If you are serious about your Internet business, then you must also
be serious about your website. After all, it serves as your store
front in cyber-space, where potential customers will gain their first
impression of you and your business. Keep your customer in mind at
all times when designing or editing your pages.
Remember that your site has one purpose, and one purpose only -
to promote and sell your products and services.
Consider these basic tips in setting up or amending the features
of your website. These common sense concepts will go a long way
toward presenting your site as a place where visitors will want
to return, browse around, and do business.
1. Keep it simple! Go for clean lines and a non-cluttered format.
Resist the urge to include elaborate Flash presentations, 'bells
and whistles' or whirling neon gizmos (unless you're opening a casino.)
Delete anything that presents a distraction from your sales message.
2. Choose colors carefully! Your own favorite color combination
may not please the eyes of your potential customer. It's always
best to avoid bold and dramatic color schemes that may assault the
eye when viewed on a monitor screen. Present your message for easy
reading, in dark font posed on a light (or plain white) background.
3. Present your guarantee on your index page! Let your visitor
know up front that she is safe and secure in doing business with
you. Otherwise, she may not risk her time to browse your offerings.
4. Stay focused! We've all visited sites where the webmaster appeared
to have taken the word 'homepage' a bit too literally, including
even the kitchen sink! If your site is focused on arts and crafts,
don't attempt to tack on a book about parenting skills. Does your
supermarket merchandise Cheerios and motor oil on the same shelf?
5. Introduce yourself to build customer confidence! When given
a choice, many people will avoid a faceless vending machine, and
will prefer to do business with other people. You may want to include
a detailed 'about us' page. At the minimum, present clearly on your
homepage your full name, postal address and city, email contact
links, and even alternate contacts such as telephone and fax.
6. Use effective sales copy! The foundation of your success is
built on the sales message you present. Many online businesses fail
as a result of ineffective sales copy. Compose your website copy,
and in fact any advertisement you write using this simple but tried
and true formula:
A - Attention - A short but powerful headline I - Interest - Take
advantage of human curiosity D - Desire - Stress the benefits of
owning your product A - Action - Ask for the action you want them
7. Keep your links to yourself! Ideally, you should have no links
on your site that lead outside your own domain. You want to keep
your visitor focused on YOUR offers. However, if you wish to promote
high paying affiliate programs from your site, be sure to add "TARGET="_blank"
to the end of each affiliate URL. This will open a new window when
the link is clicked, and your visitor will not actually exit your
8. Offer something of value for FREE! Since a majority of your
vistors will not buy on their first visit, you should collect email
addresses for future contact. Offer by autoresponder a free (but
valuable) report or ebook that is pertinent to your offerings. This
will give your visitor an incentive to leave her email address behind
when she goes. Then, follow-up with more information about your
products and services.
These are certainly not the only factors involved in setting up
and maintaining a successful website. Our own site, while successful
in business, remains a testing ground for new ideas. We advise you
to consider what YOU would want to see when visiting another eMarketer's
site for the first time. Then, incorporate and test those ideas
on your own site.