Regardless of whether you sell products or services, offline, online, or a combination of both, there are seven strategies which will substantially increase your results, providing you apply them to your business!
The first five strategies have been sent to you already. If you missed any, please click on the links below:
Here’s the 6th strategy ……
The Most Important Website
Strategy You’ll Ever Learn…
Getting people to visit your web site for the first time is less than half the battle. You’ll need them to remain on the site long enough to take an action that benefits your business for the site to be effective.
A site that gets people to stay there once they’ve arrived is called “sticky.”
There are lots of ways a website can fail to be sticky.
If the site fails to establish trust, people will probably leave.
If the site seems shoddy, messy or unorganized, people will also leave.
If the site asks too much of the user, like asking them to fill out a long form without offering any free teaser content before they can view valuable content, people are going to leave.
If a site is confusing, people will leave. This list goes on and on.
On the other hand, if a website offers quality content that is original, you greatly increase your chances that a visitor will stay. If your copywriting is compelling, succinct and easy to consume, people will want to continue reading. You obviously want people to stay so you can capitalize on their presence.
Whilst there are dozens of different web site strategies to consider, I want to give you what I consider to be the absolute foundation stone for any web site to be successful…
……. it’s all about the appeal of your home page.
Let’s start by thinking about the mindset of your typical visitor, and how they are likely to be thinking when they first arrive at your site…
Well over 90% of business users of the net are looking for information. They are doing their homework and searching for answers and potential partners and suppliers.
Most people do not go online with the intent to buy. If you want to buy a new car, or a Jacuzzi, or a new office desk, or a holiday in China, you would most probably go online with the intention of researching details, prices, options, reviews, availability, and suppliers or agents. You would then contact those suppliers or agents by Email, phone, text or letter.
There are exceptions. You go to Amazon.co.uk with the intention of buying a book or CD. You go to Tescodirect.co.uk with the intention of buying groceries. You go to Thorntons.co.uk with the intention of buying chocolates. But going online with the intention of buying is most often done after the research and information finding has been done.
This is the key to your online success!
Now, one of the first things to keep at the front of your mind when developing your web site strategy is that web browsers are impatient! So you must quickly communicate to the visitor ‘Why you should stay on this site.”
Research shows: You have 10 seconds to captivate the visitor. They’ll scan your home page and make an instant decision to stay or go.
Most web sites waste their opportunity by saying “Welcome to ABC Co.” or talking all about themselves, and their products or services. But we know that prospects only care about themselves, and are preoccupied with their own interests, challenges and queries.
Ask yourself now… does my home page talk all about us and our company or our products and services?
You must talk all about them, your prospects. There are a number of ways to do this so that you grab their interest from the very first few seconds, and then tap into their own self-interest to guide them into the best pages of the site for their specific needs.
Think of your Home Page as the front cover of a well-known consumer magazine like Cosmopolitan, Country Living or Radio Times. Whilst there may be a lead story, much of the content is taken up by a series of mini-advertisements and call-outs for what you will discover inside when you turn the pages. The front cover also plays a critical role in generating preference and sales on the news-stand or shop shelves, when it is compared to its competition.
Similarly, the main central window of your home page can have several sub-headlines with links guiding the hottest prospects through the site according to their priority needs.
This will improve the chances of offering something of interest to the prospect – preventing them from wandering across the site, and helping to avoid an early exit (Note, the majority of web visitors (over 80%) enter and leave a Home Page without ever navigating further! (This is called the bounce rate).
This is probably the most important part of your web site strategy development, and merits a detailed discussion and debate with your sales and marketing colleagues.
The following questions – and your best-reasoned answers – will provide you with the key copy for your Home page, and should underpin your whole marketing strategy, not just your web site.
What kinds of questions do your sales team get asked on a regular basis? What are the main objections they face?
What are the biggest doubts, fears and worries your prospects typically have about your product or service? If you’re not absolutely 100% sure, then you MUST go out and ask them – they’ll be only too pleased to help!
What are the key motivating factors that drive the demand for your offering?
What are the different levels of experience your prospects may have? Are they first time buyers, or are they replacing an existing system/service or expanding?
What market sectors do you cater for, and how do you reflect their differing requirements on the Home Page?
What are the main pain points that they are looking for a solution to?
How will this affect the headlines that call out to them and show them where to click to quickly find the information they need? Images can be used where appropriate, particularly if they help prospects quickly identify relevant sections.
Write down every one of their typical/likely objections.
What fears or doubts will they have about your kind of product or service?
What evidence and examples would you like to see if you were a prospect visiting the site?
All this information may not end up on the final site, but if you’re selling a house for example, you’d include everything from likely running costs, to local school details, transport links and shopping and entertainment places as well as the house and garden details.
A successful web site which demonstrates much of what I’m advising is www.pickuptrucksdirect.co.uk
The site is an internet based commercial vehicle leasing company who have gone through a meteoric rise to success in a relatively short time period.
Notice how the site is a real source of useful information and advice for anyone considering buying a new pick-up truck.