Is your website MAKING YOU MONEY?
Everyone hears stories about companies who make it big on the web.
BUT NOT EVERYONE IS FOOLED! Web success is not easy. Building an expensive website will NOT drive sales up! Here are the three keys to more web sales:
10 commonly asked website questions
1. Lots of people visit our site, but they almost never make a serious business enquiry. Why?Because your site does not offer your visitors any good reason to do business with you. Try asking someone you know for their HONEST opinion on whether your site would make them want to deal with you – you’re probably in for a rude shock!
2. Are we wrong to expect to get customers from our website?No you’re not! There are thousands of businesses, most of them small, who constantly get new customers from their websites.
3. How can we measure whether we’re getting business from our website?Unfortunately, the reports you get from most web companies can’t tell you whether you’re getting any business from your website. They concentrate on how many people visited your site, which pages were the most popular etc. You need a way to measure whether your website is actually adding to your business, so you can do something about it if it’s not. Ask your customers whether they have visited your site; did it influence them to buy? An excellent way to do this is to send out a simple survey with an incentive for replying.
4. Surely there must be a few cheap things we can do to get our website working better?Yes there are! Change your information so that it is interesting to your customer INSTEAD OF YOU! For instance, if you sell outboard engines DON’T have a section headed "Our Products" – (who cares!?) – instead run a selling headline for each engine. E.g. “The small, lightweight outboard you can use for your trailer sailor AND your runabout.” Don’t make the mistake of dominating the front page of your site with a single story. Make your site ‘sticky’ by cramming your front page with up to 10 different stories about your products and services and people who use them. Run the first paragraph of each story on the front page, with a "read more" button that takes them to the rest of the story.
5. Our web company convinced us that our website would make a big change to our business. But it hasn’t! Why?Because they have built you a sophisticated machine, INSTEAD of a place to find interesting information about your products and services.
6. Our design company says that if our website had a nicer design more people would visit – are they right?They are WRONG! Pretty designs on website front pages are nice to look at, but worthless unless they offer information that is interesting enough to get visitors inside the site. Go now to a couple of NZ’s most popular websites www.trademe.co.nz, or www.stuff.co.nz. Not very attractive but they work!
7. Our brand company says that if our logo and brand image were more obvious on our site it would work better – are they right?They are WRONG TOO! It is sensible to have all your colours right, and your logo looking nice, but it will not make one iota of difference to whether people buy from you. Logos seldom make people want to know or buy more. Information is what influences buying decisions! Make your site interesting and you’ll get business!
8. Our marketing consultant says if we had a clear objective for our site, it would work better – is that true?ACTUALLY, yes they are RIGHT! Provided that the objective is ‘to increase our business and to make dealing with us easier for customers.’
9. How can we tell if the information on our site will be interesting to visitors?
EASY! If the information on your site HELPS the visitor, it will interest them. They’re interested in THEMSELVES, not you! You’re still reading this because it contains information that will help you make money. If it was on a website, you’d read it too.
10. It costs so much to get our web company to update our website – is there any way we can do it ourselves?
Yes there is. Holloway’s can help with simple, relatively low-cost ways of making your own website changes.
Your customers are DISAPPOINTED WITH YOUR WEBSITE because it doesn’t help them - it just tries to sell them stuff or services.
Here are four ways to make your website a place people find information that helps them! People don't want to be sold anything. They want to be helped. People aren't interested in what you want to sell - but they're fascinated with themselves, their problems and anything that involves their problems. You already know that!
1. Ask them the same questions on your website as you use when you talk to them in person
When people come into your business, you ask them questions and you look for their problem. If you sell water skis, you don’t accost them with “you should buy these skis.” Instead you ask them what sort of skiing they like to do. So here’s an idea – on your website ask them what sort of skiing they like to do with a headline like this… “Are you an aggressive skier always looking for a new challenge on the water? Or do you just like to take it easy and ski tandem with your kids?” Then, once you’ve got their attention, give them a whole bunch of tips on how to get even more enjoyment out of the sort of skiing they like best.
2. The more information the better. As long as it's about their problems, not your products or services!
Do they want to read about your latest seven grill BBQ? No, boring! But they’d love to read about the three most common reasons that BBQ meals go wrong because they’re terrified it will happen to them. Help them overcome the problem of BBQ meals that go wrong, and they’ll want to keep coming back to your site for more helpful info that can make their life easier. Eventually who knows, they might buy a BBQ from you. Heaven forbid!
3. Give them lots of easy to follow guides to common problems.
Okay let’s say you’ve got a little business, maybe a hardware store that tries to compete with Super Cheap Auto. Well you’re never going to beat them on price, not consistently anyway – so what say you beat them with help and advice. How about you produce a page on your website that gives them a 'Six step guide to polishing your car so it looks better than it did brand new!' Now, give them details, illustrations and advice on how to choose the right polish, the right cloth, the right time of day to do the job, which way is better to put on polish (clockwise, anti-clockwise or back and forward) etc, and for goodness sake put a headline on your homepage that leads to your polishing guide.
4. Ring them up and ask their permission to send them emails with tips and advice.
A quick phone call to customers to get their permission to send them emails with tips and advice will grow your 'customer list' and you might be surprised at the effect regular emails have on your business.
If sales are down a smart move is to give your website a simple makeover.
This can often help you boost enquiries if you coordinate your improved website with your overall advertising.
Too many companies have websites that look like brochures with very little information on the home page. One of the most effective ways to boost business is through your website. But has it ever worked for you? Probably not!! Here’s why.... Your website is not boosting sales for you because, like most local companies, your website is beautifully designed, with lots of coloured panels but very little information.
Research shows that when potential customers visit your site they want information about your products and services. Does your home page give them that, or is it just a guide to the rest of your site? If you want your website to sell, your home page must carry the most interesting stories, or copy that leads into them.
Web users are a special sort of person, they avoid brochures, they don’t want a ‘sell’, and they don’t want lots of nice colours or sales ‘fluff’. They want to make up their own minds about whether they want to buy from you. To do that they need information. And right now your website almost certainly doesn’t give them enough.
If your site is just a nicely designed list of what’s on the rest of your site it wastes their time, which in turn FRUSTRATES THEM. Frustrated customers don’t buy a lot! Normally, a makeover of your homepage, just like the one shown on this page, is all that’s required to boost enquiries.
Successful website makeover steps: