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Seven Easy Tweaks to Turn Your Site into a Holiday Sales Machine

Seven Easy Tweaks to Turn Your Site into a Holiday Sales MachineThe year's prime shopping season is looming, but is your website ready? If not, no worries. The great thing about websites is you can change them, fast.

If you don't have a website, consider getting one. Basic sites are free from services such as Yola or Flavors.me. That way, you can at least stand a chance of getting found by Web-surfing shoppers.

If you have a site, a few quick tweaks might help it bring you more customers. Here are seven ideas for improvements that could help your site convert more visitors into buyers.

  1. Declutter. The more widgets you plop onto your sidebars, the more confused visitors get. Then, they leave. Speaking of which, if you have more than one sidebar, try to cut back. To help your decluttering efforts, use Google's In-Page Analytics or similar tools to learn what visitors click on -- and eliminate any extraneous, little-used items. 
     
  2. Make buttons bigger. Studies have shown that bigger buttons convert better. Apparently we humans just can't resist a big, juicy button. So style up your PayPal buttons with some nicer graphics.
     
  3. Add testimonials with photos. Consumers are strongly influenced by seeing success stories with photos that make them think: "That customer is like me." Put out a call for testimonials if you don't have any fresh ones. Check out these on the home page of A-List Blogger Club for an example of well-done testimonials. 
     
  4. Update your copy. When's the last time something new appeared on one of your static pages? Rewrite your landing page or add some news to your media page. Maybe rewrite a few product descriptions. Let shoppers know your online site isn't a ghost town. Rewrites can also help improve your site's Google rankings.
     
  5. Make your "About" page sell. The About page is one of the most-visited places on most Websites. People are always curious to know who's behind the curtain. Does your About page tell a compelling story? That can make a big difference in customers deciding they trust you, and will buy from you. Also, put a purchase or subscribe button on that page, as doing so has been shown to improve conversions.
     
  6. Refresh your design. Look at your color palette -- does it seem dated? When's the last time you changed it? Changing your colors can be a quick way to make the site look fresh and new -- ColourLovers is a great site for playing around with possible color combinations. 
     
  7. Improve your SEO. Is your site search-engine optimized to help customers find you on Google? Simply by adding a description of your business to your site's headline or tagline can work wonders for helping you rank higher for key searches. 

Have you fixed up your Website for the holidays? Leave your URL so we can take a look, and tell us what's new on your site.

Carol Tice, a freelance writer, is chief executive of TiceWrites Inc. in Bainbridge Island, Wash. She blogs about freelance writing at Make a Living Writing. Email her at carol@caroltice.com.

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