Three Things Every Website Should Do
When I started my company in 2002, I knew I needed to have a website. Why? To provide credibility! How can a company be "real" in this day and age if it doesn't have a website? So, like many companies, I published an informational website that explained "here's who we are, and here's what we do".
I didn't spend a lot of time worrying about my website. I certainly didn't think of it as a strategic weapon in my company's marketing arsenal. That started to change in the spring of 2004 when a newsletter was forwarded to me by a fellow member of the National Speaker's Association. The subject of the featured article was something called "internet marketing".
The article caught my fancy, so I subscribed to the author's newsletter. Over the next month or two I picked up an eBook and a CD that were recommended in newsletter articles. The concept of internet marketing really started to intrigue me, so I decided to do some serious research.
During the next four months I invested several thousand dollars and a couple hundred hours learning about internet marketing. My conclusion? I was missing out big-time with my company's website! In fact, I concluded that just about every business website would be vastly improved if it was re-designed to do three things:
1. Help visitors RAPIDLY answer two questions:
2. Encourage visitors to opt-in to receive free information resources.
- "What does this company do?", and
- "Is there anything here for me?"
This keeps website visits from being one-shot deals. If you offer visitors the opportunity to opt-in to receive free, value-added information, and you provide truly useful information on a regular and consistent basis, you will earn trust and build relationships. This increases the likelihood that your website visitors will buy from you over time.
3. Motivate Action
If a website page is going to motivate a visitor to take action, the focus needs to change from you, your company and your products and services to your visitors and their problems.
Web pages that motivate action are not distant and aloof. Instead, reading them feels like a one-on-one conversation between you and the reader. The copy invokes the reader's emotions, plus provides enough supporting details to enable the reader to feel comfortable making a decision to buy online or to contact your company for more information.
This very specialized form of copywriting is called a "sales letter". You have probably received sales letters in the mail, or seen a similar type of advertising in television infomercials. Some sales letters and infomercials sound pretty "cheesy"; yet, for decades sales letters have repeatedly proven to be one of the most productive forms of direct marketing.
The biggest criticism you'll hear about sales letters (usually from corporate website designers) is, "This copy is much too long! Nobody is going to take the time to read that much information!"
You know what? The critics are almost right. Probably 95% of readers will not read any given sales letter in its entirety. That's OK, because sales letters are not written to appeal to everyone! They are written to appeal to specific individuals that have the specific problems the sales letter addresses.
Most people will skim a sales letter...IF it has a compelling headline or sub-headline that catches their attention. They may read a paragraph or glance at a few bullets. If the paragraph or bullets are compelling, they may read another paragraph. Once they have read several compelling paragraphs, they may decide to go back and read the sales letter from the beginning. At that point it becomes much more likely the reader will take the action the sales letter recommends.
If you want your website to generate online sales and/or leads, it needs to do three things:
Help visitors rapidly figure out what your company does and whether you can do anything for them
Encourage visitors to opt-in to receive value-added communications (so that you can build relationships and earn trust)
To motivate action, change every page that describes one of your company's products or services to a sales letter. Make sure each sales letter includes a "call to action", whether it is making a purchase or contacting your company for more information.
Change the focus of your website from you, your company, and your offerings to your visitors and their problems -- and watch the online sales and leads roll in!
Copyright 2005 -- Alan Rigg
Sales performance expert Alan Rigg is the author of How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Selling: Why Most Salespeople Don't Perform and What to Do About It. To learn more about his book and sign up for more FREE sales and sales management tips, visit http://www.8020performance.com.
How To Write More Powerful Online Text
Although there are significant differences among the various types of online communication, there all have one critical thing in common - they're read off a screen. There are substantial benefits, too, in that while your message is on someone's screen usually it has their undivided attention.
How To Evaluate Your Web Sites Performance
Setting up a website is the very first step of an Internet marketing campaign, and the success or failure of your site depends greatly on how specifically you have defined your
web site goals.If you don't know what you want your site to accomplish, it will most likely fail to accomplish anything.
