateshead.
Our top 20 tips for making your website sell harder
1. Make it easy to contact you – ensure your email address, telephone number and address are easily found!
2. Promote your social media accounts (if you use them!) – this is a good way to capture customers who aren’t quite ready to buy yet
3. Ensure you look trustworthy – get permission use logos of your well known partners, suppliers and certifications, and help reassure customers they’re in safe hands
4. Pick a suitable tone for your website – and be consistent! Consider who’s reading your content, and adjust technical terminology as required.
5. Ensure your website loads quickly – it’s no good having a slow website: customers get bored easily while waiting, and you may well lose sales to a faster-loading competitor!
6. Use effective internal linking – be sure to make the most of your own website, and link relevant words or phrases in your content to the relevant page on your website (just be careful not to overdo it!)
7. Display high quality imagery – this is key for ecommerce sites, where customers may be vary about the quality of product, or even that what they’re buying is the correct item! Providing large, high quality images is well worth the extra effort required.
8. Optimise your images for search, too – using image’s “alt” description field helps search engines learn about what your image is about, and you’d be surprised how many customers search for products using Google Image search rather than the standard search; WordPress has a great tool for allow you to add these.
9. Preempt customer queries – providing frequently asked questions can help reassure customers about things such as delivery rates and times, and other information. Providing it online means they won’t have to call you to ask – or go to another competitor’s website!
10. Reassure customers with video – a great addition to high quality photography on websites is the use of introductory videos to explain the key points of your product or service. Keep videos fairly short (1 – 2 minutes should be enough) to keep your customers’ attention span, and ensure they’re crisp in quality.
11. Make your content mobile-friendly – having a mobile friendly website design is key in ensuring visitors can view your content easily, and can help you in some searches made on mobile devices. Many sectors now see a 50:50 or greater split towards mobile devices being used, so this really is a key strategy for your website.
12. Alongside this, making your processes mobile-friendly – such as checking out and making payments – is key too. Check out rates for ecommerce stores are typically less than 20%, and this is partially due to inconsistent processes for customers. Keeping it mobile friendly the whole way through your website is key.
13. Help customers find what they want – if you have a large product catalogue, make use of filters by brand, colour and price, and other relevant fields, to speed the process of customers finding what they’re looking for.
14. Create a fear of missing out – adding a sense of urgency to a purchase can increase conversion rates if done correctly. Typical examples of this may be along the lines of “Only 1 left in stock” or “Buy in the next 2 hours and get this by 1pm tomorrow”. Beware you comply with trading standards in your claims, and as with any change you make to your website, make sure you monitor the results carefully!
15. Use promotions to create more sales – advertising promotions can be a great way. Just beware the customers who use promotions don’t tend to be loyal to any one company, and may not create good long term customers if they expect a discount with every order!
16. Make new products easy to find – if you have products or services that change regularly, make sure your newest products are easy to find. A “just in” or “new releases” section on your website’s homepage can really help regular customers (as well as search engines) to find your new products.
17. Consider free shipping – a well known downside of ecommerce to customers is delivery costs. Offering free shipping – typically on orders over a certain amount – can help your website sell more, but ensure your threshold is sensible. If the average order value is £45, a £100 free shipping threshold is unlikely to benefit customers, whereas a £50 free shipping threshold could really benefit your sales, if your margins can afford that.
18. Ensure your site search works properly! – a common issue we see with many websites is a poor search tool. If customers are searching for content within your store, it’s worth ensuring that the search results it returns for popular terms is giving customers what they’re looking for. Magento, for example, has a “top searches” report which you can use to analyse how customers are using this tool, and you can make amendments to results as required.
19. Prequality your queries – so, your website is generating enquiries? Great! But are you getting overwhelmed by the number? Let your website do some of the hard work, and add an additional field to your enquiry form to check the customer meets a prerequisite such as budget or a viable timeframe.
20. Monitor, analyse, and adapt – and, of course, there’s no point in changing your website if you’re not measuring the results, and adjusting your approach if something isn’t working. Tools such as Google Analytics and Moz can be a great start in monitoring search engine results, whilst WordPress, Magento and Drupal all have tools available to help you analyse other aspects of your customers’ journeys.
If you’d like any help implementing these on your own website by a web design agency with Real, please do get in touch with us