Business/E-Business
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3/15/2011
07:47 AM
Michele Warren
Michele Warren
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Sizing Up Your E-Storefront

Even if you're a bricks-and-mortar operation, your website is a "storefront," so make sure it looks good and gives users everything they need without having to dig. Is your site as good as it can be?

Even if you're a bricks-and-mortar operation, your website is a "storefront," so make sure it looks good and gives users everything they need without having to dig. Is your site as good as it can be?Ask yourself these questions, suggested by e-mail marketing company Infusionsoft, and see where you stand.

Where do your eyes go first? You have only a few seconds to capture your audience's attention. Make sure what they're seeing is compelling enough to keep them at your URL.

Is your value prop clear and compelling? Are visitors getting the message you're trying to convey, or is your value proposition buried under a lot of "clutter" (i.e., nonessential information)?

Are the benefits highlighted? You don't have to have a degree in psych to know what customers (and prospects) are asking themselves. That's right--you guessed it: What's in it for me? So, what is in it for them? Why should they buy from you instead of someone else? Make sure that's clear at your website.

Is there a clear call to action? Let's give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that visitors to your site do, in fact, like what they see. Think that's enough? It's not. There needs to be something that compels the prospect to do something, whether to make a purchase, start a free trial, or download a free report.

Are the colors and font(s) distracting? Jarring colors, lots of animation, and/or difficult-to-read typefaces can put visitors off. If distracted, they just might click over to a site that's easier on the eyes.

Is there a personal connection? Consumers want to buy from people, not machines. Connect with your prospects by using a conversational tone in your text, and by being honest and straightforward.

Are there links to social media? Linking to sites such as Facebook and Twitter allows your prospects to do a little research on their own and find out what people are saying about your company. Once they read those glowing Tweets and laudatory Facebook posts, you'll be a shoo-in, right?

Don't despair if you're not right on the mark in every area described above. Make the really necessary changes first, then work on the other stuff. Your website is a work in progress.

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