Your Shop Online - Building Effective Websites
Are you frustrated by the lack of business your Website generates?
By making some simple changes you can improve the effectiveness of your site. These changes will lead to increased online visibility, more quality traffic and more inbound leads that build your business.
Make it easier for people to find you.
I'm surprised sometimes by how little businesses invest in their search engine optimization (SEO). They'll spend thousands upon thousands on a Web site but not a cent on SEO. That's like building a state-of-the-art retail store in the middle of nowhere and not letting anyone know where it is or how to get there.
One of the first steps is to perform a keyword analysis and make sure the words your prospects use to search appear throughout your Web site, especially in your title tags, headers, body copy and intrasite links.
Stop talking about yourself.
Read the copy on your home page: is it about you or about your audience? How many I's, We's or Our's are there? Remember: nobody cares about you or your business. They care about their problems, their issues, their pain points. You need to address those issues first before you start talking about how long you've been in business, your hours, or even your products or services.
Get people actively involved.
Engage your visitors with low-risk or no-risk calls to action. Get your visitors involved in downloading articles, using calculators, entering contests, taking surveys, or clicking links. Passive visitors don't buy; involved visitors become customers. .
Lead visitors down the sales funnel.
This isn't 1997 and your Web site isn't a brochure. It's 2012 and your Web site is your best salesperson. It doesn't eat, sleep or ask for time off. If you're not treating it like your number one sales tool, you're leaving money on the table.
Focus on what your site visitor wants to accomplish and make it as frictionless as possible to achieve that goal. Lead them down that path with clear calls-to-action at the bottom of each page that tell them what the next step is.
If you want the phone to ring, make sure your phone number is at the top of every page. If you want more members for your organization put that application form front and center. If you want inbound leads make sure your calls-to-action lead to a contact form.
Measure and improve.
Take a look at your analytics-your traffic reports-weekly, if not more often. What search terms are people using to find your site? What Web sites or blogs are sending you the most visitors? What caused that recent spike in traffic?
By determining the answers to these and other questions you can continually improve what you're doing on your Web site and in your Internet marketing. Maybe you'll see it's time to step up your activity on Twitter, or cut back on podcasting, or create more videos for YouTube and other video sharing sites.
If you're not regularly checking your analytics you don't know what's working and what's not. It's like shooting at a target with a blindfold on.
If your Web site isn't generating inbound leads the way you had hoped, take these first steps towards making it a more effective sales tool. It may take a few months after you make your changes before you start to see an uptick, so be patient, but keep monitoring the situation and making incremental changes along the way.
Also consider porting your site over to a content management system (CMS), so that you can make these changes yourself, saving you money and giving you more control over your Web site--and ultimately--the success of your business.
If you would like help with any or all of these elements, please contact me, browse through our site for helpful articles and/or sign-up to our mailing list (top-right of this page) to receive some of the info sent to us from many valuable *resources.
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Looking forward to helping you with your online-marketing in whatever way we can.