Home » Internet » Internet Marketing

Get Your Lazy Website Working Hard!

Oct 8, 2007
In the early days of web site development, marketers thought a web site was simply an on-line brochure. They copied the brochure information format to the Internet.

But now, contemporary marketers realize that a web site is an exciting opportunity for lead generation and on-line sales. Turning your web site into a powerful marketing machine involves more than just reciting facts. Convert those facts to meaningful benefits by understanding what your customer needs. Then you will be turning lead into gold.

Who is your potential customer? Do you really know him or her? If you respond to that question with a fuzzy picture, then you do not know anything about your prospect. The more you know about the key pains of your customer, the more you will know your customer. You will be far more able to establish rapport with him.

For a moment, imagine you are the person reading your web sites, trying to solve a business problem. You want to know, can this company really help me? If your Home page talks about your company, and not about how your company helps others with their business problems, then you will know the copy is off.

How, you ask, can you construct a web site that will grab the attention and interest of your prospect? You do it by understanding the needs of your prospect, (as discussed above), and by linking those needs to your USP (Unique Selling Proposition.)

Your USP could be your centralized location, or your unique packaging, or the weather where your plants grow. Maybe you play classical music in your laboratory. Something makes you special and different. What is it?

Your Home Page

The Home page is where first impressions are formed. Your new visitor wants to know what your company can do for him. He is in a hurry. His phone is probably ringing, He is also thinking about a shipping or manufacturing problem. He is stressed.Maybe he slept badly last night because quarterly reports are due.

Your home page should be written with that person clearly in mind. Zona Research found that sophisticated web site readers will click out if a site takes more than 5 to 8 seconds to download. The Home page needs to be interesting to the visitor within a few seconds, or your visitor is GONE!

Interesting does not include fancy animations and new age music. Remember, your visitor is in a hurry. He is not there for entertainment. Yes, the animations are pretty. But really, what does that have to do with filling a business need? Skip the pretty intro, and let your prospect go straight to the Home page so he can quickly determine if your company can help solve his problem.

Remember, it is all about your reader. He wants to be assured that you understand his problems. All of the copy needs to be customer focused. This is not really about you and your company. (Do that on the About Us page. Your site needs to be about how your company can solve the problems of your visitor. Tell him about the benefits of working with you. He can find the facts on your Products page, in your company history page, and on the Contact page.

Test Your Site Yourself!

Take this quick test to see if your web site is focused on the prospect, or if the site simply crows with self-importance.

Open your web site and count the number of times you read: OUR COMPANY, or, WE. Now count the number of times the words YOU and YOUR are used. Many nutraceutical web sites are all about our company,and "we can..., we are..., we will..."

Change the copy to converse with your customer. "You will be pleased with our prompt order processing..." "If you're looking for the freshest herbs available, you'll find them here. "If you demand a product that is GMP certified, then you have found what you're looking for." If you can show, rather than tell, by using the GMP seal or symbol, it's even better. The symbol says it all, and you can use copy space to talk about other benefits.

Give Your Prospects An Offer They Can't Refuse

Your Home Page must feature an offer. Your offer is a reward for discussing business with you at some future point in time, and its purpose is to provide your sales team new leads to follow-up on. Offer your reader a free report, white paper or samples. Case studies make an excellent offer, as they provide third party proof about your products. Many companies overlook the power of case studies.

The sign-up box for your offer should be on every page of your web site. When you do this you'll have a lead-generating web site, not simply a brochure.

Powerful Body Copy

Here's where you tell about your company, your officers, how to order and how to contact. But, keep in mind throughout the entire site that you are talking with a person. Brochures are great for salesmen to hand out, but your web site is a conversation with your customer. If you write it in a conversational way, they'll want to know more about you and your products.
Let's say you're sitting at a table talking with someone you've just met. You wouldn't dominate the conversation with "I do this," or "I'm really special because I can..." No, that would be rude.

You'd ask your new acquaintance questions about his interests. You'd want to learn more about him. You'd exchange information about each other. And, you'd politely offer him something of value that will help him improve his business. Be a friend, not an impersonal entity.

Additionally, you'll give him information that is current. An Events page, or section, that has not been updated for several years is worthless. It makes your company look careless and sloppy. That's not the impression you want to give.

A Call To Action!

Every page of your site should contain a "call to action." Tell your visitor what you want her to do. Ask her to request your offer. Or ask her to order, with a link to take her easily to the order page.

Be clear in your mind if your site is a lead-generating site only, an order- generating site only, or both. If it lead-generating only, you won't have an Order page, but you'll have a Contact Us page, plus the sign-up boxes on every page.

On the Contact Us page, you'll gather their name, company, title, contact information, and what their interests are. This will be the information your sales team needs to make contact with an interested prospect.
On your Order page, repeat the benefits you pointed out in earlier pages. This overcomes any objections and reluctance she might be feeling. The old selling mantra of "Repeat, Reassure, and Resume" applies here. You are re-selling your company by talking about the unique benefits you offer. This repetition reinforces the ordering decision for your prospect.

Because your prospect is giving you her contact information, she wants to be reassured she is making the right decision.

Your Order page should gather enough information to qualify your prospects (cool, warm, or hot), but don't make it so difficult they get frustrated with the process and click out.

Since you know your potential buyer is skeptical, make sure you have a generous guarantee on your Order Page. They need to know you stand behind your products and service, so they won't be out any money if your products are not as stated.

If you don't already receive reports, ask your web site hosting service to give you statistics on how many open clicks you're getting, and at what point the visitors click out. This should to help you pinpoint potential problems.

Your web site can be one of your most powerful selling tools. When you get inside the skin of your prospect before your write the copy, you'll know the right things to say. You'll increase customer retention and loyalty. All of that translates to more sales and greater ROI.

Focus on your USP and you'll be filling a special niche in the customer's mind. It's good to tell the world how wonderful your company is, as long as it's relevant to your buyer.

If you find it difficult to really get to know your customers--ask them. Send a survey to your established customer base asking the kinds of questions that will reveal their inner concerns. Use "feedback forms" with each sale. Have your sales team conduct interviews.
Then listen, really listen intently, to their answers. They'll tell you what you need to know.
About the Author
Pam Magnuson is a freelance copywriter with a wide spectrum of experience in Radio, TV and newspaper advertising. She specializes in the Dietary Supplement Industry. http://www.pammagnusoncopywriting.com
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 196
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories