20 Tips for a Kickass Website
LBU offers some stellar bonuses designed not to just help makers conquer the wholesale marketplace, but to up their business game as well. Website design + conversion strategies + search engine optimization are frequently mentioned in our private Facebook group and so many of us struggle with building websites that propel our balls forward + translate into sales and an excellent customer experience. This semester, I put together a list of twenty simple action items designed to make sites more functional, increase website conversion rates and website leads, easily boost search engine optimization + email sign-ups, all while creating a better user experience for our customers.
I don’t typically share LBU bonuses outside of the LBU program, but I thought you all might enjoy this one.
1. Add a prominent email opt-in.
Make certain you have an email opt-in which is visible on your home page. Be careful not to bury it at the bottom of your site or make the opt-in appear so insignificant that it’s easily overlooked. Ideally, your email opt-in should appear “above the fold.” Also, if possible, include a checkbox at checkout so that customers can hop on your mailing list with a single click.
2. Carefully size product images.
Nothing drives customers away quite like slowly loading pages. Ensure that your images are sized small enough to enable quick page loading. Also, beware of built-in photo editors which automatically resize images. Those images aren’t resized until the full size picture arrives in the visitor’s browser, slowing down load times. Edit images to the size you’ll ultimately need before uploading.
3. Be smart about outbound links.
When embedding hyperlinks, make certain that they open in new windows, eliminating the need for users to crawl backwards in order to revisit your site.
4. Always upsell.
Enable automatic product recommendations. Link together entry-level + upsell products or products within the same family.
5. Include social proof.
Enable product reviews. If your e-commerce platform doesn’t offer this feature, then be certain to sprinkle in testimonials. Along those same lines, press mentions are powerful social proof. Gather “media chatter” about your brand + feature it on a single, prominent webpage.
6. Simplify the checkout process.
a) If you can’t keep the entire process on a single screen, add a “progress” bar so that users can understand where they are in the process.
b) Avoid sending customers off-site to complete their payment.
c) Avoid requiring customers to create an account in order to complete checkout.
d) Give users an option to copy the information from their “billing address” to the “shipping address” fields.
e) Provide multiple payment options.
f) Remove links + distractions during checkout.
7. Remove distractions.
Minimize outbound links on your homepage. You worked hard to get people here- don’t send them away! The latest thinking may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out: the trend now is to omit outbound links to / icons for your social media platforms. The only marketing platforms you truly own and control are your website + email list. Adding prominent email opt-ins while removing the opportunity to connect socially (at least from your website) leads those who want to connect straight to your email list, which is the most powerful marketing tool in your arsenal. If you choose to include social media icons- place them in the footer of your website.
8. Link internally.
Link internally as much as possible to increase SEO. When linking, don’t use the words “click here.” Instead, write text that explains where the user is going + hyperlink it.
9. Choose smart image names.
Name your images appropriately. Always include your brand name + product name to increase search engine optimization.
10. Make certain that your site is responsive and/or that you have a mobile version.
According to a Morgan Stanley report, mobile internet usage will eclipse desktop usage sometime in 2014(!). “Responsive” design means that you have just one site design which automatically adapts to all screen sizes, no matter what device is being used. You can certainly go that route or build a separate version of the site which is automatically displayed for mobile users. Failing to implement either a responsive design or a mobile version will cost you customers while simultaneously crippling your search engine ranking. Yee-ouch- no thanks!
Want more? Download the full list and enjoy ten great strategies for improving your e-commerce site.
Have a great website tip to share? Leave a comment + let us know!