Saturday, March 7, 2009

Five Easy Ways to Improve Any Website

- Get the basics right and make the sale.

1. Your Website is a Salesperson not a Billboard
Many companies use their homepage as a huge billboard with flash animation and many more believe that the home page should tell the visitor who they are and why the company is so great. In reality, customers are visiting your website because they’re trying to find something. You need to help them find it.

The most important thing you can do to improve your website is use your home page to sell. You need to view your website as your virtual sales person working 24 x 7 x 365 and equip it with the same tools that you would provide the sales team. Save all the bragging about yourself the about us or company info pages.

2. Make it easy to buy, sign up, get information and navigate
When customers arrive at your website they need to easily understand where to find what they’re looking for.

  • The best way for you to do this is to make your navigation intuitive and easy. People have been trained to look to either the top or on the left side for the main navigation. There’s no reason to stray from this format.
  • Featuring products and allowing people purchase directly from the home page will increase your sales.
  • The ability to sign up for special offers or newsletters and to share your site with friends is also a key element and both should actually be featured on every page.

3. Engage customers with content
Content is not just important in search engine optimization, it’s the key to keeping customers engaged with your website. The more engaging your content is the longer people will stay. And the longer they stay, then the greater your chance of moving a widget (generating a sale, sign-up or download).

4. Integrate rich media: video and podcasts
Adding rich media elements like videos and podcasts will offer your visitors another reason to stay on your site. You should also create individual pages and with transcripts of each podcast because that generates the type of keyword rich content that the search engines love to see.

5. Drive traffic with online and traditional media
Put your URL on everything. While natural search results will generate much of your traffic, online and traditional media should both be used to drive traffic incremental traffic. And generally, more relevant traffic means more sales, sign-ups, whatever.

As we’ve explained in other articles, ideally you would want to use landing pages that highlight the specific offer that your featuring in your online and tradition media.

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