Is your website working effectively for you?
It’s your 24/7 sales person – is it representing you well?
Does it reflect the very best of your products and/or services?
Before you invest time & money promoting your site, SHAPE IT UP!
The #1 Question You Need to Answer: What is the purpose of your website?
Why do you have a website? What’s the goal? What should it be accomplishing for you?
Here are some possible goals for a website:
- to develop a list of targeted prospects
- to sell products or services
- to encourage potential customers to contact us by phone or mail
- to provide product information and/or price lists to customers
- to provide product information and/or price lists to distributors
- to provide customer service (how to use/wash/care for items, etc)
- to provide information to a particular niche or target market
- to strengthen brand recognition
Your website may have more than one goal, and several goals may work together. For example, if your main goal is to sell products or services, then developing a list of targeted prospects who are interested in and need the products or services you offer should be a goal also.
As you “shape up” your website, you want to keep in mind the actions that you want to focus on. If your goal is to sell your products, then everything needs to be centered on that goal and making it as easy as possible for customers to purchase. Use large, easy to find “add to cart” buttons. Make it easy to find the answer to questions about policies, payments, and shipping.
If you are focused on building a list, you want to make it easy for customers to subscribe to that list and would take actions such as:
- Create an easy to use subscribe form
- Put the subscribe form in the top area of your site & doesn’t require scrolling
- Put that form on every page of your website
- Request only the essential information you need (name and email) and not name, address, phone, etc
- Offer customers a free gift, download, coupon, etc if they sign up
- Consider designing an image to represent what the visitor gets when they sign up
- Add a privacy statement such as: We will not share your information.
If building a list of prospects is your only goal, then you may even consider having a one-page squeeze type site where the only option a visitor has is to subscribe to your list. Keep it simple!
But if you have a dual goal of selling products/services and building a list of prospects, then don’t hide your store behind a squeeze page.
Whatever your goals are, you’ll find ways to make that easier for customers to do. It should require as few clicks as possible, be as easy to find/do as possible, etc. Don’t make your customers think hard or search around for how to buy or how to contact you. The easier you make it, the more visitors will take that action.