Lander Academy: A Checklist for Websites That Sell
In our first Lander Academy Webinar of the year we had as guest speaker the conversion optimization expert Peep Laja, face of Conversion XL, who showed us some keys to building optimized Websites that sell.
Most of us have websites to encourage conversions and make sales right? So if you are having some troubles and want to increase your results but you missed yesterday’s webinar, don’t worry, you’re in luck! In this post you’ll find awesome tips that Peep gave attendees, including his checklist for boosting your website’s conversions. Also you’ll find out about Peep’s key tips on earning the trust of your visitors and all the things you should avoid when you’re designing your website. We’ll summarize the highlights of the webinar in this post, but also, and because we love you so much, you can take a look, share and download Peep’s presentation whenever you want.
Worst way to design a website
From the beginning Peep made it very clear: “If you’re developing a website you MUST have someone who not only knows about conversions and marketing, you should also have a good designer on hand as well.”
Likewise Peep also said it’s important to have people who understand conversions and design, but at the same time that doesnt mean you should let an entire committee decide the look of your website either!
What we all need to understand here is that when we talk about design, its not just about making the site nice and attractive, we also have to think about the importance of functionality. Peep made this very clear, always choose “Function over aesthetics”.
That’s why its super important to have people from different areas. The worst thing you can do is to think only about conversions or just on the design. It must be a mix!
So what can I do to make my site better?
If you wanna improve your site there are some important tips you should know. First of all your website should offer exactly what people are looking for, you have to make people say “They really understand what I need” and focus on that.
You have to motivate your audience, because people may ask themselves “Is this for me?” and if they don’t see the answer right away they’ll leave, increasing your bounce rate.
Using real testimonials always help to get people’s trust. Use real people, real names and faces, that’s the way your audience can feel reflected on your website.
Principles of websites that sell
We all have to understand that visitors really just like simplicity when it comes to web searching. You’ll know that your website is ready when there is nothing else to remove, and your site only shows all the essential information and nothing else
Everything on your site should have a reason for being there, each word, phrase and call to action.
You have to guide visitors through your site, and understand that simplicity is what they really want, basically just webpages that are easy to navigate and understand. Visitors should not have to learn how to use your site, and everything should be conventional and intuitive. Sometimes people think they need to be original and innovate with something new, or out of the ordinary and end up just confusing visitors, so please don’t do that!
Peep’s checklist for websites that sell:
Peep shared his recommendations for increasing your website’s sales. Take some time to think about your website and analyze what you are doing right and whats wrong based on this checklist:
1. Buyer personas
Your goal is to identify your main types of customer groups: their needs, wants and requirements. The buyer persona is a tool that can help you see deeper into the buyer’s thinking. Check out more about the concept of Buyer Persona in our post here and start applying it to your strategy today.
2. Relevancy and motivation
This is about 2 things, targeting the right people and communicating the right message. Understand why people need your product, what problems it solves for them, and then reflect it back to them.
3. Design and visual hierarchy
Design is not an art, your designer should be an Engineer and understand conversions and online marketing. Don’t build a website based on what you think or what you or your boss likes. Find out why people leave your website and where they are dropping off! Your website’s design carries an important role, it must communicate what’s important and what the user needs to do next.
4. Value propositions
A value proposition is basically a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the main reason a prospect should buy from you period. You have to present your value proposition as the first thing all visitors see on your homepage, and it must be visible on all major entry points of your site. Get familiarized with the definition of Value Propositions and read more about it on our post.
5. Understanding buying phases
Understanding buying phases is all about understanding how people work. Customers fall into 3 groups: 1.People who have a problem, or a need, but maybe they don’t know it yet. 2.People who are researching different options and comparison shopping. 3.People who have made the decision and are ready to buy! If you want more information about what a sales funnel is and how to target each one of them, check out some tips from a past Lander Academy here.
6. Reduce friction
Whenever you ask people to do something or commit to something, there’s always friction. It’s impossible to remove friction completely in a business transaction, you can only minimize it. Friction is basically all the doubts, hesitations and second thoughts visitors may have about giving you money for a product. The way to convert the doubtful into a faithful believer is to address all of their doubts and give them full information, so they are able to convince themselves.
People won’t buy what they don’t understand. In fact, people fear what they don’t understand. Use simple sentences and don't make long and complicated ones! Be specific and believable. Visitors WON’T buy it if they don’t TRUST you first and trust is the hardest thing to win
8. Noise and distraction
The more choice you give to people, the harder it is for them to choose anything. When there are too many options to choose from, it’s easiest to just choose nothing at all right? Noise and distraction are not just about how many products you have, it’s also about how busy your layout is. How many competing design elements do you have on your website all screaming for attention at once?
In a lot of cases the best way to increase sales is to avoid one in the beginning. Remember when Peep mentioned buying phases? Instead of asking for money up front, try to engage them in some way and ideally collect their email address so you can keep talking to them. AVOID the lame “join our newsletter” pitch, instead give them something in return. Create a good CTA and show them you will solve their problem immediately! You can find some good tips on creating effective calls to action here.
Is a powerful motivator, if it is done well. As long as your reason for the urgency you create is believable, it should work. Too many marketers abuse it and try to add urgency to everything. It’s not just possible. But when it makes sense to use it, it will produce a ton of results.
If your site is difficult to use, people just won’t use it. Nobody wants to waste time and bother trying to figure stuff out. The best websites always provide a seamless experience – everything just seems intuitive, and people don’t have to think. You can run a usability test with just 10 people looking and working on your site. There are some good apps online to run that will give you the valuable information you need.
Main things to test
Peep explained that there are severals things on your website that will directly affect results. You should check and test these importants points, to see which ones are doing well and which ones need to be changed.
Offer: Does your offer solve a problem the customer has?
Headline: Your ads and landing pages, as well as your websites, need the same message or you’ll lose visitors, period.
Button size and text: Are they functional to wards your goal or are you just saying “Submit” Are you adding some value to the button text? What am I going to get if I click?
Call to action: It needs to be specific, try to make it urgent or exclusive and most of all make it stand out from the crowd!
Are you ready to improve your website?
To sum up Peep gave us a lot of tips to improve the quality of our websites and increase conversions and sales. More than anything our latest Lander Academy’s speaker showed us that “clarity trumps persuasion” every time and that sometimes less is more! Also, you have to keep in mind that people don’t care about you, they care about themselves and their problems they need solving and if they don’t find what they are looking for, they are going to go look somewhere else! So keep your site simple, clean, and guide your visitors through every step. The goal is making your homepages natural and intuitive, that way you will have a website that sells.
Now that you have all the tips you need to start boosting your website sales, did we miss anything? Do you have something to add to Peep’s checklist? Let us know in the comment box below and let’s keep working for a world free of websites that totally suck!