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    Optimizing Your Website for Sales

    by Rich Beery on May 23, 2013 4:00:35 AM

    Optimize your website for salesAttention medical manufacturers, distributors, and business owners:

    Ok, so you have entered the 21st century and actually now have a website for your company. That is great, but it is not enough. A website simply means that you have an internet presence. It’s like having a building on a street with a unique address. The question is, “What do you want to do with that building?" If you are a medical manufacturer, distributor, or business owner, my guess is that you have that building for one reason, to promote sales.

    So, how can you promote sales with a website?
    • First of all, ask yourself why someone would come to your website in the first place. The answer should be obvious. It is probably because they think you have something they want or need.
    • Secondly, ask what you can do to help that potential customer find you and the products they are looking for.
    • Third, in view of the availability of competing products, ask how you can assure the customer that your product provides the best overall value.
    • And, finally, how can you help that customer actually purchase that product.
    Think of your website as your store on Internet Street.

    How easy is it for the potential customer to find? Are there good directions?

    Once they find it, what does the store look like? Is it inviting to enter and look around?

    When the customer enters your store, how easy is it for them to find what they want?

    How can they be sure that this particular product is best for them, and that this is the best place to buy it?

    How easy is it for them to buy this product from your internet store? And finally,

    How can you encourage this customer to be a repeating customer?

    How easy are you to find?

    Just like people used to use the Yellow Pages to find physical brick and mortar locations, now they use internet search engines like Ask, Bing, Google, and Yahoo, as well as others, to locate the products or services they are interested in. The key to being easily found on the internet is to create quality, sharable content, that is relevant to your target personas. It's easier said than done, and it's vitally important.

    How good is your Curb Appeal?

    Once people find your site, will they like what they see? Is your homepage clean, neat and bright? Or is it dull, cluttered and overly busy? Does it draw the potential customer in to look around or does it leave them bewildered and wondering where to go next? Personally, I have been on some sites that were so technically advanced that I couldn’t figure out how to get past the homepage. That is not good.

    “Did you find everything OK?”

    This is a typical question the cashier asks me when I check out of a grocery, home goods or hardware store. It is also the kind of question you should pose for the customer of your virtual store. It is a question of navigation to find the part of your website where the desired product or service is located. The open navigation approach is like most grocery or hardware stores where the customer easily goes from one area to another. A restricted navigation approach is more like a Bed Bath and Beyond, or Ikea store where the customer travels a predetermined route through the store as a whole. You will need to determine what navigation approach works best for you.

    Why should the customer buy from you?

    The customer needs to know that they are getting a good value for the money they are going to spend. So, like any good clothing store or appliance sales clerk knows, you have to provide information personalized to the customers needs. That sales clerk also needs to be personable, genuine and sincere. The same goes for your website. It bears repeating that “People buy from people”. You need to promote and support your honesty and integrity with testimonials, videos and personal statements of vision, mission and commitment.

    In addition you need resources for your customer like product literature, helpful blogs, eBooks or whitepapers, and links to “How To” videos.

    To take this one step further, it is helpful to your sales staff to have access to restricted areas of your website for special promotions information, sample requests, sales report filings, customer relations management (CRM) programs, etc.

    An Easy to Find "Checkout"

    Whether you sell direct or through distributors, or a combination of both, you need to have a way to consummate the sale or refer the potential customer to their local sales rep or distributor for sales finalization. Even if you only sell to distributors, they should have a way to easily submit orders online.

    Build Repeat Business

    Figure out what works with your customers and build on that information. One of the neat things about inbound marketing is the scope of information that can be gleaned and used in creative ways.

    I know this has been a bit of a summary, but hopefully it has been helpful. For more help in developing user-friendly websites, inbound and outbound marketing strategies, and assessing outcome analytics feel free to contact us at KBK Communications.

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