A basic condition for a site’s success is to be a good seller. Of course, by this I don’t mean selling the website itself, even though Internet is full of multi-figure site transactions. Take for example the recent Instagram takeover by Facebook for around $ 1 billion, or Interclick bought by Yahoo for $ 270 million. But to close the brackets, what do these sites have in common? It’s their aptitude to attract eyeballs to their online showcase by being sales-oriented.
There are types of websites that do sell on an explicit basis: online merchants, web services and apps, blogs which sell advertising space, NPOs collecting donations. However, generally speaking, all websites (even non-commercial ones) have to convert visitors into some form of leads: subscribers, Facebook fans, prospects for direct purchase. These conversions mean sales at some point.
If you are the proud owner of an online asset, read on to see how you can optimize it for instant sales.
1. Be reachable on search engines
To obtain income, you basically need to perform a two-step process: attract visitors on the site (marketing) then guide them towards completing the transaction (actual sales). To tick the first one on the list, you should do consistent SEO – on-page techniques and link building. Leverage organic traffic as much as possible, especially if your business is on a tight budget and doesn’t afford advertising or if you’re a startup (in which case paid advertising does little).
2. Make it appealing at first glance
The first attention spot for a new visitor is the homepage’s header. Format it with a catchy word of introduction and an attractive color palette, to make it clear from the first second which is the purpose of your site. You also have to design a good call-to-action button (TRY IT NOW! or FREE DOWNLOAD would be the best) and place it on each landing page.
Contact Us and About pages are crucial elements for the user experience. A good About page gives the sense of human closeness and the feeling that someone’s there. On the contact page, be sure to include your physical address and, if possible, a phone number so that potential buyers can reach you by all convenient means. Web forms are a great conversion method. Optimize them to be short, visually attractive and easy to fill in – there are some simple rules to this.
3. The buyer connection
What are you offering? Why should one choose you? Visitors typically look over your site for no more than 8-9 seconds. If they don’t find a great answer to these two questions meanwhile, they bounce.
If you are selling goods or services, display the products catalogue in a comprehensive way. Make sure you use human endorsement here if possible, such as customer testimonials and real life photos. The content of each landing page has to be a good match to the referrals. A good sales technique, even if a bit old fashioned, is to recommend alternative products to people’s searches.
And a friend’s advice: always use the power of reminders. Set an alert to signal you when to send newsletters to your subscribers and what’s the time to update your Facebook or LinkedIn page. These are foolproof ways to strengthen your existing leads engagement and even extend your network.
4. Engage the public audience
As I have mentioned social contacts, let’s go a step further. To bring that extra kick to your sales, let your creativity go wild on finding new promotion methods. You can offer discount coupons with nice texts such as LUVYOURSITE135. And why not have a happy hour on your site, when everything is half-priced?
These techniques are not meant solely for e-commerce platforms. You can have a bundle of promoted products on your news-related blog for example, it’s always beneficial to give away physical items. If you prefer to organize contests and need professional help, you can use dedicated software such as Wizehive.
5. Dedicated e-commerce systems
Once the visitor has made his choice from your merchandise, make it simple for him to place the order and pay for it. There are two basic alternatives for this. You can either use a fully crafted shopping cart for an extended buying experience, or a simple online order form that can gather user data and support payment. The second option is most suitable if you have a limited amount of items on sale.
6. Extra tip no 1: Use customer reviews and testimonials
This is a great method to build further trust upon your brand. Not to mention you can submit these reviews and testimonials to Google and get a star rating displayed next to your website in search results.
7. Extra tip no 2: Guarantee safety
Have an anti-virus seal upon your website. Also, as a product policy, it’s a good idea to display a money back guarantee and make it possible for free return of products. This way, users will be 100% lighthearted when choosing to work with you or buy from you. Good luck!