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30 tips on how to get your website to be your best seller

Your website needs at least 30 things to do its job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

1. An object
What is the purpose of your website? Is it to identify potential customers? Is it to sell directly or is it to inform? Whatever purpose you have, you must create paths to achieve that purpose. It's even more important for the visitor that page has a clear purpose. The visitor must immediately understand what your website is about, what they are going to take part of if they remain. Think about what problem you can solve for your visitors.

2. A useful content
Anyone who visits a website is looking for something they lack, something they want to know more about - and they want it now! They don't want to receive it in the mail in two days, they don't even want to get it in fifteen minutes – the want it NOW! If you can't satisfy that wish, the visitor will move on to someone who can. But it's not enough that you can offer the product he/she wants, your website must feel new and fresh and updated. Everything that's old and outdated must go. If you sell the same things as everyone else, you must spice up your content with something that the visitor can't get anywhere else. The visitor has a problem and he/she is in need of a solution. Visitors have questions and need answers. How can your content meet those needs?

3. Credibility
If visitors feel that they don't really know if they can trust you and your offer, they will leave you instantly. Don't promise things you can't keep. Never boast about yourself. Never talk about yourself, always talk about the visitor. Make sure that the number of ”you” and ”your” is greater than the number of ”we” and ”our”. Tell us about the advantages, but also share the facts and use customer references. Ensure that the image you use to present yourself and your business is the same image people would get if they met you face to face offline.

4. Collect addresses from your visitors
Give visitors a reason already on the front page why they should give you their email address. Offer a free subscription to your newsletter or start a list where customers can get deals when you have sales campaigns. Give away free samples or start a contest. It doesn't matter what you do, but make sure to get their addresses for future use. To convince visitors that they should give you their email addresses there are two things you should consider. 1: That you will send them things that are beneficial for them and 2: That you will not sell or rent addresses to other companies.

5. Limit the number of choices for the visitor
Every single link, image or button must be evaluated by you. Do you really need them? Are they just there to fill up space? The fewer choices visitors have, the easier it is to make decisions about what they want to watch. The more choices they have, the less of a chance that they make any choices at all. If you sell a product, show the way to purchase it in an easy way. Make choices simple by making sure that the product can be ordered with the push of a button for those who have already decided. For anyone wanting to know more, there should be an abundant amount of information on how to purchase. You should show the way to the checkout, or to the different ways to contact your business.

6. Make it easy to navigate
Let your visitors get a nice ride straight to the information they are there to get. Remove all hassles and sidetracks. Don't wear your visitors down.

7. Give the visitor a unique offer
Whatever you offer, it must be different. If you 're in a competitive industry where all the products are similar to each other, it's your job to identify your competitive advantages and tell people about them in your marketing. If you don't have anything to take advantage of right now, you can create them by improving your products or services, or both.

8. A page that loads quickly
Imagine a tired and worn out seller in shabby clothes that shows up for a meeting with you. He shows up late and also farts before he sits down. This is not the company that you would want to do business with. Strangely enough, this is exactly the impression many websites give. They can be designed by the very best (= most expensive) designers available, but it doesn't matter. I begin to suspect that most web designers never actually use the internet, they are more interested in getting famous for their web designs. Anyone who uses the net regularly knows that no one wants to wait. Get a stopwatch and find out how many seconds it takes before your start page is up and running. If it's up and running in less than 10 seconds or so, you're okay.

9. Be careful with spelling and appearance
How much confidence do you get for the owner of a website that is full of misspellings and pop-up ads constantly blocking your view? I just get annoyed and bored.

There are a few things that you can do to create a serious looking website:
• Create a simple layout that reflects your business and that is easy and appealing for both the eye and the brain.
• Make sure that the page loads fast by avoiding too many graphic images.
• Make sure that the content is spelled correctly.
• Make sentences and paragraphs clearly arranged by shortening them down.
• Focus on the visitor's purpose of visiting your website. Can you offer him/her what he/she is looking for?
• Keep the look consistent by choosing one background color and stick to it. Place the navigation buttons at the same place on all the pages and also stick to a similar design on all the pages.

