7 Steps To Web Sites That Sell
Posted on February 12, 2004
7 Steps To Web Sites That Sell
By Charlie Cook
Your web site is like a flight of stairs into your business. Once you've got prospects to your home page - your online front door - you want to move them to action. If you miss a step or two, prospects will fall and won't make it in the door to your business. If you put the last step first and your first step last, prospects won't find the steps you want them to take.
There is a hierarchy of information and elements you need to present to prospects to make it easy for them to become customers and clients. This is not what most small business owners provide on their web sites. Most sites lead with a boring description of services and credentials. This tends to push prospects away.
Before you build your web site or start to fix a site that isn't attracting as many clients as you'd like, take a minute to clarify the objectives of your site. Marketing objectives for web sites for most independent professionals and small business owners should be:
a. Lead Generation - Build your list of qualified prospects who are interested in your products and services but not quite ready to make a purchase. First time visitors to the site need to be able to quickly identity if they are in the right place and determine whether you can help them. Make it easy for prospects to qualify themselves.
b. Establish Credibility- If people found your site by searching the web, you have a lot of work to do to prove that you can help them and deliver on what the site promises.
c. Sell Your Products and Services - Of course you will
want to include information about your products and services,
but if you rush this step, you'll lose prospects before you've
created the context that will move them to a purchase.
Putting Your Steps In Sequence
1. Feature Your Marketing Message
2. Collect Leads
3. Use Qualifying Questions
For example, if you sell ergonomic chairs, you could ask, "Does your back ache at the end of a day at your desk?" Or if you sell customized travel services to Britain you could ask, "Are you interested in a customized, hassle f*ree va*cation in the British Isles?"
4. Build Credibility
The second part of establishing your credibility is to demonstrate the value of your expertise by providing prospects with helpful ideas. If you're in the computer repair and maintenance business you might include tips on identifying software conflicts and keeping computers from crashing.
People like to do business with people they know and trust
so use your site to bring your company and personality to life.
Include links to your articles, case studies and /or product
demonstrations. Add a photo of yourself or your employees to
personalize your site and move prospects to thinking of you
as a person.
5. Show Prospects The Results You Are Selling
On your individual service or product pages provide examples of clients and customers using your services or products. For ebooks, include tables of contents and sample chapters. If you sell log homes, include pictures of happy customers in their homes. If you sell information, feature client testimonials.
6. Tell Prospects What To Do
7. Make It Easy For Prospects
In your form, ask a few key questions to help prospects clarify what it is they want to achieve and get their phone number so you can follow up. Their responses will help you prioritize who to contact and help you focus on your most profitable prospects.
Show prospects who are ready to engage your services or buy your products how to do so. Coaches will want to include a coaching inquiry form. People who sell greeting cards, should include a quick link to so people can place their orders.
Use the blueprint above to construct a web site that sells.
Build steps that will lead prospects into your web site and
motivate them to give you their name, email address and phone
number or to contact you about your services or to buy your
products. Build steps that will move them from prospects to
clients and customers.
About the Author
The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, helps independent professionals and small business owners attract more clients and increase their earnings with the 5 Principles of Highly Effective Marketing. Sign up to receive the Free Marketing Guide and the 'More Business' newsletter, full of practical tips you can use charliecook.net.
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