Your Marketing-Smart Website

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If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you probably know that having a ton of traffic to your website doesn’t guarantee loads of customers. Every site visitor will make a choice, either to explore your website in depth, or leave after only a brief glance at your home page. Knowing that you only have that short window of time to work with, it becomes very important to have a website that is marketing-smart. This simply means that your website is geared towards maximizing conversions: getting more of your visitors to convert into customers, subscribers, readers, or whatever you want them to become.

To make your website marketing-smart, the key is to streamline it for maximum effectiveness. The following tips will help you do just that:

  • Decide on a conversion goal for each page, such as getting visitors to sign up to your program, buy your featured product, or subscribe to your newsletter or blog feed. It’s especially important to have goals for frequently visited pages, such as your home page and about page, and for dedicated squeeze, or sales, pages. Once you’ve identified a goal, you can lay out the page content in such a way as to maximize conversions toward that goal.
  • Eliminate clutter from your site. Any unnecessary text, graphics, buttons, or other things that aren’t serving their purpose need to be removed from your site. It’s also a good idea to minimize things that could lure your visitors away from your site, such as social media widgets, ads, links to other sites, and so forth. Which leads me to the next point…
  • Remove distractions! Consider your conversion goal, and remove any items that could distract the user from completing that conversion. For example, if your goal is to get home page visitors to buy your product of the month, don’t even mention your other products on the home page; just keep the focus on that one product. If you have a dedicated squeeze page, landing page, or sales page, consider removing EVERYTHING except for your offer; hide your site navigation, sidebar, external links, and anything else that could distract the person from completing your offer.
  • Use your home page to peak visitors’ interest. In most cases, it’s the first page they’ll see, so grab their attention quickly before they have a chance to leave. Don’t give them volumes of information up front; just enough to clue them into what your company is about, and to make them want to know more. Once their curiosity is piqued, they can check out the rest of your site to find more in-depth info.
  • Hold their interest by providing relevant info. Give your visitors the information they seek, stat! Don’t send them on a wild goose chase; make sure your site is organized logically and is therefore easy for your users to navigate.
  • Speak directly to your target audience. Cater to the needs of your audience as a whole, but speak directly to your individual audience members. {Have you noticed that even though I’m from Texas, I don’t address my audience as “ya’ll”? That’s because I’m not speaking to “you all” — I’m talking to YOU (yes, YOU, reading this right now!).}
  • Show them visually where you want them to go. This tip goes hand-in-hand with the decluttering tips above. Don’t allow unrelated stuff to distract viewers’ eyes from what you want them to focus on. For example, if your goal is to have them sign up for your mailing list, don’t stick an external link or graphic next to it, or before it, or anywhere near it. Just use your website copy or call-to-action to lead them straight to the form; then the ball is in their court as to whether they decide to sign up, or not.

Even if your website needs it, don’t feel pressured to implement ALL these tips, all at once. Choose the tips that are most relevant for you, and create a plan to tackle one or two at a time, over a period of a few days or weeks. And if you’re totally time-crunched, keep in mind that implementing just one of these tips is better than doing none at all!

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About Barbara Austin

As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!

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