In the race to maximize conversions while saving as much money as possible, the stock images
available online have been a mainstay of any web designer’s budget. After all, surveys show
that the right picture can make a huge difference in garnering consumer attention, with one
recent case study demonstrating that changing to a more relevant photo increased the CTR
for a subsidiary of SalesForce.com by 40.1%.
Nevertheless, no one wants to pay more than necessary for the right image. That’s why the
recent decision by Getty Images to update their iStockPhoto property comes as such good
news. Previously the repository of images ranging from the sublime to the old, dated and not
so good, Getty is not only adding to their inventory, but streamlining the search process on
the new site, renamed iStock.com.
With free and inexpensive photographs, illustrations and videos suitable for almost any
business, it’s now a relevant resource for anyone looking for the right visuals to accompany
their products online. Sound files are also available. It’s definitely worth a look (or a listen),
and may help to bring your website’s products the extra zing! they need for increased sales
this holiday season.
In the quest to keep visitors on your website for as long as possible, consider creating a space
for user discussions. While not every website or product inventory is suitable for one, many
businesses can garner new customers and keep existing ones by fostering discussion.
Indeed, once you set it up on a landing page, you’ll need to monitor comments, remove spam
and respond to questions. That does take time. However, the returns on establishing a “brand
community” can be enormous and more than worth the effort.
A product comment or review section is a great place to start. Make it as visually appealing
and friendly as possible to your prospective user. Avatars and an inviting call to action are
always welcome. In contrast, making the comment process long and involved, with time
consuming requirements for personal information and passwords, are not. Reduce the fields
necessary to participate, and you’ll encourage more people to get involved.
Consider using a ranking or voting arrow system for comments and products too. Nothing
works better as a product endorsement than the recommendations of your own customers
running alongside their descriptions. While you’re bound to get some negatives, overall, the
message you’ll send to customers is one of trust, value and confidence in what you sell.
When considering improvements to your website, always remember, less is more. It’s easy
to get carried away with multiple new fixes. Each is employed to draw in new traffic or boost
conversions, but all of them together can have precisely the opposite effect. Instead of
bringing in more site visitors for longer periods, you may be sending people away far more
often than you realize.
Including social network buttons on your website’s homepage is a great way to remind viewers
to stay in touch. But remember, the idea is to bring your fans to your website, not to
Facebook. Social media is a great way to connect and engage with your consumers.
It’s also good for SEO. But check your analytics regularly to make sure you’re not
encouraging your site visitors to leave their shopping carts and head off to a social
media platform instead, rather than the other way around.
Videos work in the same way. Ensure your video viewers stay on your website to watch. Don’t
direct them to YouTube to learn more about you. After all, once they get there, statistics
show most will never return.
Stay focused on driving people to spend time on your website with a high quality user
experience throughout. Attracting and holding the attention of your audience on every
landing page should be your priority.
In a perfect world, there would be an unlimited budget to accompany any new product launch.
However, for most small businesses, inexpensive is usually better at first in any online
promotion effort, especially when it comes to any design changes for your website.
In thinking about how to draw attention to your new offering, first consider the demographic
you’re going to need to inform. Who will be willing to pay for this product? What products on
your website are they interested in already? Add a button above the homepage fold that links
to a relevant landing page. There you can combine information about the new item along with
the existing products and services your customer will recognize.
Rather than getting bogged down in the million and one features your offering is bringing to the
table, frame the information instead with an answer to successful marketing’s most important
question. What problems are you solving for the customer with this new product?
Any unique selling proposition must center around your response. Pitching your new idea as
a solution to a real problem for the consumer is far more effective than simply focusing on
its amazing features. While there’s a place for an in-depth description, make it easy for your
customer to understand its direct benefits.
Posted on November 1, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
It’s easy to get carried away with designing a website. So many choices on so many things can
cloud the bigger issues for even the most focused marketing team. But for anyone interested
in conversions online or off, it’s important to address four major concerns that most consumers
will be asking when they visit your site. These are the big questions from a customer you must
answer in the layout, navigation, and any basic sales message you choose to include:
1.) Can I trust them?
2.) Are they going to be too expensive? ( This is important no matter what demographic you’re
pursuing. Remember, everyone likes to get a deal. )
3.) Do they like working with people/companies like me-am I their “type?”
4.) Will I be able to get someone from their company on the phone directly if I need to?
Whether you sell high end custom yachts or the most basic of plumbing supplies, your site
must not only make your consumer feel welcome, but respected. Along with this comes the
necessity of educating your site visitor on the emotional assets you bring to the table along with
the practical ones. After all, moving your potential customer from a place of not knowing to a
position of confidence in your products, services, and integrity is above all else an emotional
journey-not an intellectual one.
When you’re redesigning your website, don’t neglect a critical part of the entire site experience: the “about us” page. It’s a great opportunity to let customers know not only who you are and what your company is about, but to build the essential human element into any online interaction. Whether you sell airplane parts or children’s toys, make no mistake. Consumers make buying decisions based on emotions first, not facts. Credibility and trust, therefore, are everything.
