Before buying, people compare Before comparing, people judge.
Every webmaster wants to know “how to make a website sell more”, with 60+ hours of research and 9+ years of experience in online marketing area, FATbit has compiled this 101 actionable points to help you in engaging visitors, improving sales, and making the right impact. You should definitely diagnose your website against these 101 points. Enjoy the post…
On coming across a website for the first time, online users skim through it quickly, and if it doesn’t meet their expectations, it is abandoned within seconds. If losing your treasured customers due to this haste of seconds is your biggest nightmare then learn about the tips to make your website sell and play safer with FATbit expert’s recommendations.
Your unique product or service will get a chance to impress only if website leaves a positive impression. It seems unfair but unless you are a big name or the only supplier of the product/service, you will be judged by your website. And visitors judge whether your website is worth their time or not in just a few seconds.
So this post will teach you how to impress your visitors and generate more leads. The points that roll in this list will equip you with the jargon of optimizing website to improve sales and increase online visibility. All you need to do is making an action in the given direction for witnessing a notable change in your conversions.
First Impression should always be right
Neat and organized website architecture – If your web design lacks balance, details, white space or has too many distracting backgrounds, it certainly is going to hurt a visitor’s eye. Make sure your website/landing page is well organized. Modular designs might be the latest trend, but if not executed with enough design expertise, can be very confusing for your visitor.
Have a unique and custom design for your website. Do not use easily available templates that will make you look like a clone of the many other websites already online. With so many websites offering the same products and services as you do, its important to have a unique and distinct look to differentiate yourself from other websites.
Font type and size
should be planned keeping in mind your target audience’s age and personality and the nature of your business. Website typography
plays a crucial role in retaining visitors.
Your website color combination
should be planned keeping in mind your target audience’s age, gender, maturity, personality and purchasing power. Color is the most persuasive visual cue which influences purchase decisions. Understanding color psychology
is very important aspect for increasing conversions.Example: To sell fast-food online, most preferred color combination would be: White, Yellow, Red or Orange.
Carefully Chosen and Professional Quality Stock Images
that add value to the content should be used. You can refer to this blog post
to learn more about choosing stock images.
Website should load fast.
Slow loading websites do not perform well. Loading speed matters not just for your website visitors but for your Search Engine Rankings also. Read this article
to know more about website loading speed. Statistics: For every 100ms increase in load time of Amazon.com sales decreased by 1% (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007)
Your website should look good and tidy on all popular browsers. So cross browser testing for your website can help in getting more conversions.Statistics: Chrome Users: 52.9% Firefox Users: 27.7% IE Users: 12.6% Safari Users: 4%Tool: Google page speed insights which not only tell you your website’s loading time but also give suggestions for improvement.
Use a header image
that attracts attention and gives the viewer a gist of what is being talked about in the entire page. Your header must include what your users will get and also assure them that they are on the right page. The header can be an image with supporting text or just good looking text.
There should be no spelling mistakes or typos or spacing/alignment issues.Example: Unknown people judge you by your dressing until they get to know you better with time.
Picking up the appropriate keywords will help reduce bounce rate. By choosing wrong keywords you are bringing in traffic to your website via PPC and SEO but you are bringing them to either a wrong landing page or not presenting them with relevant information which they came looking for.
Disable Pop ups
– If you bombard them with pop ups, stop expecting they will stay. Pop ups only spoil user experience. But if used effectively pop ups can turn out to be an impressive option for increasing conversion. Check out
how pop ups can be used positively.
Auto-play sound is not recommended and if you do have an auto-play sound – provide an ON/OFF button on top right or bottom right corner of the page.
No registration at the doorstep – Registration requirement would turn your visitor off right in the first place. Give the user time to decide if you are worth registering for. Mostly people prefer to leave rather than being made to sign up or subscribe to your newsletter or offers.Exceptions: You can do it when you are giving away something valuable for free i.e. eBooks or Videos or Coupons etc. People do not mind giving away their personal info if they are getting some benefits in return.
Clearly separate the advertisements from main content
– The website can have ads if you want them as a source of revenue but they should be clearly detached from the main content. Ads should be on the periphery and as small and discreet as possible.
