Create a Winning Website

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These days there is a plethora of website designs available as templates or custom built websites.  The best way to find a design that works for you is to spend some time searching on the Internet for websites that appeal.  Look for websites that are easy-to-use and easy to navigate. Most websites have a standard style which is intuitive to use.

It is not a good idea to try out anything too different from the norm when you are trying to sell products from a website.

People are used to a certain template when it comes to websites, such as a list of web pages on the left hand side of the site, or a row of buttons along the top in order to navigate their way around the site.  If you diverge from this, you can confuse your visitors and lose them before they have learned about your offer.  Stick to the sort of basic design that people are used to and add in your own personal touches.

As for colors, muted colors are better than bright gaudy ones.  Try to stick to a color scheme and just vary the tone.  It also helps to brand your products if you stick to the same color scheme throughout your website and other marketing materials.

It is vitally important to make sure that your copy can be easily read.  Avoid bright colored backgrounds that make the text difficult to read. Black on white is still classy, and black on very pale pastel colors could also work well.  Take time to experiment with your website design and color scheme, and then get your friends and family to try it out.
Keep it Fast and Simple

When it comes to websites, simple is always better. People have become conditioned to expect everything instantly on the Internet, so making them jump through hoops is counter-productive if you are trying to make sales.

Make sure your website is easy to navigate and that visitors do not have to go searching for your product.  Have one product per page and make sure your call to action is clear with step-by-step instructions.

Do not clutter your website with irrelevant or excessive information.  Tell people what they need to know, and make sure all the important stuff that will grab their attention is within the first fold of your homepage or landing page.  Do not make it hard work for them...

Do not even expect people to scroll down to find out what is in it for them.  State the main benefits of your product in your heading!

Avoid too many unnecessary pictures and graphics that will slow your site from loading properly.  Internet users are an impatient bunch and will not wait a whole minute for a picture to load, no matter how great you think it is!  After all, what's more important, a pretty website or heaps of sales?  If you have pictures on your website make sure they are compressed for the Internet, so that they load quickly.
Easy to Sign-Up

Tempt visitors to your site and make it easy for them with a simple opt-in subscription form with the very minimum of information you need.  Avoid having five pages of red asterisk-dotted required fields to have to fill in. I have lost count of the times I have abandoned something like that halfway through. Keep it simple and just ask for a first name and email address. People do not like having to give personal information these days.

If you do this, you will end up with a lot more traffic and a lot more visitors signing up to your list.  In time you will convert subscribers to customers. Once they are customers, then you collect more detailed information.
Be Patient

Do not forget that just because you have a lot of hits on your site it does not mean you will make a lot of sales.  Essentially, when people sign-up to your list, they are simply giving you permission to contact them with more information about your products until they ask you to stop by unsubscribing.

Also, do not believe that just because you build a large list of subscribers that you will make a lot of sales. It is imperative that you build a relationship with your subscribers and convince them over time that your products are a sound investment for their money.  It takes people, on average, seven visits to a website before they actually buy anything. That is assuming, of course, that you have a fantastic offer, high credibility and brilliant sales copy!
The Squeeze Page

The squeeze page is the simplest format for capturing your visitors contact information.  The page contains a call to action to get them to opt-in to your newsletter.  This can be a single page website that contains a simple headline, a few paragraphs of description, maybe several bullet points describing features and benefits, along with an opt-in box.

The reason that squeeze pages have so little information on them is that you only have one call to action on your page. Once they are there, visitors only have two options, sign up or leave.

Make sure that your call to action is really targeted and make it easy for your visitors to subscribe.  Make your website content concise and persuasive and if you want your visitors to sign-up, you will need to convince them to do this by describing all the amazing benefits of your product or service.

You do not want to overpower people with too much information on your squeeze page. Too much information and they will not read it. Remember, you want them to actually read it! You certainly do not want to have outgoing links of any description on this page, since these would distract your visitors or even worse, take them away from your website.
Opt-in Forms

There are several ways to place an opt-in form on your Website, and one of the most effective is the in-line form. This means that the opt-in form is placed somewhere in the middle of the copy rather than to the side or the bottom of the page.

An in-line form is strategically placed within your website and is designed to get your visitors interested in something of value that you are offering for free.  Because it does not interrupt the content of your website it makes the whole transition much smoother.

Decide on the actual content of your in-line form.  You can either include a brief description of your offer or choose a more detailed description, including your best features and benefits and go all-out to convert your visitors into newsletter subscribers.  Even if you are not able to sell anything at this point, at least try and get their contact details for future offers.

The actual placement of your in-line form is fairly arbitrary. Results will vary by topics, niche, industry, target market and even demographics. It is difficult to predict the best place for your in-line form.  The best thing is to experiment and play around with different placements.  Do not forget to keep track of your results so that you can maximize the performance of your marketing campaigns.

However, many Internet marketers have found that the best place for their opt-in forms has been towards the top of the page, within the fold; that is to say, the first part of the web page you can see before you scroll down.  With this layout, much of your content will appear below the in-line form.
Easy to Buy

Your visitors should never be more than three clicks away from being able to order.  As I said, Internet users are impatient and expect to get what they want instantly. Make sure they get it on your site!

Make sure you provide step-by-step instructions for visitors who want to order and use a simple shopping cart system with a reputable method of taking customers payments online, such as credit cards or PayPal.  It is a good idea to offer check or money order payment methods as well.
Be Creative

Throughout your website you should be advertising your products and providing links for people to subscribe to your list or place an order.

If you have a “contact us” or “about us” page, make sure you use it as a selling opportunity.  Use bribes and freebies if you have to, but when you have a visitor to your site, you have to make the most of it!

Save yourself a lot of email inquiries and a lot of time answering basic questions by compiling an FAQ section. Think of as many questions as you can to begin with and develop them as you go along.

FAQs allow your customers to find answers immediately, and it also looks professional. It builds confidence because it seems like you have been answering customer’s queries for a simply ages!