We are working with a Spa in lower Westchester that sells a lot of gift certificates on their website. We are overhauling the website including the all-important gift certificate page. In recently reviewing our progress we were averaging about 3 minutes a page - but spent 40 minutes going over the gift certificates page.
Here's why that time was well spent.
Website Entry Pages
The Home Page is NOT the totality of the website.
Lots of business owners agonize over their home page; what exactly should the copy say? what images should be included? What color should the links be?
And while spending a good amount of time on your home page makes sense, often visitors don't enter your website from your home page. So your "home" page could be any page and time and care should be put into every page on your site. How did the visitor get to that page? What information are they looking for? What do you want them to know about you based on this information?
What pages are "marketing" pages, and what pages are "sales" pages?
In this example, all the other pages are all marketing pages. They let readers know what services are offered. They tout features and benefits for Swedish massage, and spa facials etc.
The gift certificates page is the only revenue generating page so great care and thought must be put into the user's experience. What are they expecting from their buying experience? What will make the experience simple and pleasant with the end result of them spending money on the site?
Not all sites will have options to buy online but they should have some sort of call to action. What is it that you want your visitors to do?
Maybe you want them to pick up the phone and call for an appointment. Whatever it is, that funnel - from landing on the site, scanning (they won't read) your information, clicking through to the next step - should be carefully considered and every possible bump along the way accounted for.
Think of your website as Macy's Herald Square. You can enter the store from any of four entrances; one on each side of the building. Each entrance will land you in a different department depending on where you're coming from. But each entrance is welcoming with big, obvious signs on how to get to the department you're looking for as quickly and easily as possible.