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10 Tips For Better Web Sites
What are the secrets of the super sites? Why do some sites succeed while the majority of others fail? More and more Internet business owners are asking themselves these questions. The answers are frequently more obvious than you may think. Below are 10 tips for better, more successful web sites.
1. Build It For Speed
It's a fact of modern life - people are in a hurry. Nowhere is that more true than on the Internet. It seems that no matter how much the technology improves, nothing is ever fast enough. In fact, several studies indicate that the fast technology advances, the faster people expect things to be.
2. Target Your Market
Know who your market is and make certain that your site caters to their needs. It is critical that your site reflect the values of your potential customers. Is your market mostly business professionals? If so, the site must be clean and professional. Is your product aimed mostly a teenagers and young adults? Then your site could be more informal and relaxed. The key here is to know your market and build the site to their preferences.
3. Focus The Site
Make certain your web site is focused on the goal, selling your product or service. A site offering many unrelated products is not necessarily unfocused, but this is often the case. If your business does offer many products, dedicate a unique page for each instead of trying to sell them all from one page. Up selling or cross selling is vital, but don't dedicate so much to it that the customer feels caught in a bait and switch. Make mention of other products but do so subtly.
4. Credibility Is Crucial
The most professionally designed site won't sell if your customers don't believe in you. The impersonal nature of the Internet breeds a certain level of mistrust. For your web site to be successful you must overcome this tendency.
A clear privacy statement is one way to build your credibility. Every commercial web site should have a privacy statement posted on line. Provide a prominent link to your privacy statement from every page on the site as well as from any location that you are asking your visitors for personal information. Provide legitimate contact information on line. Your contact information should include an email address, mailing address, phone number and a fax number, if applicable. If you are unwilling to provide this information to your customers, how can they trust (or buy from) you?
5. Offer A Guarantee
Offer an ironclad, no exceptions money back guarantee. This item is really a credibility issue but it is important enough to warrant its own mention. What better way to establish your customer's trust than to eliminate any risk for them? If the customer sees that the seller (you) is willing to assume all of the risk, they will immediately be more inclined to trust you.
6. Make Payment Easy
Offer a variety of payment methods for your customer. If you don't currently take credit cards, start immediately. You can either set up a merchant account or use one of the many credit card clearing houses. Take checks on line. Provide an address for those who prefer to pay by cash, check or money order. Make sure the payment process is clear, easy to access and intuitive to use. Eliminate as many steps as possible. Do not ask for any more information than is necessary to complete the transaction. Nothing frightens a customer off faster than feeling that their privacy is being invaded.
Implementing the ten steps above probably will not make your site as successful as Yahoo or Amazon overnight. If they are implemented correctly and integrated into an overall web site design and marketing campaign, you should see a marked improvement in the site's traffic and sales.