It takes around 50 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like it or not.
This fraction of a second determines whether they will stay or leave – whether they buy from you or the competition.
First impressions count, so a good one will increase your sales. But how do you guarantee a positive first impression? Read on to find out.
1. Get your SEO in Order
In order to increase sales you have to be visible. And how do you do that?
By making your website prominent in search engines.
SEO is the number one component to online success, without it you cannot hope to succeed. Consider these statistics:
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine
- 70% of the links search users click on are organic (unpaid)
- 75% of search users never scroll past the first page of results
- search is the number one driver of traffic to websites
- SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate. Direct mail and print advertising has a close rate of 1.7%
- The top listing in Google’s organic search results gets 33% of the traffic. The second listing gets 17.6%, and the third listing 11.4%.
2. Content is King
Great advertising writer David Ogilvy once said:
“The more you tell, the more you sell.”
The more details you have about your products and services – how they are made, how they work, how they benefit the user – the more persuasive your website will be.
Content should be fresh, fun and engaging. Text and typography should be easy to read. Articles and blog posts have to be easy to understand and skimmable, broken up with headings and sub-headings.
Web users only read 28% of the text on a web page so content should be concise, straight to the point, and without unnecessary information.
Every piece of text on a page should also include carefully selected and well-placed keywords to help those all-important search users find you.
3. Improve Navigation
The more options a visitor has, the less likely they are to convert.
Navigation needs to be simple and organised. Options that do not need their own navigation link should live under a parent page using CSS drop down menus.
The number of clicks from homepage to checkout needs to be minimal – user-friendliness and intuitiveness is essential.
Remember: less is more.
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4. Load Fast or Lose
If a customer cannot load your page, they cannot buy your products. And they will not wait around for long.
Every page should load quickly for every user. This may mean avoiding the overuse of images, complex widgets, and flashy designs.
5. Enhance your Authority with Backlinks
Quality links from respected domains bring in targeted traffic.
Backlinks are the cornerstone of SEO and these will propel your website up the search rankings. However, they need to be from quality sources, directly related to your niche.
High-quality backlinks can be achieved through:
- guest blogging
- article marketing
- social media
- commenting on forums
- press release submissions.
6. Clean up Your Code
Broken links, invalid HTML, and extraneous code will all impact upon your search engine ranking.
While your website may look clean from the outside, there could be a lot of bad stuff on the inside.
Tools such as Google Webmaster Tools will help you identify and fix errors and improve website performance.
7. Make Hyperlinks User-Friendly
The proper use of anchor links will significantly increase readability.
Text links need to always be natural – avoid linking from unnatural phrases. It used to be the case that exact match keyword hyperlinks would help increase authority and benefit SEO; however, after the Google Penguin and Panda algorithm updates, this is no longer the case.
Links must always be directed to quality, reputable webpages, either internally or externally.
8. Showcase a Call to Action
Decide what you want your visitors to do when they click through to your website.
Establish a main focal point and centre everything on it. Display your one call to action prominently throughout your site. Visitors will be guided naturally through the sales process and conversion rates will be more consistent.
Always test different call to action variations to establish what works best.
9. Optimise Meta Titles and Descriptions
Improve organic search rankings by letting search engines know what your website is about.
Optimised title tags and descriptions will increase click through rates and create more opportunities for sales/leads.
10. Provide Contact Information
It should not take a detective to find out how to get in touch with you.
People like to know they can contact you by phone, email, in writing or in person and you should make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
Well-displayed business contact information can also offer benefits in local search marketing, increasing traffic and enhancing leads.