Just about all of us shop online these days. Let's face it, it's quick, easy - and you don't have to deal with crazed shoppers battling each other for the last items on the shelves. Leading up to Christmas is a prime example of this - the high streets are packed with eager people, more often than not, foaming at the mouth at the chance of spotting a deal.
So, in the wonderful world of technology, you can shop from the comfort of your sofa with a mug of tea - or mulled wine ('tis the season you know...) in your hand, leisurely browsing the internet for gifts for your loved one. But what if you're the online shop that's not getting noticed and sales aren't coming through? Competition is fierce these days, so you've got to promote your site on search engines so people can find you to buy your products. SEO is the best way of doing this, although there are other ways to do it, like AdWords or banner advertising - we love SEO though.
Then you've got to grab people's attention when they find you. This is crucial - seriously. Getting your website to the top pages of Google so people can find you is challenging enough in a competitive market, but when you get there, don't ruin your efforts by not engaging your audience. It's a common mistake - we see it all the time.
So, if you're getting good hits on your website, but people aren't buying your stock or services, do you think any of the below points relate to you?
1. Keep It Clean!
Probably the most common mistake we see. People tend to flood their website pages - especially their home page, with as much information as possible. Literally, they don't know which of their products to put in the spotlight - so they put them all on the same page. Kiss goodbye to your website visitors - they want their shopping experience to be an easy one - otherwise they might as well brave the crowds on the high street.
So, what to do? Simple - create landing pages. Lots of them. Categorise your products (which is really easy to do with our eCommerce platform) and then showcase your products for that category on that landing page. Also, showcase a few choice products on the home page and rotate them every so often. This will not only show you which products are more appealing to customers, but also keep your website looking fresh. Let your navigation bar and category buttons guide people from there.
2. The Snooze Factor
This may sound obvious - but it happens a lot. Website visitors get bored easily and switch off mentally - and as soon as they switch off mentally, they're gone.
So, apart from our blog, what gets people nodding off on websites? Well, the truth is, lots of things. Here's a checklist of how to try and keep things interesting...
• Dark backgrounds do not engage people generally - keep backgrounds light with striking, intermittent colours
• Make it interactive - let your website visitor feel like they're interacting with your website
• Having a clear message on your landing pages
• Identifying with your customers - using the words 'You' and 'Your' in your message will help them with this
• Check your spelling. Seriously, people hate finding errors and it doesn't instill confidence in your clients.
3. Opinions Count... Just Not Your Friends and Family
Put your website in front of focus groups that can run through the flow of your website and test it properly. It's easy to lose your way when your build your own site, and what might make sense to you, may not make sense to someone visiting your website. It's a real problem that you may not realise for months - or even at all - and it may end up costing you a lot of money to your competitors. It could be something as simple as;
• Unable to navigate to products from certain areas of your website via broken or incorrect links
• Unclear messaging or spelling mistakes
• Design flaws
• Website compatibility across different devices - is your website responsive?
Any of these issues (and more) can have a devastating effect on how people engage with your website. Put it in front of several people - and make sure you don't know any of them. Friends and family will more often than not lie through their teeth to keep you smiling!
We hope this post has been helpful - happy designing!
Venture website design