When you have a business website you want to make sure your optimization is on point and to ensure your site will generate leads and sales for your business. You don’t always have to hire a marketing company to do these optimizations for you. There are some things you can do to ensure your site is user-friendly and will convince viewers to become customers.

Sticky Elements. These can both help or hurt your website depending on how they are handled. Sticky elements are items or elements of your site that stay visible as the user scrolls down. This attracts focus to the element, the most common sticky item being the header navigation bar.

Dropdown Menus. Dropdown menus are pretty much a given in ecommerce sites and websites in general. They allow options to be placed under menupages, making it a key element to your user navigation. They are a critical part to the conversion process as the ease of navigation can determine if a viewer will stay on your site. You also need to decide if you want your dropdown menus will show if you hover your mouse over the main menu page or if they have to click the main navigation.

Add Navigation Links. Something that is important to your website (and SEO campaign) is to add navigation links to the copy of your pages. This will direct viewers to your more important products or services, driving traffic to where you want it to go. These navigation links are also known as internal links. If your SEO campaign is designed correctly, your content should include internal and external links. Make sure the copy of your links is clear and that viewers know what to expect when they click your links, both for internal and external links.

Use Visual Cues. Visual cues are visual elements, like graphics or other colorful elements, that catch the eye and draw the viewer to the points you want to be forefront. This works well if you have a sale or a limited time item. Make sure they are tastefully done or your visual cues will work against you instead of working for you.

Make Sure You Have A UVP. Your UVP, or unique value proposition, should be easy to understand. Your UVP should quickly and easily define why your product or service is special and what makes you stand out from your competitors. This will tell your customers why you are the best and why they should come back again and again, and why they should tell everyone about you. Your UVP should show up before the fold, or the top half of your website where it is quickly seen.

Determine How Customers View Their Shopping Carts. This sounds simple enough but it can make a difference. The most common way is that when customers click on the shopping cart icon is that it takes them to another page where they can view the care, make edits, and continue to check out. Another option is to have a dropdown appear that shows the contents of the cart when the customer clicks the shopping cart icon. This does make it quicker to view the contents of the cart but some customers may get annoyed at the extra time it takes to get to checkout. The simple way to determine which is better is to test each option and see which gets better results.

Decide On Options For Your Search Bar. Search bars are another key element to your website design. They allow the customer to quickly search your site for what they are looking for. However the design of that search bar is something you need to consider. Should it be in the upper menu, the footer, or both? Do you have it longer or shorter, thicker or thinner? What prompt should it say? These are all important questions you need to ask and determine the answer when you are designing your website.

Go For The Upsell. When customers click on an item or when they go to check out, have your site pitch upsells. It only take a second and an impulse for the customer to agree to purchase complementary items to the one they are already purchasing. If you chose to not offer upsells, you could be missing out on possible revenue. Don’t go crazy and offer twenty items, but a couple tasteful suggestions are reasonable. In actual fact, most shoppers expect and even look forward to those upsell suggestions.

Determine Your Header And Footer Elements. The elements you have in your headers and footers can help or hinder your sales. Your header can include your email address, phone number, social icons, search bar, and a menu. Your footer can include a search bar, recent posts, site map, social icons or even a live feed, and contact information including your location. You could decide to have all of these elements or only a few. The choice is up to you but try to not clutter up your headers and footers too much or the information gets lost.

Email Collection. The best way to build up your contact databases is to have some sort of email collection element. This could be a pop-up asking for emails for newsletters, or you could have a simple contact us form. Some viewers find pop-ups to be annoying but most experienced shoppers will expect them and be used to either filling them out or closing them. Keep in mind, if you don’t ask you will never know if you could have increased your leads.

Offer A Discount. One of the most obvious ways to get conversions on your website is to offer a discount. Shoppers are always looking for a good deal and they are already interested in your service or product. If you offer them a deal they will be more inclined to complete the purchase and maybe buy more than they had originally intended. If the deal is good enough they will be motivated to tell people they know, which will grow your leads for you.

Have A Live Chat. Live chat has become very popular and is now being recommended for all websites. Viewers today would much rather do an online chat to ask questions or to resolve an issue rather than call the business. There are simple plugins to add to give your site this options and many can be customised to set business hours and to send an automated message if someone starts a chat outside of those hours.

There are many different elements that you can do to make sure your site is optimized to bring you as many conversions as possible. Most are small simple things but they will make all the difference. Take time yourself, or hire a web design/marketing company, to make the changes for you. The changes we just went over are ones to consider sitewide. In our next blog in this series we will go over optimizations you can make to just your homepage.