Category Archives: Small Business Websites

What You Need To Accept Credit Cards Checklist

The main appeal of credit and debit cards is their accessibility. Rather than having to carry a wad of cash that might not cover your purchases, a card allows you to carry a single piece of plastic — or numerous, depending on your shopping habits. Indeed, the number of people in the United States who primarily use cash for their everyday purchases has dropped to under 25 percent of the population, and that number continues to decline. Using a card to make purchases is simply more convenient for the consumer. Unfortunately, however, that comes at the merchant’s expense.

Retailers and other merchants need to know how to navigate the often-confusing ecosystem of accepting credit and debit cards. Otherwise, they stand to miss out on the business of customers who exclusively carry cards or have a small amount of cash on hand. At the same time, those merchants need to be aware of their security and legal requirements that are part and parcel of accepting card payments. As if all of that weren’t complicated enough, the advents of online and mobile payment options have their own individual requirements and infrastructures. Whether you’re a small business or a large one, accepting credit and debit card payments is nowhere near as simple as it is for a customer to make them.

Yet, accepting credit and debit card payments is a requirement for business of any type today. Businesses that don’t accept these types of payments run the risk of distancing customers who will feel inconvenienced. Any type of inconvenience has the potential to push consumers into finding other options, so there’s no excuse for businesses to avoid accepting credit and debit card payments. Even though the process of setting up the infrastructure necessary to accept these payments can be troublesome and complicated, some preparation can make all the difference.

Making processes simpler for your customers often means making things a little more difficult for yourself, but isn’t that what customer service is all about? By following the checklist from BluePay below, businesses can prepare themselves to accept credit and debit card payments if they don’t already. The advice covered in this guide can help businesses avoid many of the most common frustrations that come with establishing the framework needed to become part of the credit and debit card ecosystem.

Checklist Source: credit card processing company Bluepay

Building your website around customer needs

Your website has the potential to be the major driver of new customers for your business. A well-designed website improves your firm’s web presence and web traffic. Creating a website based on customer needs demonstrates the value you place on creating a user-friendly space.

Your individual profile pages are likely the most important pages on your website. Customers need and want to know who they’re dealing with before retaining your services. Too little information on this page could leave potential customers unsure of the reliability of your services. On the other hand, too much information could turn away customers who aren’t interested in reading a novel on your background. The best profile pages have major details on your education background, case work and “reason why” you do what you do. Profile pages are also a great place to include website videos.

Your About Us page will have major details on the history of the business, as well as the types of services or goods you provide. This page would be a great place to let customers know your business’s operating standards, goals and mission.

Your individual services pages help your clients know what they can expect when working with your business. Be sure to thoroughly describe what you’re offering to your clients by providing as many details as possible. As with your About Us page, being too wordy could cost you. Your clients don’t want to read about your opinion of your business! Stick to the facts and details specific to the industry you serve.

A Contact Us page helps your clients know how to get in touch with you. Having all of your contact information in one place will help customers feel confident that they can reach you if there are any problems. Other good things to list on the contact page are maps, directions, and even neighborhood information or local place names that might help a client locate where you are.

Finally, wadding client reviews and testimonials help ease your client’s fears of working with someone they didn’t want. No one can praise you higher than a previous client. Ask for reviews or testimonials from customers and update this page regularly.

There are many other types of pages, however, these are the most important. Review your pages and see if they live up to your customers expectations!

3 Psychological Tips to Boost Your Business Web Site (Part 3 of 3)

woman pointing at graph

The Psychology of Graphics

In the previous two articles, we discussed both The Psychology of Color and The Psychology of Copy. In this third and final article in this three part series, I will be discussing one of possibly the most influential psychological aspects to a web site.  That if done effectively, will create an outstanding increase in your web site conversion rate.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

The Psychology of Graphics

“Ads with 10 or more visuals are 55 percent more likely to be noted than ads with few or no visuals.” – Drew Whitman. Graphics draw in the viewer. They engage, draw emotion, and educate them.  Without graphics, your site is like reading a nutrition label.  It’s informative, but doesn’t hold my attention.

But what are the best types of graphics to use on your site?  Do some graphics work just as well as others?

In my experience, there are a few categories of photos that when used, draw a huge response.

