How To Turn Browsers of Your Web Site
Start with a professional looking Web
site: Your Web site's appearance represents your
company. If it looks home made, or amateurish in any way, this can
reflect poorly upon your business. If you can afford to do so, hire
a professional to build your site. Be sure to check their references
and study examples of their past work. You'll need to become
educated enough in marketing and Web site design to discern the
difference between a good Web site and a great Web site.
If you're inclined to do it yourself, there are many excellent
resources, including inexpensive web design templates. They can be a
great way to start a site or to jazz up an existing one. Compare
your site with these designs and ask yourself which looks more
professional. Sometimes, it's hard to look at your own Web site
objectively, so survey your customers, family, friends and business
associates for their opinions.
Learn effective copywriting, or hire a professional copywriter. Clean,
compelling text goes hand in hand with professional web design. The
combination of these two elements will shape your customers' first
impression of your business. It should go without saying that
spelling and grammatical errors are unacceptable. However, good
copywriting goes far beyond just spelling and grammar.
Good copywriting is persuasive without being too pushy. It is
structured in a way that gently leads the prospect towards the next
stop on the path to becoming a paying customer. Professional
copywriters can be extremely expensive but are worth it if you're
serious about your company's success. If you simply don't have the
budget for this, there are many books where you can learn to write
good copy on your own.
Get a toll-free
If you don't have a toll-free number, get one.
Plaster it at the top of every page on your Web site. At the very
least, place it prominently on your contact page with frequent links
to the page. There are plenty of people out there who still prefer
to pick up the phone and talk to a real live person. Out of this
group of people, a significant percentage will only call companies
that have toll-free numbers.
Reinforce the fact that your number
is toll-free, by putting the words "Toll Free" next to the
phone number. Yes, everyone knows that 800 numbers are toll-free,
but many people do not know about the new toll-free exchanges, such
as 888, 877, and 866. Also, include some copy that indicates that
they can call you to ask questions, not just to place an order. Many
people are reluctant to call a company. They're afraid of getting an
"order monkey" who is unable to answer any questions beyond whether
you accept MasterCard and Visa.
Use live chat: Consider offering live chat on your Web site
and put the live chat button right next to your toll-free number on
each page of your site. You may be a bit skeptical about the value
of this feature, but there are now millions of people who
communicate with chat services every day. In fact, it has become the
preferred method of communication for a great number of people. My
company has acquired many new clients via chat and every time one of
my clients has tried it on his site, they've been thrilled with the
results. We're using a new live chat service that allows people to
chat with you from your Web site via AOL, MSN, ICQ, or via a browser
Automate the lead collection process by placing an opt-in box on every page of your
Web site. Make sure the opt-in box is in a prominent position, such
as in the upper left-hand corner of each page as you see at
www.webposition.com. An opt-in box is a mini-form that collects
peoples' email addresses and sometimes other information such as
name, address, and phone number.
"Opting In" means that the visitor agrees to receive email from
your company. There are very strict rules regarding unsolicited
email, so make sure your visitors understand what type of email you
will be sending them when they opt-in. Make it clear that their
e-mail and privacy will not be abused. Joining the BBB Privacy
Program is one way to help get this message across.
Give your visitors an incentive to subscribe
to your mailing list. When someone gives you their email address,
they're giving you something of value. Because of the fear of spam,
many people will only give you their email address if you give them
something in return. Here are some ideas for incentives that you
Free trial download of a software product
White paper (i.e., additional product information)
Some type of promotional merchandise, such as a T-shirt, hat, etc.
If you sell an e-book, give them a free download of the first
couple of chapters or of an e-book on a related topic.
If you sell an information service, give them a free sample of your
The easiest way to put a subscribe box on your Web site is to use a
service such as Constant Contact. The benefit of using Constant
Contact is that it doesn't require any technical expertise to
implement and they manage your entire database for you. You can use
the service to automatically schedule follow-up emails to be sent to
your customers at pre-determined intervals and they include tracking
features so that you can measure the response to your various
Statistical data: The #1 Listing typically
receives 2.5 more clicks than the #2 listing and 4 times the amount of
clicks as the number 3 listing.
Is Not Enough
If there's a marketing mantra of the 21st century, it's "traffic."
You hear it everywhere you go -- in business meetings, restaurants, airports
and occasionally just walking down the street. And no, I'm not talking about
the variety that clogs up the highway on your way to work.
