Easy Tricks for
Simplifying Your Web Site and
Turning At Least 60% More Visitors into Sales!
you're like me, you're probably pretty excited that summer's right
around the corner. The days are getting longer, the veggies are growing
in the garden, and barbecue smells are wafting through the
neighborhood. Ah, summer!
that it's almost here, a lot of businesses are winding down for the
warm weather lull. That means it's a great time to spruce up your web
site. Whether your site needs a complete overhaul or just a little
tidying up, it can really benefit from a thorough once-over.
this issue, we're going to look at the top 4 "Fatal Mistakes" that many
designers make with their web sites. These mistakes seem like innocent
blunders, but they can really kill your sales. We'll also go over the
top 10 essential elements that every site must have if it's going to be
successful. Then we'll provide a list of useful resources that you can
use to optimize your site's performance.
on to learn how you can simplify the design of your web site to improve
its effectiveness and really get your profits to soar!
Top 4 Fatal Mistakes Web Site Designers Make
you want to be successful online, you have to develop a web site that
serves the needs of your visitors in a user- friendly fashion. It's
surprising how many people don't think about this when they plan their
important rule of thumb when it comes to designing a web site is:
SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY. Your web site should be easy to use and
easy to understand. It should guide your visitors through the sales
process in a simple and convenient manner. Your visitors should never
have to guess at what you mean or what you're trying to get them to do!
that in mind, let's take a look at some of the common mistakes
businesses owners make when developing their web sites...
MISTAKE #1: Trying to "dazzle" customers instead of sell to them
lot of new business owners want their web sites to be as eye-catching
as possible. They think that by including a lot of flashy graphics and
nifty animation effects, they'll capture their visitors' attention.
That may be true, but they can distract your visitors from what you
really want them to focus on: the value of your product!
confuse eye-candy for content. Graphics should only ever be used to
support the main purpose of your site: to get people to buy what you
have to offer! If a graphic doesn't directly relate to your product or
service, then it shouldn't be on your site. It's just that simple.
may want to impress people with your technical know-how by including
lots of banners and links on your site, but too much visual clutter
looks unprofessional and can ruin your credibility. And, if the
graphics and gimmicks don't have anything to do with what you're
selling, they're just going to detract from your main message. Anything
that distracts visitors from your copy is guaranteed to lose you sales.
also don't want to chase your visitors away with long, unnecessary
Flash presentations and splash pages. If your customers have to spend
too much time trying to figure out how to stop your Flash presentation
so they can get through to the "meat" of your site, they'll be gone,
most likely never to return.
it or not, studies have shown that most first-time visitors spend only
10 SECONDS on a site before deciding whether or not it offers any value
for them. You don't want to waste these precious seconds with a
pointless splash page or distracting animation!
best way to drive sales is to design a simple, clean site using only
two or three colors and one or two fonts throughout the entire site.
Avoid using colored or patterned backgrounds. You might think they look
cool, but they make it really difficult to read your sales copy. Also
be sure to keep your link colors and format consistent. People
generally expect links to be blue and underlined. This may seem boring
from a design point of view, but the links will be instantly
recognizable and that's what really matters.
FATAL MISTAKE #2: Making Your Site Too Large
of the worst mistakes people can make is building massive, multi-paged sites that take
forever to load. "The more, the better," is NOT true, at least when it
comes to web site design!
studies have shown that 30% to 60% percent of visitors drop off with
each click they're made to take! Your site has to be as streamlined as
possible in order if you want it to reach its true profit potential.
you spruce up your site, try to reduce the number of pages wherever
possible. If you're selling 10 or less products, include them on your
homepage. Why make visitors click through to a separate "Products" page
to see what you have to offer? Remember, every click loses sales! If you can't feature all
your products on your home page, group them in categories and display
each category of products on its own page, instead of including a
separate page for each product.
possible, try to reduce the number of files on your web pages. The more
files a page has, the longer it'll take to load -- especially if
they're large graphics files. Use colored text instead of graphics to
grab attention. If you must use a graphic, make sure it's a small file.
Too many people make the mistake of using high- resolution images when
they really don't need to. You need only 72 dpi (dots per inch) for
screen resolution. And most graphics only need to be 256 colors or
forget, you have only 10 seconds to grab people's attention. The longer
visitors have to wait for your site to load, the less likely they are
to stick around and find out about your products or services.
