A guest post by Tara Gentile of Scoutie Girl.
Websites are funny things. For as fast as the web changes, our websites seem to languish unchanged well past their due. Or, we make changes willy nilly not knowing what works & what doesn’t.
Either way, rarely in between.
Today, I’d like to offer up 7 tweaks you can make to your website without wasting much time or effort, all while giving you big returns in your bottom line. These are tweaks that will help you deal with customers more productively and convert more sales. These are also all ideas that can be applied to a hosted shop, like on Etsy, as well as a stand alone site, such as one based on WordPress.
1. Make your contact information easy to find – and in multiple places, please.
Check out your website. Is there a way to contact you? Is it easy to find? What if you’d never been to the site before. Would you know where to look or who you were dealing with?
Make sure there’s a clear way to contact you throughout your website. And don’t be afraid to make your contact information as specific as possible. Let people know the best way to reach you and who they’ll be dealing with. The fewer the questions, the better!
On Scoutie Girl, I have a contact form that lets people know up front what I’m looking for. I also have Facebook, Twitter, and email icons on my sidebar so that people have a variety of ways to contact & connect with me.
2. Answer some frequently asked questions.
What questions do you find yourself answering over & over again in customer emails? Write a list. Answer them. Post.
You could add them to your sidebar on your blog or a separate page of your site. You could add them to your Etsy shop announcement or policies section. Customers really feel at ease and are more likely to buy when they know you’ve anticipated their needs.
Michelle, the When I Grow Up Coach, has a stellar FAQ page. Since her clients are probably brand new to personal coaching, her FAQs really help to make them feel comfortable with the process of getting to know her & what she does.
3. Feature a satisfied customer.
Surely, you’ve got a customer or two who has written you an email with a glowing review. First, write a quick note back to get their permission to use their testimonial. Then, add it to a prominent part of your site.
If you have multiple testimonials, slide them into your marketing copy wherever you can. Again, customers feel at ease when they know that others love your product.
Susannah Conway, photographer & creator of Unravelling, does this with a beautifully designed testimonials page. As a potential customer, you feel like you’re on the cusp of joining a vibrant community of women.
4. Put a featured item front and center.
Got something you just wish everyone took a closer look at? Make sure it’s the most prominent thing on your site.
Your “item” doesn’t have to be a product for sale, either. It might be an email opt-in or a special promotion or even a big press mention. Don’t wait for people to notice what you want them to see, take it into your own hands. Guide your customers through the experience of your website or shop.
Jan, of Daisy Janie, does this best. Jan has a wide variety of products – but from the front page of her website you really only see one: her new wholesale collection. That’s the one she wants you to notice. And notice you do.
5. Tell people to take action.
Just as your featured item should be front & center, don’t hesitate to let visitors know what you want them to do. Use strong language that focuses on the benefits to the customer.
“Enter your email address to receive exclusive promotions and news.”
“Click here to find out more about the necklace you’ll love wearing to your holiday parties.”
Writing a strong call to action creates a sense of urgency and keeps visitors from getting lost on your site.
Personally, I love the call to action on Meredith’s (Ex-Boyfriend) website right now, “Get cozy this winter with hoodies, tees, and accessories.” Get cozy? Yes, please!
6. Put some personality on the page.
If you haven’t updated your website in a while, there’s a good chance you have some “professional speak” on your page. Loosen up. Let your personality shine. Odds are, your customers will love you just as much as they love your stuff. And their relationship with you is what keeps them coming back for more!
Make sure your copy sends a message that you’re a serious business but that you’re a real person too.
My friend Kelly does this best of all. Now she’s a professional writer – but you don’t have to be a pro to get personal on your site. Check out the way she turns a phrase & incorporates her unique style throughout her header, sidebar, and footer.
7. Clean it up.
As website trends change – more quickly than my hair styles – we tend to add a lot of junk to our websites. Icons for this, badges for that. Links to friends and pictures of cats.
Even on the web, less is more. Check out your website and see what’s really important and what is just clutter. Remove the clutter and find a much better website underneath!
Megan just finished up doing that on her brand new website. It’s clean, compact, and oh-so-stylish.
Okay, that’s it! You’re now equipped to make some meaningful changes to your website or shop. Use these ideas as a springboard to create a more positive user experience for your customers.
How many of these simple tweaks will you implement to increase your results at this busy time of year?
Tara Gentile empowers people to live more creative lives & change the world with their money on Scoutie Girl. Get more web design tips & tutorials by registering for her Website Kick Start email list.