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devon web site design



How To Tune Up Your Website
For Performance and Profit 


Websites are marketing tools.

Most website designers don't realise this reality.  They design sites that are beautiful looking.  They design sites that look impressive in their portfoilo, and create the "wow" factor.

Unfortunately, their client sites don't often rank well with Search Engines and as a result, there is no traffic generated.  The content on these sites is not focused on the needs of customers so that when visitors do stop by, they "click out" instead of taking the action the client needs that leads to an enquiry/lead/sale.

These sites might be beautiful, but they are failures all the same.

They are failures because they don't get results.

You need a successful website to help bring in customers and grow your business. Your site needs to do the following (and these are just a few examples to spark the discussion)...

  • Rank well with the search engines
  • Attract interested targeted visitors
  • Are focused on the needs of their visitors
  • Keep visitors on site (and encourage repeat visits)
  • Get the response (enquiry, buy, via phone, email etc)


The Secret of Successful Websites

A website is like a dynamic advert. It's job is to sell for you. Take a look at the two adverts below and see if you can spot the difference:

web design exeter  sidmouth website design


Okay, it's not an entirely fair comparrison but I need to make a point here.

The ad on the left is a typical ad of which 90% of adverts and websites fall into.  It's what is refered to as an "image ad" or "institutional advertising".  Reading just the headline alone tells you nothing about the product.  There is no attention or desire created.  There is no "call to action" and thus no tracking.  These typical ads prompt the saying "half of my advertising doesn't work... trouble is, I don't know which half!"

The ad on the right is the late Joe Karbo's famous Lazy Man's Way to Riches book.  Joe was a genius at advertising and drew the reader into his story and sold on the benefits of using his system.  Mail order advertisers became experts at influence because they tracked the results of every ad using special codes.  These were normally in the order coupon and were counted.  Elements were then changed like the headline, price, using a picture, not using a picture etc and compared with the effect on sales until the optimum combination was found.  These ads were called "direct response" and they are the ONLY kind of advertising you should consider for your business.

The ad on the left is just a visual ad.  The ad on the right is "salesmanship-in-print".

So what does this have to do with your website?

Simply put, you need a...

Direct Response Website!


website marketing devonJust like a business, your website needs clearly stated goals.

The primary objective may be to to promote your product or service.  The site may need to be designed to encourage potential customers to contact the company either by phone or email or call in.  Either way, there needs to be a call to action and using analyics you'll be able to monitor the results just like the mail order boys did.  Comparing offers against bounce rates (how many pages a visitor viewed before clicking the 'back' button), the time a visitor spent on the site and the number of enquiries brough in.

Right now online video is hot.  It can be a great source of traffic generation.  Having a direct response website you'll be able to test this by comparing how many enquiries you receive with video Vs without.  Is a 4 minute video good or will you get more enquiries with a 30-second video?

The only way to find out is to test, and then you'll be thinking like a direct response master!

Designing websites is an art and we would need a course to go into the subject fully.  Your current website may be perfectly suitable for marketing but could do with a performance tune-up to make more search engine friendly and persuasive to visitors.  Successful websites need to go through five hands or at least a talented individual able to wear five hats.

The Five Hats of Website Design


web design exeter


The best websites are those that are almost invisible - minimally intrusive, easy to use and don't get in the way of finding or reading the information.  Specifically, great websites don't force people to think about how to:

  • Find information on your site
  • Read information on your site
  • Navigate through your site
  • Print information from your site
  • Bookmark your site
  • Buy or place an order/enquiry from your site
  • Contact you directly
  • What to do next

A simple looking, clearly laid out direct response website will do more for your business than a clever singing and dancing visual monster that a web designer is trying to win a bullshit creative design-of-the-year award with.


The BIG Mistake Websites Make

When local people go online to search, they are looking normally for a solution to a problem.  Their problem could be a non-urgent one like choosing a school for their child.  They will be happy to do research and gather info.  Other problems are more urgent and need a solution fast.

One of the biggest mistakes in advertisers using the Yellow Pages was overlooking this fundamental marketing FACT.  The Yellow Pages was a brilliant marketing idea in its day.  It was a big book full of solutions!  Nobody read it for fun.  The only time you ever looked in the Yellow Pages was if you had a problem.  It could have been a non-urgent problem like looking for an accountant, a car scrape yard, a home decorator, or it could have been a full on emergancy because you need a vet, or locksmith FAST!

Advertisers in the Yellow Pages often followed each other with image ads that all looked the same.  They didn't need to advertise the reasons why the reader needed an accountant, a vet, a web designer or a locksmith.  That decision was ALREADY made else the person would not have picked up the Yellow Pages in the first place.

What needed to be seen was a Unique Selling Proposition and a reason why the reader should call that particular company over the rest.  You don't have to sell the idea of having a garage door to the person who has just had their garage door come crashing down! What they need to know is how you can help them quickly and for a good price.

And websites make this mistake too.

The same mistakes made in the big yellow book are now being made online.  But remember, for the same reasons people don't read directories for fun, they don't go putting in keywords for things they are not looking for.  So think from now on that Google and the other search engines are nothing more than people with problems looking for solutions.  Just make sure that when a person has a problem that you can solve, that your business shows up at that moment.

And when it does, make sure you don't commit the next design sin...

2 Seconds to Success... or Failure

Imagine a person with an urgent problem.

Their dog has been hit by a car and they need a vet.  The next door neighbour has thrown their ball too hard and it has gone through the window and they need a window replacement before it starts raining.  The pipes have just burst on the toilet and they need a plumber immediately.

These guys are hurting.

They've rushed online and typed in their keywords.  A few sites have come up and one of them is yours.  Here's your chance to make an impression, let them know that your company is the answer to their prayers.

Except your website takes a few moments to load your flash intro.  It's a nice intro.  There's a picture of your building and you smiling.  It explains how long you've been in business and how many staff you employ.  It shows some of the awards you've won and even plays music.  Next up is a scrolling photo banner with big beautiful images and a clever slogan.  It really is an impressive website.

The phone starts ringing!

Except one problem - it's not your phone!  That's right, it's your competitors phone.

The visitor could not wait for your site and was gone within two seconds.  We as humans make judgement calls rightly or wrongly within a fraction of a second.  I would like to tell you that you have 7 seconds to make an impression.  Unfortunately it is only around two.  If the visitor cannot see that you have the solution to his problem within two seconds it's game over for you.  All it takes is a twitch of the mouse finger and instead of a customer you end up with another number on your web stats.

Whenever you consider designs, consider your target market.  Why would they be on your site?  What are they looking for?  And make sure you don't force people to wait for:

  • An obnoxiously huge Flash movie to load and play (each time)
  • Huge, gratuitous graphics, photos or images to load
  • Inefficiently coded java applet to load and run

Your website has three major characteristics that need to be evaluated and cleaned up:

  • Appearance - Make it clean so as not to distract from your message
  • Structure - page navigation should be logical, invisible and seamless
  • Functionality - make it useful and smart for the visitor


website marketing exeter


I Want More Customers!

YES! I would like to arrange a FREE no-holds barred consultation to discover how Paul Williams can tune my current website or re-build it to send me more leads, enquiries, customers and more profit.  I would like to know how I can use Paul and his team to help increase my sales without me getting bogged down with Internet marketing.

I understand Paul will visit with me personally and NOT send some slick talking salesperson or jargon jabbering web designer who will confuse me.  On that basis I will email Paul direct or phone his desk. 0845 4747 928