By Caitlin of Caitie Means Business
Effective websites are pretty and practical. They show and sell, thoughtfully guiding customers towards the ultimate action - buying something from you!
That means your site needs to…
⦁ Clearly state what you offer
⦁ Make it easy for people to find what they need
⦁ Allay any fears they have
⦁ Invite them to make a purchase
⦁ Capture their email so you can stay in touch
Choose Your PlatformThere’s a ton of DIY website builders with different features, price points and integrations, so it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole and feel lost.
Which one is right for you?
⦁ Shopify is THE ecommerce platform, making powerful shop features available to tiny storefronts. But heads up, they make it hard to add non-shop related content.
⦁ Wix is super customizable and makes it easy to get started, but can look messy if you're not careful
⦁ Squarespace is great for minimalist designs and makes it hard to mess up, but many DIY sites here end up looking the same.
⦁ Wordpress is extremely powerful and offers endless possibilities, but you’ll need to hire help at some point as the platform is vast and there is no dedicated customer service available.
Still unsure? Take this quiz to find out!
Design Your Homepage
Treat your homepage like a single sales page; If there were no other pages on your website, does your homepage do a good enough job of pitching your products, answering customers' questions and helping them find what they need?
⦁ Greet visitors with a big, bold main message that explains what you do and why it’s awesome. Keep it to just one or two sentences, and give it a prominent CTA (call-to-action) that points visitors to your shop, your bestsellers, new products, or a featured product.
⦁ Add a mini “about” section on your homepage that explains who you are and your mission. Link it to a more in-depth about page for those who want to dive deeper.
⦁ Create context with inviting visuals and storytelling. A photo of a bottle with some product in it isn’t as compelling as someone luxuriously sunbathing on an island with sand and waves encircling the product. Use images and words to paint a picture of the lifestyle associated with your product to spark imaginations and get visitors thinking “I want THAT!”
List Your Products
I would not buy a face cream I knew nothing about. Would you?
When listing your products, anticipate the questions customers may need answered before making a purchase, like:
⦁ What does it do?
⦁ What’s it made of?
⦁ How big is it?
⦁ Is it scented?
⦁ Where was it made?
⦁ How do I use it?
Create an Opt In Offer
Email is an incredibly powerful marketing tool (40x more effective than social media! Source) that can help fencesitting customers make up their mind and turn previous customers into repeat business.
The thing is, people don’t get excited at the idea of marketing emails, so asking them to “sign up for my newsletter” often falls flat.
To make your subscribe form more effective, offer an incentive - something truly valuable - in exchange for their contact details. This something-of-value is called an opt-in, freebie, or lead magnet.
While your opt-in offer can be anything of value, a coupon code is particularly easy to create and set up.
Make sure it’s obvious by putting it high up on your homepage, and make sure it shows on every page by also adding it to the header or footer.
If you want to grow your business beyond friends, and beyond friends of friends, eventually you’ll be selling to people you don’t know.
And to them, you’re just a stranger on the internet.
How can we make sure your website inspires trust, confidence, and reliability - even to people who don’t know you?
⦁ Social proof: Use testimonials, reviews and star ratings with photos of happy, smiling faces to illustrate that other people took the leap of faith and came out the other end as happy customers.
⦁ Current content: A modern design with links to active social media profiles and recently published blog articles lets visitors know your site is alive and well.
⦁ Transparency + clarity: Be sure to supply visitors with all the information they need to feel confident in their decision including: an FAQ, your contact information and location, and your face and name.
⦁ A fallback plan: A guarantee policy, return policy, free samples or mini products reduce the risk for your customers and allow them to feel confident about purchasing.
Need Help?Caitlin’s digital course - Building A Website That Sells On Autopilot - shows you how to nip and tuck your website to thoughtfully guide customers towards the ultimate action - buying something from you!