The Two Keys To Web Success

20/12/2010 17:58

Everyone knows the web is a cost efficient way to generate leads and increase sales, but do you know how to make it work for you?

Yesterday I began to feel like a broken record. John called from a company in Boston that owns 25 storage facilities in 3 states, then Martha called from a web design firm in Austin, and Steve called from a computer networking software firm. All three had almost exactly the same exact question; How could they turn their web sites into profit centers?

There are two key elements to creating a web site that sells. You need visitors, you need to convert visitors to leads and then you need to convert leads to sales. You probably knew this already, but do you know how to put these two elements together to generate a flood of new business?

1. Create A Web Site that Sells

Before you can expect to generate a single lead or sale, your web site may need a tune-up. Your site needs to get your prospect’s attention, keep their attention long enough for you to get your message across, and motivate them to contact you or buy from you.

When a site visitor sees your homepage, or any page on your site for that matter, you’ve got at most 3 seconds to get their attention and interest them in reading more.

Your site needs to instantly give visitors a reason to not click to another web site, say, one of your competitor’s. Does your website have that kind of stopping power?

Once your web pages have gotten your prospect’s attention, you need to engage them and get them thinking about how you can help them and why they need your products and services. Think of this as the beginning of a conversation that they’ll want to continue by contacting you or purchasing from you. Look at and read your site from your prospect’s perspective; is it engaging?

The next step is to prompt prospects to contact you. The visual elements and marketing copy on your site should prompt prospects to take the next step. Does your site do this?

Once your site is generating hundreds of leads a week, you’re headed in the right direction. Now, how will you convert your qualified leads into sales?

The average business loses 80% of sales due to lack of follow-up. To avoid losing sales, give prospects the information they need to trust you, to value your products and services and to remember you. Do these three things and your conversion rates will soar.

2. Pull in Thousands of Prospects

If you’ve got a site that grabs your prospects’ attention, engages them and then prompts them to contact you, you’re ready to build traffic to your site. There are two primary ways to get prospects to your web site.

Improve Your Search Engine Positioning Most people who arrive at your site will start their trip at one of search engines. If your site is listed at the top when your prospects use relevant keywords in a search, they’ll be more likely to find it and visit it.

It’s not easy to push your site to the top of the search engine listings. A whole host of variables affect what is referred to as your site’s “organic position” in the search engines. The most important are your use of keywords and metatags, and the number of links to your site.

You can improve your sites’ ranking in the search engines using a few key strategies that include where and how often you use your keywords and links including our keywords. This involves carefully coding each of your web pages, a painstaking process. The alternative is to pay someone else to do this for you.

While there are thousands of firms that can supposedly put your site at the top of the search engines overnight for a few dollars, don’t be duped. This process is long and tedious and the reputable firms take 2-6 months to provide results and charge between 10-15 thousand dollars a year to maintain your sites positioning.

Advertise with the Search Engines For many small businesses, pushing your site’s organic position to the top of the search engines can take too long or be too costly. You may want to get more visitors to your site to supplement the traffic you’re getting or hope to get. One way to do this is to pay to have your ads appear in the search engines.

Overture and Google’s pay-per-click AdWords program are the most effective types of online advertising. I find Google’s much easier to use and provides better results, but you should test both.

You can also pull visitors to your site by distributing your articles online, using a blog, and advertising in email newsletters.

Create a web site that uses design and copywriting to engage your prospects, and a distinct strategy to convert them from visitors to customers. Then implement a system to drive traffic to your site and you’ll have both lots of leads and sales.

The author, Charlie Cook, helps small business owners and marketing professionals attract more clients, whether you are marketing in print, in person or online. Sign up for the Free Marketing eBook, '7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business', full of practical marketing strategies you can use to increase profits at www.MarketingForSuccess.com.

By Charlie Cook 

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