I talk to a lot of people who are doing business online every day (no surprise given by industry). Come to think about it, almost every single one of my conversations are with Internet business owners and 90% of them ask me the same question; “Would you please take a look at my website, and give me any ideas on how to improve it?” Besides helping business owners find products to drop-ship, I own my own business online and have been where these people are. I love to help in every area that I can or have time for.
I have narrowed down what I think are the top 6 ideas to improving a drop-shipping website –
1. Site Structure – Make sure your site loads fast, and that the code is clean. If you built the website yourself or had someone else build it, did you make sure (you or) they used CSS, and that it validates? When using CSS you make sure that everything on the site is uniform. The font size, style of font, colors used, etc. You will lose more customers than you realize by having a site that looks like it was designed by a 6th grader in a computer class. I know you have seen them. Text that is a rainbow of colors. First paragraph green, second paragraph read, next yellow, and so on (just repeat any color you can think of, and you get the point). Creating a site like this is very unprofessional, and you will not be taken seriously.
2. images, graphics, and banners – Make sure that you are using the cleanest looking, the fastest loading, and most optimized images you can. There are several programs out there that will help you optimize your images for the web. You may even have some software on your computer and not even know it. Most programs like PhotoShop, or Paint Shop Pro (even the basic operating system photo programs) have image optimization programs that can help speed up the load time and clarity of the photo. The more images that can help describe the product you are selling, the better. Remember the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.
3. Site Navigation – If your potential customers can’t browse through your site easily, or feel they are lost, you will lose 80% of the time from my experience and website analytics tracking. I try to follow the “3 click rule”, meaning that it will not take people more than 3 clicks to get to your shopping cart. Also, make sure you add an HTML site map and a universal search engine site map, so the search engines can know about the pages you are offering and when they are updated. Doing this will help you have the freshest content from your site on the search engines.
4. Amazing Unique Keyword Rich Content – The more information you can provide the better. People get on search engines to look for what? Information. If you are not providing information that is at the very least good than your competition, then you might as well give up. For example, if you are working with a supplier, and so are 1000 other people, how many of those people do you think are just copy and paste the product descriptions and not doing anything they can to make it their own using the keywords they want to target? Most of those people are not doing anything to make their content better (from my experience) so even just changing things around a little and making the content better by being more descriptive and using more keywords will put you ahead of the competition 100%.
5. Make Me Feel Safe – If you do not have any kind of SSL certificate, BBL logo, or “hacker safe” logo on your site, then you need to research these out and do whatever you can to get at least one of these added to your site where visitors can clearly see. With all the talk going on about identity theft people are very weary these days about giving credit card info online. So, anything you can do to help people feel safer on your site (even a bit) will help increase sales.
6. Contact Info – People are curious by nature, and the thing that runs through my mind more than anything, when I am visiting a site, is – “Who is the person behind this?” I want to know that I can talk to a human if needed and that someone will be there to actually answer my email or return my call. Make sure you have a phone number where people can contact you, an email address, and a mailing address. When people know they can contact you they feel safer and will be less hesitant to purchase from you.
I have blogged a lot about these topics in the past, but I wanted to do a new post and talk about what I believe are the most important things you can be doing right now to improve how things are going on your website. These are not hard or costly steps but will take some time and planning. If you get started implementing them now it will pay off in the long run.