Creating a website is very, very easy. You can use WordPress.com, Jimdo.com, Intuit Web Site Creator or dozens of other website creation tools to create your site. However, creating a website and creating a website that cause browsers to buy (or take some other action) are two different things. It’s the difference between just watching a late night advertisement on cable TV and picking up the telephone and giving your credit card to buy the cheap product that you don’t need.
Here are 10 things you can do to boost and turn browsers and tire kickers on your website into customers who are buying from you:
Ensure your website can be found
Just building a website is not good enough. You must ensure that customers are visiting your site. There are three very practical things you can do to ensure that your website is found by the right audience.
1. Don’t just build a digital brochure
Instead, have fresh and frequent content on your website. This content will ensure search engines, such as Google and Bing, will index your site more frequently.
2. Purchase low cost advertising
This will raise your visibility on search engines and other websites. When people search on a keyword important to your industry your online advertisement will show up. You can also purchase banner advertising on web sites frequented by your customers.
3. Develop a grow list of partner sites
This should be a list of sites that can promote your website and content to their audiences.
Design a great website
Building your own site might be fun, and you might even learn a few new skills. But it’s not going to look as great as it will if you hire a professional Web designer. When customers visit your website, just like when they visit your business location or your own, they want to see something pleasant looking. Don’t skimp.
Give customers a reason to engage with you
While customers will buy from you—as you have the cheapest price or your website looks nice—it’s also advantageous to consider giving your customers a reason to further engage. For example, maybe you are selling cosmetics. Why not enable customers to upload a photo of themselves and apply a variety of skin tones or makeup? Customers could then e-mail the revisions to themselves and friends. This will boost your e-mail newsletter readership, and boost customer engagement.
Respond quickly to customer questions, queries
Your customers are only a mouse click away. Never forget this. If you are not responding to customers and responding to them quickly, then you will eventually lose them. When customers e-mail you at 10 p.m. on Monday evening, they are most likely ready to purchase. By not getting back to them quickly, you’re pushing them right into the hands of your competition. Answering all custom questions—be they through e-mail or social media—is an easy way to build trust and loyalty with customers and prospective customers.
Have great navigation
Part of having a well-designed website is to ensure the navigation is easy for customers to follow. When customers visit your site they’re not coming (most likely) to take their time and browse around. Instead they want to get in, do what they need to do, and get out. The best way to make this happen is to ensure they can easily find what they need to find. A part of good navigation is to have a good search engine so customers can find, through search, what they might not be able to find through the web site menus or other navigation elements.
Use analytics to better know your customers
Regularly analyzing your analytics will help you not only know how much traffic is coming to your website, but it will also help you understand more about your visitors and what content they like. For example, knowing the time of most activity on your site might help guide you into what hours your customer service should be. Knowing which articles or products are clicked on the most will help you know what products your customers are most interesting in.
Like I said, building website is easy. But building a site that is profitable to your business can only be done with strategic thinking, planning and execution.
By Ramon Ray
Ramon Ray is Editor and Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology, Smallbiztechnology.com