Why your website is your sales machine (and how mistakes in your website can kill your sales)
In marketing, it’s not the best service provider that wins, or even the person who does the best job. It’s the best communicator that wins. And a brand’s website needs the most effective communication of all. Because it is the last thing standing between a customer and your product or service. Even so, too many brands fail on the communication front, by providing a confusing, complicated, or unclear website. But mistakes on your website will turn a customer away in a second and kill your sales! So, to stop this horrible killing of sales, I’ve listed the top 6 mistakes that you can make on your website, and how to fix them.
Website Mistake #1: Not having a clear one-liner
A one-liner is a simple, easy to understand phrase that describes what you do to solve a problem for your customer. For example, a client I worked with called She’s on the Money has a financial advice podcast that helps millennial women better understand finances. Her one-liner is “We empower women to make smart money decisions”. This one-liner should be front and center, above the fold on your website. Which means it’s one of the first things your customer sees when they land on your site. It’s important not to assume people understand exactly how you help them. That is up to you to tell them in a clear, simple sentence.
Website Mistake #2: Not making it about the customer
Recently I was looking for a recipe to make lemon curd. So, I jumped onto Pinterest and found a recipe that looked great. I then clicked onto the page and was looking for the ingredients, but the author of the recipe decided instead to tell me a long story about how they loved to bake and how their grandma used to have a lemon tree and they used to climb it when they were kids but with climate change, the taste of the lemons have changed- and on, and on, and on. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to hate on recipe blogs. But the hard truth is, I needed a recipe for lemon curd. And what I was given was a story that the author wanted to tell. The author was making it about her, not me.
Here’s how you can make it about the customer:
- If the information you’re sharing doesn’t help the customer solve their problems, then don’t include it.
- If you really want to include the information that doesn’t help your customer (like your grandmother’s lemon tree), put it in your footer.
- Try to help your customers get to the solution to their problems as fast as possible.
Website Mistake #3: No clear next step toward the sale
When people visit your website they want to get help. They might be purchasing an outfit for the weekend, finding a photographer or booking an appointment with a new hairdresser. Whatever it is, it is up to you to give them a clear step-by-step plan of how to find the solution to their problems or need.
Here’s how you can give a clear next step:
- Use a bold, clear call to action to lead your customer. Remember they are scanning your website, they are not thoroughly reading it. Make sure you catch their eye with the important stuff!
- Use confident, clear language. For example, ‘buy now’, ‘schedule an appointment’, ‘book now’, ‘start today’. Don’t be vague- tell your customer exactly what they need to do.
- And, remember that being direct isn’t the same as being salesy. Clear is kind.
In marketing, it’s not the best service provider that wins. Or even the person who does the best job. It’s the best communicator that wins.
Website Mistake #4: Complicated design
Did you know that simple websites are consistently rated as more visually appealing and more trustworthy than visually complex websites? Simple is where it’s at. But so many businesses think they need to include ALL of their brand’s details on their website. The truth is, less is more! Your goal should be to cut through the noise, not add to it.
How to avoid a complicated design:
- Keep your copy short, simple and clear.
- Your header navigation should include no more than 6 links. Anything more than that appears too cluttered. Remember, having too many choices can be overwhelming to a lot of people.
- Use high-quality imagery that reflects your brand.
- Keep a consistent colour palette.
- Don’t be afraid of white space.
Website Mistake #5: No social proof for your business
Once you’ve established how you help your customer and you have given them a clear plan for how to buy from you, you must start to establish trust with them. So, you do this by providing social proof. Social proof important because a website that doesn’t have legitimate social proof might as well be a high-school kid’s assignment still floating on the internet. There’s no guarantee that it’s actually a real business at all- let alone a good one.
How to include social proof on your website:
- Ask your customers for permission to share reviews, testimonials, and case studies, then publish them on your website.
- Share any awards and certifications earned by your business.
- Include quotes from reputable sources (this is a great place to start if you don’t have any reviews!)
Website Mistake #6: No compelling sales copy
Copy is really just any of the words that are included on your website. Your copy needs to be clear, compelling, and to the point. A website with copy that is cheesy, non-specific, or has grammatical issues is probably going to have a high bounce rate (this means customers who visit the website and then leave quickly). The truth of it is, bad copy can diminish your brand’s legitimacy, but good copy can guide your customer right through to a sale.
How to write good copy:
- Refer back to your brand guide to unpack how you want your copy to sound and feel. Are you wanting to come across as conversational? Funny? Professional? Calm? Remember that your copy is your brand speaking to your audience.
- Also- writing copy isn’t just a bunch of promises or one-liners. Your website copy must guide your customer through a sales funnel. For example: grab their attention, then get them interested in your product, then make them want to have your product, then show them how to buy your product.
For more in-depth guidance on writing copy, check out my blog post.
I hope those points helped you know what mistakes to avoid and what to remember, as you go about working on your website and making sales. Go get ’em
PS: If you’re feeling like its time to just start fresh and you want your website redesigned, hit us up!