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How to attract a woman [to your website]

Posted on 6.04.2007

The good folks at the Pew Internet and American Life Project tell us men are ahead of women in their use of the internet. Nonetheless, many of us know intuitively that a good portion of our viewing audience is women.

So…does your website make women want to buy-in? Or do you need a little help creating “female appeal?” If so, here are some ideas to get you started.

Think Color
First off, color is a big deal for women and color is an important part of your personal brand. Many women have a keen eye for color, and the wrong color combos can be a real turnoff. Color preferences do vary by gender. There’s research to back up this up, see Joe Hallock’s work based on Faber Birren’s book Color Psychology and Color Therapy.

In addition to our personal preferences, we become sensitized to color by lifestyle. For example, when I cruise the aisles at my favorite clothing or retail store, I see colors I like and new trendy combos. Often a website will ‘click’ when I see a color scheme that’s in step with retail or decorating colors.

As a web designer, I like to stay current with resources such as those offered by the Color Marketing Group . When in doubt about your color scheme, ask. Nothing beats research and testing.

Web Usability
Women are extremely visual, so in addition to color choices, it’s good to consider your visual layout. Wall to wall text will generally be a turnoff for most women. Use plenty of white space and tasteful graphics.

Make your website easy to navigate. It depends on what you are offering from your website, but try to create navigation that leads to one offer per page. We (humans) are confused by too many choices. Lead us where you want us to go, and then ask for the sale.

Shopper friendly
For ecommerce sites, include search features like searching by category. This is extremely important to help buyers save time and find exactly what they are looking for. If you can throw in extras like bulk discounts, free shipping, and live chat, your website has a better chance of becoming a favorite. Another feature that will be important for women is the security icon on the checkout page, or the inclusion of https:// in the address bar of the site. This is something I always look for when I do business online.

Compelling content
When it comes to content, women are especially responsive to benefit selling. Many women probably won’t take your word for it, so back it up with user reviews or customer testimonials. Also, women often make buying decisions based on personal recommendations. If you can create buzz marketing for your product, i.e. word of mouth, it will do a world of good.

Generally speaking, the higher the ticket price, the more information you want to have. Many women will use a website to thoroughly research a product before buying. Women are often repeat visitors, gathering information before making a buying decision. Comparison charts with clear explanations and visuals are really great.

Build trust
Women want to build relationships and gain trust before making a buying decision. This means, in many cases, a less formal copywriting approach. Be authentic. Try writing in the first person. Gender aside, most people buy from people they like. Don’t downplay the likeability factor, it’s really important.

Other ways to build trust are to include of photo of yourself if you are a service provider, or clear photos of your product. If you are selling information, have a graphic designer create a 3-D image of your e-book or software set. This will give weight to your offer. A physical address on your contact page or in the footer also builds credibility.

There’s a great discussion on the topic of “Do women view websites differently than men” going on at the High Rankings Forum, and if you really want to dig deeper, check out this interview with Gloria Moss, Senior Research Fellow in the Business School at Glamorgan University, South Wales, UK.


About the Blogger:
Beth Cole owns The Web Servant, www.thewebservant.com, a web design company that helps creative women prosper online through personal branding, action planning, Signature(tm) Websites, and the latest in promotional tools. Visit www.thewebservant.com for more free articles, and details about how to prosper online with my free 4-part mini-course, More Revvv!™

 

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