Building a website that generates traffic, markets your products, and promotes your brand is no easy feat. To increase conversion rates and return traffic, you’ve got to put your heart and soul into your website in the following 7 ways:

1) Don’t Make Visitors Play Guessing Games

Your home page may be a spectacular visual feast for the eyes, with top quality images and unique fonts creating a striking display. However, if that landing page doesn’t tell people what you’re selling, it doesn’t matter one bit how stunning it is.

When people land on your home page, they should plainly see your brand image or logo, and they should have a clear, distinct idea about what it is you are selling. Twitter bird icon

Condense the focus of your business into a small, all-encompassing phrase, such as: “Clothing for the discerning pet lover.” “Organic lawn care by people who love the earth as much as you do.” “Widgets for people who hate widgets.” Make certain this phrase is prominent on every web page.

2) Respect Your Customers’ Time

Consumers who already know and love your products may not mind waiting for your website to load on their devices. But new visitors will not be as forgiving, and they will lose interest if you don’t grab them almost instantly.

Nearly half of all consumers expect your website to load within a few seconds. Twitter bird icon That sounds harsh, but it highlights the need for sleek, fast-loading pages that perform for your site’s visitors.

Mobile users will wait a bit longer, on average, but most won’t wait longer than 10 seconds. Optimize your site for all devices so that pages load cleanly and rapidly no matter which platform the consumer is using.

When only 1 second’s delay will cost you 7% in conversions, investing in the tools and experts you require in order to have fast-loading pages is vital to your web-based sales program.

3) Provide Content That Enlightens Consumers About Your Product

Whether you have a few products or services you feature on your homepage, or you have separate pages for categorized products, provide accurate, detailed descriptions of whatever it is that you’re offering. Twitter bird icon

Some consumers want to know all of the specifics about products or services before they purchase anything. Provide the full scope of information for everything you sell. If you sell floor rugs, for example, give the exact dimensions, the country of origin, the cleaning methods, and the materials used.

Accurate tags on every image are also very important, as are accurate, quality images of the products you offer. If you provide a service, your website should have hi-grade shots of you or your staff performing the service. At the very least, find the most excellent stock images you can source that will reinforce what you provide and that hint at the quality consumers can expect from you.

4) Create Vision and History Pages That Tell Your Unique Story

There may be a small subset of consumers who don’t care who you are or how your company got to where you are today. Many consumers are very curious, however, and they want to understand the people they are buying from and what qualities set you apart from your competition.

Generic sites with no personality behind them make buyers wary. Twitter bird icon “Is there even a real group of people behind this website or is it a scam?” When you provide a concise, inspirational history of your business, from its humble beginnings to your present position, the consumer feels more comfortable buying from you.

Don’t neglect your site’s vision or “mission statement” page, either. Research the concerns and attitudes of your target market, and let them know that you can meet their requirements. If your target consumers are looking for green, sustainable businesses, make sustainability a key factor in your business plan, and clearly state this on your website’s vision page.

5) Provide Various E-commerce Options to Increase Conversion Rates

If you’re only selling your products or services in one or two countries, it’s okay to have limited e-commerce options. If you want a global consumer pool from which to gain conversions, you will need to provide purchasing and shipping options that will facilitate those sales.

Research the various payment platforms and shipping options so that your client base will be satisfied from the moment they order to the moment products are delivered. It should be easy, fast, and convenient for all consumers to order from your site. Twitter bird icon

Your conversion pages should also clearly and accurately state your return policy. When consumers know exactly what their options are if they’re unsatisfied, they feel more confident ordering from you.

6) Remember: Location, Location, Location

It’s amazing how many business websites offer extremely limited contact information. Providing scant information about your business headquarters may seem edgy and minimalist, but it makes many consumers feel like you’re a sketchy outfit.

At the bottom of every page, you should provide your company’s location(s) and contact information, or a link to a page that offers this data. Twitter bird icon Even if a consumer is 1,000 miles away from you, they want to know exactly where you are in the world.

If you also have brick and mortar operations, provide accurate maps and directions to your locations, along with phone numbers and email addresses for every outlet. People will be more likely to visit your store when they know precisely how to get there.

7) Always Look Forward and Anticipate Change

The trend today is that of placing full canvas images on the home pages of websites. This presentation is attractive and looks sleek and stylish. In 6 months, this look may be considered obsolete by web standards.

Stay informed about design trends for websites, and never grow complacent about your web presence. Twitter bird icon Consider your website to be a permanently unfinished project that must be constantly tweaked, embellished and updated.

The bottom line is: Your website will be the most effective when it is responsive, optimized and relevant. Always look ahead and anticipate the future needs of your consumer base to keep them coming back for more.

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10 Comments

  • Risa Casperson, July 28, 2015 @ 8:22 am

    I especially love the 4th tip. It’s so incredibly important when Google is crawling that you stand OUT and separate yourself out from your competition.

    Stand out, above the crowd.

  • Maria Williams, July 28, 2015 @ 3:35 pm

    good Article Melanie ! all those points are good for building a website and make it user friendly and I like the idea on having a fast loading website. I usually leave a website when it takes more than couple of seconds.

  • Caz*, July 28, 2015 @ 9:20 pm

    Not only do we leave if it takes a long time to load, we leave if we don’t instantly comprehend what the site is about and how it can help us. If a site doesn’t capture us in 2 seconds, we’re gone by the time we get to 3 seconds. How do you think websites can be sure to capture someone in such a short amount of time?

  • Caz*, July 28, 2015 @ 9:22 pm

    How do you suggest standing out as a website to Google?

  • Andrew Williams, July 29, 2015 @ 9:28 am

    I like the part that talked about having a good about page so people know why the business started and why. I also like the idea of voicing some company principles in the about page like being Eco-friendly to get people to know the business better and be extra selling points.

  • Maria Williams, July 29, 2015 @ 9:51 am

    The H1 tag has to be really good and pictures ! thats the way that they can get me to stay

  • Ryan Campbell, July 29, 2015 @ 5:05 pm

    To me, #1 is by far the most important. The majority of users will find your homepage first. If the HP isn’t engaging, see ya, that potential client/sale is gonzo!!!

  • M Andrew Eagar, July 29, 2015 @ 5:48 pm

    Great thoughts Melanie! As I read through this article I found myself saying things like “Yeah! websites should totally do this” or “I hate it when websites don’t do that”. As a frequent web browser myself I can relate to the time statement. Why would I wast time on a site that loads slowly when I could just as easily go to a different website that loads much quicker. That is my mentality especially when I browse on my mobile phone.

  • Risa Casperson, July 30, 2015 @ 10:02 am

    Content, content, content! When Google is crawling your site, they need to see that you put time, effort, and research into the content you put. So, the copy is the most important thing that I would say helps you stand out.

  • Risa Casperson, July 30, 2015 @ 10:03 am

    Yep, and your conversion rate will be flatttttttttt.

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