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18 Tips For Better eCommerce

Your website is your “storefront.” You should put as much thought into your virtual storefront as you would to the front window display at a traditional store.

Your website needs to attract customers and keep them coming back for more.

Pull up your website if you have one or better yet, find someone who has never seen your site before and ask them to answer these questions.  If you don’t have a website, before you have one designed and built go through these questions.

  • 1.    What do your visitors notice or see first ?

 A visitor to your website typically has an attention span of only a few seconds.

That means your website must “hook” them in that amount of time. Make sure the first thing they see and notice is something interesting enough to buy you more time.

  • 2.    Do you know immediately what this website is about ?

 You have limited time to get your message across.

If there are too many distractions, a site visitor may not ever know, or wait to find out, what you are selling as a service or product.

 Unfortunately, but true, most of your site visitors are “lazy” or unadventurous. Simple actions like scrolling are a hinderance to site navigation.

They want to know details without doing a lot of work. If they have to scroll down to find the main idea, they will likely leave earlier than you’d like.

Make sure that your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is clearly spelled out near the top of the page. This is a piece of information that says in one sentence or less why someone should do business with you.  Make it clear and prominent on your site.

  • 4.    Can you easily find the benefits of the product or service?

 The only question your site visitor has is What’s In It For Me ? (WII FM)

They want to learn as much as possible about the benefits of your product or service.

Features are important too, but the most important thing a visitor can take away is a sense that this product or service will make an impact in their life for the better.

  • 5.    Is there a clear call to action?

 What exactly do you want your site visitors to do ? Make a phone call ? email ? make an online purchase ? start a free trial ?

If customers like what they see, it is important to move them along quickly. There should be a prominent, clear call to action on your website.

Make sure that you are not sending mixed messages with too many calls to action. Choose the one or two that matter most and make them easy to find.

  • 6.    Are the colors and images aesthetically pleasing?

 If your website is too busy or jarring with clashing colours and flashing images, you will lose visitors.

Take a little time to coordinate colors and to implement high-quality images that add to your message.

Remember when it comes to an online business site “less is often more.”

  • 7.    Is the font easy to read?

Make sure your font is easy to read and is not distracting.

Don’t get fancy; just stick with a simple, sans-serif font in a color that contrasts with the background.

  • 8.    Are there bulky sections of writing anywhere on the page?

This is very often one of the biggest mistakes on professional service websites.

Long, bulky paragraphs are likely to get skipped. Try breaking up your copy into smaller sections that get the point across quickly.

And for the professionals out there, do not challenge your visitors with unnecessary jargon – keep it simple.

  • 9.    Do the menu items clearly tell you where they will take you?

Site design and usability are important considerations that often get overlooked.

Think about what information you would want to find if you visited this site and plan your menus accordingly.

Navigation around your website should be intuitive, easy and efficient. Visitors must always feel they know where they are on your website.

  • 10.  Is there an easy way to contact the business?

If your website does its job, you will likely have interested prospects who want to learn more or who simply have a few questions.

Make sure they have an easy way to find you.

Potential customers also want to know that they will be able to get a hold of you if needed in the future, whether for warranty service or support.

  • 11.  Can you find out more about the owner or employees of the company?

Visitors often want to know that they are dealing with real people.

Having an “about us” page is a great way to show the world why you are the best one to handle the job.

Where appropriate include quality photos too—everyone likes to associate a face to the business. 

  • 12.  Do your site visitors feel personally connected?

Visitors who feel personally connected will be more likely to stick around and/or become a customer.

Tell your story and tell them why you are the right choice.

You can personally connect with your visitors by being honest, using a conversational writing style, and including real testimonials from other customers. 

  • 13.  Is the writing corporate or conversational?

Corporate writing is good for big corporations.

But a small business shouldn’t pretend to be a big, formal entity that is disconnected from the public.

Your ability to relate to your customers is a big reason why they will eventually choose you—start right away with an engaging, conversational tone in your web copy writing.

  • 14.  Is there a webform above the fold?

A webform is really the only way to capture leads from your website visitors.

Make sure that it is in a visible place above the fold. The better it looks, the more people will fill it out.

  • 15.  Is the offering appealing enough to make you want to give your email address?

Your webform should also offer an incentive piece to spark a visitor’s interest and convince them to give you their information.

Make sure that this incentive piece is appealing—offer real tips, actionable advice, or special deals that will immediately help your prospects.

  • 16.  Is there multimedia?

Multimedia is a great way to add character and interest to your website.

Videos, podcasts, tutorials, and other multimedia options allow you to present your message to your visitors in a way that appeals to their different learning styles and needs.

 Remember some people prefer visual presentations, some prefer auditory and yet others prefer to download material print it off so they can hold it in their hands.

  • 17.  Are there links to social media?

Social media allows you to communicate with your prospects, and it allows them to communicate with each other.

Include links to your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts.

Make it easy for everyone to find you on social media. Even if they don’t fill out your webform, they may choose to follow you in some fashion.

  • 18.  Run A/B or Multivariate Tests To Identify best performing pages

Creating a website is the easy bit.

Testing the pages, layout, colors, positioning of features and other aspect is an on-going task that must be performed to identify the best converting pages.


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