If you're a creative business and you have a product or service to sell online, then you'll no doubt want to be as profitable as possible. How you boost sales online depends on one key ingredient - and that's conversion. Conversion basically means turning more visitors into paying customers. But successful conversion is difficult to achieve because so many things can go wrong.

Certain elements of your website might be off-putting or your navigation could be frustrating. These are just a few examples of why people will land on your page and bounce straight off without buying anything. So why don't people convert into customers and where is your own website going wrong? I've put together this article on how to get more sales online, showcasing some of the common issues websites have that block sales and how you can fix them. Plus some tips on how to boost conversion overall.

Solve a problem

Firstly, have a think about whether your product or service is providing a solution to your target market. Is it something they need? Is it something they can't live without? Does it fill a niche and solve a common problem? Try to provide something that people won't be able to resist and make it clear that you are providing a solution.

Add a human element

Add a story behind your product or service that allows people to relate to you. Explain why you came up with the idea for your product and service. And even how it has helped you, if relevant. Use friendly language rather than formal copy - it will help add a voice to your brand and give your brand personality. Provide a clear 'About' page.

Get great web design

Great websites are designed to instantly build trust with visitors. And web design is one of the key factors. Websites that have good design make people stick around for longer and help towards higher conversion rates. Make sure your website looks the bee's knees by providing a slick, quality design and layout. People don't trust websites that look sloppy and poor, so make sure yours is on top form.

Add testimonials

Nothing beats a testimonial from a happy customer, so make sure you have some of your own testimonials on your website. It builds trust and shows visitors that you are recommended by others. If you don't have any testimonials, people might wonder whether they should really buy from you.

Use quality photography

Poor photography can suggest poor quality products and services. If you want more people to convert into customers, you have to use photography that builds trust and really shows off what you have to offer. It's worth investing in professional pics for your website to show your products at their very best.

Add decent descriptions

If you've got products to sell and you want people to buy them, make sure you have decent product descriptions next to everything you sell. Reassure people at every step of the way by providing all the information they need while using positive language to build that all-important trust.

Use persuasive copy

Your website should have copy that's compelling, interesting and most important of all - persuasive. Your copy should sell yourself and your products and services. One big tip is to include 'you' and 'because' whenever you can. Remember, people want to know how you can help them, so the word 'you' is talking directly to them. And the word 'because' is powerful because it explains why you can help them. Using positive and persuasive copy, talking directly to your audience, will really help to boost conversion.

Provide easy navigation

There is nothing more frustrating than complicated and confusing site navigation. Keep it simple and make browsing around your website a pleasure rather than a pain. Provide logic navigation, so visitors don't have to second-guess and can easily find everything they need first time.

Ensure fast page-loads

Ever sat waiting for a web page to load? Neither have I. And neither have most people. If your website takes ages to load then people will just bounce off and go elsewhere. Don't leave people hanging around. Get a website that has clean code and isn't hosted by things like Wordpress or Tumblr, which can slow things up. If certain elements like images are slowing things down, make sure you use web-ready images to ensure faster loading times.

Strengthen call-to-actions

Your website should have strong call-to-actions, deliberately showing people what they should do next. Ensure these call-to-actions are clear on key web pages and remember at all times that you should be taking visitors on a journey to your sales or 'contact us' page.

Attract the right customers

It's entirely possible that you're not attracting the right people in the first place. Make sure your marketing focus is drawing in the right audience by reviewing everything you're doing, including everything from PPC campaigns and blog posts to online advertising and PR.

Listen to feedback

Whenever a visitor emails and asks a question, listen to their questions and apply their feedback to improve your website. It might be that they can't find a certain piece of information or they get stuck at payment stage. Figure out what's bugging people and use their complaints/feedback to your advantage.

Stay above the fold

It's imperative in web design that you keep your most important information 'above the fold'. The fold is what people first see when they land on your website without scrolling. Put your biggest sales messages above the fold and provide a call-to-action. Make sure the information that people first see is the most important.

Address all questions

When people are deciding to make a purchase, they'll want to be reassured they're doing the right thing. How they do this is by gaining all the information they need. Make sure your website has provided answers to all of their questions. Create a helpful FAQ page and ensure people have everything they need at their fingertips.

Analytics give clues

Make sure you install Google Analytics or something similar to keep track of visitors and their browsing behaviour. Is there a page they're landing on more than others? Is there a page many people seem to be exiting your website from? Are any of your PPC campaigns or advertising pushes doing what they should? Keep an eye on your analytics at all times to ensure your website is converting.

Consider different offers

Can you offer a free trial? How about staged payments? Or maybe a 30-day trial? Consider offering something to entice people in, allowing a window of opportunity to prove yourself and make people fall in love with your product and service. Once they discover how great you are, they'll want to sign up for the real deal.

Stop procrastination

Many buyers like to mull things over and can take ages to part with their cash. If you can find a way to make it compelling to buy immediately then you'll be able to convert more visitors. Give people a 'can't miss out' reason to buy your products and services.

Ensure follow-ups

After someone emails or tweets you, how soon do you reply? The faster you communicate, the better. People will appreciate the personal touch, so make sure you follow-up every enquiry as quickly as possible. You want to strike while the iron is hot, before they change their mind.