The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

12 Quick Tips to Boost Website Sales in Minutes-Part 1

Happy 2010! To start the New Year off with more sales, there are several things you can do right now to increase the value and ROI of your website. To start, ask yourself these questions: 

1. What’s on your first screen?

When new visitors open your homepage, what do they see? If your corporate logo or marketing tagline is taking up valuable space, it’s time to rethink your priorities. After all, people don’t care about your logo. They care about what you have to offer them.

Try to place important information on the first screen. If visitors don’t find what they need within seconds, you can lose them forever. Instead, focus on the unique benefits you have to offer. Think about what your customers want and how you can fulfill their needs.

According to Julie Dalton, senior product manager marketplace and directory services for Network Solutions, http://www.networksolutions.com/, it is critical that your first, Web page provide important and relevant information. “You have a small window of opportunity to make your site compelling enough for a person to stay on it so it is incredibly important to make it as simple as possible for someone to find and read the messages that you want to get across,” says Dalton. “The more a person has to click on a site to find what they are looking for, the less likely they stay and become a customer.”

2. Is your site boring?

Do you use a lot of big words and “corporate speak” to tell visitors all about your mission statement, history and news? This may be the standard on many sites, but it does nothing to help boost sales or create a relationship with customers.

Instead, try to know your customers and relate to them on a personal level. Take some time to conduct research. Survey current customers and look at the sites and media venues that they like and dislike.

What are your competitors offering? Figure out important trends and issues for your target market. How can you solve their problems with your products and services? Based on your research, help customers solve their unique problems quickly and easily. And always try to provide answers with the utmost honesty and integrity.

The more you know about your customers, the better you will be able to connect with them using the right writing style and tone. And since most people make purchases based on emotion, your new copy will help increase sales and repeat customers.

3. What are you trying to say?

To communicate clear and specific information, try to focus on a single message for each Web page. And to keep content flowing, write brief sentences and paragraphs. Remove unnecessary adjectives, adverbs and descriptions. Get to the point with your message and keep momentum going.

“Whether the visitor is a user or a search engine that’s crawling your site, it’s important to keep the content simple and on-topic,” says Rhea Drysdale, online marketing director for Less Everything, http://lesseverything.com. “By introducing several concepts on one page, users get overwhelmed and search engines have a difficult time assessing what the page is about, which can negatively impact rankings and reduce exposure to new users.”

4. Is your site scannable?

Many site visitors will simply scan your website. To help them move through your copy and comprehend your message fast, add headlines, sub-headlines and bullet points. And these succinct lines are most effective if they convey positive, useful and specific benefits unique to your customers’ needs.

This way, site visitors will know what you have to offer and how you can help them with a simple page glance.

5. Are you talking about things that happened in the past?

Is your online copy written in the present tense? If not, you can add instant energy and flow to your site by replacing all of the verbs written in the past-tense with verbs and phrases written in the present tense.

6. How long is your copy?

There are numerous debates about a good length for website copy. While you want to keep paragraphs and sentences succinct and reader-friendly, it’s also important to provide all of the necessary information.

After all, if potential customers don’t get the right data about your products and services, or have unanswered questions, they may leave and head straight to your competitors’ sites! 

According to Ashley Berman Hale, head of SEO audits and consulting business, Six Turn Seven, http://www.sixturnseven.com, it’s important to be realistic about the length of your copy. “People don’t read as much as we think they do,” she says. “Make it as lean, but as valuable as possible for people and break it up visually with images, bullets, etc. Each page should be specific and all text should stay on topic. If one page is getting too long, break it up into two more specific pages.”

To make things simple, try to write as much as necessary to sell your products and services. And usually, the more expensive the item you are selling, the more copy you need to sell it.

You can start working on these activities now, and I’ll reveal six more quick tips next week!

In the meantime, feel free to write to me here or at www.rembrandtwrites.com if you need more information about your SEO strategy and public relations.

About the Author: Melanie Rembrandt

Since our initial launch date, Melanie Rembrandt has been an integral part of the StartupNation team. As the founder of Rembrandt Communications®, LLC, www.rembrandtwrites.com, Melanie is one of the country's top, public-relations consultants, an SEO content strategist and a published [...]