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Five Steps to a Web Site That Sells

I'm always amazed that people would spend months to develop their web site, pay thousands of dollars to have it put together and then... they just let it sit in the cyber space without generating any new leads.

Listen, if you hired a sales person for your business and they didn't perform what would you do? You would fire them faster then they could say "but, I tried", wouldn't you? So why do you put up with a web site that doesn't sell?

Right now I can hear you scream "but I don't know what to do!" Let me share with you five simple tweaks you can do today to make your web site give your more bang for your buck.

1. COLLECT CONTACT INFORMATION

Typically, when I meet potential new clients within the first 30 seconds they spontaneously whip out their wallets, hold up their check books and yell out "I want to buy your stuff right now!" Then I usually wake up! In real life it takes multiple contacts to entice someone to give me some of their hard earned dough! But how can you contact them if you don't know who they are?

Use your prime "cyber real estate" (the top part of your web site people see before they even scroll down) to convince your visitors to willingly give you their name and email address. Call your web person right now and tell them to place a "sign-up" form of some sort on your home page. (OK, wait till you finish reading this article ? so you can take care of all the changes with one call.)

2. MAKE YOUR SITE LOAD FASTER

Do you have a lot of flashing buttons, rotating graphics, or worse ? do you still have that "cool" flash intro guarding access to your web site? Hey there is a place for all this stuff on the internet ? but it's not on your web site. Most people will only wait a few seconds for your web site to display on their screen. If it doesn't - they will move on and never come back!

Unless the graphics communicate an important point about your product or service ? get rid of them. And listen ? the nineties are gone ? step into the 21st century and kill your "cool" flash intro.

3. USE EFFECTIVE PAGE TITLES

Are you speaking in riddles? Unless you're trying to compete with Harry Potter open each web page with headlines that entice visitors to take the time to read more.

Here are a couple of examples. Would you rather read "about our services" or how "an ex-baker turned millionaire reveals his marketing secrets"? How about this ? which headline would pick your interest more ? "collateral design" or "does your marketing material communicate your message"?

Don't make people guess what they are about to read ? believe me, they won't take the time. Say it in simple language. Take a look at your web site ? does each page have an effective headline? If not ? fix it.

4. DON'T HIDE THE GOODIES!

The famous WIIFM (what's in it for me) has become such a cliché but it's so true! Recently a Japanese publisher of a man's magazine produced an entire issue using only photographs of attractive women and "blah, blah, blah" as a text for all the titles and articles.

What's the point? Come on, do you think guys buy those magazines for the deep, thought provoking articles? Conversely, do you think your potential clients come to your web site to read your dissertation about "what is coaching" or "our consulting philosophy"?

Your web visitors want to know how they can solve their problems and if you can help them do it. Don't hide this stuff where no one can find it. Highlight the benefits your product or service offers. Make it easy to find your informative articles. Present case studies. Allow them to download simple guides, forms or assessments. Provide links to more resources. Make yourself useful and they will reward you with their business.

5. BUILD CREDIBILITY

We all like to do business with people we know, like and trust. So how do you do make people feel like they know you and can trust you just by visiting your web site? Here are a few things that will give your credibility a boost:

- Use testimonials. When you tout your own horn people question your information. But a positive comment from a past client can instantly build your credibility.

- Display your contact information on every page. Don't hide behind an email address. Tell people where and how to find you. List your address and phone number. People are more likely to do business with you if they know how to find you if something goes wrong.

- Display case studies and articles. They provide useful information and build you up as an authority on the subject.

- Post pictures of you and your key team members. You can post your bio but looking at your picture makes people feel like they actually know you. I can't tell you how many times I run into people whom I've never met before and they feel like they've known me for years ? because they've seen me on my web site.

There is a lot more tweaking that could turn your web site into a marketing magnet. But these five will give you a good start. OK, now you can call your web person!

(c) 2004 Adam M. Urbanski

The Author, Adam Urbanski, a Marketing Mentor, helps Service Professionals and Small Business Owners attract more clients. For more free tutorial articles, hot how-to tips and a FREE 32-page marketing guide go to http://www.themarketingmentors.com

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