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Secrets to Creating a Profitable Website; Streamline Your Website Pages to Make the Sale




Creating a profitable website can be one of the most challenging but extremely rewarding projects that you can take up, especially if you are doing it in your spare time. Whether you are an individual sole proprietor (whether brick or mortar or online home business), a mid size company or a large corporation, creating a profitable website is critical in today’s Internet dominated society.

Many people think that the key to a successful and profitable website is solely its aesthetic appeal. They think that if the website is heavily loaded with flash technology and all kinds of sharp images and color schemes that it would do well. Well those kinds of websites might be suitable for an advertisement web page or an event promotion. However, contrary to general belief, such websites are despised by search engines for the most part.

Creating a winning website requires putting your customer first and foremost. This concept goes back to the origination stages of your idea where you have to determine who your end customer is. Who are you selling to and what do they want? If you can answer that question you should have no problems being able to cater just to the group you want and do very well while doing so.

Generally you want your website to be easy to navigate and provide good quality content to your visitor. You want them to be able to access any and all information on your website rather easily. Implementing functions like a site map and search box are critical. Further, largely visible sections such as “about us”, “contact us”, “FAQ” etc. will make it easy for your visitor to learn more about you and gain the comfort then need to proceed with a purchase.

Many people today underestimate what it takes to create a profitable website. Because website creation has become relatively simple and because so many advanced tools are available to us today, many think that simply putting up an eCommerce website will bring in all the sales. This mentality is not true at all and often causes website owners and even top website builders to fail more often than not.



Here are some tips on creating a profitable website

Focus on your customer!

Your website is only as good as your customer thinks it is. It is very important to cater your website’s content to your customer while providing good website usability at the same time. I find it funny sometimes when eCommerce website owners exhaust their minds while thinking “what do I want to sell” and “what do I want to write about”. It is not what you want to sell or write about! It’s what your customer wants!



Cut down the loud noise and focus on quality images



Get the clutter out and simplify your website’s appearance all while maintaining professionalism. Stock photography is ok to use at first but try to incorporate top class photography that looks sharp. If applicable to your website’s topic, include real photographs where appropriate. Good quality digital cameras are extremely affordable these days and almost anyone can take professional looking photographs using even the most basic equipment.

I personally know someone who took photos of her town and the people in it and posted them on her website that offers local services. She gets so much business that she has to turn down some inquiries at time. This is what creating a popular website through the use of good photography can do for your business. I would love to have her problem any day.



Good Website Content

Content! Content! content! Just like location location location to real estate, content is king to websites. Provide top notch content to your users. In this case, as we are discussing eCommerce websites, provide as much quality information about your product or service as you can. Throw in added expert resources outside your website as well – but keep in mind that the resources are non-competing in nature. The last thing you want to do is warm up your visitor and then send them outside so they can buy from someone else.

All that said do not bombard your customer with overwhelming information. You have full control of how you want things to appear on your website and how much information to include. What typically works best is a drill-down option where your customer can dig into further details regarding your product if he or she desires to read more. Make the drill-down option evident and easy to locate. This is often a + sign or an arrow or simply a message next to the product that says “click here for more information”.



Streamline your website pages for ease of navigation

Website usability is extremely critical for a profitable website. I cannot emphasize that fact enough. Your customer should be able to find what they want on your website within a minute of being on there. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve never returned to a website because I had difficulty finding something I was looking for. The sad thing for website owners is that there are probably 10,000 other websites that carry the same product they do so the customer can choose to shop elsewhere instead.

Make your navigation options clear and evident, include clean headers and footers, incorporate a search and site map function and use simple language in labeling your products and categories. You don’t want to turn a warmed up customer off by frustrating them by any means.



Don’t hold the line

This one goes hand in hand with the prior. Streamline your customer’s shopping experience as well just like you streamline your website pages for ease of navigation. People are busy these days; that’s why they shop on the Internet to begin with. The last thing you want to do is make them feel like it is no different than standing in a long line at Wal-Mart.

