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10 Tips to Create a Website That Sells

Lily O'Halloran


10 Tips to Create a Website That Sells

Anyone can create a website, but not everyone can create one that sells. What do some websites have that others do not? Effective websites have, what I like to call, the essential ten. The essential ten are a group of must-have elements that work together to draw in customers, make them feel comfortable, and the coax them into sealing the deal.

Create a website that sells by using the essential ten:


1. Prepare a business plan.

A business plan defines your focus and objectives. Not sure what to include in a business plan? Think about your basic business concept; then research the feasibility of this concept. The Internet is a vast resource of information and the perfect place to begin research. After gathering and studying as much data as possible, redefine your business concept. Think about the specifics, such as who, what, where, when, why, and how. The business plan should include your strengths and weaknesses, and cover how to use these areas effectively. Once you have outlined the plan, rewrite your business concept into a compelling plan. A well-thought out business plan is essential for success.


2. Choose a memorable name.

Selecting an easy-to-remember name is important. A memorable name enables your customers to easily return to your store. It also helps potential customers remember your store after seeing a Pay Per Click (PPC) ad or some other form of advertisement. Choose a name that is both short and simple, rather than a long or hyphenated one.


3. Keep your customers in mind.

Stay focused on your customers throughout the building and growing process to make effective business decisions. Whether you are designing your website or developing a marketing plan, take time to stop and think like a customer. Look at the element from a customer’s point of view. Does the component add value to your business? Does it solve a problem? Does it function properly? Could it be designed better? What would make the element more effective? By keeping customers in mind, you are able to better meet their needs.


4. Design easy website navigation.

Website navigation should be intuitive. Customers should be able to find exactly what they are looking for within a few simple steps. Content should be organized in a logical manner.

Following traditional standards allows customers to browse and buy without having to stop and think about it. For that reason, you might want to consider a top or left-side navigation bar, and a shopping cart icon in the top-right corner. Another best practice it to use a business logo in the top-left corner that brings customers back to the home page with one click.

Remember to think like a customer. Try shopping your website. How does it compare to other websites? What aspects do you like? What do you not like? It can be difficult to remain objective when you designed the website. Ask others to provide honest feedback about their shopping experience.


5. Share what you know.

What makes your products so great? Why should customers try them? Why should they buy from you? Share your expertise, and show some enthusiasm. Customers are drawn to positive, upbeat content. The more relevant information on your website, the more it will be thought of as a great resource.

Building a content-rich website is a lot of work, but the rewards are plentiful. Informative websites lure more customers, gain more exposure, and ultimately become more popular. Add a blog to your website to connect with your customers, and promote customer loyalty.


6. Provide a secure, speedy checkout.

I’m constantly amazed by the number of stores that make checking out a chore. Let customers place an order when they are ready; don’t make them wait around, decline a dozen pop-up offers, or register first. The longer the checkout process, the less likely a customer is to complete it.

Keep it simple; customers should be required to enter essential information only. The majority of customers do not want to register with a site before ordering. To enjoy an increase in sales, offer a quick checkout option that does not require site registration.


7. Make customer service available.

Establish a clear point of contact on every page. The contact point could be an 800 number listed at the bottom of every page, or it could be a link to an email customer service form. Respond to customer inquiries in a timely manner to encourage trust and customer loyalty.


8. Keep content fresh.

Fresh content keeps visitors coming back. Conversely, stagnant content tends to repel customers after a while. If content never changes, new visitors might wonder whether your site is active. Provide your visitors with a reason to come back. Let your home page reflect current promotions. Update your blog at least once a week.


9. Market your website.

Unfortunately, creating a website is not enough; you have to market it too. How else will customers find you? The world is full of potential customers; however, trying to market to everyone is a mistake – a costly one. Realistically, everyone is not a potential customer. Take a look at your business plan to determine your target demographic. Marketing can be very expensive; spend your dollars wisely.


10. Remember that simplicity is best.

Complex or overly-busy websites tend to turn off customers. Why? The sheer amount of information can be overwhelming. Too many options can be confusing. Important links and buttons can get lost in the layers of content. On the other the hand, a simple website with a solid focus has a better chance of converting browsers into buyers. As Albert Einstein said, “Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.”



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