There are another three components that are critical to website success—besides avoiding the pitfall of focusing on product before knowing who your target market is and where they hang out.
The first is help, don’t sell. By helping you will sell. The second is build credibility and rapport through educating.
You’ll go to a sloppily put-together webpage and get these annoying boxes that come up asking if you want something you weren’t thinking about before but are certainly too annoyed by now to entertain considering.
When you’re marketing online, remember that people don’t shop online. People research online.
Most people go online for research on how to buy a new car, or increase their business, or to learn about raw foods, or whatever it may be. So your website has to be designed around helping, not selling. Informing, revealing, educating.
If you sell, you will fail. By helping you build credibility and rapport. People will believe in you, and because of that, you can show them the value in your product or service. And they will buy from you. It’s absolutely critical to what you do online.
Everything on your website—every button, every graphic, every word you put on the page has got to be built around helping, not selling. Make it most appealing to researchers, not to shoppers. Save the two-page sales letters and the paper. Whatever it is you’re the expert in, whatever you do, they want more information. They’ll call you, email you, or order right off the website.
The mindset of the online researcher-pre-shopper is, “What’s in it for me?” That’s the first question you want to answer on your website. If you can’t answer that question at the top of your webpage, change it or you’re going to fail. Why should anybody stay there? They’ve got hundreds of websites to go look.
Don’t have a mission statement at the top of your page talking about who you are, what you do, how great and fantastic you are, and how you have a Ph.D. Nobody cares about that.
They care about what you’re going to do for them. That doesn’t mean not making available credentials and testimonials, but it all goes back to writing headlines—something that will make them stay. Suck them in. Make them feel like they’re going to be learning something they didn’t know before.
Nearly the same marketing rules still apply. Walk a mile in your prospects’ shoes. Empathize with them in plain language. Pharmaceutical ads are written and spoken so that children understand them. Use simple and/or precise language (depending on the uniqueness of your market) as your keywords—the words prospects would be typing into Google or Bing to find you. If you’re selling cow juice but everyone calls it milk, you better call it milk too because people don’t search for cow juice, they search for “milk.” If you get stuck, there are writers at reasonable prices who can do it for you.
It’s not how well you know your product that is going to determine the level of your sales and your success; it’s how well you know your customer, so that you’re ready for them when they visit your web page.
Next month we’ll cover that last key to success in building an online business—having the best possible sales process you can have—one that costs you nothing and boosts your profits!