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5 Ways To Generate Sales From A Beautiful But Ineffective Website

by Joseph Putnam

I’ve seen it happen too many times.

An aspiring entrepreneur thinks that as long as he has a beautiful website, he’ll be able to sell his products to the entire world. All it takes is an internet connection and a website that looks great.

The problem with this, of course, is that it’s not true.  What is true, however, is that good web design is important.

But that is just part of the story.

There’s much more to selling online than designing a beautiful website. If you want to reach the world with your products, it takes more than uploading what you sell to a website that looks good.

If you want to make money online, not only does your website need to look good, but it also needs to be designed in a way to effectively convert website visitors into buyers. This post will show you five ways to go beyond a website that looks good to a website that converts.

1 – Invest in Good Copywriting

Investing in good copywriting is the number one way to make any website more effective. Text is the primary way we communicate online, and no matter what your product is or what idea you’d like to promote, good copywriting will help you get your point across.

This includes page content, e-mail content, and blog content. All the writing on your website and in your communications sends a message to potential customers. The way you word everything from headlines to menu links makes a difference between whether people keep reading, click through, or navigate away.

Good copywriters may seem expensive, but hiring a good one is one of the easiest ways to improve the effectiveness of your website. There’s an art and a science to writing online, and the best copywriters know how to write persuasive copy that leads to an increase in traffic, leads, and sales.

2 – Use Clear Calls to Action

Clear calls to action are another way to increase sales online.

Most people have trouble asking for a sale in person, and the same is true online. Instead of directing someone to click to “Learn more,” it’s easy to assume that visitors know what it is that you want them to do, but you never want to assume when it comes to directing traffic on your site.

Instead of assuming that visitors know how to “learn more” or “buy now,” make it incredible obvious by directing their next step with a clear call to action. If you want someone to subscribe to your blog, make that exceedingly clear with text that’s easy to read and a simple call to action such as “subscribe to our blog.”

You also want to make sure that visitors can find the call to action on your page. If the goal of the homepage is to collect e-mail leads, make sure the top part of the page is dedicated to presenting the action you want people to take, and don’t hide it at the bottom of the page or on the side. The most important calls to action should always be easy to find and accented with a bright color whenever possible.

No matter what you want people to do, clear calls to action are the best way to get visitors to do it. Instead of making them work to find out what to do next, remember to make it exceedingly clear.

Remember this, you are doing your site visitors a disservice if you don’t make it easy for them to find what they want.  A clear call-to-action is the best way to keep that site visitor from becoming frustrated.

3 – Present Consistent, Clear Messaging

It’s really easy to get confused online. You assume that people know what your site is about when they land on it, but actually, they don’t. To help with this, be sure to use clear, consistent messaging.

Whatever the message is that you’re trying to convey, it should be consistent across the pages on your site, and it should also be extra clear on the homepage. You don’t want people to have to work to find out what your business is about. The tagline should be clear, and it should match up with everything else you’re saying.

One of the best ways to do this is by using clear taglines and wording. Instead of trying to write a tagline that sounds cute, write one that presents the value proposition you have to offer. The clearer your messaging is across all of your pages, the better.

4 – Add Convincing Testimonials

Another way to improve conversion rates online is to add testimonials. Visitors take everything that you say with a grain of salt. Of course you think your products and services are amazing, every business does. Instead of listening to what you have to say about yourself, people pay attention to what other people are saying about you.

If you’re trying to sell a book, include quotes from book reviews that talk about how great your book is. If you’re trying to sell a product, collect testimonials from satisfied customers and show them off on your site

If you want to make more sales online, adding convincing testimonials from real customers is one of the best ways to improve your site. If you can add a testimonial with a picture, that’s even better.

5 – Employ Effective Promotion

Last but not least, if you want to market effectively online, you have to learn how to drive targeted traffic. Getting visitors to your site isn’t even the hard part. If you just want more visitors, you can max out your AdWords account and get all of the traffic you could ever want. But will that traffic buy something from you?

Instead of just driving traffic, you have to learn how to drive the right kind of traffic: targeted traffic. This kind of traffic brings the type of people to your site who will purchase what you’re selling. If marketing managers are the ones you will pay for your services, you want to get marketing managers to your site.

In order to drive targeted traffic, you can do a number of things. First, you can create content where your customers are located. If you sell primarily to high schoolers, then Facebook is the place to be. If on the other hand, your customers are more professional in nature, LinkedIn is preferred.

Second, you can write blog posts. Creating content for a blog is a great way to get more traffic because it gives people a reason to visit your site. Another way to get more traffic is through Google AdWords. This is the easiest way to get traffic, but it’s also the easiest way to waste money on non-targeted traffic. Whatever it is that you’re selling, you’ll want to learn how to refine your AdWords strategy to get the right kind of traffic to your site.

There are many ways to get more traffic, and your success in this regard is one of the most critical for effectively marketing online. Going back to the original point, if you can’t get any traffic to your site, then it doesn’t matter how beautiful the design is, and the same is true for all of these points. If you don’t have effective copy or clear calls to action, then you won’t convince visitors to take the action you want them to take.

As you can see, there’s definitely more to internet marketing than setting up a website with a beautiful design.

If you pay attention to the five steps in this post, you’ll be on your way to more effective internet marketing.

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Joseph Putnam

Joe Putnam is the Director of Marketing at iSpionage, a competitive intelligence tool that makes it easy for PPC advertisers to download their competitors’ top keywords, ads, and landing pages. He also recently wrote a free guide titled The Top 10 PPC Mistakes and How to Fix Them.


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