Make your shopping process simple and collect the least amount of information you need to process the order and ship it to your customer. Now it is ok to have your customers register. I mean you will still need an address to ship the product to. However, make the registration process as painless as possible. Don’t make your customers provide their entire bio-data. Full name, address and a means of contact (preferably eMail) should suffice to set up an account.

Some might argue that credit card info is necessary. It may be. This is up to you and a completely different discussion for another day. Some online websites store the information and some require you to type it in every time. There are high security risks involved in storing such sensitive and personal information and I won’t get into that here. The bottom line, always weigh out the pros and cons prior to implementing any added feature that is not necessary.



All the extra add-ons

Don’t be fooled by the bells and whistles that can be added to your website. Today’s options are limitless so be careful of what you add to your website. A Blog may be a great tool, but if it distracts your customer from making that purchase then it is not the right fit for your website. On the other hand, you can use a Blog to stay in touch with your customer community and establish your brand recognition over time.

Another example is a chat room right on your website. If you have a chat room where customers come and chit-chat with one another, it may take up all their time and prevent them from making that purchase. On the other hand, they may be praising your products and in turn become more eager to make that purchase. Alternatively, you can have a live chat option to answer any questions you customers may have while deciding whether or not they should be making that purchase.

Can you see the predicament? The effects of any single add on could be many. Take your time and carefully evaluate each feature prior to implementing it to the website. Weigh out the pros and cons and you will be just fine.



Creating a Google friendly website

This is worth a brief mention in this section. As you know by now, traffic is key for any website’s success. That being said, the primary focus should always be on the customer. Those that design websites specifically to please search engines often fail in the long run. Search engines are becoming smarter by the day and acting more and more like humans through artificial intelligence programming. Heck they might become smarter one day? In any case, tweak your website to optimize it only after you have tweaked for user friendliness.

If changes due to optimization come at the expense of your customer, then forget about the change. It is not worth it because in the end you want to please your customers first and foremost. It can be a tough balance between pleasing both human and robots but if you are able to manage the balance between the two, then your website is likely to do very well.



Exceed expectations to create repeat business

Finally, don’t think your job is done when a sale is made on your website. Customer service and follow through is just as important. Online customers have very high expectations today as more and more big companies are going online and providing a quick turn around on orders and necessary customer service. You will have to match these efforts in order to keep your customer happy and coming back for more.

A general advice is to test your website from a customer’s point of view. When you are done with the development aspect, take a day off and sit down and just navigate within your website. Pretend you are your own customer and try to play devil’s advocate. Be critical of your website and make the modifications necessary to make your customer’s experience more pleasurable. Ask yourself if you had any difficulty finding what you were looking for or getting to where you wanted. How does the content/language sound to you? Where you persuaded to purchase from the website? After you test it yourself, have your friends test it as well and collect their feedback as well for a fresh perspective. Keep doing this until you are comfortable to launch your website live.

Be aware of companies offering turnkey eCommerce website templates and eCommerce website software that guarantee your success selling online. While these programs are generally designed to make your website usability easier for your customer, many are simply mediocre. The rest do not involve your personal touch. At the end of the day, you still need to modify these templates and programs significantly in order to get your customer to click that purchase button. So why pay a ton of money for mediocrity?

Many individuals and businesses, whether small start-up companies or grown businesses are looking into websites to generate heavy sales volumes. The mature companies are also looking into websites to add an additional sales avenue. The Internet is simply the way of the future and the sooner you realize and accept that fact the more profitable your future will be.

Keep in mind that while your website’s aesthetic appeal is important, it will not solely drive all the sales. In fact, I would rank it after content and website usability. So while you spend time on your website’s appearance, spend more time gearing its focus toward your customer. Follow the tips outlined in this discussion on your way to creating a profitable website for your business today.








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