How To Polish And Hone Your Site For Flawless Performance!
Now we are close to Online Success, Once you have a site that’s working, it’s time to take a hard look at improving performance. While this may sound odd, your first goal is not increased sales.
It is all about …
Image: It’s Everything!
You’re right. This isn’t really true. But in one sense it is. Your visitor must see in a glance …
+ A quality site
+ Excellent products they need
+ That you know what you’re about
If any of the above is lacking, your visitor is flat gone. In a matter of seconds.
Your test site would have done better had you taken the time and spent the bucks to create this image there. But it wasn’t worth the risk. You had not proved your idea to be sound.
Now it is mandatory. While copy matters more, the first concern is image.
So it’s time to …
Find A Creative Artist – Online Success
What you need is a subdued background that turns your simple site into a classy display. But notice the use of the word “subdued.”
Forget bold and flashy. Artistic elements of the site must be in the background. Why?
It’s your copy that sells. Graphics do not. (The exception being shots of products you promote.)
Artists often don’t agree with this point. They tend to believe graphics do sell, and lean toward bold, dominating images. But now you know better. You know it’s the copy that sells.
So yes, find a great artist If you want to get online success quickly. This is a must. But be clear you want all artwork to point indirectly to the copy, that the copy must dominate.
If visitors are overwhelmed with large menu buttons or bold colors in horizontal stripes across the page, they’re gone.
On the other hand, they’ll accept a simple, elegant, and tasteful background within a second or two, and hardly notice it. At this point, you’ve got a chance.
Next, your visitor pounces on your headline, so it MUST …
Quickly Grab Attention
This is tough to do. I’ve written a ton of headlines, and I don’t think I’ve created one worth a hoot.
Whatever, using your skills and tools available, here’s what needs doing.
+ Grab visitor attention emotionally
+ Force a complete read of the headline
+ Compel the reader to begin reading the page
Oddly enough, only a few begin actually reading. Most generally scan the subheadings. So they must be awfully good as well.
If any subheading grabs sufficient attention, your visitor reads the copy under it. Now you have a chance at a sale.
If the copy under each subheading is strong enough, many visitors will return to the top of the page and read with care. Now you really have a great shot.
Unless you goof and annoy your visitors.
If you do so, you’ll discover …
Annoyed Visitors Quickly Exit
People will accept a couple of things that annoy them. But not many. And there’s no way to know how much annoyance a visitor will accept before clicking off in disgust.
Do all possible to eliminate anything on your site that might annoy. Use black text on a white background. Not because other combinations WILL annoy, but because other combinations MAY annoy. Why risk it?
However, the biggest threats are …
+ Poorly written copy
+ Incorrect sentences
+ Misspelled words
+ Words used incorrectly
Further, your opinions can really irritate folks. Keep them to yourself. That you like the Oakland Raiders won’t set well with avid fans of other teams. So why say anything about football?
Opinions outside your area of expertise will annoy some visitors. There is simply no point in doing so. Don’t let it happen.
Throughout your site, the object of every page is to …
Close The Sale
When talking about your home page, “closing” may amount to bringing a click to a sales presentation. But on product pages, the objective is to get that order. Everything on the page must assist in achieving this objective.
It’s not all that difficult to generate clicks to the order page. But oddly enough, the toughest task is often to lead your visitor through the forms on that page and get a click on the Submit button.
Thus the weakest link on any site may be …
The Order Pages Themselves
Sites routinely lose sales on these pages. That is, many (sometimes most) of those who click to order, fail to complete the transaction. To successfully lead your visitors along a path through your site, then lose the sale at this point is heartbreaking.
To the extent your visitors lose interest or change their minds, there is little to be done. But do look closely at the order pages themselves.
All must be super simple. Any required directions must be absolutely clear to all. In short, don’t risk confusing your potential customer in any way. For when confused, they leave. And you’ve lost a sale.
At the very least, find folks who will work through your order pages as you watch. Be alert to any hint of hesitation, and eliminate the cause of it.
This is an excellent way in which to consider your entire site. But the failure rate on order pages is so high, this kind of testing is mandatory at least on these pages.
But what happens if your visitor does not click to order?
At full speed, …
They Crash Into The Bottom Of Your Page.
Most exit immediately, for this is a stopper, a point beyond which people are reluctant to go. If your visitor does not see instantly something of further interest, they are gone. In seconds.
Make certain this doesn’t happen. At the very least, be sure there are intriguing text links to other pages on your site. And whatever else you can think of to invite a click to another page.
If you want to go first class, offer further free information via an autoresponder, a sequence of messages scattered out over time. This may matter most when your visitor is still shopping. Your messages will remind them of your product.
However, tailor the sequence of messages to fit the needs of a visitor at this particular point in your site. A series of brief reminders of your products over a period of months may be the best choice.
I use Master Autoresponder from William Bontrager. There’s no limit to the number of messages in a sequence or any limit to the number of sequences. To me, a one time purchase price beats the heck out of services that charge a monthly fee for each sequence of messages.
So where are we at? I’ve pointed to the need for great art that directs attention to the copy. And that the quality of the copy and the flow of a page matters most.
Yet there is another fundamental task each page must accomplish. Each must convince your visitor you are a person who can be trusted.
It’s all about …
You must demonstrate you …
Know what you are about
Can be trusted
Are one in whom your visitor can have confidence
This is the most difficult task to accomplish on the Web.
Offline, there’s a store, goods on shelves, and smiling employees. These things are real, and likely to be available should a problem arise.
By contrast, your website is only images on your visitor’s computer monitor. And all surfers know you can vanish overnight.
You’ve got to beat this. You need to demonstrate your credibility above all else. Your business will fail unless this happens.
Okay, I see the point. But how in the heck do I make my business look like Prudential or Walmart?
Fortunately there’s no need to look big time.
You only need to demonstrate to each visitor that you …
Support Your Products Completely – Online Success
Remember my talk of image? This matters more than most realize. Get this right, and you have demonstrated many positive things.
And your copy helps. Not claims made; they won’t help at all. It’s the copy itself I’m talking about. It needs to be well written and error-free. And it needs to demonstrate you know what you are talking about.
There are other things that can be a big help in this. Speedy response to questions and complaints comes to mind. And your guarantee matters. Still, the image your site provides and the copy on it matter most.
For other ideas along these lines, see Getting Started and Site Promotion under Topics in our Library.
Another great approach is to seek out sites that grab your attention on the Web. Bookmark them. And return often, seeking to better understand on each visit, just why you like them. Then incorporate the ideas you discover into your own site.
Whatever it takes, …
The Objective Is A Flawless Site
You won’t get it right the first time. Or even on a second try. As in improving copy-writing skills, the search for ways to improve your site is ongoing. There’s no end to it.
Now it’s time to turn to how to …
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