A cheat sheet for turning your website into a cash machine
Most people that we meet seem to have the same question that they want answered, “why is my website not working?”. It’s usually REALLY simple to fix and this post is an extract of our ““. This post is the most effective way of transforming your website from a cost, to a marketing asset. So let’s get into it……
1. Clear focus and purpose
Starting out with what do you want the customer to do when they get to your website is essential to getting off on the right foot.
Some of examples of this may be: You want them to call you, you want them to send you an email whether that’s directly or through a contact form or, it may be you want them to purchase one of your products from the website. It could be that you want them to sign up to your email list or your newsletters.
Any of those objectives are perfectly fine but start by figuring out what you want that customer to do next when they visited your site. Start with the end in mind and work back from there.
2. Too much information
A lot of websites will have lots and lots of product detail which is focused solely on the features of the product. You are not thinking about what the customer needs and how the customer will benefit from your product or your service. This can be boiled down to understanding what problem your product or service solves. Think logically about your existing customers or the people you want to help. Get a clear idea of who they are; understand what their problems are, what they’ve got now and then how much their life will be better after they’ve experienced your product or your service. That’s the main focus of your website and where most of your efforts should be.
Testimonials are part of social proof. This is a way of having other people validate that your product or service does what you say it does. Testimonials can be delivered in many different ways from a simple quote to a full blown case study. Give information as to how that customer felt once the problem was solved and how it was your product or service fixed that problem. Think about how you can have other people validate what your product or service does.
You could use your reviews in Facebook, reviews from Google, twitter feedback, or anything that comes through directly from an email. If you don’t have direct feedback yet, work on speaking to people that you’ve worked with in the past and get feedback from them.
The purpose of the feedback should be to answer objections that the customer may have before contacting you. It may be about the value or the cost of the service. It may be about how quickly you were able to respond to a problem or about the quality of the service that you’ve offered
4. A clear call to actions on every page
A customer can make a decision to buy your product or your service at any given point when they’re looking through your website. This may be on a blog post. It may be on a content page such as your ‘Services’ or your ‘About’ page, or any other kind of context that you’ve given to the customer. You don’t know exactly when they will make the decision to pick up the phone to speak to you or submit a form so you should have an easy way for a visitor to buy on every single page of your website. Just having a ‘Contact Us’ page – which is a single page that is focused on getting a customer to contact you – is not enough.
5. Don’t rely on one style of communication
The beauty of the internet is that you can communicate with your customers and prospects in multiple ways. Don’t always have large blocks of content, mix it up; have a mixture of images and video as well as content. Think: Is it useful that the customer can download that content and take it away? Do they potentially need to speak to somebody else before they make a decision on buying your product or your service? Make that easy for them to go to the decision maker and say “I want to buy this product or service”. Have that content available in as many different forms as possible. People will digest it differently and they will have different steps that they want to go through before saying “Yes I need that”.
6. A clear next step
Every page in your website should have a very obvious and clear next step. Direct your customers to the next part of the process. If you’ve written a blog post, direct them to some more content that is related to that blog post. If you’ve got a ‘Services’ page, direct them to a call to action that says “Buy our product or our services, or get a consultation”, or whatever your first step is.
This means that you should have links in the actual text itself and buttons at the end of an article or page. Recycle that traffic because, if you don’t, the customer will leave and go somewhere else. The purpose is to compel them to either read more content or take a call to action.
7. Make it easy to become a fan or customer
Make it as easy as possible to get in touch with you. This can be anything from a low entry trial of a product or service, to a free consultation, to a fact-finding meeting, or whatever option makes sense. Make it as easy as possible for the customer to leave their details with you and commit to say “Yes, I’m interested in your product or service”.
The likelihood of a visitor buying from somebody that they’ve never heard of or interacted with is very small. This gets smaller, the larger the commitment you’re asking for. So, if you’ve got a very big purchase price for a product or a service that is open ended, it could be something that is difficult to sell. Could break this down into very, very small chunks? Have an easy way for that customer to put their hand up and say “I am possibly interested in your product or your service at some point in time”. Now may not be the right time to buy, but you have the ability to build their trust in what you offer and your company whether you are an influence in your market place or not.
8. Stock imagery
Avoid overly used stock images that are cliché. They are usually of people that are sat around a desk, shaking hands, doing a presentation, or the clip art style images that really don’t portray your brand well. They’ve already been used on lots of websites and it’s likely to devalue your website and your products or services.
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9. Stay up to date
When you have a website, you should ensure that your content is as up-to-date as possible. This will include the dates of your blog posts. Make sure that your last blog is recent and don’t leave it too long in between posts. Anything longer than a month is far too infrequent. Your other content should not have dates on them, they will make it feel like the website isn’t kept up-to- date.
10. Avoid ornaments
Ornaments are parts of your website that don’t provide a function or value to your visitor. They’re really common, especially as banners on a site. If your banner is taking space but you can’t click on it or do anything with it and it’s not providing any extra information, then it’s an ornament. Ensure that you banners are clickable. Every inch of your website needs to have a function and a purpose, so avoid having large images that are not clickable and don’t provide value for the customer.
11. Multiple ways to get to key pages
Your website should have more than one type of navigation. Obviously you will have a primary navigation at the top or maybe on the side, but repeat the links to key pages at the bottom of the page as well. That way when somebody’s finished an article, they can go to another page easily. Additionally, make your navigation ‘sticky’ so that when you scroll down the page, you can still see your main navigation. It makes it much easier to get around your site without needing to continually scroll up and down. Finally, link to pages in your content. This will really help to navigate people around your website to the pages that you think are important.
12. Be social!
Social sharing options are essential for any content that is useful to a visitor on your website. Give the visitor an easy way to share your content with a single click to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social network.
Link directly to your social profile from your website, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn or any others that are important to you and are well used. It should be a single click to get to land on your profile and connect with you.
13. Speedy pages
Webpages need to be quicker than ever to load, people don’t spend more than a second or two waiting a page to load, so ensure that they load as fast as possible. A way to address slow loading pages is to show the images and the content before any of the additional functionality, so that it gives the overall feel that the website has loaded, even though maybe some things will still be going on behind the scenes. The sooner you can get content in front of the user, the more likely that they will stay on the site.
14. Educate your audience
Educating your audience and becoming an expert in field is essential to having a successful website. You can do this through different methods. Blog posts are the most effective way of doing that; provide regular, useful content that people can engage with, share, and learn about your business and industry.
Provide downloadable content that can be taken away to read or listen to. A podcast that talks about your industry, or your niche, is a great way to build engagement over time. Provide multiple ways to digest your content. It’s not always about text and copy on a page.
15. Signs of abandonment
Avoid common signs of abandonment showing that your website hasn’t been updated. Common mistakes include out of date blog posts such as your most recent blog post being 6 or 12 months old. It gives the impression that your website is no longer being kept up-to-date, and will make a visitor question if you’re still in business.
Additionally ensure that your copyright information is the current year and any other date-related information is current.
Now it’s your turn! What makes you leave a website that you don’t like?
What are you going to do next? Here’s my suggestion:
- Download the full by entering your details below and read through the FULL list
- Review your website against the points to see which you are and aren’t doing
- Get someone else to review your site against the fact sheet
- Create an action list of no more than 5 things that you are going to implement in the next 7 days on your site
- Get it implemented!
- Let us know how you got on and what impact it’s made