Before you build your
web site or start to fix a site that isn't attracting as many
clients as you'd like, take a minute to clarify the objectives of your
site. Marketing objectives for web sites for most independent
professionals and small business owners should be:
a. Lead Generation
- Build your list of qualified prospects who are interested in your
products and services but not quite ready to make a purchase. First time
visitors to the site need to be able to quickly identity if they are in
the right place and determine whether you can help them. Make it easy
for prospects to qualify themselves.
Credibility- If people found your site by searching the web, you
have a lot of work to do to prove that you can help them and deliver on
what the site promises.
c. Sell Your
Products and Services - Of course you will want to include
information about your products and services, but if you rush this step,
you'll lose prospects before you've created the context that will move
them to a purchase.
PUTTING YOUR STEPS IN
SEQUENCE Now that you know what you want your web site to do, define the
key elements that should be on your home page. Put these in the correct
sequence and more prospects will do what you want. You'll generate more
leads and more sales. Here's how.
1. FEATURE YOUR
MARKETING MESSAGE - At the top of your home page include a one
sentence marketing message that describes what you actually do and the
problems you solve. For example, "Helping service professionals and
small business owners attract more clients" or "Helping you create the
ultimate personalized trip to Britain".
2. COLLECT LEADS
- Place the sign-up for your free newsletter, ebook, or catalogue at the
top of your web page. The right hand top corner is the optimal position.
Above the sign-up form don't just say "Enter your email here for
complimentary information". Make an offer, one that will motivate your
prospects to give you their contact information. For example, "Sign Up
for Britain's best travel secrets." As an incentive on my site I offer a
free marketing guide to motivate people to subscribe to my newsletter,
with the result that 12-15% of site visitors sign up for my ezine.
3. USE QUALIFYING
QUESTIONS - Don't start with a description of your services or
products. Below your marketing message, lead with qualifying questions,
that will help prospects understand the problems you solve, engage your
visitors' attention and create a perception of need.
For example, if you
sell ergonomic chairs, you could ask, "Does your back ache at the end of
a day at your desk?" Or if you sell customized travel services to
Britain you could ask, "Are you interested in a customized, hassle f*ree
va*cation in the British Isles?”
4. BUILD CREDIBILITY
- One-way to do this is to include testimonials from satisfied clients.
People will read your marketing copy with a grain - or a whole shaker -
of salt. When people read what others say about the amazing results you
achieve, they are much more likely to believe your claims. Limit your
testimonials to ones that are easy to believe, even if you did help
someone make ten million dollars.
The second part of
establishing your credibility is to demonstrate the value of your
expertise by providing prospects with helpful ideas. If you're in the
computer repair and maintenance business you might include tips on
identifying software conflicts and keeping computers from crashing.
People like to do
business with people they know and trust so use your site to bring your
company and personality to life. Include links to your articles, case
studies and /or product demonstrations. Add a photo of yourself or your
employees to personalize your site and move prospects to thinking of you
as a person.
5. SHOW PROSPECTS
THE RESULTS YOU ARE SELLING - Include thumbnails of products and
services people can click on in a side navigation bar on most of your
site's pages. Whatever you sell make sure to feature both visual and
verbal testimonials along with information and images of your products
On your individual
service or product pages provide examples of clients and customers using
your services or products. For ebooks, include tables of contents and
sample chapters. If you sell log homes, include pictures of happy
customers in their homes. If you sell information, feature client
6. TELL PROSPECTS
WHAT TO DO - If you want people to sign up for your newsletter, tell
them to. To get people to read the articles on your site, tell them to.
To increase the number of people who view the pages describing your
products and services, include thumbnail images of your products and
tell them to click on the image for further information. If there is a
particular sequence of steps you want prospects to take, tell them what
7. MAKE IT EASY FOR
PROSPECTS - Place your contact information, including email address
and phone number in an obvious location on every page, particularly the
home page. Include a link to a contact form or place it at the bottom of
your home page, or both.
In your form, ask a few
key questions to help prospects clarify what it is they want to achieve
and get their phone number so you can follow up. Their responses will
help you prioritize who to contact and help you focus on your most
Show prospects who are
ready to engage your services or buy your products how to do so. Coaches
will want to include a coaching inquiry form. People who sell greeting
cards, should include a quick link to so people can place their orders.
Use the blueprint above
to construct a web site that sells. Build steps that will lead prospects
into your web site and motivate them to give you their name, email
address and phone number or to contact you about your services or to buy
your products. Build steps that will move them from prospects to
clients and customers.
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