By Janet Attard
Does your website produce as many sales and leads as you'd like? If not, it may be time to make some changes.

Most people don't like to change things once they set them up. But, when it comes to your website, change can play a vital part in determining how successful your efforts are in attracting visitors and converting them to customers.

If your website - whether promoting your services as a landscape architect or marketing the your line of products - isn't "living" or evolving it's probably underachieving. That's because change performs two important functions for your website.

First, change keeps your site fresh and interesting. If you don't keep your website current and attractive, site visitors may wonder how up-to-date your product is and whether they'll get customer support after the sale if they need it.

Second, making changes to headlines, menus, colors, offers, placement of offers, photos, and other elements can help you continually increase business -- if you track what you change.

If you are getting people to your website, but aren't getting much business from the traffic, among the first changes to consider are changes in navigation and graphics.

Check your landing pages to be sure that people know exactly what you sell and what you want them to do (buy something, send email, sign up for something, etc.) on each page.

Be sure visitors can easily find what they want on your website. Menus that roll down (and then roll up before the visitor can click on one of the links in the roll down) will frustrate visitors and send them elsewhere.

Don't weigh your home page down with unnecessary animations or videos that take a long time to load. Lack of speed chases visitors and customers away. How many times have you landed on a website only to leave when its loading can be timed with a sundial Keep it fast, readable, attractive and easy to navigate.

Test different headlines and different headline colors, but don't use an infinite number of fonts and "cute" little icons or animated arrows. Doing so makes your site -- and therefore your business --look amateurish -- and that's not a quality that will make a prospect choose you over the competition.

Tinker with incentives. It is just human nature that something advertised as FREE gets one's attention. If a free trial or item gets your visitor to a page where you also display your products or services, or gets them to sign up to receive email from you, you've gotten your target audience one step closer to buying a product or calling you to perform a service.

Check out other websites. What makes you move from page to page? What makes you click the "Add To Cart" button or fill out a lead form? Think how you could add similar elements to your site.

Making changes and testing their success or failure is the best way to improve your website -- and your sales. Doing so will make your visitors happier, too, since they'll be able to quickly find the products or information they need.

Online reprints of this article must be left intact as written and include the author's byline, copyright and resource box in their entirety. You must get permission from the author to reproduce the article in print publications. © 2008 Attard Communications, Inc.

Author's Bio: 

Janet Attard is a small and home business expert, author and founder and CEO of the Business Know-How® small business website. The site provides business ideas, tips, hints and resources for starting a business, marketing, Internet marketing, and managing employees. For more free information to grow your business, visit http://www.businessknowhow.com