If your website was designed over three years ago, there is a good chance that your firearms business is missing out on potential leads and sales.
If your website is suffering from high bounce rates, low traffic, cluttered pages or is just plain ugly—it may be time to update your website.
Here are ten things to keep in mind.
1. Design a professional impression
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure that your website is credible. Don’t use pixelated and small pictures of your products. Take the time and invest in your photo library. Most prospective customers will get annoyed and leave your site for your competitors—especially if they’re are struggling on what firearm to buy. Use a credible color palette and a clean layout that uses white space as a design element that doesn’t crowd your pages’ most important messages.
2. Verify and cite your sources
When blogging be sure to cite your information; include a link to the source on everything you reference. This will allow you to leverage industry experts and lend credibility to your topic. This also will help in getting your content shared on social media by industry influencers. (Source: HubSpot)
3. Show your people
Your people are the key differentiator in a marketplace full of identical competitors™. Show your people and list their expertise and link to their personal social media profiles like LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. This shows “social proof” and humanizes your brand.
4. Show real testimonials of real people
If you have great testimonials and reviews, ask your customers if they wouldn’t mind having their picture on your website. This improves your credibility and trust factor even more. Find them on Twitter and follow them back!
5. Make it easy to contact you
Give your customers an easy way to contact you if they have a problem with your product. Use a contact form, list your physical address, add a picture of your building, a map with directions, phone number and email address. Use your Facebook page or Twitter feed to answer questions or concerns about your products.
6. Don’t make your visitors think
Create an easy and intuitive navigation bar that segments their interests. Create a content strategy that is easy to read and follow. Use big section titles, white space and visuals to improve the “stickiness” of your web page. Don’t clutter your pages with paragraphs of text. Identify the 2-3 main points you want to communicate about your services or product and format the page accordingly. Ask yourself: what is the number one thing I want our prospect to know about our product/service? Use a Call to Action (CTA) that tells them what to do next: sign up for your email updates; follow on Facebook, download manual.
7. Refresh content regularly
Customers that see a website that is regularly updated—assign more trust to your company. Create a blog and update it at least weekly. Companies who blog receive 55% more traffic, 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages. (Source: Writtent). By building your website pages based on your keywords—brick-by-brick, over time— you will naturally accumulate more traffic.
Add a secure socket layer (SSL) to your site that proves to your prospects and customers that their data is safe and that you are a credible and viable business. It’s also been shown that Google will give you a slight bump in rankings. (Source: Search Engine Land) You can get an SSL at GoDaddy.com for around $60.
9. Avoid spelling errors and typos
Have you ever came across a website filled with sporadic spelling errors? Or the improper use of your, you’re, there or their? Make sure you have someone proof your copy to get rid of any spelling errors and typos. Correct grammar and spelling is crucial in today’s content-consuming internet.
10. Create a responsive layout for mobile and tablet
51% compared to desktop (42%) use mobile as their primary internet source. (Source: SmartInsights) When designing your website, make sure that the layout responds on desktop as well as mobile and tablet devices. A cluttered or misaligned layout can be very distracting and reduces your brand’s credibility.
In conclusion, by taking into account these ten things to boost your firearm website’s credibility and trust—you will increase leads, on-page visits and reduce bounce rates and ultimately your bottom line.
Introduction to Growth-Driven Web Design
Is your website performing at its peak, or has it been sitting idle for 2-3 years? Was your last website redesign over-budget, out of scope and delivered late?
In this ebook, we explain a different approach to website design that will help you save cost, launch faster and create a more effective sales and marketing tool that will grow leads, customers and sales online.
By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.