A beautiful website is one thing, but does it make people buy? In this article Website expert Gemma Dudley spills the beans on how to structure your website in such a way that it converts and Pri Kruijen adds her thoughts on SEO.
A beautiful website is one thing, but the critical thing is, does it convert?
Do your customers sign up to your newsletter? Buy your latest product or even know what your business does offers? Or the benefit of your products?
Research shows that conversion rates for business-to-customer are around 1 – 4.5% for a non-necessary item.
How does your business stack up against that percentage?
Your website is the home of your business, 24/7. It could be a customer’s first interaction with your business from a Google search, marketing feature or a recommendation. Plus you most likely send your customers, both current and future from your existing marketing channels (social media, newsletters etc.) to your website.
You’ve done the hard work by getting them there with your content marketing, but if they don’t know what you want them to do, they won’t do anything, and they will leave.
Be clear from the start as to what customers can get from both you and your business, with clearly defined CTA’s – calls to action. Ensure that if you are using headlines and images, they captivate your audience and showcase what you do best.
Remember that when faced with too many choices, ‘decision paralysis‘ sets in, and we cannot make a decision.
Keep the options for product categories and featured products on your homepage clear, do this by making suggestions such as best sellers or new in sections.
Show your customers that you are a real person, not a faceless corporate entity. Use your ‘About’ page as an opportunity to introduce you and your team members. Your about page shouldn’t merely state when you started, and some other boring drivel that you find hidden in the depths of bluechip retailers.
In the past few years shopping independent and supporting your local high-street has had significant press (link to VISA advert) coverage and customers are consuming more consciously. More and more consumers are thinking about who they shop with and why and they’re prepared to spend a little bit more if they know they are supporting a small business owner in sending their son to Scouts, rather than helping a billionaire tycoon purchase his third jet.
Consumers prefer to shop with small businesses because of relatability; small stores are run by people just like them, not boards and stakeholders.
Be proud to be small, and share photos of yourself and your team as well as some interesting facts – or perhaps what each team members favourite product is.
A compelling product description removes a barrier to purchase; it helps the customer to almost ‘justify’ why they need it in their life. It provides vital details and information, such as the material and measurements but it goes one step further than that, and it tells the consumer all the problems it can solve.
Products exist to make your customers quality of life better, so tell the story of how your product will do that. What is it that differentiates you from the competition that will make that customer go straight to check-out.
Don’t do your product a disservice and not shout about how great it is when the customer is making a vital decision as to whether to purchase.
Don’t leave your customers hunting for your products. Research estimates that 50% of lost sales are because visitors can’t find what they went looking for.
If they can’t find what they want quickly, they will click off and possibly click straight on to your competitor. Your customer shouldn’t have to work for the sale, minimise this by highlighting new products, ranges and offers as well as gift ideas for key consumption periods relevant to your business such as Mother’s Day and Christmas, ensure that your menu navigation is easy to use and you don’t overwhelm them with hundreds of options to choose from, there’s being clear and then there’s that dreaded ‘decision paralysis’, a customer shouldn’t have to think about what category their desired product is in because you’ve given them so many options, but they should also not have to trawl through twenty pages of ‘Books & Stationery’ to find you only stock one notebook and fifty coffee table books.
Providing testimonials of your products on your website provides ‘social proof ‘of just how amazing your products are. Let your customers share their views explain the benefits of products and how they work. We are more likely to trust the thoughts of another consumer than of a magazine publication. Testimonials work like referrals showing people they can rely on you and your business.
How many times have you looked at TripAdvisor before visiting a restaurant or hotel? Do you trust the reviews of people who have experienced the venue over a travel journalist in The Times? Why? Because they are just like you.
Use your reviews to see what is working and what isn’t, and use this to inform your next design or buying activities. Take it to the next level and instead of guessing what may or may not sell, offer an incentive for customers to review their purchase, such as 10% off their next purchase or a code for free postage and packaging. This will not only obtain a review for you but hopefully a repeat purchase.
If you are unsure how to find out your conversion rate, use the built-in statistics on your site which come on platforms like Squarespace and Shopify, or you can build a goal in Google Analytics to check your conversions.
A bit part of being an established brand is customer loyalty. Having social proof not only helps move customers down the sales funnel, but it can also help improve your brand awareness and show Google that you can be trusted as an authority in your niche.
We’d love to know your thoughts on today’s blog post, connect with Gemma on Instagram @gemand.co or Pri @brilliantlyvisible or join in the conversation over in the Facebook Community. If you’re considering moving your website over Shopify, you can get in touch with Gemma today for a free no obligation discovery call.
E-commerce expert, Gemma founded Gem & Co in 2018, which helps small retail business owners create the online store their business deserves.
With over 3 years’ knowledge and expertise, Gemma is passionate about supporting small businesses and understands the importance of having an online platform that is easy to use, reflects your brand personality and shows the world how amazing your business is.