Looking for ways to help increase sales on your website? Make it easier for shoppers to purchase from you by using proven marketing strategies, simple navigation and a quick checkout process.
Here are seven rules of good website marketing that can be worth their weight in gold:
Keep page layouts simple
A simple design invites people into your site, allowing them to find what they are looking for and to make a purchase.
- Use easy-to-read fonts. Use sans-serif fonts like Arial or Helvetica and keep type size at 12 point and above so everyone can read your site.
- Allow breathing room. White space can serve to break up overpowering blocks of text and also emphasize important points that you want your reader to see.
- Make smaller pages. You have three seconds for your page to open before your visitors click away. Limit bandwidth by replacing large graphics with smaller ones. Ensure optimal website performance by using a reliable web hosting provider with a superior service level agreement.
Guide customers with good navigation
Website visitors prefer a simple, intuitive navigation system based on popular, accepted design principles.
- Include links. Provide easy-to-find links to your homepage and main category pages so customers can navigate around your site more easily.
- Place the search tool prominently. A simple search tool can provide a much faster and cleaner experience for shoppers, especially those who already know what they’re looking for.
- Obey the three-click rule. Shoppers generally need to find what they are looking for in three clicks; otherwise they move on. Prominent icons, such as your shopping cart and clearly labeled products and categories, can simplify the search process.
Outrank the competition
The higher your site ranks in the search engine results, the more potential customers you can attract.
- Choose specific keywords. A “keyword” is a search term that you want associated with your company, such as your business name (“le maison”), your business description (“french restaurant on long island”) or your products (“chicken cordon bleu”).
- Create relevant content. Articles, blogs and other educational content can help improve your ranking on the search engines, but be sure to give them relevant titles (e.g., “How to choose the best French wine”).
- Link with partners and peers. Links to your site from other sites, known as “backlinks,” show that people value your site and can boost your rankings on major search engines.
Be browser- and device-friendly
Today’s shoppers are just as likely to be on a laptop or smartphone as a home computer, so design accordingly.
- Embrace diversity. Be sure your site displays properly for all major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.
- Design for mobile devices. If possible, create separate pages for mobile devices that face unique challenges both in terms of bandwidth and screen size. Take advantage of mobile-centric features like click-to-dial that allow customers to quickly take action from their cell phones.
Too many images slow download times, but customers still like to see what they’re buying.
- Focus on product images. With a good digital camera and image editing software, you can capture some nice product shots and save them as low-resolution “thumbnail” images for faster downloading.
- Include video tutorials. Videos help keep customers engaged on your site and can provide a value-add that traditional brick-and-mortar stores cannot. A video tutorial of the product in action can have a dramatic impact on sales.
Simplify the checkout process
Shopping online is about trust and convenience. Win the sale by focusing on both.
- Offer flexibility. The more payment options you offer—credit and debit cards, PayPal and e-checks—the more likely you will make the final sale. Look for a Web hosting service that supports multiple types of secure payments.
- Tout safety. Customers need to feel secure when they provide their personal information online. Use secure encryption (e.g., HTTPS) and consider a digital certificate service, such as VeriSign to assure the authenticity of both buyer and seller.
Use sound marketing strategies
Time-tested strategies like cross-selling—offering additional items of interest during a sale—and after-selling work just as well in the online world.
- Follow up with customers. Even though the sale is over, your relationship is only beginning. Craft a follow-up e-mail that thanks your customers and offers a discount or reminds them of other products they might be interested in.
- Include product reviews. Sure, customers visit your site looking for products and services, but they’re also looking for advice and expertise. With customer-written product reviews, you provide an impartial forum for product information.
A clean design, good content and a sound marketing plan can encourage potential customers to become lifelong customers and help increase your sales. AT&T's EasySite builder tool makes it easy to design a website you can be proud of.