Your home page should be well planned. Restrict the amount of content to the main propositions that you want to communicate about yourself (logo, tag line, services offered, USP). Highlight the products that your customers came looking for.
Avoid being too Flashy – Flash websites aren’t popular anymore; search engines aren’t seconding it either. Your visitors may be put off because it demands too much of waiting around.
Do not provide a link or advertise for a page or service that is not yet available. It is a big disappointment for a person to land on a page that says “Under Construction” or “Coming Soon”.
Check for 404 Errors
or Broken Images links- Try to avoid appearance of any such links. Have custom designed 404 error pages that help redirect the user to where they wish to go. For more information you can refer to this website.
Take down the splash screen-
For those who are not aware, a splash screen is the first page of a web-site that doesn’t provide any actual content. They are there to offers visitors some kind of information like what the website is about, to choose the language or their broadband bandwidth, etc. They just spoil user experience and are completely avoidable.
Get rid of irrelevant animated graphics- Do not use animated text and graphics till they actually add value to your content. They take a long time to load and might look like an immature attempt to grab attention of your visitors.
Screen resolution for the typical computer monitor will vary for your various users. These days, the average resolution is of 1024 x 768 pixels. However, insure that your design looks good and fits on all monitors. You can go for a Responsive Design
which fits all screen sizes. Tool: Use this tool to see how your website appears on different screen resolutions.
Resolve technical Issues– If you make people land on one of your pages that show some Server Side Scripting Error or Server error instead of the data that was supposed to be there, your website would certainly have a high bounce rate.
Do not have any auto play videos about your service or in the form of an advertisement from a 3rd party on your page. The option to play it or not should be with the visitor.
Website Architecture should be user friendly
Your main value proposition should be communicated within the first fold of your web page.
The top 5 points that you want your user to know through the page should be communicated above the fold followed by a CTA to boost conversion.Web users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold. Although users do scroll, they allocate only 20% of their attention below the fold.
The first fold should give a glimpse that there is something below the first fold
too. This will prompt the visitor to scroll down and view the remaining content.
should be carefully planned. Make sure your visitors easily find what they are looking for like other related services, contact us page etc. Don’t make your website a confusing maze, if people are left wondering, they would rather switch to something much better and well navigable.Statistics:You can lose up to 50% of your sales due to poor navigation: Kissmetrics research.
Have limited number of tabs in your menu.
Restrict them to maximum 7-8. The drop downs from the menu should also be of a limited length. Categorisation is important but should not be confusing.
The slider/header image of your home page
should link to other inner pages. It should have a clickable call to action. Homepage banner shouldn’t just be pretty. It should be informative and reflective of company’s business field, values and achievements.
Don’t restrict the footer of your page
External links should not open in the same window You only have few seconds to engage your visitors, so don’t give any external links that redirect them to another page. If you must have external resource links, make sure they open in a new window and not redirect the user off your site.
Optimized for mobile devices
–Internet content consumption is rapidly shifting towards portable devices. It is thus highly critical to ensure that your website is also optimally designed and optimized for smaller screens of tablets or smartphones. Responsive websites are most appropriate for this purpose.Statistic: 77% of mobile searches are in a location (home or work) where people are likely to have a PC available to them. (Source: Mobile search Movements study- Google- March 2013)Also Read: 10 super tips to build a user friendly mobile website
You should always have an acknowledgement after any type of conversion, whether it is in the form of an RFQ, subscription or purchase.
Always think about what people have grown accustomed to. On clicking the website logo, people expect to be taken to the homepage. So, make provision for the same. Follow conventions for some things like Use of Contact us, About us.
Keep branding consistent throughout the website. Follow the same font, colour scheme and layout pattern on all the pages, ads, landing pages, etc.
Pagination- is a user interface pattern that divides content into different pages. For example on an ecommerce website, product results under every category are listed on multiple pages with each page displaying only 20 products at a time. Surely have Content Filters (like brand names, price range, model numbers), so that a visitor can gather only what is relevant and does not have to painfully scan through all the pages.
Do not break the back button- Make sure your back button is not broken under any situation. A fundamental principle of usability, back buttons should never be distorted or broken.
