Latest posts by Stacy Karacostas (see all)
- One Powerful Tactic to Double Your Marketing Effectiveness - January 26, 2012
- 7 Small Business Tips to Make 2012 a Huge Success - December 22, 2011
- 10 Tips for Stress-Free Outsourcing - December 7, 2011
How’s your Website working for you? Does it regularly send you hot leads or make sales? Or does it just sit out there in cyberspace costing you money?
If you answered yes to the first question, congratulations! But if you’re like many small business owners, you probably answered yes to the second question. And that means you’re losing money.
Because these days—especially if you’re doing any kind of social networking, online advertising, or email marketing—your Website can and should be the hub of all your sales and marketing efforts.
It’s where you should be sending all your hot prospects so they can get the info they need to confidently do business with you. So if your site isn’t doing its job, then all your other efforts are wasted.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs aren’t even sure exactly what their Website needs to do. Let alone what it needs to say or where to say it on the site to make the right prospects take notice—and take action.
This is a HUGE problem. Why? Because…
When someone lands on your site they typically spend less than half a second deciding whether or not they’re going to stick around. Then maybe another four seconds looking for whatever it is they’re after.
If they can’t find what they need in that time frame they’re gone!
So from your tagline to your headline to your offer, what you say and where you say it are critical.
Mess that part up and people won’t know you have what they want…How to go about getting it…Or why they should buy from or hire you, instead of your competition.
Unfortunately, all too often far more time and energy is spent on making a site look pretty than on making sure it’s going to do the sales job effectively. So small business owners regularly spend a fortune but get little in the way of new clients, leads or sales from their fancy Website.
Or all the focus is on trying to save money. So entrepreneurs build a site themselves using templates, or hire the cheapest company they can find, with little or no thought to getting a site that’s actually an effective sales and marketing tool.
Instead, your main focus should be to make sure your Website lets visitors know right away what they can find there, and makes it super-easy for them to find it. Plus you want to make sure it answers all their questions, deals with all their objections and convinces them to take the next step.
All this needs to happen within two clicks of your home page. And without visitors having to scroll, or read every word of your content—though they may do one or both.
Because people only sign up, call, hire you, or buy something when they can find all the info they need to confidently take action—and find it fast. That means you need to do a good bit of thoughtful Website planning BEFORE you build or change your site.
So before you go spending another dime or minute on your Website, ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want my Website to do (grow my list, sell products on the spot, convince people to call me or hire me, etc.)? Of these, which is most important?
- What is the purpose of each page on my site (for both the visitor and for your business)? Are the pages doing their jobs?
- If a site visitor only remembered one thing after visiting my site, what would I want it to be? Is it being communicated effectively?
- If someone saw only my logo, tagline and headline, would they be able to tell what they can find on my site, and whether or not it’s for them? And, would my site be likely to help me achieve my #1 goal?
- Does my site answer the top five questions people usually have before hiring or buying from me?