As we see more and more businesses move their services online, and even more that begin their life on the Web, a greater need arises for websites that are designed and built to sell. A great-looking website may achieve the goal of shaping and delivering a strong brand, but its good looks alone aren’t enough to sell the products or services on offer. For that, you need to introduce the element of marketing.
1. Subliminal Suggestion
Research shows that objects and images you see around you can prime you for certain behaviors.
When choosing images for your website, think carefully about the message you’re trying to send. Pick images that are meaningful and that embody that message or feeling. Don’t put graphics on your website for their own sake — if they’re not doing a job, they don’t have to be there.
2. Prevent Choice Paralysis
There is a phenomenon in marketing known as “choice paralysis.” Choice paralysis happens when the user is given too many options. Choice is great, but when your customers are presented with too many options, they may be confused about where to go.
To remedy choice paralysis, make it easier for people to find the right product or service for them. Tell them what each option is great for, and then suggest the one they should choose.
3. Show The Product
You make your purchasing decision based on the information you gather by seeing the product.
When you sell services or Web apps online, you should do exactly the same thing: show the product. People make judgments based on what products look like. Why? Because appearance is an indicator, rightly or wrongly, of a product’s usability. This is known as the aesthetic-usability effect.
4. Let People Try It
Once you start using a product, you become involved in it. Once you start entering data into it, you begin to make it your own. Every second a user spends trying out features is a second of their time invested in learning and using your product.
AIDA is a well-known strategy in sales and stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. It is relatively simple and describes the sequence of events you should aim for to get a sale.
The actual marketing text on the website — more than design, is what we need to do on the design side is reinforce that copy, make it stand out and ensure visitors read it. This means making sure the first thing a new visitor sees really grabs their attention.
6. Guide attention
To benefit from something like AIDA, you have to lead your visitors through your content. You can do this by aligning items in a manner that will flow, and using images that guide the eyes.
Structure your content in a way that will flow towards something. Having a bunch of scattered feature descriptions may confuse and make your visitors lost, unless of course if all of the points end in calls to action.
7. Always Provide Next Actions
If you’re designing a website to sell something, whether a software application or Web service, you should always be thinking about how you’re closing the deal on each page. This doesn’t mean filling every page with big “Buy now” buttons; it means when the customer is ready to buy, they shouldn’t have to look around for the check-out link.
8. The Gutenberg rule
The Gutenberg diagram (or the Gutenberg rule) is a concept that maps out something called reading gravity. Reading gravity describes a habit of reading in the western world: left to right, top to bottom. The Gutenberg diagram splits up a page into four quadrants: the “Primary Optical Area” in top left, the “Strong Fallow Area” in top right, the “Weak Fallow Area” in the bottom left and a “Terminal Area” in bottom right.