Simple Website Tips

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11. Privacy is important. Aside from the return policy, you also need to include a good privacy policy. Make sure people know their information is protected and will not be sold to a third party. A privacy policy should be easy to find and easy to read. You can use several different templates, as long as the company name is changed, and you revamp some sections of it to fit your business.

12. Having sales creates more sales. Come up with creative sales so people will want to buy something from the website. Use promotional emails, forum postings, and banner ads to attract the attention of customers who are looking for a good deal. Forum links can encourage people to check out your website.

13. Advertise effectively. Use banner ads, flash movies, and other forms of Internet advertising to attract new people to your website. Think of some unusual ways that will grab people and force them to click onto the site. Teaser ads and colorful flash are great ways to attract new visitors that will hopefully become sales. Talk to affiliate websites, and other businesses who sell products in the same niche as yours, and see about perhaps swapping your ad on their site for their ad on yours. Look for advertising discounts, and only advertise in places that will attract real buyers.

14. Describe your products fully. Be sure every item you sell has a thorough description about it and good, clear, professional pictures. Every single thing you are selling should be easy for the customer to see and understand. This includes color, size, and detailed descriptions such as materials used (i.e. if you sell shirts, let customers know the material like 100% cotton, etc). The more description included with each item, the better. Remember, people cannot actually hold these items in their hand and look at and touch them, so they need to be able to get a sense of everything they look at on the site.

15. 800 numbers really matter. Website surfers and e­commerce shoppers want assurance that they can contact anyone at any time if they have a concern with your website. Adding a 1­800 phone number can actually increase your conversion rate by a few percent each month. If customers can call and get in touch with someone if they have questions, they will most likely continue shopping and make the sale. If they have a difficult time getting a hold of someone, then they will probably move on to another website.

16. Enlarge the photos. As previously mentioned, good clear photos can really make a difference. Having the enlarge and zoom option

make it even more appealing. If people can get a clear view of the items they might buy, they feel much more confident in making that final purchase without holding the item in their hand.

17. Add in FAQ’s. Frequently Asked Questions are a great tool to help encourage customers to get the help they need simply by clicking on your FAQ page. Come up with the most common questions people would ask, and add them on a dedicated page along with answers. Of course, people can always email or call your 800 number, but having FAQ’s really does help.

18. Be upfront with all pricing. Don’t try to hide pricing, especially shipping. Make it easy for potential customers to know just how much their total purchase will be with shipping right from the outset. A lot of times, Internet shoppers will turn away at the last minute if the shipping cost is unexpectedly too high.

19. Use Heat Map technology. This new technology allows you to see what your visitors are hovering or clicking the mouse on. You’ll then be able to optimize or tweak any particular area that’s getting a lot of attention and areas which aren’t. www.CrazyEgg.com is a heat map service you can use.

20. Live chat is effective. Include a live chat option to your site if possible. The 1­800 number is great, but some people prefer to just email or chat online. Adding in a live chat feature is a good way to show your business is sophisticated, and concerned about its customers’ needs. While you probably won’t have Live Chat online 100% of the time, it’s good to have operators on staff during regular business hours, or during your particular website’s peak hours.

21. Prove you’re real and physical. A real, physical address is definitely a reassurance for people when they look at the website. It also encourages them to correspond via regular mail (or snail mail) as well as email. A physical address ensures that you are legitimate and shows them that you have a business address.

22. Customer testimonials matter. Use your satisfied customers’ kind words as testimonials on the website. Put them in a prominent place

so people can clearly see them. Customer testimonials make people feel better about buying from you since there has been a past history of others who are happy with your products or services.

23. Inform people about you. Include an “about us” section on the website. Give a company history, as well as more detailed information about what it is you’re selling. You can tell people the year you were founded, where you’re located, and what ideas you came up with to start the business. An “about me” section is always helpful and attracts people to your site.

24. Always check your work. Whenever you add, delete, or make any kind of changes to your website, make sure you check the spelling. Product descriptions often change, so it can be very easy to make typos. Be very careful of all text and ensure that everything is spelled properly the first time. Misspellings tend to scare people away, especially when it comes to spending money.

25. Be realistic. Use compelling text that convinces people to make a purchase, but stay away from melodramatic or overly exaggerated words. Sounding too unrealistic does not appeal to most logically thinking customers. They want the facts and want to hear or read more, but don’t need too much.

26. Display stock status. If you only have a few of each item, consider showing the number of items in stock somewhere near the product. This usually gives people the idea that the items are limited in quantity, and it may entice them to buy more than one. It also helps you to track your inventory a bit better.

27. Keep it fresh. Try to rotate your items as much as you can. If something has been on your website for a long time and it is not getting any bites, consider removing it and adding something new. Changing up your inventory entices people to see what’s new.

28. Check on the copyright. Make sure the copyright at the bottom of every single page is up to date. If it’s 2009, you don’t want your copyright to read 2001. This makes the whole site look and feel outdated, even if you’ve just recently updated it.

29. Customize errors. If your customer happens to run across an error, you can customize your 404 error pages. If there’s a problem with the server, make it look professional and give people a secure sense that the website will be back up and running as soon as possible.

30. Sorting makes life easier. Add a sort items option to your web store. Allow people to sort by sizes, price, color, and most recently added items. This makes navigating the website much easier, and shopping a breeze. You should also allow customers to choose how many items they see per page of results, such as only 10 per page, 40 per page, or all items on each page.