ICT-powered Marketing:

Internet Marketing

How To Market Your Web Site Effectively

before you submit it to search engines

By Brad Konia. Courtesy of Market Position

How To Turn Browsers of Your Web Site into Clients

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Get a toll-free number: 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 chat window.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 could offer:

    • Newsletter subscription

    • 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.

    • Free software

    • Free E-Book

    • Sweepstakes entry

    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 service

    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 follow-up letters.

Knowing Customers

Customer Needs

What Makes People Buy

Subconscious vs. Conscious

Top 10 Subconscious Values

Understanding Risks Perceived by Customers

Color Psychology in Marketing and Branding

New Business Models

Modern IT-powered Value Chain

Benefits of e-Business

Fun4Biz – Breakthrough Social Network for Creative Achievers

Marketing Strategy

Creative Marketing

Positioning    7 Tips

Emotional Marketing  >> Success Stories

Marketing To the Subconscious

Effective Advertising

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Effective Advertising Slogans

Best Advertising Slogans: Fun4Biz.com

Internet Revenue Models

 

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.

Just Generating Traffic 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.

How To Promote Your Website

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."

Virtuoso Marketing

Buzz Marketing

Empathetic Marketing

Defining Your Web Site's Purpose...

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.

Content Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Attractive Headlines

Ad Targeting

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.

Customer-focused Website

Customer Engagement

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:

  1. Customer searches for something like "best digital cameras."

  2. Customer finds thousands of Web sites that all sell or discuss digital cameras.

  3. 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.

  4. Customer clicks around on various Web sites, trying to decide which digital camera to purchase and from which site.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

Selling Is Problem Solving

Focus on Emotional Drivers

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 sales. 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:

  1. Give them a reason to contact you

  2. Give them a choice of several different ways to contact you

  3. Clearly ask them for their contact information

 Conclusion

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 marketing fundamentals!