You are all set to turn the lights on to your new website and web-based business. You’re sure that, once you reach the top rankings of the search engines, the site will make you a millionaire in a relatively short amount of time, as compared to other real world businesses.
You reach the top of the results pages of the search engine Google and the traffic is coming to your website. And after a month of traffic coming to your website your total sales for the month are…zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Now you sit and ponder, you think, argue with yourself, rant, rave, and look at your front page results report. At one time it made you happy as a kid in a candy store, but now has you fit to be tied.
How could this be? How could the perfect search engine optimization of your website produce such terrible results? How indeed? Most likely the results you wanted were replaced by bad information. Yes, there is a lot of hype surrounding Google Front Page rankings. They may help drive traffic to your website, but this does not mean that a front page ranking alone will help you to grow your business.
As a matter of fact, if you started a website with the thought that by being listed on Google’s front page you would build your business to unknown heights, you should probably call an attorney about chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. You may soon need them.
Like any good addiction recovery program, there is a 12 step program for Google Overdose Victims to get your web-based business back on track. Follow this guide, and you should be well on your way to driving sales and maintaining customer relationships for the life of your business.
1. Does your website have a striking slogan?
Will it make the user want to read more? Does it inspire emotions of jealousy or curiosity? Does your slogan offer a benefit that makes the user want to buy? Will it urge the user who lands on your website to keep reading?
Often writing slogans takes many, many tries before coming up with something unique. For example, “Please Read Below” is tired, boring, and lacks imagination. A better slogan might be “STOP! Do Not Read The Rest Of This Article”
The slogan drives the visitor to continue reading just as you are now. It invokes emotion and curiosity. By telling the user the reverse of what you want them to do, you compel them by using that rebellious streak that lies inside of most of us in some form or another to take just the action you want and not what you told them to do. (Editor’s note: This kind of reverse psychology should be used with care, as some readers can spot it quickly and will actually take you up on it).
2. Does your slogan appeal to the viewer and grab their attention by being placed near the center of the screen?
Look at your competitors’ websites as well as others who seem to do well in the search engines. Does their site’s slogan grab your attention? Is there a website that you like which has done this very well? Model your slogan and its placement after the ones that you found compelling.
Try to keep your slogan short, use exclamation points or quotation marks to grab the user’s interest and attention. This is important territory to drive the visitor further down the page and onto the additional pages of your website.
3. Is your opening sentence compelling and stimulating?
Does it stop your reader in their tracks and make them take notice? Does it resonate in their ears amid the cacophony of their day? When you have written the opening well it provokes thoughts in the mind and makes the user say it to himself, thus the question “does it resonate in their ears?” Words are more than just the individual characters used to compose them; they provoke emotions, senses, and actions.
4. Is the opening paragraph feature and benefit focused?
Your words are a painting. You should focus the visitor on a picture of life after they make a purchase from you. Does the offer promise tangible benefits or emotional benefits? Your offer should feature relief from negativity or reinforcement of positive outcomes.
5. Does your opening offer excitement and adventure?
Communicate to your visitors your personal faith in what you are selling and its positive benefits. Tell them how it will fill the buyer’s needs. Excite the imagination of the visitor and you will have their attention. Wow them immediately!
6. Is the main body content readable and uncluttered?
This is a fast paced world, with the result that most visitors have short attention spans. Present your offer in a way that is simple and straight to the point. Keep sentences and paragraphs short. You don’t need to write a novel to make a sale.
Use only a 10 or 12 point font. Leave white space between paragraphs and columns. Limit the amount of graphics you use; on the Internet, less is more. Keep the ads off the front page. Placing ads all over your front page makes it seem as if you are desperate to make revenue any way you can, and erodes the visitor’s confidence in you.
7. Stop focusing on you and start focusing on the important You.
The visitor is not there to hear you rant about how well you have done, or how great your company is. They are there for you to tell them what you will do for them. They want to know how using your services or products will make all their problems disappear or otherwise have a positive effect on their lives.
8. Are you close or far?
Does the visitor feel unique or do they feel like one of the crowd? Are they made to feel special or made to feel like they’re lost in the sea of humanity? When you write copy, imagine that the reader is sitting next to you and you are reading it directly to them. Your visitor, when reading that copy, should feel as if you wrote that text just for him or her.
Write to your friends when writing copy for your site. Let people feel your words through intimate writing. Your web content should feel like you are writing the perfect sales letter to one of your favorite customers.
9. Grab the reader’s imagination
The mind is a wonderfully complex machine, and once you learn how to trigger it to get the results you want, it can be your ally in distinguishing your offer from the competitions.
Once you grab their emotions you create desire; once you have their desire, you can make suggestions. Direct the actions you suggest they take through strong calls to action, intense storytelling, use of adjectives, similes, and verbs. Use action verbs to tell the user what you want them to do.
For Example: “Scroll down to learn how you can win the sales war now!”
10. Proof is the dessert to your ad meal.
Want to know a way to increase sales immediately? Offer a 100% money back guarantee. By making this offer you are closing the deal; the offer is too good to resist.
Add in a few testimonials and the visitor will take the action you want, whether it’s filling out a form or buying the newest electronic yellow widget.
An added bonus in offering your guarantee is that very few will choose to take you up on your offer. Even if they are not satisfied, they will very often move on to another game plan.
11. Are you irresistible?
People by nature are greedy and stingy; they work hard for their money and do not want to give it to anyone. The higher the price point, the harder it is for you to get the wallet or purse open so you can slide your hand inside.
You need to offer a bonus on top of your normal offer to have them take the wallets out of their pocket or purse. Your added bonus should be made in exchange for them making a positive buying action now!
12. Killer Close!
A killer close is a message that closes the deal if the user has not taken the action you wanted them to take by this point.
Make the killer close a headline that will stop the visitor dead. Use the killer close to enforce a very positive outcome by ordering from you now, or make the negative choice so unappealing the visitor will feel worried or torn by leaving your site.
If the killer close is effective, even when the user leaves your site without having taken the actions you laid out, they will not be able to put you out of their mind anytime soon.
Many webmasters build a marginal web site with the hopes that huge gobs of traffic will equate to guaranteed sales by the sheer numbers aspect. They think that, given enough traffic, someone will eventually make a purchase.’
Many website owners would be perfectly happy with a one percent conversion to sales ratio (100 visitors will result in one sale), and feel that they have done a great job. However, just by taking a few hours to rewrite your home page, you can increase the sales conversion to 10 percent (100 visitors will result in 10 sales).
By doing so you will have increased your revenues 1,000 percent!