All websites focus on a devoting a large amount of space to “Sign up” and “Log in,” but their “Sign Out” option is hidden somewhere in a very small font size or maybe in a drop down list. Place your “Log In” and “Sign Out” options clearly.
Add a sitemap
to get a better hierarchical view of the contents of the website. Most websites miss this but people still look for a sitemap (HTML sitemap). It also tells search engines about pages in your site (both XML and HTML sitemaps
).Tool:Automatic xml sitemap generator.
A website should compulsorily have a site search option
on the top. It saves a lot of time of the visitor looking for some specific content or product.Tool:Google Site Search Tool
If you are using the same website for different language speaking countries, your content should be easy to translate for the browser.
While sharing resources, provide a HTML version of the document for quick viewing. Use .doc or .PDF as an alternate download, indicating clearly that it is a non-html file as it takes a significant amount of time to download.
Non Readable CAPTCHA – If you use CAPTCHA, make sure it is readable and decipherable.
Content Relevance and Presentation
Your copy must always be action oriented and user friendly. All the benefits that you state or the information you deliver must be directed towards your reader. For instance, if you are writing a heading for a website design company, which is looking forward to market itself, it would be “Design and Optimize your website to sell more” instead of “How can I make my website sell more”.
Use interesting headings, sub headings, different fonts etc. to draw attention to your content. This will also make it easier for your reader to scan through the page quickly.
To improve readability of your site, try to use the same alignment consistently- left alignment is preferable. Although you can centre align the headings. Try to break your text into smaller blocks so that they do not cover the entire width of the page; that makes reading it very difficult.
Your page should tell them what matters most
to them. Ask yourself – Whom you wish to visit your website? What matters most to them before they make up their mind to place an order? Did you answer the questions they might want answered as soon as they land on your website or the landing page? Example: You sell “Branded Electronic Items” on your website, what matters most to your customers is: Product details, Delivery Time, Testimonials for the product and your company, Shipping Charges, Mode of payment, Price.*Mind it Price is the least important factor among the others for mature/loyal buyers.Also Read: 13 sure shot tips to improve E-Commerce Sales and Brand loyalty
Competitive Positioning/USP- Give them reasons to buy from you. Are you highlighting your company’s USPs on your website and landing pages? Phrase them such that they appear as a solution to your customer’s problem and not a product feature.
Clearly tell your customers how you are better than any of your competitors. Make a checklist of how you offer additional features from your competitor. Example: BungoBox has clearly differentiated itself from its competitors on the basis of price.
Clean the cobwebs on your website – This could have happened perhaps owing to the fact that there hadn’t been any activity in a long time and or the website had almost been abandoned. Refresh your look and content from time to time to appeal to the visitors as well as search engines. Update your copyright statement as well.
You should use enough visual aids
and statistics to support your content. Use videos, infographics, and custom designed graphics to leave a mark. Rather than just writing down your statistics, show them visually in a graph to be more impactful.
Making your website sell online is not an easy task; as it requires a lot of hard work, persistence and perfection to create a website, which delivers optimum experience and lives up to the expectations of your visitors. And we are almost halfway through the article but to be fully equipped with all the tools and techniques on how to make your website sell keep reading and get more valuable insights!
Your website must have a page to address the frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Give a clear breakup of the difference between the various packages of services offered and hence explaining a difference in the pricing. A visitor should know why he’s paying extra for the platinum service compared to the Gold.
There should be proper visitor segmentation
and product segmentation to cater to all specific needs.
The content on your website should be original and focused on your target audience. Simply copying content from other sources is not only bad for SEO but also adds no value for your visitors.
Use hand-drawn annotation
, which always commands attention. (This is higher risk and depends on the image you want to portray.)
Conversion Path Optimization
Contact Numbers and Tech Support details should be clearly visible on Contact Us page and footer of each page.
