It may come as some surprise to a traditionally off-line business that their website should be attracting new sales, or at least supporting the sales they have made. There is a common misconception that a website is more of a cost than an asset. When I ask companies why they would like a website the common answer is, "I don't know?" It seems to me that having a website is more of a reflex than something that is planned to help grow sales for the company. In other words, "Every business has one, I should too."
This is of course a little unfair. Too many companies have been stung by website designers in the past, with websites that are not designed to sell their company. When it comes to selling on-line it comes down to a no-nonsense approach. Your website should be designed to deliver information to a visitor so that they can make an informed decision about purchasing from you. So this requires your website to be well laid out, to the point, answer the most common questions and have a clean layout. Once your website is achieving these points you will start selling.
When planning your page copy, keep in mind the following points:
- Be concise, call a spade a spade, not a fabulous ground displacement tool.
- Avoid superlatives such as, "we are number 1!" common reaction is "no your not!"
- Don't write to fill in space. Large pages can put off visitors from reading anything.
- Put the important stuff at the top!
- Have other people that are unfamiliar with your product, service or company read your copy. Make sure they don't have any questions. If they do, answer them in the copy.
- Give your website designer full editorial control. You may not like this one. Most website designers have experience of what should be where on a website. Some website designers/web marketers know how it should be written. You may pay extra for this, you need to ask them about it.
If you are unhappy with the results of your website it can be contributed to many factors. These factors are all solvable and generally fit under the headings of, Page Copy, Search Engine Validity, Layout and Usability. By solving these issues your website will begin to be an asset to your business.
About The Author
Ben Norbury is Director of Design and Development at Arclid.com Ltd. a company that has recently launched its new Website Healthcheck service. This new service identifies and corrects issues that are affecting website sales. To learn more go to: arclid.com