  • Women
  • Food
  • Celebrities
  • Groups of adults

The reasoning behind this can be connected to the psychology of the human mind.  Women are seen as more trustworthy, kind, and visually appealing than men are.  Food is a factor in human survival. People love to admire the lives they aspire to be in. And everybody has the desire to be accepted within a group or organization.

Here are a few other psychological graphic tips.

  • Having a person in a white doctor’s coat draws immediate credibility.  Whether the person is an actual doctor or not.
  • A women facing directly at you smiling is the most trustworthy image to have on your site.
  • Placing a photo of your product on the main screen increases conversion by 13%.

There are a million different tricks to boosting your business web site.  These are just a few examples.  Most will come with trial and error.  These, on the other hand, have been proven time and time again and can be implemented today!

3 Psychological Tips to Boost Your Business Web Site (Part 2 of 3)

stack of books

The Psychology of Copy

Welcome to part two of this three part series on the three most commonly unknown psychological tricks to increasing your conversion and interaction rates on your business web site.

In my last post, we discussed the Psychology of Color.  Where you were taught what colors were effective and what ages these people prefer them.  If you haven’t read it, check it out!

This next psychological trick to boosting your business web site is one that can greatly make or break a site.  Industries have evolved around this concept.  People spend years trying to master it.  Only few can truly say they have succeeded.

I am talking about copy.  The voice of your web site.  The idea that explains who you are, and what you can do for your customer.

Let’s explain.

The Psychology of Copy

Most people think that in order to gain a readers respect and trust and eventually make a sale, they need to write in a formal manner.  They make sure to correct all their contractions, changing words with better thesaurus replacements, and use deep and lengthy sentences.  A piece of copy that a college professor would be proud of.

The truth is the average American education level is 5th grade.   So unless you’re selling to a sophisticated target market, most of your web site users are not looking to read sophisticated wording. They want to be told the benefits and where to buy.  Trying to be too fancy with your wording won’t impress your reader, it will confuse them.

Dr. Rudolph Flesch talks about this point further in his book, The Art of Plain Talk. Here he creates his Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES) which, based on a 1 to 100 scale, rates the reading easiness of your copy. The higher your score, the easier your copy is to read.

The Flesch Reading Ease Score is calculated in a 5 step process as follows:

1)     Count every word, number, and symbol in your copy.

2)     Count all the syllables in the words, numbers, and symbols as you would pronounce them.

3)     Count every sentence that is separated by a period, question mark, semicolon, colon, exclamation point, or dash.

4)     Divide the total number of syllables by the total number of words.

5)     Divide the number of words by the number of sentences.

The result of your answer is your readability score.  If your score is 70 or above, your copy is in a good readability range.  In order to be truly effective as well, you should keep your sentences at around 11 words.

So when looking at your site, are you selling your product, or just telling about your product?

3 Psychological Tips to Boost Your Business Web Site (Part 1 of 3)

Colorful brain

The Psychology of Color

In this three part series, you will be taught the three most commonly unknown psychological tricks to increasing your conversion and interaction rates on your business web site.

Web developers have found over the years that designing a website has become more of a science than anything else.  Using key features that are guaranteed to create higher user interaction. And eventually, a sale.

We are exposed to dozens of websites a day.  But why is it that some resonate deeper with us while others fall by the waste side?

Answer: Psychology.

There are proven features that build user engagement.  Features that help convert prospects into sales that go unnoticed to the untrained eye.

Let’s discover the first.

The Psychology of Color

Choosing your color scheme for your site is a longer process than throwing a dart at a color wheel.  There should be thought applied to every element of your page.

According to Drew Whitman’s bestselling book “Cashvertising,” the following colors are psychologically preferred for both men and women.

1) Blue

2) Red

3) Green

4) Violet

5) Orange

6) Yellow

Did you know that a person’s age affects color preference as well?

The preference for the color blue grows, as the person’s age grows as well.  Why is this?  While you are young, your eyes are young and clear.  Allowing only roughly 15% of blue light to enter.  While on the other hand, the older you become the more your eyes begin to haze and protect itself from strong, bright colors.  Causing closer to 75-80% of blue light to be absorbed.

Use color when trying to highlight important features to your site.  For example: The checkout button, call to action arrows, “learn more” links, etc.  By using certain colors, the user’s eyes are actually driven to these key features automatically.  Without them having to search the page for it.

What are some effective ways you have used color on your sites or ads? Leave your comments below.