9 Keys to an Effective Website
Many small companies choose not to invest in a professionally designed website, although a well-designed Web site may raise the company's level of professionalism and exposure - AND drive business and sales!Make sure your website is working for you with the following characteristics:Usability enables your users to get the most out of your site. This means that the
site's navigation is consistent, clear and easy to follow; forms and links are in
working order; and the information on the site is current and answers incoming
clients' potential questions.
7 Golden Rules For Building Mini Sites
First, an eye opener. Making your fortune through
affiliate programs on the internet is not easy.
Before starting on how to design a website effectively, how about clearing some basic web design concepts? Designing Effectively
Now that you know what web design and related terms mean, lets get down to the real thing: Designing Effectively How to balance artistic design with practicality and functionality.
Ebooks for Webmasters
Internet has opened a whole new world for web developers and web designers who are looking to get their websites developed that are finally launched on the huge world of World Wide Web. Keeping that factor webmasters are the people who have to face a lot of problems mainly due to the entrance of new software, programming languages and viruses that are a real threat for the webmasters.
How To Get Profits From Your 404 Page Not Found File
"'Page Not Found' on this Server. Check the URL and try again.
The Power Is In The Pipes: How To Get Maximum Leverage From Your Website
What is the most important part of your online business?Many people would say: "my website". And that'sunderstandable - it's the most visible part of an internetbusiness.
Track Your Visitors, Using PHP
There are many different traffic analysis tools, ranging from simple counters to complete traffic analyzers. Although there are some free ones, most of them come with a price tag.
How Did You Get Here?
When marketing your website, it's important to know which of your efforts are producing results and which of them are a waste of time.You can learn a lot about this by analyzing your website's statistics (assuming your webhost offers this service).
Do This One Thing to Create a Powerful Product-Selling Web Site
Spend time planning your Web site. Before you design a page or write a word, get a visual, and mental picture of your preferred audience.
You Need To Treat Your Website Like An Employee - Heres 5 Ways To Do It
People often come to me in a state of crisis and say their website isn't working. Usually they're in a cold sweat:"Mike, give me some practical things I can do to get more sales from my website!"You want practical advice? Stop treating your website like an object in your business and start treating it like an employee.
Why to Have a Website for Your Company
After having decided to start a business, the next thing that arrives in your mind is How to market the Product/Service? How to create a brand? How to recruit people? How & where to advertise? etc? Next is creating departments like Marketing, Operations, Advertising, Branding and Human Resource. You need some way to represent each department?For example Human Resource needs a way to represent the company to hire talents, marketing team needs someway to represent products/services, branding team needs a way to represent the company overall.
What is Blogger.com?
In the late 1990's three San Francisco based web developers came up with the idea of being able to share information about anything on the web. The terminology they used was called blog.
FREE Amber Alert Tickers for Your Website
Project Safekids provides webmasters a valuable tool which could save a child's life. Add our Amber Alert Ticker to your website today.
Credibility - 10 Ways to Build it on Your Website
If you have your own business website and you are trying to sell something, then it is imperative that you are able to establish and maintain credibility. Why is this important? If you are going to ask someone to make a purchase from you, then you need to show them why they should purchase from you rather then your competitor on another site.
How Worldly is Your World Wide Web?
The growth in Internet usage around the world is astounding - 146% in the five years prior to March 2005. And it's not just European and North American users on the Net.
Web Analytics - Getting it Right
Understanding and using web analytics.In recent years, website marketers were concerned with increasing 'hits' and the 'stickiness' of their sites.
How to Maximize the Value of Every Visitor to Your Website
While most marketers are beginning to understand the critical importance of maximizing conversion rates, few are tracking or working to maximize another critical measurement of website effectiveness.Visitor value?Visitor value is simply a representation of how much money you make per visitor to your website.
Why Should Your Business Go O.N.L.I.N.E.
Optimize your time. How much time each day must you devote to paperwork, scheduling and accounting? You strive to meet the needs of your clients, but when chained to the obligations of business management, it's just as important to make sure the doors stay open as it is to satisfy customers.