10. Make the visitor act now

If you have deals on the website, make sure you give the visitor a sense of urgency to act. You want them to act now, right? If they leave your website it's not certain that they will come back. What you need to create is a sense that if the visitor doesn't act now, he/she will miss something important. You can do this in different ways. The most common is to make an offer that comes with a time limit. You can also make limited number of goods or throw in bonuses with each purchase. In any case, give people the best deal you can afford.

11. Use black text only
The exception is links and keywords that you may like to highlight. Too many colors not only make it difficult to read the content, it also makes the website look amateurish.

12. Select the background carefully
Don't get too excited and experiment too much. Your background should reflect your business and if it looks like a carnival, my advice is to cool down a bit. Maybe it looks great on your computer, but keep in mind that it might look completely different on other people's computers. They may use a different browser, or simply an old computer that can't see the colors you intended. Be especially careful when using light backgrounds combined with colorful text. The general advice is to use high contrast between background and text.

13. Use headlines when you write articles
Remember that headlines are what make the articles in the magazine read.

14. Links
Your links can help your website get a stronger content. They can, unfortunately, also scare visitors away from your website. Use common sense when using links.

15. Put headlines on buttons
Your buttons are actually headlines that will make visitors interested enough to proceed. What kind of headers can you create that will tempt visitors to click on the buttons? Make use of the status bar to reinforce what is behind the buttons.

16. Let your visitors know who you are
Use pictures of yourself and your office. If you have a nice facade with a neat sign, post a photo so visitors can see that you are ”for real ”too. Not having a personal touch to the website is a big mistake. Not having contact information on the pages is an even bigger mistake. It's like coming into a store where the clerk hides behind the counter and just puts your goods on the counter without showing himself. Don't make such a mistake. Have at least one name to an actual person that people can contact instead of an info address.

17. Delete the word”soon”
Never talk about all the cool stuff that ”soon” will be made available. You can only offer people what they can see and get right now and nothing more.

18. Avoid made-up corpses
Update the website it as often as you can. Don't let it become a ”made up corpse.”It is better to remove old stuff and let the space be empty than leave old news hanging around. Your website is as important as anything else in your company.

19. Appoint a responsible person

Make sure that someone in your company is responsible for the website and that the information is updated. Let this task become an important part of that person's daily job. You know approximately how long it will take to update the information, so set aside specific time to deal with the website every day.

20. Encourage visitors to participate
Allow visitors to contribute with content to the website. It makes it come alive. Make sure visitors can also leave feedback in a way that makes it interesting for them to do so.”Everyone who contributes with ideas on how to make this website better will receive a gift if we use the idea.”

21. Remove distractions
Avoid everything that flashes, spins, burns, jumps and pops up. Do you feel that such effects are still needed in order to emphasize something, then create it with care so that it's not perceived as disruptive.

22. Keep your promises
Before you start promising things on the website, you must ensure that you can deliver what you promise, that there are procedures to keep all of your promises.

23. Provide answers to common questions
Create a FAQ that answers common questions about the product. If it is too complicated to describe the product on your website in an easy and understandable fashion, there is certainly information elsewhere on the web that you can link to.

24. Never try to hold on to the visitor
Avoid creating windows that pops up, shortcuts or automatic registrations. This is very annoying and it may force the customer to disconnect himself to get away from your website. I never revisit such a website again even if it was interesting. Respect the visitor and make it easy to check out.

25. Payments
Provide all possible variations to pay (those you are able to administer). Credit cards, checks, cash on delivery, installments and so on.

26. Deliver in TIME
Realize that your online routines are just as important to keep track of as your routines offline.

27. Offer options
Offer options besides ordering online. Many people feel uncomfortable about ordering via the order form on the web and would prefer to call. Your phone number must be on the order page. Also invite the visitors to write to you and order.

28. View the content
Always focus on your purpose with your website and keep that purpose in mind with everything you do with you site. Remember why you launched the website (point 1). Don't be too fond of all the things you can throw in just because it's possible. Let everything new go through the same strict scrutiny as the material that has qualified to be published on the website (paragraph 5).

29. Check the features
Make sure that everything on the website is working. Are the images loading properly? Does the links work properly? Check everything on a regular basis.

30. New goals
Always think of your website as something to be improved. The website will never be finished, it will never be good enough.

Comment: Do you think all of this sounds challenging and difficult? It's actually not. We are fully confident that you can get your website to become your customers' best friend and really profitable at the same time.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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