Welcome to the fourth installment of Build Your Online Business (BYOB). Want to learn more about this entire month of June series? Start with the The Secret Ingredient To Building An Online Business.
When you currently think of your website are you unabashedly proud of what a breathtaking, sexy and stylish place it is to hangout? Or do you want to cover your eyes in shame? If it’s the latter then I expect your `potential’ customers think the same.
Don’t worry I’m here to help.
Having a well crafted website can be the difference between converting your visitors into happy paying customers or losing business in the blink of an eye. I’m not sure if you know this, but most people make their decision within 4 seconds of landing on your website! As Eminem put it `This may be the only opportunity you got’.
If they can find what they want here and all the info they need in that short space of time then they will stick around. If your website makes a connection with them – be it engaging colours, design and and attractive layout then even better.
If not then they’ll be outta there before you can say `would you like fries with that’. If your website is confusing, unprofessional or boring then you’re not doing yourself any favours.
The thing is a great website is something that will return dividends to you month after month – and I don’t say year after year because you must view your website as a work of art in progress. A place you continually tweak and optimize to squeeze the most out of.
Trust me – there’s always more you can do to add to it as you have probably witness on this site over the past few months alone.
What is the primary goal of your website?
This is a great question to ask yourself - whether you have a website or are just getting started. Just to get this clear I’m talking a website here not a blog. These things are quite different and I’ll be covering the latter later on this month.
Your website is there to introduce you, and your products or services, to a wider audience in a way that weeds out the tire kickers. After all you don’t want to just work with anyone do you?
Your home page is your landing page – the first page people land on when they enter in your URL (website address). This is obviously the most important page on your website.
If you only have a little time today then make sure you at least read these five quick tips for improving your website right now:
- Choose a web design that reflects your brand and enhances your content and message rather than distracts from it.
- If you’re asking users to opt-in for a newsletter, free download, complementary call or free consultation then have one simple call-to-action prompt.
- Make sure the site is easy to navigate – a big `click here to see a video’ or ‘learn more’ buttons help to get your visitors to act
- Put your service or product at the forefront. Don’t make users dig for it.
- Provide a succinct description for what you do on the home page and make it really obvious
Capiche? Great now let’s dig a little further to make sure it converts like crazy.
1. What exactly are you selling
First off you need to decide on what your No. 1 sales goal is. In a nutshell what do you want your visitors to buy once they’ve reached your landing page. Too many websites will have 4-5 services listed that confuse the visitor straight away. Pick one.
Here’s an example of a website that totally overwhelms with the sheer amount of stuff happening on it and doesn’t have one particularly call to action. Better yet visit the site to see how dynamic it is – the content keeps changing!
2. Keep it simple stupid
Want to know how to lose sales? Confuse the heck out of your potential customer by cluttering your landing page and distracting them with lots of options, widgets, images and navigation links. Or do the opposite to make sure they take the action you want.
How? Do the following
- Remove external links and “Links” to other pages or sites – you want to keep them with you.
- Only display ways to connect with you on social media with widgets that don’t require your visitor to leave your page – an example is the Facebook like widget on my sidebar. You can like my page but not have to visit it. Use social media to drive people to your site, no away from it.
- Do not display prolific advertising, flash animation, images or texts that do not drive visitors to your sales goal.
3. Set up your Sales Funnel
So, you have visitors on your site and now you want them to take action? Start moving them toward a purchase by using compelling copy, graphics and video that makes them intrigued as to what you offer.
By that I mean you need to focus on:
- Using the most well written copy, the best images and a fantastic video that clearly show the features and benefits of your product and entices visitors to head to your sales page.
- All of the above needs to appear above the fold—this is the top section of your site, before a visitor has to scroll down.
- If you have a design with a sidebar then use that space to provide links to pages that will further entice your visitor to buy with confidence. You can use a revolving testimonial widget or a press page to show where you’re featured and prove that many people love you or your product or service
- Link to your `About’ page that explains the back story to you that will immediately resonate with the right visitor who will then be more convinced to buy what you have on offer.
Here’s an example of good website design from an accountancy firm.
4. Close The Sale In Style
If you’ve convinced your customers that they can’t live without your amazing product or service then don’t lose out on the dinero (money) because of a crappy or hard to find purchase page.
Once again have a link to this purchase page from your landing page – either in the sales copy, navigation menu or in a prominent place on the sidebar.
Make sure your visitors feel their money is going to be safe and you will deliver on your purchase by displaying a secure shopping cart symbol or payment processor like PayPal.
Even better offer a 100% or more Guaranteed Money Back return and logo saying so. It’s a no brainer for ensuring your new customer feels safe and secure.
Finally don’t over complicate things with an all intensive purchase form – make it really easy and fast to fill in the details, remember them for next time and only get the minimum information you need in order to complete the sale.
5. Now Get Analytical
If you’ve got this far and made those tweaks or major renovations to your website you should have created a killer landing page. But how do you know whether it’s working? You need to measure it by installing some simple (and free) Google Analytics code on your site. This amazing free tool allows you to track almost everything going on with your site.
Here’s what you should be monitoring every 2-4 weeks (or more depending on how much testing you’re doing):
Monthly Unique Visitors: how many potential customers are visiting your site each month? This number does not account for the same person visiting 5 times so it’s a great number to focus on. To give you an indication if you’re getting 20-50 visits per day then you’re doing ok. If you’re getting 200+ visits a day then you’re doing something right. If you’re getting 500+ visits then keep doing whatever you’re doing.
Traffic sources: where are your visitors coming from? You’ll start to see a trend as your statistics grow of which sites are sending you the most traffic. For example Google organic search, Facebook, Twitter etc. Even better you can look at what keywords people are typing in to search engines to find you. If you’re advertising on other sites then which of those ads are most effective in terms of bringing you new visitors?
Bounce rate: Are your visitors sticking around and navigating through the rest of your site or are they reading the page they’re on and then leaving. The lower your bounce rate is as a percentage the better job you’re doing of making your site easy to navigate and interesting enough to engage someone for more than two minutes.
Visitor Exits: When your visitors leave which page(s) are they doing it from and is there anyway you can decrease the likelihood of them doing that? What can you change about that page to keep them engaged.
Finally let me leave you with an example of a great website. In a crowded world where GoToMeeting, Fuze Meeting and Anywhere Meeting are all competing and advertising like crazy to get your attention it was refreshing to come across Arkadin Express.
Although similar to the others they have clearly identified the key aspects to their offering. Have a very obvious call to action – Get a Free Trial, Buy Now with a secondary offer of Join a Meeting, Start a Meeting.