How To Tweak Your Website For More Sales

by : Michael Southon

There are two pillars to a successful online business. One of them is traffic and the other is sales copy - the text on your your website. That's what this article is about - getting more sales from your website.

(1) Format. The fastest selling websites have the following format: a one-page sales letter; a single column of text occupying half the screen width; and a maximum of 2 or 3 linked pages (eg. partners.html, testimonials.html, author.html etc.)

(2) Headline. This should be in font size 4 or 5 and offer a strong benefit. Writing a compelling headline is a delicate balancing act - you need to grab your readers attention but you don't want to strain their credulity. Here are some tips on writing effective headlines:

(3) Date. A date at the top of your page adds to the feeling that your sales page is a letter, which makes your page more readable. It also assures visitors that your site is up-to-date and still relevant. Here is a javascript code that will insert the current date:

(4) Paragraphs. Keep them short - no more than 1 or 2 sentences per paragraph. It makes your page much easier to read.

(5) Bolding and highlighting. If you emphasize certain keywords your sales page will be much more effective. It draws your readers attention to your benefits and it also breaks up the monotony of the text. To highlight text, use these tags: your text here

(6) Book covers. An attractive book cover will increase your sales by up to 300% - so if you don't have one, get one! Here are some websites that design book covers:

(7) Testimonials. These will also dramatically increase your sales. If you don't have any, ask your customers for them. Every testimonial will always contain a key phrase or benefit - make that phrase leap out at the reader by using bold type. Always provide the website and/or email address of the person who wrote the testimonial. If you make the website URL and active link, you'll get more testimonials - but you'll also lose traffic when your visitors click on those links.

(8) Bonus Gifts. Offering freebies with your product is an old trick in web marketing - nearly everyone does it. My advice is take the freebies off. Why? Firstly, chances are the freebies you offer are also being offered by hundreds of other websites - your visitors have seen them all before and are not impressed. Secondly, offering freebies sends the message that your product is not really worth it on its own.

(9) Unique Selling Proposition. You must differentiate your product from your competitors' products. One way to do this is to have a 'Warning' near the bottom of your page that says "Do not buy an eBook on XYZ unless it meets the following criteria..." And then list the unique features of your eBook (or product).

(10) A Call to Action. This is the biggest cause of lost sales. Most people procrastinate - so you must create a sense of urgency. You can do this in various ways - a price rise after a certain date, a price rise after a certain number of copies have been sold, or a bonus report for the next 15 orders.

© 2003 by Michael Southon