In creating an “about us” page, don’t skimp on quality content. Avoid the cliches of your industry, and tell a compelling story instead. Why did your company come about? Who are the people who make up your team? Paint a picture with vivid writing rather than just using canned verbiage. This is an opportunity for creating memorable details about your products, your employees and your company. It’s a way to distinguish yourself from your competitors.
Photographs are helpful too, in that they show the faces behind the names. Everyone likes to look at people, not just things in photographs. No matter what you sell, personalizing your product by letting consumers see “behind the curtain” of your operation establishes you as a brand of real people. You’re no longer just another sales pitch. It’s sincere, and it’s effective. In a world where straight talk and plain dealing sometimes go by the wayside, don’t forget that these nevertheless remain universals of any successful business.
According to a recent report from Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab, 46.1% of people say that a website’s design is the “number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company.” The silver lining to this rather serious news? Great web design doesn’t have to be fancy-or expensive.
Its central goal should be to convey your company’s most important qualities, those that separate you from all other competitors and define you as a trustworthy brand that consumers can’t afford to be without. Retain current website traffic and attract new site visitors with easy, intuitive navigation, well organized content, and a consistent, concise message throughout that focuses on the unique benefits provided by your products and services. And the rest? Ensure your site loads quickly, remains compatible with a variety of browsers and has a hosting service that’s entirely reliable-and you’ll be good to go.
Need more statistics to convince you? According to KissMetrics Research, 40% of consumers will simply walk away from a website that requires more than 3 seconds to load properly, and at least 50% of potential sales disappear when a customer can’t figure out how to navigate pages effectively. In contrast, 60% of consumers report feeling positive about a website when they read any custom content found on a website. Quality visuals, appealing colors and well considered layouts also encourage your visitors to stay longer and browse.
With Internet users growing increasingly sophisticated and familiar with the very best cyber design the marketplace has to offer, the takeaway is…you can’t afford not to have a great website as we go into 2014.
For any digital marketing campaign this fall, a mobile friendly site is no longer a nice option, but an essential must have. Did you know your consumers are using more than 232 unique screen resolutions today among their tablets, smartphones and desktop browsers? With well over 21% of web traffic to e-retailers coming from tablets and smartphones, smart companies have websites that are optimized for just about anything.
Still on the fence? Consider the other statistics. More than 67% of shoppers say they prefer to make purchases from websites that are mobile friendly, understandable when you consider that more than 91% of Americans have a device next to them twenty four hours a day that allows them to access the Internet. With more than $108 per average online retail transaction using their smartphone or tablet, your mobile consumer is ready to spend with your company-if they can access your site.
The risks of a mobile friendly redesign? Ensure your website does not extend the time necessary to download all your image elements onto a particular device. Streamlining is the key, so make your content equally accessible across a variety of browsers. While the user experience can be different from device to device, it should be efficient across the board.
With the reduced maintenance problems and increased visibility within the marketplace, a device friendly website makes sense, regardless of your industry. No matter what you sell, the move to mobile will increase your conversions and boost your online brand for 2014.
In deciding on the content for your new website, it’s easy to focus on what undoubtedly you know the most about: your company’s goods and services. And yet, when it comes to creating hard working content that really gets conversions, the answer lies in addressing what any consumer wants, quite naturally, to talk about instead: themselves.
Effective copy focuses on the benefits of your services, not the services themselves. What problems confront your typical consumer-and how does your product solve them? Only by demonstrating you first understand their personal challenges and have a way for them to overcome them will you generate the kind of solid return on your website design that you deserve.
“Benefits” too can be a murky term. Consider the difference between real benefits and “fake” benefits-and their impact on the consumer. Let’s assume you sell motor oil. Its use results in better engine functioning, and in turn, lower costs for the car owner as a result of needing fewer repairs. In generating the copy for your website, it might seem appropriate to tout “Better Engine Functioning!” as your headline. And yet…consider the emotional impact of selling this motor oil instead as a way to save time and money. In the end, unless you’re a car buff, you’re not going to connect with a phrase like “better engine functioning” on an emotional level. Time and money, on the other hand, are precious commodities we all have feelings about.
Remember, as much as we’d like to assume otherwise, most, if not all of our buying decisions are made from an emotional rather than rational vantage point. Make sure your new website design answers those questions, and ensure your success within the marketplace.
Posted on September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
When it comes to designing the right website to get the customers you want, don’t take chances on gut feelings or worse, the personal preferences of your web designer. With A/B testing, you don’t have to. Test your site’s performance to optimize for success.
To evaluate your site effectively, however, you must identify the key goals that you’re trying to achieve. Without this information, you won’t be able to determine what works, what doesn’t, and how to make the changes necessary in getting you where you need to go.
First, who do you want as leads? Who are the site visitors you’re hoping to turn into customers? Remember, the more general your answer, the less likely you are to create a website that meets the specific wants of a particular demographic. Generic website designs designed to address everyone’s needs usually end up satisfying none.
Second, what do most of your consumers want when they get to your website-and what is the “essential” experience you would like them to have? For example, your company may sell more purple widgets off your site than anything else, and you may want them to buy blue widgets instead. Both these facts are critical pieces of information as you test.
Understanding the answers to these questions will allow you to effectively evaluate site content and refine for even more conversions. Evaluating what makes a good website isn’t just about looking at graphics or content. Base decisions on goals and hard data to ensure your success.