Make Your Website Sell

If you’re starting out on a new website development or revamping the old one then read on, this one’s for you…

Can you guess which one thing on your website which has the power to convert a visitor into a customer? Is it…

  1. The design?

  2. The technology?

  3. The content?

  4. The mild mannered janitor? (Now I’m showing my age.)

A) The Design?

Many businesses spend countless hours perfecting their design; choosing exactly the right pantone colour of green, picking the right font or spending days ‘adjusting’ the design.  They often get completely hung up on the design and worry that if it doesn’t look amazing their business will suffer.  This is not true:  Admiring a snazzy looking website is great but design is never the only reason why your visitors become customers – the suit does not make the salesperson.

The design sets the scene (like the background music to a film).  It tells the visitor that they are on the right type of site.  For example, you would never see an Argos style design on the Harrods website – or vice versa.  Design is important but if you’ve had your website professionally designed then trust the designer and don’t pick at the design.  In my experience businesses focus 80% of their efforts on design when it will probably only contribute to about 20% of their website’s success.

Remember this simple maxim: no one ever buys from a website solely on how well it’s designed.

RECOMMENDATION: When building your website spend no more than 20% of your time on design.

B) The Technology?

Technology is the facilitator of your website.  It enables the interaction between visitor and website it does not, in itself, sell.  It can, however, give you the tools to sell, such as, Live Chat, forms to fill in, social media connections, etc.  But it should never be the driving force in your web project.  You shouldn’t choose your website’s functionality based solely on how cool some piece of functionality is or because a competitor has it.  You should, however, base your technology on what will help you sell more effectively.

For example, any budding ecommerce website may feel it needs to emulate every bit of functionality that Amazon uses.  This logic is often based on a false assumption that Amazon uses amazing technology and is successful, therefore, the route to success is to develop similar technology.  This is, of course, dangerously expensive and wrong.  Technology should only ever be implemented if you can see a clear path to how it will make you money.

RECOMMENDATION: Pick your website’s technology and functionality based on how it will make and increase sales.

C) The Content?

Content is the correct answer.  Content is the ONLY thing that has the power to convert a visitor into a customer.

Content is, and always will be, king.  Content ‘speaks’ to your visitor.  It expresses who and what you are whilst simultaneously influencing your visitor to become as customer.  After all neither design nor technology really have the ability to convey to your visitor the value of your products or services.

But content is often relegated to the bottom of the pile when developing or maintaining a website.  Very few companies really focus on it, in fact most only spend 20% of the time they spent on design on developing their content.  (So they end up with a well-dressed but utterly inarticulate sales person.)

But why does this happen when it’s obviously the most important out of the three?  I think perhaps because developing content isn’t regarded as sexy, fun or interesting but that’s just a mindset and an easy one to shake –If I were to say to you that if you spend the next hour writing some sales copy for your website it could earn you upwards of a four-figure sum over the next year then I bet you’d do it.

And that’s how to view your content – as the keys to your online bank vault.

RECOMMENDATION: Spend 80% of your development time writing your website’s content.

But what about the mild mannered janitor?  Well, it was me all along!  (What a lot of Phooey.)  

Jed Wylie is the author of Make Your Website Sell and works for Morgan Wylie a web design and digital marketing agency in the Midlands.


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