Physical address should be easy to locate, mostly they look for it on contact us page.
should be carefully planned and implemented. Visitors should be directed to the next step in the conversion funnel with appropriate and carefully planned CTAs. CTAs should be placed at different places where you think you are closing the deal.Tools: The top three recommended tools to analyze visitor behavior and website performance are CrazyEgg, Clicktale and Google Analytics. While google analytics gives you quantitative data to track, with clicktale and crazyegg you get visual data in the form of scrollmaps and heatmaps to track exactly where your visitors clicked, till where they scroll in order to know the weaknesses of your conversion funnel.Also Read:
ClickTale vs CrazyEgg vs Google Analytics. choose the best one for your website
Effective Call to Actions- Call to Action that cannot compel anyone to stay back is doing no good. Being one of the most important aspects of a landing page, your CTA should prompt conversion. If it incites anxiety and doesn’t reduce it, doesn’t create urgency, doesn’t solve a purpose, isn’t simple or concise, there is certainly something you must do to fix it! In short, call to action is indeed a very significant parameter that decides whether people stay or stray!
Call to action buttons should be carefully designed. A contrast colored button works best, example shades of red, orange or green.Tools: Tools like Visual Website optimizer and Optimizely help you run A/B testing successfully on your website. Use it to see which Call to Action works best for your page.
Keep your main heading and text towards the top left corner of the page and your call to action towards the bottom right corner. According to the Gutenberg rule, your eyes scan the page from the top left to bottom right. The bottom left area of the page will get the least attention.
You should have online payment option on the website if your target audience is Impulsive kind.
Checkout process should be having minimum steps and smallest possible SMARTLY programmed forms.
Remove distraction when visitor is close to the bottom of the conversion funnel
. Remove the navigation bar (or at least moving it somewhere less prominent).
Use arrows on your page as a directional cue to boost conversion. It catches the visitor’s attention and points to the next step that leads to conversion. When you have an arrow as a part of your CTA, it communicates that this button is more important than the surrounding headings, text and images. This tactic should not be used more than once on a single page (especially a landing page).
Using coupon codes on shopping cart pages can INCREASE number of abandoned shopping carts.
You should be able to follow up on a subscriber who has left a process midway. Example: If the visitor left his cart abandoned, you should mail him his cart and also suggest similar products and remind him to complete the transaction. Tools: Tools like getresponse and aweber help you easily draft newsletters and run successful email marketing campaigns for your subscribers.
Feature your most selling products or services on your home page to push sales. This is another form of social proof. People are more confident in buying what others have already purchased from you.
You should have targeted landing pages and not redirect every search query to the home page. Your landing page should be dedicated to a single cause and should not have any outbound links. It should be free from any kind of distraction that hinders conversion.
Any type of price discount, special offer, limited period offers or bulk discounts should be clearly highlighted.
Pricing Structure should be carefully planned. Understand the science of pricing before deciding your packages.
The price should be clearly indicated
but in such a way that it boosts sales example Discounts on yearly plans, EMI options, early bird discounts, etc..
Your website should be dynamic to suggest the visitor to view related pages or similar products. Use techniques like Cross Selling (displaying ‘people who bought this item also bought’) and Up Selling (in which visitors are shown similar but more expensive products than the one in view) will surely improve sales by at least 4%.
Use reminders to inform user about a conversion-critical action left halfway. For instance, if visitor has left the signup form incomplete to study some other page, reminding with a tiny message could bring back lost lead. However, don’t be pestering about it. Keep the tone humble.Tool : HelloBar is a free optimization tool that helps you to show the right message to your website visitors at the right time.
At the time of checkout, show the subscriber images of the products in the cart.
Keep user connected with the product by showing him the product images. It will help you in reducing the abandonments on checkout page.
Your landing page doesn’t live up to promises– If you wish to target customers through paid ads, make sure that your landing page offers them what has been promised. For example if you have promised a 30% discount on a product, make sure you fulfill that and make it prominent on your landing page itself.
If you are selling some products online, make sure you have good quality product images
on display. Don’t forget to provide ZOOM option also, that helps users in convincing himself that he is making right decision. Videos
displaying the product in use or a live demo
help buyers feel confident about their choice and you earn their respect for taking the pain to shoot the videos and publishing them for helping buyers make better decisions.Also Read: Tips to increase online sales via conversion funnel optimization
Add Trust Building Elements
One thing to take note of when we work in online space of any form is that visitors will only convert if they trust you. So you just have to push them through the to-buy-or-not-to-buy psychological barriers to get more conversions. Here are some extremely useful tips that will prove your website legitimate and trustworthy and help you earn more money from your website.
