The purpose of your marketing is to attract prospects and help
them make a series of decisions that lead them to purchase your
products or services. The sequence of information you provide on
your web site and its visual presentation can drive clients to
contact you about your services or buy your products - or it can
send them away.
Many small business owners have web sites but few are making as
much money from their sites as they'd like to be. If you aren't
getting the web traffic you'd like, or if you're getting lots of
traffic but no buyers, the problem is most likely the design and
copy you are using on your site. The seven web page building
guidelines below will help you convert prospects to clients with
your web site.
1. List The Actions You Want Visitors To Take. Do you want them
to sign up for your newsletter, read your marketing message,
read your copy or just contact you? Before you design or edit
your page, make a list of which actions you want people to take
and in what order when they visit your site.
2. Identify The Decisions Visitors Need To Make Prior To each
Action. Before you design or redesign your homepage or edit your
copy, clarify the decision making sequence that you want
visitors to move through. Most marketing materials, web sites
included, rush to sell prospects on the solution without laying
Help prospects clarify the problems they want solved and the
value in having them solved. Once you've done this, you've
created the context for selling your solution.
3. Design The Visual Hierarchy To Move People To The Desired
Action. Use the size, color, and the location of elements (type,
illustrations or photographs) to bring visitors' attention to
the most important message first, then to the second most
important message or link. Make sure that visitors can scan your
page and find the most important links first or can scan the
copy and quickly pick up the most important points because they
stand out visually.
4. Stay Focused On Prospects' Problems. Your prospects want to
satisfy their needs and, more importantly, avoid incurring a
loss or pain. Lead with copy about their concerns. Let them know
that you understand their aspirations as well as their worries
and the problems they want to solve.
5. Write Your Copy To Support Prospects' Decision Making. To
demonstrate that you know and understand your prospects'
problems, be specific. Avoid general phrases like "save time and
money", which apply to hundreds of services. Give detailed
examples of the problems your prospects experience and how you
6. Tell People What To Do. If you want people to read a key
article first, then sign up for your newsletter, and then
contact you, tell them so. List the steps you want them to take
at the top of the page and then use your page design to support
this sequence of actions.
7. Make It Easy For Prospects To Contact You And To Buy. Include
a contact or order form on your homepage and make your email and
phone number easy to find.
Change the design and copy on your site to help visitors take
the steps to become clients. You'll be pleasantly surprised at
the difference in your response rate and your business growth.
- 2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the author:
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and small
business owners attract more clients and be more successful.
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