SPEEDing Your Website Visitors to Checkout

05 May 2009

Tom Shapiro

Tom Shapiro is CEO and founder of Digital Marketing NOW, which helps clients to maximize their online marketing results. What makes Digital Marketing NOW different is the company's expertise and focus on digital strategy and strategic design.

Digital Marketing NOW's services include digital strategy development, website development & design, conversion optimization, SEO, paid search, social media marketing, email marketing & analytics. Follow us on Twitter: @DigitalMN.

If you sell products or services through your website, speed is critical. People’s attention spans online are notoriously limited.

That means you need to capture your site visitors’ attention and compel them to click through your conversion funnel. The process should be as intuitive and seamless as possible.

If you distract them, if you leave them stranded, or if you frustrate them…you may be looking at a lost sale. And considering the lifetime value of your customers, you may be looking at many lost future sales as a result.

So, how can you inject SPEED into your customer’s experience on your eCommerce website? For starters, try the following three solutions:

Reduce Load Times!
The faster your web pages load, the more likely your site visitors will stick around and spend more time on your site. Try the free load testing tool at Site-Perf.com to confirm the load time of your web pages. If your pages are taking longer than a second or two to load, do something about it. Optimize the file size of images on the page, look to remove any element on the page that is forcing the entire page to load slowly, etc.

Make Pages that Scan Well!
Many people do not read every word on your web pages. Instead, they scan. This means that you should create short, compelling headers and sub-heads. Keep paragraphs to 2-3 sentences in length. Bold important text. Use graphics to highlight certain points. Include bullet lists. The point is, break up the page into digestible bites, and avoid huge blocks of text.

Add Calls-to-Action!
You can guide your site visitors to a faster conversion by telling them what they should do next. A Call-to-Action is a directive to your site visitors towards specific next steps on your site. For example, “Buy Now,” “Learn More,” “Download Here,” “Register Now,” etc. Be sure to include appropriate Calls-to-Action throughout your website.

If you run a retail site, drive your visitors to the products that serve their needs best, and then give them options to add complementary products or to go straight to checkout. If you are a B2B website selling your services, give them options to hire you, contact you, ask you questions or register for your newsletter and webinars.

These are just a few tips to help you create a great website that drives your business success. If you need additional help, let me know below or at www.WebsiteMarketingNOW.com. Thanks!

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