If you consider your web site a money pit, you are not alone. Quite a few business owners have told me that they have web sites because “everyone else has a web site”, but they haven’t gotten any business from their web site. None. Zero. Nada. Zip. Many of them have paid thousands of dollars to web designers to create the web sites for them, and than the web sites just sit there, gathering the proverbial Internet dust, and getting enormous traffic consisting of three to five unique visitors a month.
Your web site should not be languishing in one of the rarely visited corners of the Net. Instead, it should be working 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year getting leads and clients for your business. It should serve as marketing brochure and as your best salesperson (who incidentally never sleeps, and doesn’t require either salary or commissions).
So how do you turn your dust collector into a lean, mean sales machine? First, you need to lay down the infrastructure for your online business. Here are three guidelines your web site should adhere to before its initial debut:
– Your web site must be easy to navigate, understand and use. When a web surfer comes to a web site and doesn’t understand what the web site is about in the first few minutes, the surfer moves on to the next web site (trust me, there lots of them out there. Approximately 2.7 billion at last count, give or take a few billion).
If the purpose and intent of your web site is not blatantly obvious, a surfer will move on. If your web site is difficult to navigate, a surfer will move on. If your web site is hard to use (for example, it is not obvious how to contact you or hire you) a surfer will move on.
– Your web site must discuss what you do AND how what you do will benefit your customers. Let’s say Sue and Jane are both weight loss coaches. Sue’s web site says that Sue is a weight loss coach. Jane’s web site says that Jane is a weight loss coach who helps women look and feel better by losing 30 pounds in 3 months.
Which coach sounds more appealing? The one who not only states what she does, but also shows what is in it for the customer. The site must answer a fundamental question: Why should I hire you?
– Have a newsletter sign up box on your web site. The majority of your web site visitors will not contact you about your services after visiting your web site, but they will subscribe for a free newsletter. By subscribing, they give you permission to send them your information-packed newsletter, which will also serve as a reminder about your business.
Without a newsletter, many people will visit your web site once and promptly forget about it 10 minutes after leaving it. By having a newsletter, you are able to capture these visitors, and tell them about your business again and again.
Take action today! Take a critical look at your web site and make sure that it conforms to the guidelines outlined above. A website that follows these forms a solid foundation for having a marketable web site for your business.