Make Your Website Sell - Jed Wylie's Ultimate Guide to increasing your online profits

Most of us wish life were simple (or at least simpler).  Anyone who’s grappled with their tax return or a Gantt chart will understand where I’m coming from. Let’s face it, managing a website can be just as complex.  So this week I thought I’d give you a simple list of things you can do to improve your website.  Pin it to the wall, strike them off when complete and then bask in your sense of achievement (and increased sales).

ECOMMERCE WEBSITES

  1. Make sure your product is no more than 3 and 4 clicks from the Home Page.

  2. Create a specific Sale category for all the products you want on Sale.

  3. Put a “Sale” ‘banner’ on items which are in a Sale even if they are not listed in the Sale category.

  4. Offer different ways to sort your products; price, colour, size, most recently viewed, etc.

  5. Offer a “View all” facility for the visitor who doesn’t want to wade through pages and pages of products.

  6. Use offers (3 for 2, Buy One Get One Free, etc.).

  7. Make sure you have related products listed against every key product on your site.

  8. Test video demonstrations of your products.

  9. Run split-tested pages which sell your products at different prices (You can test: a reduced price, your normal price and an increased price).

  10. If you’re selling below RRP,show the saving your customer is making.

  11. Ask for your customer’s email address at the beginning of the checkout process.

  12. Send an email to anyone who dropped out of the basket asking them to;

    1. Try again,

    2. Consider an alternative product.

  13. Once you’ve got yourself a customer make sure you keep emailing them!

  14. Use any appropriate logos to show that your website offers a safe shopping experience.

  15. Offer upsells at the basket (e.g. batteries for toys or dishwasher powder for dishwashers, etc).

  16. Use vouchers (10%, £5.00 off, Free Delivery, etc).

  17. Offer multiple payment methods (Card, PayPal, Google Checkout, etc).

  18. Consider modelling your basket and checkout on www.play.com.

  19. Get listed on aggregator sites like, Pangora, PriceRunner or Google’s Froogle.

LEAD GENERATION WEBSITES

  1. Offer a free report in exchange for your visitor’s email address.

  2. Test other giveaways like, white papers, videos, consultancy time, eBooks, etc.

  3. Follow up your emails with more emails!

  4. Ask for additional contact information in your enquiry forms like; telephone number, postal address and contact your prospect using these approaches.

  5. Use a telephone number that is unique to your website.

  6. Consider using the above ecommerce techniques for your services (e.g. related services or offering upsells).

IMPROVE YOUR COPY

  1. Test different opening titles/headlines.

  2. Test different font colours.

  3. Emphasise certain words with bold or italics (but never an underline as your visitor could confuse it with a hyperlink!).

  4. Break up your webpages with headings.

  5. Use bullets and numbers.

  6. Shorten your paragraphs and sentences.

  7. Make sure your copy is easy to read by running it through this Readability Index Calculator. You’re looking for a Flesch-Kincaid Grade level of about 7 and a Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score of anything over 60.

I’m pretty sure I can think up a few more for next week but that gives you plenty of time to complete the above though, doesn’t it?

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. Follow Jed on Twitter at MorganWylieWeb

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