Use Guarantees, Risk reversal mechanisms diligently to inform your users about the product or service quality and your liabilities in the case of a default, to increase conversion.
Talk about and awards and recognitions
on your home page. Broadcast any special certifications in a rare skill possessed by your experts. Talk about your years of experience in the industry.Example: FATbit has 11+ years Experience, more than 2000 successfully completed projects, 200+ repeat clients, provides 1 year free technical assistance, ISO certified, in-house developed Project Management System – BIZixx.
Try to publish what neutral third parties have to say about your work. These should be authoritative sources like news publishers, influential blogs, etc.
Highlight list of your clients, past works in the form of a portfolio, or live demo of a product etc. to prompt sales. This is again a social proof.
More people buy from you if you have testimonials published on the website from happy customers talking about different reasons to buy from you and how your company helped them satisfy their needs. Use such things to prompt your user to convert by placing them right before your CTA.
Secure your check out pages.
Build credibility by having a 100% bug free payment gateways and all other security checks. Provide multiple secure payment options. Use Verisign Seal, McAfee Seal, TRUSTe mark etc to reassure your visitor that your website is secure.
Give a human feel to your website
Have a comprehensive “About Us” page where your visitors can understand your company, its vision, management, values, milestones crossed, financial performance, equity holders, and tie ups with other firms.
Introduce a list of your employees
so that your visitors can see who is working behind the scenes. Publish from time to time about your star performers, your work culture, and various events at your workplace. Do not use any stock images for the same. This gives your company a human touch and builds trust.
While explaining the features of your offering, don’t just list them in a bunch of bullet points. Try to bring out how the product will benefit them or solve their problem. Give them a detailed description to differentiate from the rest.
Live Chat Support option should be there, as it can increase your leads by 10%-20%. People like to get immediate answer to their queries by talking to a human.
Ask your users to leave a feedback or some suggestions so that you can keep improving. The feedback could be collected through a short survey that you get filled after any form of conversion. Always keep the conversations going with your customers.
Keep your comments section moderated. This will be helpful in avoiding spam and back links. Do not delete a negative comment. Instead use it as a source to interact with your customers and address issues.
People buy from you if they like you, make people like you. How? Solve their problems. Charge them a reasonable amount when they are in trouble, don’t take advantage of the situation. Give away free advice or reading material to help them live a better life. Give back to the society. Highlight the social contributions done by your company.
Principal of Reciprocity – Give away valuable resources related to your industry for free (example: A free ebook, a trial pack, etc.) so that the other person feels indebted and uses your services or refers you to someone else.
Organise Webinars and other online events to discuss latest trends of your industry. This will help establish your brand name, share your expertise, bring traffic and engage visitors.
Your content should be easy to share across social media platforms to increase viewership.
Publish a blog to engage users through your content. Regularly generate fresh content to build a viewership. This will also give your visitors an option to leave their opinion and comments and build your authority in the industry. Give the option of RSS feeds.
Start a newsletter to update your subscribers about any new event, feature, product launch, and helpful published content, etc.
Stay active on Social Media websites to build a network and keep them informed about any events, special offers, products, etc.
Add fun elements: People remember how you make them feel, if we make them smile by including some fun element on website. They will always remember the website and bounce rate can also be reduced.
With this checklist of 101 actionable points by FATbit, now you definitely know the answer to this mystic question “how to make your website sell “.
We know it has been a long post but there is still one important lesson left. There are various not-so-good-looking websites that are doing great in the web zone. Craiglist surely is a good example. You can check this blog by kissmetrics to check some more.
To stay updated on professional insights and industry best practices, it would be helpful if you subscribe to the following: Conversion-Rate-Experts ConversionXL Marketo Moz FATbit Their blogs are a great resource to learn more about conversion optimization and internet marketing.
For making a lasting impact, it is important to keep in mind visual as well as functional aspects. While undertaking design and development work for our clients, we always keep above points in mind to ensure real business benefit. These tips to make your website sell will certainly save a lot of your time on research and will directly give you a well thought out action plan to implement.
If you have anything to share with us don’t forget to make use of our comments section. Your comments and feedback are valuable to us.