Musings on

marketing

By August 27, 2009

Making the Sale: Design a Web Site that Adds Incredible Value

When people are searching the Internet, they often get into a clicking frenzy.

This is important to remember in web design and also in website copywriting. If you don’t capture their attention and tell them exactly what you want them to do, then – CLICK – and they are on to the next website.

Your website’s job is to 1) compel people to stick around and 2) to motivate them to take an action. If your website is REALLY doing a great job, then 3) it also works to capture your visitors name and e-mail.

The key is to have useful information that’s easy to find, link redundancy, compelling calls to action, and a name capture mechanism. Let’s pull each of these apart to see why they will help your marketing:

  • Useful information: In addition to an overview of your company, make sure that your copy tells people exactly how you can help them. Let them know about your core offerings and key differentiators. Tell them exactly why they should pick your company and ignore your competitors.You can also create content that makes your site “sticky.” This simply means that your Web site visitors want to stick around and return to look at your content. Create helpful content for your prospects and existing customers. Make it a resource that they can return to again and again.Position your company as a trusted adviser on your Web site. Blogs, articles, podcasts, and videos are all great ways to achieve this goal. Depending on your industry, you can also add design galleries and tools, calculators, product selector guides, and/or glossaries. Think about what your target audience could really use to help them, and then add this information to your Web site.
  • Link Redundancy: When designing a website, it’s always a good idea to include link redundancy. This means that you have multiple links on your site for people to find information. You can include links in your navigation, in your body copy, in your footer, on your home page, and you can also have special boxes that call attention to areas of interest on your Web site.That may sound like overkill, but from a usability perspective it makes a lot of sense as long as the web designer isn’t cluttering up the page. Let me explain. Your various site visitors process information in different ways. You want to be able to impact as many people as possible and you want each type of user to quickly find the information they want so that you don’t lose them.The other reason is that people do NOT read a Web site like they read a book or magazine. Imagine instead someone driving down a street at about 35 miles an hour and reading a billboard. They don’t have time for much. Studies have shown that people tend to “scan and scroll” on a Web site. So, you want to catch their attention as they scan your Web site page.
  • Calls to Action: According to a recent Neilsen Company study, the average user spends 56 seconds on a web page. This means that you do NOT want to make your visitor spend much time thinking about what to do next. Tell them exactly what they should do by using a call to action. A call to action starts with a verb and can include commands such as Click here, Purchase, Read this, Order now, Sign up, Call today, and so on. Calls to action increase your conversion rates.
  • Name Capture Mechanism: People are in a hurry. They scan Web sites quickly. They don’t always make a decision right away. And, studies show it takes multiple touches with a prospect to convert them into a customer. So, armed with all of this information, it’s essential to create a name capture mechanism on your Web site.Make it simple and easy for a person to give you their contact info – A name and e-mail is all you need. Treat their contact info like currency. Your visitor is giving you something of great value. Offer them something of value in return such as a white paper, report, special video, audio recording, private blog, article bundle, etc. Provide your visitors with content that will help them solve a problem and showcase your company’s expertise.As a bonus, you can tell them that you will also sign them up for your free electronic newsletter. Send out this communication out on a regular basis. Make sure you are giving them valuable tips and information – not an ongoing sales pitch. This will not only keep your company on your prospect’s radar screen, but it will also position you as the trusted adviser. So, when they are ready to buy, your company is their number one choice.

If you overhaul your Web site to incorporate the tips I’ve listed in this post, you will create Web site stickiness, increase your sales conversions, and capture the names of prospects who have raised their hand to tell you they are interested in your company. You are building your online brand by developing an information hub that your prospects and customers can return to again and again. Your company becomes differentiated from your competitors and develops into an invaluable, trusted resource.

If you need help implementing any of these strategies, please call Kinesis at 503-922-2289.

Kinesis is a Portland Web Design and Branding Firm. We help our clients reach their marketing and growth goals. Call us at 503.922.2289.

ABOUT Wendy Maynard

Wendy Maynard is the co-founder and former Strategic Director of Kinesis, an award-winning marketing firm and business consultancy. She has over two decades of experience as a marketing strategist, business consultant, and executive coach.

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