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Photo by iStockphoto

Yesterday, I wrote about increasing circulation to your blog, which is great, but once you have people to your site wouldn’t it be great if they “hung out” to see what else you had to offer? Today I’m going to talk about “5 Components for Creating Websites that Sell.”  Whether you design your website yourself or if you are looking for a website designer, remember your website is literally your storefront, your business card, and most significant marketing piece rolled into one.  How it affects your visitors and customers is essential to your success.  Provide a memorable experience and customers are sure to return time and time again.

Below are 5 components you want to make sure you include in your website to keep people coming back:

1.    Make your website interactive.

As the internet continues to grow and evolve it’s becoming more important to create a community around your business. To accomplish this you want to engage your visitors and customers.  This can be accomplished a number of ways.  You can:

  • Provide a forum.
  • Post surveys or polls.
  • Enable visitors and customers to review or rank items.  For example, a “How valuable was this article?” question and a scale of 1 to 5 stars or a ranking from 1-10.
  • Offer a blog and inspire comments and feedback.
  • Host contests and sweepstakes.
  • Publish video and audio content as well as written content.  This gives users another way to access you and your personality.

2.    Make sure your website provides value.

People go online for a number of reasons.  They go online to research a potential purchase, to seek solutions for a problem they’re having, and to be entertained.  If your website provides all three; products, information, and entertainment then you’re in tip-top shape.  The best news is your content can provide both the information and the entertainment and when written well, can also inspire purchases.  Here are a few ideas to provide value for your customers and prospects:

  • How to articles, videos, and audio.
  • Tips articles, videos, and audio.
  • Case studies.
  • Workbooks and reports.
  • Interviews with experts.
  • Product reviews.

3.    Make sure your website is easy to navigate.

It takes a visitor about 20 seconds to make a decision about whether they’re going to stay on your website or click away. If your site is laid out nicely, with products and services, information, prices, FAQs, and content easy to find then people are more likely to hang out – the longer they stay on your site the more likely they are to make a purchase or return again.

To make your site easy to navigate consider:

  • Keeping your site simple.
  • Keeping your pages uniform with the same options and appearance.
  • If you have a lot of content, great!  Use drop-down menus and organize your content by topic for easier access.
  • Offering a search function where users can search for products, services, or content topics quickly and easily.
  • Providing a way for users to easily go back to previous pages.  A back key is an option; however, if every page has the same options and drop-down menus, including the ability to quickly return to the Home page, a visitor will always be able to find what they need.
  • Testing your website’s appearance on different browsers to make sure every visitor has a nice experience.

4.    Make your website easy on the eyes.

Ever visit a website and the text was so small or the colors so incompatible that you couldn’t read a word?  Readability is critical to a selling website.  Make sure:

  • Your colors are easy on the eyes.
  • Your graphics aren’t distracting.
  • You keep formatting like underlining, bold and italics to a minimum.
  • Your spacing between sentences and paragraphs is adequate and consistent.
  • Your font size is large enough for people to read and font is easy to read.

5.    Give them a soft sell.

People expect to be sold to and they’re looking for it.  Instead of hitting website visitors with a hard sell, provide information, solve their problems, and show them the benefits of your products or services.  They’ll be much more receptive and appreciative.

Creating a website that sells requires a structured approach and a desire to create the best experience possible for your visitors.  Once you’ve created your website, consider testing it and asking associates, friends and family for their opinion.

There you have it; along with increasing circulation to your blog, now you have five suggestions to consider when creating your website or to discuss with your website designer to make sure it sells and keeps people interested once they come and visit. Have you considered any of these before? I’d love to hear your thoughts.  –Colleen

Learn more about Colleen Wietmarschen, business coaching and support, and find the original post at:

http://www.clericalplusva.net/5-components-for-creating-websites-that-sell/

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● Kebba Buckley Button is a corporate stress management trainer and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (on Amazon.com >Books>Buckley), and the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core (on Amazon.com >Books>Button).  She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.

● Your comments are welcome!

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● Reach the writer at kebba@kebba.com .

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