Internet / Marketing / Web Design

6 Steps to Optimizing Your Website for Increased Sales

Small business owners often spend too much time and money on increasing traffic to their website. However, a website enjoying a high number of visitors isn’t necessarily generating bigger returns. The company must invest in optimizing the website for a higher customer conversion rate, which is the number of viewers that actually bring in business. Here are 6 effective steps to increase website sales:

1. Be User-Friendly

Usability is an important factor in increasing a website’s sales, which can be enhanced by adhering to the following guidelines.

  • Internet users may use Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or any other browser, so the business website must be compatible with all the major browsers. The number of tablet device and smartphone users is on the rise, and a separate mobile-ready version of the website must be designed for them.
  • Viewers need to see all the products and services on offer. They want to go through the technical specifications, customer reviews and other details. If viewers are given access to a video about the products’ benefits or if they are allowed to download the product catalog in a PDF format, the website scores extra points.
  • The purchase button has to be prominent. This is the main part of the website that converts the customer’s interest into action and generates revenue, so it must be designed, built and tested thoroughly. The entire shopping cart functionality has to be reliable and available 24/7; else the company loses business during the period of downtime and also the trust of its customers. This drastically reduces the chance of repeat sales and referrals.

2. Build Trust

  • The website should have a “Contact Us” page. It should provide a physical address for the company, so that potential customers can visit the store if they wish to verify its credibility. Including a phone number is also great; customers who live far away from the store can call up and talk to someone in charge.
  • The shipping policy, return policy and disclaimers must be listed in complete detail; this shows the customer that the company is honest and trustworthy.
  • The overall design of the website also conveys a lot to the viewers. They will draw an obvious parallel; a business that does not care enough to maintain a professional look on its website will probably not care enough about its products and its customers. The layout has to be attractive but not flashy; the content should be accurate and fresh.

3. Engage the Reader

The viewers that are directed to a website through high rankings on search engine results or via backlinks need to be presented with good reasons to stay there and buy something.

  • Many people do not have time to read the entire content on a webpage in detail; they merely skim through it to pick up the important points. A website that understands this will highlight its business-critical content by using bold fonts, attention-grabbing colors and optimal text layout.
  • Engaging content includes the optimal use of multi-media; these images, slideshows and videos should enhance the business message and not draw attention away from it. The matter should be relevant to the industry to which the business belongs. The website should be kept fresh with regular updates, so that viewers are encouraged to keep coming back.
  • References to selling, buying and prices must be avoided in the top part a webpage. Instead, the company should talk about its products and how they can help solve the problems of its target audience. Entertaining content related to the product offerings will also engage readers. Pricing information and details about purchasing online can be introduced once they are hooked on to the website.

4. Create Brand Image

The website needs to distinguish the business from its competitors by creating a unique and memorable brand image. Whenever customers think of a product that this site offers, they must automatically think of the company’s brand name. Advertisements are very effective in building a brand image, but pop-up ads are annoying and can be blocked by users. Hover ads are a good substitution; they are both appealing and effective in boosting customer conversion rates.

5. Value-Add Features

A single product focus on the home page allows customers to really get to know the need and benefits of the main product in depth, rather than merely browsing through a huge list with vague, one-liner descriptions. This approach also shows customers that the website owner is aware of its business strengths and USP in the market. Another value-add feature is to offer several payment options, since many people do not prefer using their credit card online for security reasons.

6. Customer Satisfaction

Besides converting new visitors into customers, the business stands to gain a lot more by trying to retain existing customers and have them coming back for more sales. These repeat customers are gained by ensuring customer satisfaction on every sale. This also carries the hope that the business will be referred to friends and family over competitors.

  • The website should include order tracking for status updates on the product delivery.
  • After-sales service and customer support are important as they make the customer feel that the company genuinely cares for them.
  • A website can hold contests, and offer discounts and coupons from time to time to keep its customer base happy.

These 6 steps form a general guideline for optimizing a business website towards increased sales. Every business is unique, and so are the effective conversion tactics that will help them generate higher revenue. A continuous process of implementing different tactics, monitoring the change in results and refining / modifying tactics is needed to ensure maximum sales.