Depending on your level of expertise, building your business website can sometimes seem like one of the most frustrating parts of creating your startup, whether you’re selling digital goods, physical products or services. Even if you are part of an SMB that has been around for a while but are looking to build a new ecommerce home for your offline store, without the right knowledge, it can be a daunting prospect.
You might be able to manage creating a basic site on your own, but you might soon find yourself falling into the trap of building something that doesn’t work particularly well for prospective customers, leaving you scratching your head as to where you went wrong.
There are, however, some ways you can help to maximize your online sales that require little effort and technological know-how. Some are even downright simple to implement.
1. Use a Platform and Let the Experts Do the Heavy Lifting
Firstly, if your product is digital, it often pays to let the experts do the heavy lifting when it comes to displaying and distributing your wares. For example, if your business is in distributing online courses, you could try to supply the course yourself, hosting the files, implementing some sort of membership gating system (if you don’t wish your hard work to be shared for free), and then designing your own website landing pages from scratch.
The other (and often a more sensible option) is to use an online selling platform to do the hard work for you. With beautiful templates to choose from, built-in shopping carts, and powerful automated email campaigns available at your fingertips, using these platforms allows you to concentrate on building the most important aspect of your business, the actual content.
This is where those of you looking to sell digital products such as courses will make your money, so don’t waste time on areas of your business that you aren’t as proficient in. Let the experts sort that out. This goes for any form of digital product, from stock photographs and video, to audio files and programs.
2. Make Sure Your Site Is Clean and Easy to Use
On the subject of websites, it is important to have a website that does two things especially well.
Firstly, it should be obvious what your business is all about. If you are selling stock video, yet your landing page is full of still images, it might be time to move towards a modern website that utilizes a dynamic video background. Similarly, if you are trying to sell furniture, a professional-looking shot of one of your products should be front and center.
The second most important aspect of your website design should be navigation. Can your customers move around your site with ease? Moving from one area to another should be a breeze, and every page of your site should never be more than a few clicks away. A frustrated customer is one that may leave your site without making a purchase. The less confused and frustrated a customer is, the better it will for your business.
3. Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes
Never assume that your customer knows anything about your product. Working in a startup or SMB, we can often find ourselves eating, sleeping, and breathing our own products. Putting so many hours into building a company from the ground up can sometimes leave us with a perspective that the average customer would not have.
Do some market research, and listen intently to all the questions that your test subjects ask you. It can be tempting to brush off some of the comments and queries as nonsensical, but in reality, plenty of visitors to your site may know very little about what you actually do.
Make sure that your modus operandi is explained as simply, and fully as possible.
4. Optimize for the Mobile Experience
If you have a website that was created some time ago, you may very well be committing one of the cardinal sins of the modern internet age. That being, hosting a website that is not mobile responsive.
If your website requires a visitor to scroll from left to right in an attempt to view the whole page, then it really is time to think about a redesign of your website. If your potential customers can’t navigate a sign-in page by simply scrolling up and down, you are handing them over to rival businesses that make their experience infinitely easier. A modern website should respond to the screen it is being viewed on, and this has become increasingly important as the years have passed.
With mobile searches now eclipsing desktop ones, it would be foolish to make the majority of your prospective clients work harder to use your site. Most website builders these days do the hard work for you and will show you exactly how your website looks on desktop, tablet, and phone, adjusting the arrangement of the content accordingly.
5. Know Your Audience
Lastly, when it comes to advertising, it is extremely important to know what your target audience tick. The modern world of targeted advertising allows you to drill down into social media platforms and advertise solely to those who are most likely to be interested in your product. Ignore this wonderful aspect of big data at your peril, as throwing adverts in the face of random internet users will no doubt leave you with a very low conversion rate.
You shouldn’t only consider who your target audience is, but also where they are likely to be found. Quite often, social media platforms will have a typical crowd, and you should adjust your advertising strategy to target sites that have the highest density of your target audience.
For example, if you are selling a product that appeals especially to the younger members of our society, TikTok may be a good option. If you are looking to sell food-related products, target your ads to run as pre-rolls before a YouTube cooking show is watched. Yet again, all this takes is a little market research, and you can use that data to target your ads accordingly.
Following these simple steps should help you attract more customers, increase your conversion rates, and in turn maximize your online sales.
With such powerful tools at your disposal, from websites that create templates for the sale of your products and easy to use website builders, to targeted advertising and market research tools, you and your business are at a point in history where it really couldn’t be easier to implement good ideas, and identify and react to problems that stand in your way. A little effort is all it takes.