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
They are failures because they don't get
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:
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
Simply put, you need a...
Just like a business, your website needs clearly stated
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
The Five Hats of
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
- Read information on your
- Navigate through your
- Print information from your
- Bookmark your site
- Buy or place an order/enquiry from
- Contact you
- 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
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
2 Seconds to Success... or Failure
Imagine a person with an urgent
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
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
- Huge, gratuitous graphics, photos or images to
- Inefficiently coded java applet to load and
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
I Want More
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org 0845 4747 928