11 tips to turn your website into a sales machine

Your website can be designed to do the sales work for you. Check out some tips that can make your company increase ROI with your website.

Your website can be designed to make your sales work for you. For starters, you want to think about the sales process from your customer’s point of view. What are the different steps the customer takes?

On your website you need to sell to a customer in much the same way as you would if you were selling offline. However, there are some important differences. Above all, the Internet is less personal and your website visitors can be much more fleeting. Your competition is just a click away, and most potential customers will visit multiple websites.

Think of people visiting your site as your guests, not a prospect. Think in terms of letting them know on your website, not selling them — and certainly not advertising to them directly.

While there are many steps in the sales process that you should cover on your website, you don’t need a big website. All of this can be done on one page for a small service business. In fact, a one  -page site  may generally be preferable because it’s easier to make one page look great than it is for a multi-page site; you don’t lose customers who decide not to click on another page; and it’s easy for a potential customer to move back and forth on the single page.

1. Build traffic to your website

Get your website name out everywhere you can: in all your advertising, on your social media, on your business card, on your delivery trucks, and everywhere else. Optimize your website design to get relevant search engine results. While there are many things you can do to increase your chances of  ranking well on Google , the first thing to do is ensure that you have multiple headlines on your web pages that include the keywords you are trying to rank for. (Check out more  On Page SEO tips .)

2. Have your website design attractive

Many visitors to a website will click within seconds of accessing it.

To hold visitors long enough to seriously consider your website, and therefore your business, your “first impression” should do the following. First, it must look professional and modern. This means a clean design with clear information. A mix of headlines, text and at least one image is a good bet.

Second, the site must appear user-friendly. For example, just a bunch of small text, even if it contains a lot of material, is not a good idea.

Third, the site needs to be relevant to what you’re looking for. Visitors should see instant confirmation that the site is relevant to the information they are looking for. If you’re a local service business, people should clearly see that you’re in the business.

Fourth, navigation must be easy. People must be able to  browse the site  where they are and find the information they want quickly.

3. Give 3 reasons to buy from you, including your “unique selling proposition”

You don’t want to stun your visitors with too many points of sale and advertising messages, but you do want to deliver your unique selling proposition. This is typically the short, single message that presents a particularly compelling, succinct, and easy-to-communicate reason why customers should choose you over your competition. Since this is your website, not a radio ad, you should consider delivering this in a more informative tone rather than a sales tone.

In addition to your unique selling proposition, you will typically want to focus on a few other reasons why they should do business with you and not your competitors. For some reason, people seem to feel most comfortable when they have at least three reasons to do something.

Then think about how you can “whisper” those reasons to customers and not shout them. Perhaps you could present them more as editorial commentary in a grand style. Particularly avoid big and blatant headlines.

4. Build your authority

Especially when they are buying a product or service from a business they are not familiar with, people are always hesitant. They are especially hesitant when on the Internet. To compensate for this, you need to establish your authority.

You may want to include a specialized article on a topic relevant to your field, perhaps even self-authored. Or you can cite your years of experience. Maybe there are awards or recognitions you can mention, or media articles with your company that you can refer to.

Testimonials can also be important in establishing authority. You will likely have a few satisfied customers who will allow you to cite them on the site, without using their last name or address.

5. Overcome objections

We were all taught from an early age to say “No. No. No.” and be very careful before buying anything. So it’s human nature to find reasons not to buy something, or not to buy it today. Sometimes these are great reasons; often they are not.

You should find out what are the most common reasons why people don’t buy a product or service from you. Then you should address these justifications on your website. One way to deal with these objections is with a question and answer section. It’s best to have something short, focusing on the few most common objections, along with convincing but believable answers.

6. Offer a warranty or return policy

Among the most common objections people make to purchase is that they are not going to like the product or service once they see or use it, or they are afraid that it will not work as promised. These fears multiply when doing business on the Internet. That’s why the top e-commerce companies have incredibly generous return policies.

7. Sell in Progressive Stages: Engage and Connect

Unless you’re selling a really cheap impulse item, people generally want to buy it and not feel rushed. They typically want to review your offers several times, on several different occasions. But this creates a big problem for you, because they will almost always visit your competitors’ websites, and maybe a lot of them.

So, to be successful, you need to engage prospects and connect with them. To engage them, you have to keep them on your site long enough to deliver your message in a way that makes a positive impression. To connect with them, you want to have some kind of interaction, like filling out a form, clicking the WhatsApp button, and so on.

In the initial navigation phase, prospects may not be ready to call you to action, for example, calling or emailing you for additional information. They may give you their email, especially if you offer something in return. Online companies usually offer a free subscription to their online newsletter or additional free information such as an industry survey or report.

Once you receive the customer’s email, you at least want to send an automatic “thanks for your interest” type of response. If you have the time, you might consider sending a personalized but short note including your name or the name of another contact person. As long as you don’t try to sell hard in this process, you can help solidify the bond with the prospect and greatly increase your chances of getting to the next stage of selling.

8. Get the buy signal

In most sales processes for all routine purchases, there is some sort of intermediate step between solidifying interest and getting the order. It could simply be a request for more information, such as information unique to the prospect’s situation. Or it may involve getting a quote or an estimate. Sometimes it can be both steps: maybe first getting more information and then requesting a quote.

On your website you have to make people feel comfortable so they can go to these additional steps without feeling like they are somehow committing or even creating a high expectation that they will necessarily buy. You can do this by saying “please call us or email us for more information.”

Likewise, if providing a quote or an estimate is part of your sales process, try requesting that too. Something like “Please call and we’d be happy to give you a free, no-obligation quote.” Of course, people assume that the quote is free and that there is no obligation, but especially when dealing with consumers it helps to reassure them of that.

Also, you should consider a promising quick response to quote requests such as “free quotes within 24 hours”. This will also make people more likely to respond.

9. Use “spectacular” offers to close the sale

You did everything right. You’ve won over visitors through the entire sequence of steps. They like your service or product. You are number one on their list right now. But still they hesitate. It is not rational, but they are human. The problem is, if they don’t buy from you today, they might buy from you next month, and they can probably visit your competitor’s website. What can you do?

You can offer some incentive to close the sale today. These are called “spectacular” offers as they are worthless if not used immediately. For example, if you provide quotes or estimates, at that point you can provide a small discount — or rather, a little more service or gift — if the prospect commits to your offer within a short period of time, such as 24 or 48 hours.

10. Close the Agreement

Sales completed via the Internet, even with some e-mail or other electronic communication, are more likely to be terminated than deals that are done in person. People by nature have “buyer’s remorse,” and when the sale isn’t made in person, it tends to happen more often.

The way you try to overcome this is to thank your customers for the sale. So offer a clear path to next steps and keep them informed. Maybe you say the operations manager will contact them to schedule the work.

Likewise, if you’re selling a product, keep your customers in the loop. Maybe it just involves telling them when he’s expected to ship, when he’s shipped, and what the tracking information is.

11. Get feedback after the sale

One of the most important steps and biggest opportunity happens right after the deal is done and the product or service is completed. First, you want to get feedback from customers — if they’re happy with your service or product, great. You thank them.

If they are not satisfied with your service or product, then you should ask them to tell you what they didn’t like, let alone talk about your business on social media sites. Is it something you can fix? Is it something you need to partially or fully refund? In this day and age of social media, you need to strive to have happy customers. A happy customer might refer you to three friends, but a really unhappy customer might refer you to 300.

So finally, sometime well after the sale, you might want to do a recurring sale with your customers. Send a card or some extra information, and keep your company fresh in your mind for a possible new sale.