Websites are Eternally in Progress. Mr. Bo-Bo's Anyway
Sometimes you think your work is done. But then you step away for a minute, look again, and realize how much more work you have to do. And by 'you', I mean 'me'... although I do mean you, too.
We tend to be so proud of our progeny that we are blind to its flaws and miss out on ways it can be improved.
On my (latest) website (http://InfusiasmStore.com) I was in such a rush to just get it out there that I couldn't see the forest for the trees. Since initially releasing it I have undergone a series of improvements and will probably continue to find things that bug me. Which is okay.. we need to continually update our websites to keep the big G happy, right?
I don't know if this list will be relevant to your website or not, but if you sell products it might be (and if you have more tips feel free to share them in the comments so the rest of us can learn!). These are things I have changed along the way:
- Posted better photos - Number one thing I found lacking on my site. I thought my initial photos were decent... they showed the packaging and I tried to make them look good. More often than not they were crooked or out of perspective... but hey, it was a photo! *so proud* After combing the web I felt like they were amateurish and boring. And I felt like pics of the product would better serve me than just a boring picture of the packaging. Spice blends are much more attractive up close, the customer can see more detail... color and texture.
- Homogenize the descriptions. Instead of trying to remember how I worded something that I repeat in every category (shrub concentrates, spice blends, finishing salts, sweet crystals), I worked on a version that I liked and copied and pasted it into each product description. It gives the website continuity and makes it appear more professional.
- Link the crap out of it. I have heard internal links compared to a spider web that gives structure to a website. Some ways I have linked are linking from products to posts and vice versa, linking to FAQs, etc.
- Add a more obvious call to action. If someone is looking for a product but they're on the fence, I want them to know that I have samples available for sale. That's a less risky purchase. Especially for items that a customer can't smell or taste. So I created a button that links to the sample page, making it obvious and also simple for my customer to find.
- Information. Customers want to know what they're getting for their money... the size of the product, what's in it, in my case nutritional data. I offer sugar-free products, but a few of them contain molasses so I make that obvious and give the customer the option of having it omitted if they want the blend but not the molasses. I also put xylitol in my shrub concentrates and it's highly toxic to dogs so I make sure my customers are aware of that, and I offer an unsweetened version if they prefer other sweeteners.
Some things are obviously out of my control (the cost of shipping, for example), but I'm trying to remove as many roadblocks as I can.
So I close with two requests:
1) If you have additional tips that I didn't cover, please add them in the comments so we can all learn, and
2) If you looked at my website, did anything fall short? Is there any information I am missing? Links I could add? Etc. I haven't updated all of the photos yet, I'm hoping to finish that tomorrow, if you have ideas for staging the products that's cool, too. For the concentrates I plan to show the bottle, a glass of the concentrate mixed and some of the ingredients with a natural background... plants or something.
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend... I'm watching movies, drinking iced coffee and (as usual) working.
Oh... random and unrelated... I love birds and have gotten some great pics lately. For all that I suck at photos of my products, I take pretty good photos of birds (I think). Here are a few, hope you enjoy them:
... The red-tailed hawk keeps taunting me, but never when I have my camera... I'll get him some day.