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Monday, January 23, 2006

DIY Tip: Are Your Product Pages Money Makers?

Posted by @ 10:04 pm

In a cyber world where returns on your marketing investment are crucial to your online longevity, conversion of visitors into paying customers is aim of the game. Many online businesses make the mistake of trying to drive all their internet traffic to their homepage, when in fact, it is usually more effective to get qualified traffic and direct them to more relevant pages – namely your product or brochure pages.

Almost all E-commerce sites have them (if you don’t – you should), but many businesses neglect to optimize them for maximum conversion. Analysis of your key sales/information pages should be an on-going process, as you review your website in light of customer trends and industry changes. Below are some key areas that Jakob Nielsen, an internet usability guru, suggested in a recent article that should be considered when you look at evaluating your product pages.

The old KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle applies to most elements of the marketing process. None more so than your product pages. Crowding the page with as much information as is available, or as many products as possible only creates buyer confusion. And hoping that at least one of the many products presented will meet the visitors needs will more than likely lead to no sale at all.

The content should be focused and only present information that reinforces the decision process. One product highlight supported by features, variations available, pictures if helpful, pricing and any other relevant purchasing information (ie. delivery options, payment methods etc) is the core to your success. If you get these key elements right, your conversion should increase dramatically.

Navigate to the Sale
Once you have created the perfect product page as far as copy and pitch, the next challenge is to make the buying process as simple and obvious as possible. I don’t know how many times I have been at a site and decided I am ready to buy, but lost interest because I didn’t know how to complete the purchase. Remember completing the purchase is sometimes more complicated than just going to the cart and supplying credit card details. The ability to add accessories or choose product variations are all important parts of this purchasing process.

All these calls to action should be highly visible and can often be assisted by multiple placements on the page. This allows for people reaching the decision to buy at different points on the page. The best way to assess your pages ability to “navigate to the sale”, is by getting an outsider to use the page and provide you feedback.

Inform to Convince
Whilst keeping it simple is very important, certain information is critical in people’s decision making process. The lack of this detail could be the difference between making the sale or not. Whilst the core selling details should be front and center at the top of your product page, ensure any other relevant information is provided. This will avoid people encountering doubts about their purchase or needing to navigate away from the product page to find the information they require.

Below is Nielsen’s key checklist for the successful product page:

1. Prominent and clear descriptive title and photo if applicable.
2. Provide ALL the information a shopper will need to buy your product
3. State product availability and delivery times (if applicable)
4. Support your product with guarantees and warranties where appropriate
5. MUST HAVE: prominent ‘Buy’ button

Okay, now go forth and make sure you are making the most out of your search traffic with your strongest selling tools; your product pages – performing at their best.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

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