startup mistakes

7 Simple Ways to Turn Your Website into an Effective Sales Tool

Have a website that’s just not producing business results? Here are 7 simple ways to change that.

Nowadays everyone is in a crazy hurry—especially on the Web. As a result, your Website has less than one second to capture your visitors’ attention once they land on it. Plus maybe a couple more seconds to show them you have what they’re after.

Then, even once they’re hooked, visitors have to be able to:

  • Find what they want quickly and easily
  • Know exactly how to take action
  • And have all the info they need to take action confidently

Fail to do any of these things and you know what happens next, right? They click away. Because there are millions of other sites they can go to instead.

Sadly, most small business Websites are still nothing more than electronic brochures. They might look nice, but they aren’t really designed to grab visitors by the eyeballs and convince them to call or buy.

If your Website isn’t growing your business, here are seven simple tips to amp up its sales-making power…

1. Banish Fancy Landing Pages

If you can’t navigate back to your opening page from the rest of your site, or it has an “enter here” or “skip intro” option, it clearly isn’t important. So dump it. Web designers love to build these, but most Web users hate them. Who has time to wait for them to load??? Besides, visitors should be able to find what they need within two clicks of your home page, and landing pages just add another click.

2. Don’t Make ‘Em Guess

Put a big, bold, benefits-oriented headline front and center that lets visitors know exactly what they can find on your site (“Welcome to our site” is NOT an effective headline). Also make sure your navigation is consistent on every page, and easy-as-pie to locate and understand. Get too creative here, and people won’t know why they should click or even that they should click at all.

3. Axe Snoozer Content

Advertising great David Ogilvy once said “You can never bore someone into doing business with you.” Whether you sell B2B or B2C, your Web copy should sound like you’re having a friendly, informative conversation with one other person (i.e., your reader). So write like you speak and don’t be afraid to sound human.

4. It’s Not About You

This might come as a shock, but site visitors don’t want to know all about you, what you do, and how you do it—at least not right away. First they want to know what you can do for them! Because if you don’t have what they need, they could care less about your experience, processes and so forth. Focus on the benefits of what you offer up front. The rest can come later.

5. Give ‘Em What They Need

The more expensive your products and services, the more information people need to make a confident buying decision. If all you have are pictures, and/or less than 250 words of text per page, it’s not enough. Your site should answer all your prospects’ questions and deal with their objections right then and there. And always include your complete contact info (not just an email form) so they know you’re a legit business.

6. Let ‘Em Skim

Before they start reading on the Web, most people skim or scan to see if you have what they’re after. Few things are more difficult to skim than large blocks of text. So keep sentences short (ideally 20 words or less) and paragraphs less than five lines long. And use subheads and bullets whenever possible.

7. Tell ‘Em What to Do

It’s not enough to put your contact info on your site then expect people to call. If you don’t tell prospects what to do next, there’s no telling what they might do. But chances are good it’ll involve clicking away from your site.

Want them to call you? Say so AND put the phone number right there. Want them to go to a specific page, sign up for a newsletter, or buy something? Tell them and include a super obvious link or big, bright button.

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