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Do You Need a Fancy Website?

Aug 17, 2007
Someone asked me this morning, "How fancy does a website need to be to get more traffic?" Ok, define "fancy" and define "traffic." Both terms are open to interpretation.

Generating Traffic

A big misconception is that a website needs high traffic to be successful. It doesn't. Let me explain.

The big buzz is always about how to generate traffic to a website to get more sales or generate more leads. On the surface, that sounds quite logical; and it is up to a point. But here's the snag that seems to elude many people: it's not about how much traffic you generate, but what kind of traffic you generate. The key is to generate traffic from YOUR target audience. The people you want to visit your site are the people who would be interested in your products or services. No body else should matter.

Forget trying to appeal to everyone. Narrow your focus and appeal just to your target audience. Don't worry about how many visitors are coming to your site; worry about how you can convert the traffic you are receiving into buyers.

Target marketing is the key to generating more sales and more leads.
If you truly understand your target audience then you'll know what their biggest problems are and what solutions they need.

Build a Relationship

In order to make a sale, or generate a lead, a website needs to be able to build a relationship with the visitor. When you use target marketing as the basis for creating your website content, it is easier to create content that builds the relationship with the visitor. You understand their problems and create content that offers a solution.

However, some people are under the impression that a website needs to be "fancy" in order to be able to target a specific audience and build a relationship. That's not necessarily true. Let me explain.

Creating a Fancy Website

A website could be considered "fancy" if it has video and/or audio recordings. For some websites, video and audio are good additions. Video and audio testimonials are more powerful than a simple written testimonial. They are much more effective in building a relationship with your target audience because they are believable.

Another new tool being used on websites is from a company called LivePerson.com. This innovative program allows visitors to get immediate customer service through a live chat feature. You can also monitor how customers navigate through your site to make sure you are delivering the best online experience possible.

Personalizing a visitor's website experience is another technique that could be considered "fancy." Through the use of cookies (a little file that the customer's browser writes to his computer's hard drive) a customer's online behavior is tracked. This information is stored and then retrieved when the customer returns. If the customer registers on the site, even more information can be used to create a more targeted, personalized experience. Amazon.com is a great example of this online personalization.

Make Information Easy to Find

However, a website doesn't need to be complicated (i.e. fancy) to be effective. The more difficult you make it for a visitor to find information, the more likely the visitor will leave quickly. Simple, easy to navigate and plain spoken websites can be hugely successful. It's the usability factor that greatly influences the effectiveness of a site.

Online sales and lead generation are stimulated by a website that is intuitive, has a clear message and offers a positive experience for the visitor. The decision whether or not to have a "fancy" website depends on what you want to accomplish. If you think the software of LivePerson.com would enhance your customer's experience and increase sales, then go for it. Or, if you think video testimonials would help you generate more leads, put them on your website.

However, don't feel like your website is inadequate because it doesn't have these "fancy" features. A simple website with a clear message to your target audience is all you may need.
About the Author
Michelle Howe, MBA, is an expert in online copywriting and author of the popular book, Turn Browsers into Buyers. Visit her website at http://www.InternetWordMagic.com for the FREE report, "Five Steps to Article Success."
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