Posted on November 26, 1999
by Jim Daniels,
Warning: You may not like what you learn about your own site from this quiz. The quiz is not designed to make you feel bad. It is here to help the large number of businesses who are NOT getting the results they envisioned when they set sail online. It is completely up to you what you do with the results.
Read the following eight questions and answer them honestly. The questions can be answered with a simple YES or No answer. Answer "NO" just twice and you have a choice... make changes or face the consequences.
#1. Do you have your own domain name? ___
Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well you'd be shocked at the number of small business owners still trying to make a go of it with a free host. If the first impression you make is coming across as "www.somefreewebspace.com/user/" instead of an established "www.yourcompany.com", you're in trouble. It is a simple fact of business online that if your company won't spring for a domain name at $35 a year, many potential customers will think twice before they buy from you.
#2. Does your site offer FREE, VALUABLE information about your area of expertise? ___
Too many websites are merely sales letters and nothing more. The best sites offer genuine, quality assistance. It is a simple fact online, that businesses who willingly share valuable information are more likely to keep people at their site and earn repeat visitors. Moreover, if you are trying to sell something, you can earn your potential customer's respect and confidence by sharing your hard-earned knowledge.
#3. Does your site really and truly look professional?__
Or does your site look like a beginner designed it? While there's nothing wrong with being a beginner to online business, your website MUST be attractive and professional. Ask five people who are not related to you for their honest and brutal opinion of your site. Take their suggestions to heart. If you want to grow successful online, you have to look professional!
This also means your sales copy must be precise, accurate and professional and must MOTIVATE your visitors to take action. Is your current sales copy effective? If not, get it looked at by a pro. An attractive site with effective copy can earn serious money online, especially with all the duds out there!
#4. Do you display a privacy statement at your site? ___
This has quickly become a hot topic online. Not only is the press talking about it, many of your would-be customers and newsletter subscribers are looking for it! This is why a brief privacy statement is fast becoming an essential component at every website. In short, it lets your web site visitors know what you will do with any information they share with you. (Hopefully you'll keep in confidential!)
It takes just 15 minutes to post your own privacy statement at your site. I did mine at the wizard supplied by TRUSTe: http://www.truste.org/wizard
#5. Do you offer your website visitors secure credit card ordering? ___ This is one of the biggies! Secure credit card ordering is a MUST at every business site. It's as simple as getting a merchant account and offering a secure order form.
#6. Are you growing an "opt-in email list" by asking your site visitors to leave their email address with you? ___
You need to give every visitor to your site a good reason to leave their address. A free e-newsletter, discount specials or industry news will usually suffice. Convince them that they MUST get on your list! As far as collecting the info, a simple signup form is best. Don't ask a million questions in your signup form. They may be interested in letting you stay in touch, but may shy away if they have to reveal too much information about themselves. A lead is a lead. Don't scare them away - they may never be back.
#7. Do you contact your opt-in list regularly? ___
Whether you publish a weekly email newsletter, a monthly tip sheet or even regular specials, a solid "keep in touch" strategy is the most cost effective way to get visitors back to your site. It is your guarantee of higher revenue each and every year as your list grows! You'll continually be able to offer special deals and introduce new products and services to your best prospects in the world -- your private club of prospects and past customers!
#8. Is your website promoted on a regular basis? ___
Once you know you have a product or service that will sell, the only other key to success is telling people about it. Online, sales figures are directly related to the number of visitors your site gets. If you sell something to every 100th visitor on average and get 100 visitors a day, you can triple your income by getting 300 visitors to your site each day. Sounds simple right? Well too many folks don't get it. They don't promote regularly so they don't grow their traffic or their revenue.
So, how many times did you answer NO? If you were forced to answer NO just twice, your site may be doomed to a fate worse than the dinosaurs. That's right, answering NO to just two of these questions means your company may lose a bundle of revenue while your competitors build thriving businesses.
Remember, I didn't write this to upset any small business
owners out there. Quite simply, I know from experience why
many sites fail, while others flourish. If yours isn't doing
so well, time is on your side. Print this quiz and get busy
implementing each item one at a time. Before you know it
your site will be ringing up sales like there's no tomorrow!
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