FATAL MISTAKE #3: Confusing Navigation
web designers like to show off their skills by creating new and
different ways to navigate through a multi-paged site. Sometimes they
hide links beneath icons or images, so that users can't find the links
unless they mouse over the graphics. This may be very clever, but it
certainly doesn't help people find what they're looking for!
designers put their navigation bars in different places on each web
page, or change the look of the navigation bar itself, which can be
awfully confusing. Navigation bars are like traffic signs: they have to
be consistent and easily understandable in order to be effective.
best way to deal with your navigation is to make it simple and obvious.
It might seem boring and unoriginal, but that's the point. People don't
want to have to guess how to make their way through your site -- they
want it to be easy to understand. Otherwise, they'll go somewhere else
to find what they're seeking.
MISTAKE #4: Burying essential information too deep within the site
surfers are impatient people! They don't want to spend a lot of time
trying to find what they're seeking on your site. According to market
research done by the Garner Group, more than 50% of Web sales are lost
because site visitors can't find what they're looking for.
you've buried important information too deep within your site, you're
losing out on more than half of your sales!
web site should be like a newspaper story. All of the really important
information about your site -- what you're selling and how it benefits
people -- should be the first thing your visitors see. That's the best
way to capture their attention and get them to read more.
If you have only 10
seconds to grab your visitors' interest, don't make them waste time
scrolling down your homepage or clicking through to deeper pages.
People don't want to take any extra trouble to find out what you're
offering -- you have to provide it to them right up front. Don't make
them look for it; hit them between the eyes with it!
The 10 Essential Elements Your
Site Absolutely MUST Have!
that we've covered what you shouldn't have on your site, it's time to
review what you should include. If you have all these elements on your
site, you'll be well on your way to success!
ELEMENT #1: Attention-grabbing headline
first thing people see when they visit your site should be a compelling
headline that describes the most important benefit your product or
service offers. The headline is THE key element of your site. It's what
will persuade your visitors to stick around and check out what you have
headline should be well-written: clear, concise, and to the point. It
should also be enticing. You want to pique your visitors' interest and
make them eager to learn more about what you're selling. You can do
this by emphasizing what your product or service can do for them.
you've crafted a compelling headline, format it so that it stands out
from the rest of the text. It should be the first thing that catches
your visitors' attention. Use a large font size, bolding, italics, a
different color -- whatever suits the style of your web site.
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT #2: User-friendly navigation
we said above, nothing drives your customers away faster than confusing
or complicated navigation! Your customers should be able to know where
they are on your site at all times, and should easily be able to find
pages they've already visited.
sure your navigation bar or menu is clearly accessible and easy to
understand. It should be exactly the same on every page of your site,
and be located in exactly the same place. Your customers shouldn't have
to hunt for it.
when it comes to navigation, consistency is the key!
ELEMENT #3: Effective salescopy
words you use to describe your product and its benefits are the key to
the success of your business. Your salescopy is the only contact you'll
have with the vast majority of your visitors. That's why you have to
make the most of it!
- Immediately draw the reader in with exciting benefits and
enticing copy so you can lead them toward the sale.
- Establish your credibility -- nobody will buy from you if
they don't feel they can trust you.
- Describe the benefits of your product or service and explain
WHY your visitors need it.
ELEMENT #4: A clear "Call to Action"
you want people to buy your products or services, you have to tell them
how to do it! Don't leave them guessing. You have to explain exactly
what you want them to do, and you have to make it easy for them to do
you want them to buy a product, present them with a call to action like
HERE NOW to order your six-month supply of Product X.
your customers with clear, easy-to-understand instructions on how to
make a purchase, and let them know what they can expect when they click
on the link that leads them to the order page.
ELEMENT #5: Well-chosen images
can really help people visualize your products or services and their
benefits. Be sure to include photos of every product you sell.
Attractive product shots can really boost your sales!
you have a lot of products for sale, use "thumbnails" that link to
larger images. This will make your pages load more quickly. If you're
selling electronically delivered products such as eBooks or software,
you may want to create simulated product shots to represent them. This
is guaranteed to boost your sales by making your product seem more
pictures of yourself and your staff helps to personalize your business
and reminds customers they're interacting with real people, not just a
web site. In addition, you should post photos of satisfied customers
beside their testimonials. This will add credibility to their
statements and show your visitors that they're not just figments of
ELEMENT #6: A strong opt-in offer
first-time visitors don't make a purchase. However, the fact they've
come to your site in the first place means they're at least curious to
see what you have to offer.
order to pursue a relationship with these potential customers, you
should collect their e-mail addresses by encouraging them to subscribe
to a free newsletter or free download. This will give you the chance to
send them updates and information, develop relationships with them, and
enable them to trust you enough to buy from you!
offers like this are a great way to turn visitors into customers and
really maximize your sales. Your opt-in offer should be clearly linked
to each page of your web site or, if possible, actually included on
each page. One less click means losing fewer potential subscribers!
