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I am always reading articles and listening to podcasts about how to improve my website for my customers. There is a ton of information for us on SEO, driving traffic through social media, and how to convert people into buyers once they are on your website. There is so much information, in fact, that I feel my head spinning as I try to figure out what steps to take first.

I have decided to focus on improving the experience of using my website. If I’m planning to drive a bunch of traffic to it, and am even paying for Facebook and Instagram ads to get people to click over to my site, I want to make sure that it’s ready.

 I want it to be attractive.

I want it to communicate what the vibe of my products is. I want it to be easy to use. I hate crappy websites, don’t you? By crappy, I mean hard to navigate or not user-friendly. It is so frustrating when you have to work hard to figure out how to buy products or sign up for something online.

 

I wanted to make sure that my message is clear, my products are easy to find and the checkout process is simple.

 

I have been listening to a podcast called Storybrand that has so much great information for people like me. My main takeaway from listening is that a website should be able to answer three questions in the first 5 seconds. Those questions are:

    1. What do you do?
    2. How does it make life better?
    3. What do I need to do to buy it?

If you have your own website or an Etsy shop, your customers should still be able to answer these questions in the first 5 seconds of visiting your site.

  

Think about your shop’s homepage. Does your business name indicate what you sell? Does the shop banner or photograph on the home page show what you sell or show someone using it? Are your product descriptions helping people understand how your products will make their lives better?

I know as I viewed my own website with this in mind, I saw that I had some work to do.

I have been busy working on it for the past few weeks tweaking everything from the main page, to the navigation, and slowly but surely getting my product descriptions improved and more descriptive/informative.

Donald Miller, (the Storybrand podcast host) offers a free resource that might help you think about your own online shop and how you can better communicate your message to buyers. It’s a series of short videos that explain this way of looking at your site. It’s called 5 Minute Marketing Makeover.

  

It completely blew my mind and after watching all of the videos, I made some big changes to my site that have improved the experience for people shopping there.

 

After having made the changes I felt needed to be made, I was asking my friends and family to look at the website and give me their opinions. They did as I requested but mostly gave me the general positive feedback that people who love us give. This is nice 🙂 but I really wanted to learn if my website was communicating and selling effectively.

 I was beyond thrilled to find another Free resource called Peek. It used to be free, but is now a service that charges.  You can see it here.   I found a new one called Try My UI

These are user testing services that send regular people to your website as a new visitor and they record video of themselves using your site as they talk about their experience. You can hear their reactions to your images, products, and website in general. Once I submitted my site name, it only took about two hours before my site had been reviewed and the video was ready for me to watch.

I learned SO much from the Peek user test.

  

There were things that I realized needed improving that I had never thought of.

 

Some of the biggest things were: I realized I needed my products separated into smaller categories, the main banner of my shop weren’t telling people simply what I sell and I needed to have a more visible navigation menu on my home page.

After the Peek test, over the next couple days, I made the changes. Then, I re-submitted my site for another test.  This time, a different person tested my site. She had a completely different experience but I felt that my changes really improved the initial impression. The second tester immediately went to my “About” page because she said that’s where she likes to go first. I realized that I do this too as I’m looking at websites. I like to know the people I’m buying from or doing business with.

 

So now, that is what’s on my to-do list for this week. I need to improve my “About Me” page on my website. I was thinking a video might be a fun addition.

 The point of all this is that as I get my website clear, easy, attractive and informative, I will feel better about the experience people will have when they get there.

  

I will convert more of these people into buyers and I know my efforts to drive traffic to my site will not be wasted.

 

 I hope you guys check out some of these free resources.

 They have really helped me make simple changes that are making all the difference and I know they can help you too.

 

Free Resources to Improve your Online Shop 1

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