Direct Selling: Hot or Not?
“Sex appeal”—it sounds so “red lights and velvet.” I think about fashionable women’s magazines and the “advice” they provide for putting forth the better you. Stealing a page from Cosmo, I’ll talk about your online sex appeal and how to make your Web site “hot.”
1. Take an Honest Look in the Mirror
Before you do anything, you need to take an honest appraisal of your current Web site and online activities. Analytics are your friend. In fact, they’re like that one friend who always tells you the truth.
Start with navigation paths, particularly paths to greatest conversion, greatest abandonment and greatest revenue per page view. And keep up the self-evaluation by answering other tough questions:
- What’s our ROI by keyword? Pay-per-click ad version?
- What products and categories are producing the greatest conversions? How are we using that information to create smarter homepages, category pages and e-mail campaigns?
- How does our navigation “fit” with our customers’ ideal “experience”?
- Are we maximizing conversion with our site architecture, checkout process, e-mail collection efforts
- Have we really integrated our brand online, or are we just another site?
Let customers (through their actual transactions and visit behaviors) tell you what you need to know about your appeal online. They’ll let you know straight away if you’re the one everybody has to dance with or if you’re the one that’s always noticing how everyone else is having a great time.
2. Looks Aren’t Everything, but They’re Something
A great outfit and perfect makeup get you noticed, grab immediate attention and make the first impression. Think of your homepage as your outfit: It’s the most viewed page on your site, and it’s how many of your customers are introduced to your brand.
Your graphics and text, and the mixture of each, are your on-site makeup. Graphics should be used appropriately and in balance with adequate amounts of search engine optimization-friendly selling text. Bullets are good, as are alternative view photos. And don’t forget that you need to look good even when the makeup comes off. In other words, ALT tags for images, buttons, etc., are important for SEO, but also for rendering, particularly e-mail rendering, when browsers don’t allow images.