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT #7: Testimonials
best way to establish credibility is to provide evidence that your
product or service really works. And the best way to do that is to
include testimonials from satisfied customers that explain how your
product or service has helped improve their lives.
sure to include the name of your satisfied customers as well as where
they live. You should also provide a small picture of them. This will
personalize their messages and demonstrate that they're real people
who've enjoyed real benefits from your product.
a good idea to have a few of your best testimonials featured right on
your homepage, for instant credibility. However, you should also have a
separate testimonials page as well. The more satisfied customers you
can show to reluctant shoppers, the better.
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT #8: An "About
are often hesitant to buy things online. They miss the personal
interaction of doing business face to face.
best way to overcome their reluctance is to include an "About Us" page
that provides information about you, your staff, and your business. Be
sure to include pictures of yourself and your staff members. This shows
your customers they're doing business with real people and will help
ease any worries they might have.
ELEMENT #9: An FAQ page
a good idea to include a "Frequently Asked Questions" page on your
site. This is where you list the questions most commonly asked by your
customers and provide answers to them. It allows your visitors
immediate access to the answers they need before they'll consider
buying your product or service.
ELEMENT #10: Your contact info
order to close sales and establish your credibility, you have to
provide full contact information on your site. This includes your
mailing address as well as fax and phone numbers. Businesses that only
include e-mail addresses come across as unprofessional and possibly
Make sure your contact
information is clearly visible on every page of your site. This will
make it easy for customers to know how to reach you if they want to get
more information or buy a product.
the hot weather starts luring your customers to the beach instead of
your web site, take advantage of the lull by going through your site
with a fine-toothed comb.
a list of "must-do" actions you can take to optimize its performance.
Figure out where you can get rid of non- essential clutter and simplify
the sales process. Don't forget, streamlined sites generate more sales!
the time to browse through other sites (including those of your
competitors) to see how your site compares and get ideas for
improvement. What do you like about their sites? What do you find
annoying about them? This will help you get an idea of what to include
and what to avoid on your own site.
you've made some improvements, ask some friends to go through your
site. How hard is it for them to get from page to page? Can they easily
find their way back to pages they've already visited? Are they confused
by any aspect of your sales process? Do they find your site appealing?
Remember: you can never do too much testing!
simpler and more user-friendly your site is, the more sales it will
generate. It's as simple as that. So you should always be thinking
about how you can remove any unnecessary clutter, confusing links, or
visual eyesores to let your sales copy stand out.
Useful Resources for Improving Your
here's a list of resources you can use to maximize the effectiveness of
- Web Page Analyzer:
A free web tool that determines how long it takes for each of your web
pages to load. It also points out which parts of your page are causing
- WebGraphics Optimizer:
A great tool for optimizing and compressing images for online use.
You'll be amazed at how much faster your site downloads once you've
reduced the file size of your graphics!
Features a helpful tool that allows you to view your web site as it
appears in all of the major browsers. The site also offers free HTML
software, tools that allow you to validate your HTML code, etc.
Features detailed information and advice on how to improve your site
performance, including webmaster tips and information on how to check
Features articles and tutorials on all aspects of web site design. It
also has offers different software for sale.
Offers articles with related trialware, as well as e-newsletters, a
discussion center, online courses and library, and product reviews. The
articles are rated and include readers' comments.
A web developer's resource sponsored by Lycos.com. It includes a how-to
library as well as reference tools.
A site for web developers with articles, and forums on different coding
types, scripting, e-commerce, etc.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Corey Rudl is the owner of four highly successful online businesses
that attract more than 6 million visitors and generate over $5.2
million each year. He is also the author of the #1 best-selling
Internet Marketing course online.
check out his site that's JAM-PACKED WITH THE EXACT INFORMATION YOU
NEED to start, build, and grow your very own profitable Internet
highly recommend visiting his website.
visit his website now.
guy really knows what he's talking about