Guides

Websites That Work

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Guides

Websites That Work

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If you’ve moved from the High Street to the internet and brought your store along with you, you’ll know that the challenge of running an online shop is every bit as challenging as running one with a physical presence in the city centre.

You still have to focus your attention on getting customers to take notice, display your goods in a way that draws people to your shop front and of course translate that interest into physical sales.

Being online certainly gives you greater flexibility where and when you run your business from but it in terms of your workload you’re still required to get everything just right. And that’s where this guide comes in.

When you’re looking to attract more customers with a great site, we show you ten great tips to help translate interest to sales, with this article.

Branding

You’ve probably spent some time already thinking about your brand but your website needs to reflect this strong identity all the way through from your blog to your customer point of sale with a consistent look and feel.

Let your values and core identity shine through with  strong logo that’s reflected in your choice of theme and the palette of colours you use on your website. Have your website developers find a look that’s fresh but recognisable still as you and go from there.

Domain Names Matter

If your domain name sounds and types exactly as how you would say it, then you’re on the right track. While there are plenty of free and cheap names out there, having a strong name is worth paying money for.

If you find that you are in competition with a name similar to yours, think about adding Limited to the end so you’ll keep the body of your identity.

Where possible always go with .com but if not something simple like your country suffix or .net will be fine. Remember that .org generally applies to charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Avoid Too Many Plugins

While they are incredibly useful for keeping track of your analytics they may also be the reason why your site is slowing down when it comes to loading up pages.

Ask yourself if you would be prepared to wait for a site that’s running slowly and the answer is probably no. You’ll want to check your site’s page loading speed with friends and family across a number of wifi connections and 4G spots to make sure that you’re running at the optimal speed and not leaving your customers hanging on.

Obvious Contact

If there’s one thing that will have your customers abandoning their shopping carts and heading elsewhere it’s not being able to find an answer to their question quickly and easily. Alongside your FAQs and information on shipping and delivery times, make it very clear how to get hold of you.

You might consider having a customer bot installed that will take on the more frequently asked questions and leave you with some more time to dedicate elsewhere. In any case, make sure your email and phone number are clearly displayed and easy to find and make that email address a person’s name where possible.

Easy To Navigate

In similar vein to finding your contact details, your customers need to be able to find what they need quickly and easily. Your menu headings should be self-explanatory and that should include any sub-headings as well.

Write down your website plan before you start developing to make sure everything looks obvious and easy to find and pages don’t leave your customers travelling down any rabbit holes trying to find information.

Testing and trying out are by far the best ways of ironing out any issues in the development process.

Word Of Mouth

Do people love your brand? Of course they do and why shouldn’t they? Now it’s time to put that word-of-mouth to good use and get your customers doing some of your advertising for you.

With just a few sentences you can convey what a great company you are to do business with, how good your products or services are and how your provide that personal touch so many customers are looking for.

Make your testimonials prominent and always attribute them to a real person or company.

Zero Clutter

When confronted by a wall of text, your average customer will not want to spend their time ploughing through it to get to the part they need. So you’ll need to think about doing away with unnecessary text and images and create a clean, fresh and dynamic landing page and other pages throughout your site.

Find text that tells your customer what they need to know without prolonged and drawn out sentences. Make sure that your content is written in a way that’s engaging, snappy and focussed entirely on your customer’s needs.

If you’re not sure you have those skills, then employ a content writer who can make that work for you.

Be Found

It’s one thing to have a great website but quite another to be found on search engines and making that website work for you to draw in customers.

The best way to get picked up on places like Google is to make sure your website is Search Engine Optimisation ready.

This really means that when someone Googles your product or service, it’s your website that pops up and not languishing on page ten of the pile but at least the second, if not the first page. This is so important as searchers will rarely scroll through past the third of fourth page to find a result.

To do this you’ll need to think about keywords, the kind of words that get typed into a search bar connected to your product and where you’ll place them. Having a blog is a great way of maximising your keywords as it means you can include them naturally and not overstuff them on your site, something Google will penalise.

You’ll also want to think about your images and the captions you use and all other tips and tricks that your developer should be able to tell you about.

Mobile Friendly

Nowadays the vast majority of us use our phones for everything from sending a Whatsapp message to carrying out our online banking and we also shop.

If your site doesn’t translate well onto a mobile phone or tablet you’re going to need to correct this issue as soon as possible.

Your website may look great on your Mac but it does need to be carried across to other devices and the very best way to do this is to test it out yourself and have friends and family help you out.

Make sure that all the content looks like it was made for a mobile phone and has everything you need on it in exactly the same way your laptop would. Test that all the links work correctly and take you to exactly where they should.

With relatively little time and attention span, customers need everything to work right first time or you run the risk of losing them.

Big Picture

You’ve no doubt done your customer research and no exactly what makes your customer tick in terms of the places they visit online and where and when they use social media.

Once you have your online shop up and running, it’s time to make use of that information and target your customers using all of your online presence.

Focus your efforts on the sites that bring you into direct contact with your client base, such as LinkedIn or Twitter and don’t waste your time communicating on platforms that don’t generate leads or give you any brand awareness.

Make sure that all your posts, all your Tweets, your GIFs and memes all point back to your brand and your site.

Sometimes you’ll be focusing on brand awareness and other times on increasing traffic and leads but strong, consistent and above all relevant content is what’s needed time and time again across all your social media platforms.

When you’ve got everything ready to go and you’re all set to press the launch button make sure you’re also ready with a social media plan that’s going to support all the hard work that’s gone into your online presence.

Your product is worth talking about so make sure your communication is just right. Get the visuals right with superb images and just the right amount of text. Get the content write with words that draw your customers in and get your social media platforms working together to lead customers right where you need them to be.

Then you’ll be up and running with a site that reflects your brand values, tells people who you are and pops up in search engines at the top of the pile.

With the right website in place your business is going places and will find itself head and shoulder over your nearest rivals with a site that truly stands out for all the right reasons.

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Websites That Work

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