Utilize Your Website as a Marketing Tool
Your website is your shop window and is your customer’s first impression of your business, so it makes sense to make this your primary marketing tool. People have itchy ‘mouse fingers’ when they are browsing the Internet and some of the big market research companies have found that half of website visitors only stay on the site for 8 seconds – yes 8 seconds! That means you literally have 8 seconds to grab your visitor’s attention before they leave, never to be seen again. How do you grab someone’s attention in that small window of opportunity?
First of all, the general design of your website is what will hit them first, the colours, your logo, the font you use, the size of the font and the amount of text, whether the text in one big chunk or split up into manageable paragraphs, the layout of the site, any graphics or pictures you use. People get an overall impression first and foremost. They are used to visiting various sites and will instantly get a feel for what your site is about before they’ve read a single word. Does your site look like a landing page or a sales letter, or does it look like a business with various layers and a diversity of products and services? I’m not saying either is right or wrong but your visitors will immediately get an impression and you need to consider very carefully what impression you are trying to convey.
Next, they will focus on headlines above the fold of your website (the part of the site they can see without scrolling down). If you have a compelling headline — something your visitors will be interested in, for example, a headline based on their own search terms — then you have half a chance of keeping them on the site for longer than 8 seconds.
What would constitute a compelling or captivating headline?
Your visitors and potential customers don’t have the time or inclination to read all about the boring history of your company or who has recently joined the staff — all of that can be put in a separate page, ‘About us’ which your visitors can read if they are really interested. You need to shout out loud in your main headline what your main benefit is. Make sure your visitors know immediately they get on your site that they had found what they are looking for — what it is they need, what keeps them awake worrying at night, the problems they need solutions for, the information that will help them find their answers.
Most business owners are too close to their own projects to be able to see this clearly but it’s very simple to rectify this — ask other people what they think. Try brainstorming a long list of potential headlines and send them out to all your friends and associates and get them to pick the one that grabs their attention the most. You will soon see what makes other people sit up and take notice.
People are looking for something worthwhile so you should work on your products and services so that you have something of value to offer your customers. Produce something unique, something beneficial and something that people will be more than happy to fork out their hard earned money for. Your reward will be a list of loyal customers that will buy from you again and again in the future and are likely to recommend you to others. Second class goods won’t hack it if you want to build a successful business and a lifetime’s income.
Another aspect of this is to offer something unique. So many Internet marketers and business owners simply copy what other people are doing but the problem with this is that if you have exactly the same as everyone else, and all you can do is compete on price. Anyway, how do you know that your competitors are actually making any money? A lot of the stuff on the Internet is recycled and often the only people who are interested in what you have to offer are your competitors.
Why not challenge any preconceived ideas you have about your business and look at things from’ outside the box’. Think laterally and try to come up with something unique, a different angle, a twist, a unique combination — anything to give you a strong USP. Stop following the herd and come up with something worthwhile and distinctive and you are far more likely to be genuinely successful.
Build rapport with your prospects
One of the main themes of doing business today is building a relationship with your prospects and customers. Websites don’t have quite the same interaction with your customers as old-fashioned customer service when you walk into physical shop or speak to a real sales person, so you have to develop this element through other means — your website content, your newsletters, your e-mail messages and so on.
Humans, being what they are need to feel a certain amount of trust and rapport with a business before they part with their money. This means you have to get on the same wavelength. The best way to do this is to see your business as your customers do. Try to think like a customer, what are you looking for? What needs do you have at your business could meet? What are your problems and what are their possible solutions? In other words get down to the real nitty-gritty of what your customer is looking for — what benefits do you have that will meet with their needs and expectations?
The reality is that people won’t care about your business, and they won’t care about you — all they are interested in is, ‘what’s in it for me’. You have to get on to the same level as your potential customers and build real rapport with them by knowing exactly what they want.