Last week, I shared with you six things you can do right now to improve your website – without spending a dime. Here are six more questions to ask yourself about your site:
7. Is your message clear?
To add clarity and credibility to your site, try to provide specific information whenever possible. This includes statistics, numbers, dates, product information, and more. For example, instead of simply saying that you give hundreds of products to charity each year, try to give the names of the specific charities, product names and the number of products given to each. This way, you can help answer customer questions immediately and provide specifics on what you have to offer and why.
8. Do your photos add to your message?
Do you just have pretty graphics on your site, or do they actually help convey your message? If they don’t support your message or provide an additional benefit, replace them with appropriate photos or delete them.
And for the photos that you do have on your site, try to give them captions. For many Internet users with slower or outdated systems, they may not even see your photos and only the captions will appear. Plus, site visitors often read photo captions so you want each one to convey a specific benefit. And many search engines “pick up” these brief statements so it’s wise to take advantage of this copy opportunity.
9. Are you credible?
New customers will want to know about others who have successfully used your products and services. “It’s important to build trust with consumers by marketing for rather than at them,” says Leslie Taylor, vice president, Digitas Health, http://www.digitashealth.com/. “That’s an important distinction. What better way to do that than by having your customers be the voice of your brand?”
With this in mind, try to include testimonials on your site whenever possible. “Over the top” or phony-sounding quotes can hurt credibility so it’s wise to stick to those that discuss a solved problem or specific benefit. It’s also a good idea to include the customer’s name, business and location.
Also, use the quotes “as is.” They will sound more realistic and believable if they are written in the voice of the customer. Even if these include grammatical and spelling errors!
Susan Orr, the senior director of strategic marketing at ThomasNet®, http://www.thomasnet.com/, believes that testimonials are a great way to demonstrate credibility via a third party and emphasize website messaging. “The key consideration is that the testimonials need to have some meat to them —metrics and key results, not simply flowery commentary about how great your company was to work with,” says Orr. “Relevance is key and testimonials need to complement the information on your website as the exclamation point to what you are sharing with the visitor — not some extraneous comment that doesn’t support your key messaging objectives.”
10. Do customers know what to do next?
When site visitors take the time to read your website copy, do they know what to do next? It’s important to lead potential customers through your copy and offer an easy call-to-action on each page.
For example, you may want to provide a big button that tells visitors exactly what to do and what happens when they click on that button (Add to Cart, Questions?, Yes! I want your newsletter!, etc.). Try to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to sign up for a newsletter subscription, contact your sales department, read your blog, or make a purchase. After all, if you’ve gone through all the work to write effective copy, you don’t want to end up losing the sale.
11. Do you offer security and a guarantee?
In today’s world of constant online scams, it’s essential to reassure new customers that you stand behind your products and services. Whenever possible, include references from current clients, industry associations and trusted organizations like the Better Business Bureau.
In addition, offer a guarantee. While it may seem risky to offer a money-back guarantee, most customers expect it. And in the long run, your guarantee will help to increase sales and return customer loyalty. Plus, if your competitors offer a guarantee, and you don’t, you’re going to lose a lot of business. Basically, you want to do whatever it takes to remove customer insecurities and help them feel good about purchasing your products and services.
12. Are you testing?
Once you review all the copy on your site, and make the appropriate changes, try to test variations on the copy, design and photos to increase conversion rates. And you’ll probably want to run appropriate tests on a regular basis to keep up with industry changes and customer needs. For help, look into various test software applications such as www.aweber.com, http://www.absplittesting.com/, http://www.conversionmultiplier.com/ and others to make the process easy.
“Testing is critical in determining how well the site is performing,” says Marjorie Martin, general manager of Everyday Health, Waterfront Media, http://www.everydayhealth.com/. “One of the beauties of the web is its ease of measurement: we know how many clicks each piece of the site receives at any given time.
However, we don’t always know why, which is where testing comes in. Through testing we can get qualitative and quantitative information and use that knowledge to create a better product.”
Fast changes can equal new revenues.
If you take the time to review your website and make the appropriate changes to solve your customers’ specific problems now, you can significantly increase conversion rates, customer loyalty and credibility fast in this brand, new year!
Do you need help increasing site traffic and sales with SEO copywriting and public relations? Please write to me here or at www.rembrandtwrites.com. I’m here to help!