In this era of computers, many people just don’t feel like getting out of bed to go shopping. They don’t want to walk, talk or carry things. The last thing they want is doing a lot of work to get what they want, and this is something people often fail to understand. These are some of the most common mistakes made in the world of online business and some suggestions on how to avoid them.
A badly executed, boring, lifeless website design
These days it’s all about the flash. People are drawn to shiny things; the internet itself has gotten to where it is now because of pornography, beautiful/funny pictures, funny videos, etc. You need a design that will draw attention, a nice eye-catching home page with big friendly letters and icons linking to the rest of the content. Once the customer stumbles upon your website, usually by Googling something that he/she is interested in, you want to make it crystal clear what your site is about, what you as a provider of goods are about, what you have to offer, what you do and what you don’t do. Also, keep in mind that a huge amount of the people browsing through your site will be doing so on their Smartphones, your website will need to be compatible with them.
Trying too hard to attract attention
Another big mistake is a lack of focus. Serious customers will come to your site in greater numbers if they know exactly what you are selling. Now trying to draw in a larger audience might get you some more traffic on your website, but it is only the people who have come there with a purpose that you really need. If you sell gardening tools, sell gardening tools, don’t try to cater to a wide audience of casual browsers and bored teenagers. Know your target group, in the case of gardening tools a lot of them will be older people and suburban moms, some of them are likely to ask the younger family members for help, but a lot of people of all ages are much more proficient with the computer than you might think. You want a search that brings them to you to be something like “cheap gardening tools”, “gardening tools for sale” or something along those lines, there’s no need to try to make it look more glamorous or high-tech. If you sell auto parts, than focus your efforts on auto parts stores potential customers.
An overly complicated website
The next thing you need is to make things very user friendly. Many companies will have a big old mess of links, icons, pictures of products and a very poorly executed system of categories and subcategories. Some go the other route and try to be very minimalistic and artistic, but you just end up spending five minutes trying to find a way to get to the pages that you want. What you want is simplicity and all the information the customer needs to browse through your website efficiently right at the home page. Spend some time thinking about how to best organize your content, how many categories there should be, how many subdivisions within those categories, a quick search feature and a lot of pictures and detailed product descriptions. The worst thing you can come across is websites with a single, low resolution picture of the product and a single line of description that’s more marketing mumbo jumbo than an actual description of what they are selling.
Lack of new content
You need to stay fresh and keep updating the website and changing the offers, the content and most importantly the appearance of the home page. If you are having a sale on an item, slap that information right on the front page. Add a blog page where users can discuss the tools of the specific trade that you are in. Having a news page that is constantly updated will get you a long way. When the holidays come make sure to add a little bit of a Christmassy feel to your website and have large pictures of special offers, holiday discount items and so on. Having new content doesn’t have to mean providing new products all the time, it simply means improving your presentation and giving certain things a chance to shine from time to time. You can implement small surveys to see what products the customers like the most, or what they like or dislike about the site to get a feel of where changes can be made.
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