How to make your website profitable!
If you have taken the time and money needed to produce a web site you would love to have it benefit your business and add to your profits wouldn’t you? But with tons of info floating around the Internet on how to design a site that sells I still run across site after site that are less than profit-friendly. Is your site working for you as much as it could be?
Site owners start to believe that the web just doesn’t work for their business. But the sad truth maybe that people are not finding your site to begin with and/or poor design is driving people away the that do manage find your site. So what can you do to help build a site that works better?
A site’s success depends on a multiple of items done right, but the main one focusing on generating leads and sales. This crystallized focus can make a huge difference in a site producing income or not.
Climbing to the top of GOOGLE!
You can own a horse with the best sliding stop in the state but you will never see a single ribbon if you don’t get him to the horse shows! Same goes for your site – people will not be buying from you if they cannot find you. So make sure you choose a site designer that knows how to get ranked high in the top search engines.
If your site is a do-it-yourself project (nothing wrong with that if you have the passion for it, if not, hire someone that does) then plan to learn about SEO (search engine optimization).
Tip: If you don’t know the importance of key words and how to work with them, then you need to hire someone that does or get busy and educate yourself.
Speeding up your site!
You may have hired a designer that gave your site everything including the deluxe kitchen sink – flashing buttons, animated images, flash intro, and tons of fancy graphics.
But did you know that many horse people are still on slow dial-up and hate sites that load slower than a spooked horse going into a dark trailer. Studies show you only mere seconds to draw people in before they reach to click off your site – just a few seconds! So unless the images communicate important points about your product, service, or company drop them and optimize the loading time of the rest.
Speed Tip 1: CSS coded sites load faster than table and standard HTML coded sites with their nested tables and excess coding.
Speed Tip 2: Post small images linked to larger images. Let people decide which ones to view larger.
Add effective titles and headlines!
It is critical your web pages sport a benefit-oriented page title, main headline, and link titles to entice your visitors to read more or click to go farther into your site. They should also have your most important keywords in them.
Instead of just putting something like…’Welcome to TrailRideHorses.com’ at the top of your web page, try a main headline like: ‘Wide selection of healthy trail horses with extensive trail riding experience at affordable prices! 100 mile endurance horses to safe children’s ponies’
Instead of just putting in a link that reads… ‘About our Services’, try one like, ‘Vanish the buck, bolt, and kick with our step by step horses training lessons!’ Or ‘From lame to in the game faster than ever with our nutritional joint products.’ Or ‘ Quarterhorse Weanlings to Yearlings optimized with the latest in mental and physical training, and nutritional breakthroughs.’
Stir people’s interest by stating benefits they are looking for in your headings and link text. Go over your whole site and check for effective and attention grabbing headlines – not there, then you have work to do!
Collecting visitor’s contact information!
How many times has someone whipped out their checkbook before you could lead the horse from the stall? Not often I bet. Normally people need time and multiple contacts before they make the final decision to hand you their hard earned money.
One of the best ways to gather their contact information so you can stay in touch is to offer them something they value like, information either in your newsletter, a free ebook or report, or even a chance to win a prize or a product discount.
Place a sign-up form on your site near the top and if your offer is good they will give you their name and email address. Learn more about working your list by searching the Internet for, ‘mailing list marketing’, ‘money in the list’, and/or ‘how to use auto responders.’
Tip: I use and love ListMailPro by Dean Wiebe (he is a nice caring person and that counts high in my book!)
Highlighting the benefits! Highlight the benefits!
Your web site visitors are always thinking: What’s in it for me! So give them the answers clearly, attractively, and repeatedly! Most are not looking to read how your company started or about the 14 ingredients that go into your horse feed products, unless your can word it so it tells them why it would benefit them or their horses.
Tell them how you, your service or your product can solve their problems and improve their lives. Display this front and center; don’t hide it where no one can find it.
- State the benefits that your service or product offers – display testimonials (as many as you can throughout your site.
- Display case studies with before and after images if possible. Video is even better!
- Make it easy to find your informative articles.
- Post forms, contracts, guides, maps, or event calendars for them to download.
- Provide links to more resources.
Make yourself useful and they will reward you with their business.
Developing trust and credibility.
Everyone likes to do business with people they know, trust, and like; so figure out ways that help people feel these just from visiting your web site.
You can try the following…
- Post testimonials. People have an easier time believing what other people say about your company than what the owner says. Positive words from past clients can really give your credibility a boost. Place a few testimonials on different pages and have a testimonial page too. Testimonials also show that you have been doing business and that people are buying and are happy with their purchases.
- Show case studies and articles. Providing useful information can help people view you as an authority on the subject.
- Display your full contact information: address, phone and fax numbers (not just an email address) on every web page. People feel more comfortable purchasing from some one they
feel is real and who they can get in contact with if trouble comes their way.
- Post pictures of you and your key employees or partners. A bio is nice if you write it in a way that shows how your experience will be helpful to them. But a photo really helps people connect to you and if you met with you later they already have a feeling that they know you and you are not a stranger.
Home work = Home Page!
The single most crucial sales page of your web site is its home page! Nope, not the service or products page or the ordering page; the reason is that your home page is the page most people will land on.
If your home page is not right no one will go on to any of your site’s other pages – No second chances! Your home page must accomplish the following…
- Establish Your Brand – tell them who are you, what you do or offer and do it in such a way that they will be interested enough to click deeper or save the page and return later.
- Show them the goodies – they need to be able to quickly find what they are looking for – establish a clear path to other relevant pages.
- Generate Interest – copy and layout must be compelling and generate the desire to dig deeper. Study up on writing great Sales Copy!
- Impart Trust – reread numbers 3 and 4 above once again, yep they are that important.
Some of these little tweaks can have a major impact on your bottom line. These will give you a good start and I am sure that I will be giving you more info soon on designing your website to be a marketing magnet.
‘My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.’ – Pablo Picasso
P.S. Please take action NOW to show your friends and clients you are thinking of them and wish them a great day by sending them a Horse eCard!
Profit Generating, website design, site design