Anyone that derives even a portion of their income from the
Internet thinks about how to bring more visitors to their Web site. It's
true that traffic is an important part of building an online business. After
all, if no one comes to your Web site it would be impossible for you to make
an online sale.
As critical as generating traffic is, whether those visitors come
from the search engines or from other sources, don't become so enamored with
the idea that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Traffic to a Web site is
only one slice of a pie called "online marketing." Online marketing is just
one slice of an even larger pie called "marketing."
Defining Your Web Site's
In my experience, the majority of online businesses fall into the
trap of focusing their marketing efforts on more traffic, to the exclusion
of all else. Before you focus on new ways to bring more visitors to your Web
site, you should first think about what is your site's primary goal.
In other words, what are you trying to do with all those people
visiting your site? Unfortunately, most business owners give little
consideration to this most fundamental aspect of marketing. Instead, they
blindly entrust the creation of their site to a web designer. The designer,
who usually comes from an art background rather than a marketing background,
may have no knowledge of how to design a Web site that sells.
People may be momentarily impressed by an aesthetically appealing
Web site, but without a mechanism for collecting leads and converting those
leads into paying customers, your site will never realize its full
potential. If you're lucky enough to find a designer who understands both
the principles of good design and marketing, then you're way ahead of the
game. If you're not so lucky, then it's up to you to work with your designer
to implement good marketing practices within your Web site.
When I look at a client's Web site for the first time, I always ask
myself, "What does this Web site want me to do?" In most cases, I have no
idea what the site wants me to do -- and that's a big problem. If your site
does not have a clear sense of direction, a path for your visitors to
follow, then they may leave without doing anything. In fact, that's often
exactly what happens.
Therefore, the first step to building an effective Web site is to
decide what you want people to do when they arrive. I know, you want them to
buy something. In a perfect world, people would search for whatever it is
that you're selling, find your Web site in the search engines, click through
to your site, and immediately head for the order page. However, in the real
world it works more like this:
Customer searches for something like "best
Customer finds thousands of Web sites that all
sell or discuss digital cameras.
Customer clicks through to several of the Web
sites in the search results. If you've moved your site to the top of the
search results using
WebPosition Gold or another method, you'll have an opportunity to
connect with them.
Customer clicks around on various Web sites,
trying to decide which digital camera to purchase and from which site.
Customer becomes confused and overwhelmed. Each
Web site claims to have the best digital camera or to be the best
digital camera vendor. They can't ALL be the best can they?
Customer decides to do more research and puts off
his buying decision for another day.
Most people don't make an immediate purchase on their first visit
to a Web site. However, by following the following suggestions I will give
you in this and potentially subsequent articles, you can increase the
percentage of first-visit purchases.
The main piece of advice I'm going to offer you today is to change
your mindset altogether. Forget about trying to convince every visitor to
buy immediately. Most people aren't going to buy on their first visit no
matter what you sell. The harder you try to convince them to buy, the
greater the likelihood that they'll become turned off and go elsewhere.
So back to my original question: What do you want your visitors to
do when they come to your Web site? In most cases, you want them to at least
raise their hand and say, "Yes, I'm interested in purchasing a digital
camera. Tell me more." In literal terms, you want them to give you their
name and contact information when they don't go straight to your order page.
Once you have their contact information, you can then begin a
follow-up process, which may eventually lead to a sale, or to additional
Therefore, you must transform your Web site from a passive brochure
and order form into an active lead-collecting machine. If you can take this
first step, you will have gone a long way towards distancing your company
from the competition. In order to acquire your customers' contact
information, you must:
Give them a reason to contact you
Give them a choice of several different ways to
Clearly ask them for their contact information
As you may have already discovered, getting traffic to your Web
site is only half the battle. Two Web sites selling an identical product
with identical traffic can be vastly different in terms of the profit margin
that each one generates. Capturing names for effective follow-ups is
critical to maximizing sales. Therefore, while you should continue to focus
on optimizing your Web sites for the search engines, don't forget the
Selected Website Automation Resources
1Shoppingcart.com provides a suite of services including shopping
cart software, merchant card processing, auto-responders, and ebook
PayDotCom to set up your own affiliate account and offer
compensation when others sell your products. You can also access other
business affiliate links and earn money whenever someone you refer makes a
create your own unique merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs or calendars.
Payloadz provides automatic electronic document distribution (sell
ebooks, special reports, audio downloads, etc.) and shopping cart services
and will even list your products for sale on eBay.