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How to Turn Your Website into a Selling Machine

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October 18,2012

By Penny C. Sansevieri, Adjunct Instructor NYU & CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

When we build our sites, we expect them to do a certain job. For most of us, that job is selling. Whether it’s selling us, our businesses, or our product, if a site that’s meant to be a sales tool isn’t selling it’s just taking up space online.  The following tips can help turn your website into an exceptional selling machine.

Attractors: Every website needs to give people a reason to visit and offer links that encourage those visits. Attractors are things both on your website and off, they attract people to you and give them a reason to visit. It’s also really important to know what your attractors will be before you build your website because these are elements you’ll want to build into your site.

Words on your website: The copy you have on your website is critically important and often overlooked. Business owners will write their own copy with little idea about how to create compelling verbiage or how to weave calls to action onto the page. If you feel like you’re hitting all of the points in this article but still aren’t selling off of your site, it could be your website copy.

Understanding social media:  If the Internet is a highway, social media are the billboards driving attention to your website. Often times I hear folks talking about social media as though they were stores, and while people can optimize the sites to make sales, using social media for exposure is a much better course of action. Giving users a compelling reason to visit your site is what you want to use your social media platforms for.

Different types of calls to action: For a website to be an effective sales tool, you’ll need a strong call to action, but not just one. You should have several different types of these action statements to help pull visitors in. Here some of the most popular:

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The sliding scale: My recommendation, regardless of what you are selling, is to offer varied product pricing. This includes offering things for free. Why? Because I believe that unless you are selling a very high dollar item and can’t risk bastardizing it with lower-end product or freebies, you should offer a scale of product that fits a variety of budgets. In simple terms, you’ll sell more that way.

Video: Studies show that having one enthusiastic consumer talking about a product, message, or person, can outweigh any other promotion you might do. For this reason video is very important for your website, store, and testimonials page.

Don’t sell: People don’t want to be sold, they want to be engaged, enlightened, and entertained. Create compelling content, compelling copy and you’ll get the sale; but if you ask for the sale without creating engagement, you’ll get nothing.

Creating great content: While content is king, compelling, engaging content is the master. But creating content isn’t always easy. You have to come up with ideas and you have to keep inventing new topics.

Reminders: Studies show that consumers rarely buy off of websites the first time, especially sites they don’t know. This statement excludes sites like Amazon and other high-traffic ecommerce platforms. What I’m talking about here is your site and mine. If you want to get the sale the second or third time, you’ll have to get permission to market to your consumer again and again. That’s where a newsletter comes in. I highly recommend everyone share valuable content through a newsletter, gaining your customers’ loyalty and confidence.

You’ll notice that I did not talk about your store. For an article on turning your website into a sales machine that seems a little odd, no? Candidly, while it’s important to have a good store experience, secure checkout, etc. the store is the least important part of creating a selling machine. Why? Because if none of the above elements are present,  your store will never get used. Good luck!

Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. Follow on Twitter @Bookgal.
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