Is your online business struggling and finding it hard to seal deals?
Are your competitors prospering and increasing their level of conversions? If that sounds all too familiar, then you may have a problem. It’s easy to blame a flat-lining economy and recessionary pressures for the failure to increase conversions, but the truth is those pressures affect every business.
The only difference is successful business don’t get derailed by external factors: in fact they embrace these issues and find ways around them.
So why do they succeed when other businesses fall by the wayside? The answer is most likely that they are constantly fine tuning their websites and keeping their content fresh and relevant. The good news is your business can do that too, with these website design and content tips.
- Don’t be afraid to be different. Check out your competitors’ sites, see what they have to offer, and then plough your own furrow. A bold and unique design will stand out for users.
- Give your website design real visual impact. Make it punchy and memorable. Plain text is boring: if you’ve got access to lots of pictures and videos, use them. Pictures and images are dynamic and stay in viewer’s mind longer than words.
- Pick a typeface that matches your business ethos, and use it consistently throughout the website. Varying typefaces, colours and text sizes is distracting and could potentially undermine the quality of your content.
- Ensure your site quick to load and easy to navigate? If it’s not, then change it. If your site is difficult to get into or confusing, viewers won’t stay for long.
- Keep your website clean and crisp. Get rid of all the clutter and distractions and make it sleek. It’s easy to have too many icons and widgets on the screen, so pare these down as much as you can, but keep the essential ones like links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and RSS feeds.
- If you have too many distracting icons you’ll irritate potential visitors.
- If you do use icons remember that these links are portals to your main website. Ideally what you want is for visitors to find the main site and stay there for as long as possible. What you definitely don’t want is to immediately send them off to a subsidiary site. So keep your main icons on your home page: make them obvious enough to see, but not too obvious so they become a distraction.
- Make sure you include a ‘call to action’ on your website. It’s a critically important piece of content, but many sites fail to include one. This really is the only thing you’re asking potential customers to do, so put the ‘call’ somewhere it will get noticed. Whether you’re asking your potential customers to sign up to a Twitter feed, like a Facebook page or ring a number, make the message prominent and make it obvious.
- Building a relationship with your audience and establishing a bond of trust is critical. You can only achieve this through empathetic and relevant content. Communicate with your target audience and hold conversations: don’t talk about your own achievement or blow your own trumpet. Nobody warms to a self-publicist. Let your achievements speak for themselves.
- Keep your messages brief and simple. Less can be more when it comes to content. Get to the point quickly, but don’t be too matter-of-fact or terse.
- Show your passion and commitment for your subject. It won’t put people off because users have come to your site to read about your subject.
- Don’t make rash or outlandish claims if you can’t back these up. If you can show evidence to back up your claims like statistics or customer testimonials, then that’s entirely different. Add a guarantee to whatever it is you’re selling; if you have sufficient confidence in your products to offer guarantees, then your customers will have faith in you.
- Add a Twitter feed and blog to the website so that visitors can build up a picture of the personalities behind the business.
- If you can’t write engaging content, get someone in who can.
- Use a content management system (CMS) on your website, so that you have the ability to change content easily and quickly on a regular basis.
- Whatever you do, make sure your website is properly optimised. SEO can make a significant impact to your online visibility.