The Makings of a Successful Website

Every crafter, producer, artisan …. or anyone who sells a product needs a good website. Websites are one venue of marketing your products — just like shows are a marketing venue.  Even if you have your products lists on Etsy, Artfire or Meylah, you still need your own website.

NOTE:  For more information on why you should have your own website, check out the following posts:

The Makings of a Successful WebsiteUnfortunately, the mantra … “Build it and they will come” … no longer works for the internet.  As you know, there is LOTS of competition on the web for sales and “eyes”.  Statistics tell us that the average internet browse will spend 10-15 seconds on your site before going on to another.  So, you have just a very short time to grab a potential buyers attention.

These are my tips for helping you build a success, eye catching website:

  1. Purchase a good ecommerce platform such as 3DCart.  Sure you can build a site on WordPress and use an simple shopping cart such as GetDPD, but your site will be much harder to build and not contain the important bells & whistles that will make it great!
  2. Hire a good graphic artist to help design a logo and header for your website.  Once again, if you have the ability to design your own, great!  But don’t skimp on this step as you header is the first thing ‘browsers’ will see when they come to your site.
  3. Make your navigation as simple as possible.  Don’t complicate your site with fancy revolving graphics or difficult menus.  Make it simple!
  4. Along that line, make buying as easy as possible.  Most ecommerce platforms have a streamline buying process already in place for you.
  5. Invest in some good photos of your products.  If you are not very good with a camera, hire a professional to take your pictures.  And leave out all the props and distracting backgrounds in your photos.
  6. Good images are great, but copy is important too.  Search engines work with text, so include your important keywords in various text boxes on the home page as well as on the product pages.
  7. Include a sign up box for prospective buyers to receive your newsletters or blog postings.  Keeping your customers inform about sales, upcoming shows and new products is not only good to promote sales, but it also drives traffic to your site.
  8. Take a good look at your site, keeping in mind that the copy/images ‘above the fold’ is your most important internet real estate.  This section should include the following:
    • Your company name and tag line describing your products or line
    • Your logo, if separate
    • Your main navigation
    • Your newsletter sign up box

Once you have the basics set up, you can always go back and tweak as you go along.  Websites are editable!  Over time, you will find some things work better than others, and you will want to change your website accordingly.

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