Common and Costly Mistakes
May 16, 2015
YOU MAY ASK YOURSELF “DO I REALLY NEED A WEBSITE?”
- Do you sell products?
- Do you provide a service?
- Do your competitors have a website?
- Do you need more customers?
- Do you want people to find you?
- Do you want keep up with the times?
In the past, when customers wanted to find a product or service, they went to the yellow pages. This would supply them with the name, address and phone number. Businesses would place a quarter or half page ad, with a picture and a list of services. This in itself is quite costly.
Today with the internet customers look to the computer. They will probably do a search through a search engine or directory and be presented a list of company’s websites that have what they are looking for. These websites are loaded with product images, prices, online ordering, and contact information, including phone numbers, addressees, e-mail addresses and contact forms. All without having to leave their home or office.
So now ask yourself again
“DO I REALLY NEED A WEBSITE?”
YOU MUST READ ABOUT COSTLY & COMMON MISTAKES
Mistake #1: Not having a website
A website can be an incredibly profitable tool in your business!
You ABSOLUTELY NEED to have one.
Do you remember, years ago, when you first heard about something called a “fax machine” and “cellular phones”? Did you think these were just fads, techno-gimmicks with no lasting place in your business, or did you see them as new opportunities to help your business? Imagine doing business without them today?
Just like the fax machine and cell phone, the Internet is NOT a fad, either – over 160 million people are now online in the U.S. and Canada, and this number continues to grow rapidly! In fact, many experts predict that within just a few years, the Internet will be far more important to your business than your telephone.
Are YOU ready to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity?
If you have not yet made the Internet a significant part of your business, you’re already playing catch-up! You NEED a website to broadcast your sales message to the Internet “population” – a population that will continue to grow with or without you.
Mistake #2: “Image” Style Websites
To most website companies, marketing means promoting themselves. They believe that saying they are “the best” means people will want to work with them.
Every year, businesses from all over the globe spend millions of dollars on colorful, beautiful and expensive brochures and advertisements. These polished pieces are filled with clever lines that promise “quality”, “integrity” and “service”.
This type of advertising is called “image” or “institutional” advertising. Image ads usually talk about how great the person paying for the ad is. This type of advertising provides no benefits to prospects, and gives them little or no reason to favor your business over others.
· “I’m #1!” (Would you sign with someone simply because they told you they were #1?)
· “We Are The Biggest!”
· “I’m The Best in our Community!”
· “I Care About Your Business!”
· “I Have All The Credentials and Awards!”
· “I Provide Great Service!”
What’s wrong with ads and slogans like these? Several things….
· they don’t give prospects any compelling reason to contact you over any other companies like yours (anyone can make the same claims).
· there are no benefits for the prospect (What’s in it for them?)
· they don’t tell a complete story
· they don’t make a specific offer
· they don’t include a call to action
These “image” ads don’t make the phone ring. Why? Well, to begin with, “quality”, “integrity” and “service” mean different things to your prospects. These terms are too broad to be useful. Furthermore, everyone is saying the same vague old generalities.
Think about all the advertisements you are inundated with on a daily basis. Do you process all these advertisements? Or have you unconsciously (or consciously) devised a strategy to deal (or, more to the point, not deal) with all this advertising?
Of course you have. It’s called Tuning-out…Ignoring. The fact of the matter is… You can’t make anyone read what they’re NOT interested in.
It’s that simple. People don’t want to be sold. But, they do want to be helped. Successful marketers understand that they must concentrate on a prospects’ needs and wants. This kind of advertising is called Emotional Direct Response Marketing (or more commonly just Direct Response). With effective direct response marketing, you offer people what they are dying to know, and then they contact you to get it. Done properly, this can totally eliminate cold call prospecting by providing incentives for qualified prospects to contact you of their own volition.
Compare the following direct response style headlines with the previous ones:
· Our prices are comparable or less, call or e-mal us now for fee estimates.
· Quick Service. Call now to get an appointment at your convenience.
· I will e-mail you references at request.
· Talk to a real person call my cell:
Put yourself in the shoes of someone looking to buy or sell your same product. Are these headlines likely to be more effective in getting you to pick up the phone and call you than the image style boasts…of course they are.
Direct response marketing, by its very name is self-explanatory. It is designed to evoke an immediate response, action, visit, call or purchasing decision from the viewer or reader. Direct response advertising directs people to action. It compels readers, viewers, or listeners to contact you before they buy or sell a home.
Emotional direct response marketing is ideally suited for use on the Internet.
Why is this? People love to use the Internet because it offers a non-threatening and hassle-free way to gather news, facts and advice. They know they can visit your website without the pressure of talking to a sales representative or being sold. They know they won’t have to talk to anyone if they don’t want to. They can spend as much time as they want looking at information without feeling threatened.
Clearly, this is a double-edged sword. People know they can visit your site without the hassle of being contacted, but you want to talk to the real prospects. The SOLUTION – use direct response marketing techniques on your website.
The last thing people want to do is “raise their hand” so that a salesperson can contact them. In order to overcome the reluctance of being sold, you must give them forceful and compelling reasons to contact you. With a direct response website, people will be compelled to leave their contact information behind in return for the free information or specialty service you will provide to them.
Mistake #3: The Wrong Content
While clearly the biggest mistake that most advertisers make is “image”-style websites with no meaningful or compelling content, there are many other mistakes that are made when it comes to website content.
We’ve all seen websites with scores of pages and reports on their site attempting to encapsulate all of their experience and pass it along to their visitors. These “informative libraries”, are often very useful to potential clients. If you don’t offer it, they will go where they can get it for free. Anywhere on the web.
Think for a moment… After someone has visited and reviewed your website, what would you most like them to do?
Obviously, you would like every site visitor to leave a message that says, “Loved your website… Please use my service.. While this is possible, it would surely be the exception, no matter how impressive your site is.
Buying, selling or offering a service is much too complex a process to close the deal right on your website. Yet, this is exactly what most clients try to do with their websites. They are trying to “hit a home run” instead of leading their clients to first and then helping them round the bases. Research shows that many people don’t buy on the first visit to a site. Some use the Web simply for research before making a purchase. Others research multiple sites for comparison shopping but return only if they have a reason.
The first step in developing your website is to have a focused, achievable and quantifiable primary goal. What should your primary goal be? Here’s what I recommend:
Get the MAXIMUM number of potential customers to identify themselves when they visit your website. You must catch the visitor’s attention
You have only 4 seconds – that’s right – four seconds to make a first impression. That’s not enough time for a visitor to read your content. It’s time enough for our emotion-based lizard brains to react to color, layout, design, navigation (maybe), perhaps, a headline.
With this in mind, we can now develop content for your site to achieve this goal. First, we must find a way to get customers to identify themselves. This can be done simply by providing FREE information and/or services. For example, something for nothing . “FREE” What can you offer, doesn’t have to be a lot or big. free information. just have them
e-mail for it or call you.
Another common content mistake occurs when you see a collection of links to other websites “of interest”. In most cases these links simply suck away your hard earned traffic to other sites, never to be heard from again.
Mistake #4: Choosing The WRONG Website Developer
The vast majority of website developers are technicians or graphic artists, NOT marketing experts. They spend far too much time and money developing a “cool-look” for your site, rather than presenting compelling benefits to your potential prospects. They also invest a lot of effort linking to third party content (which usually will just bleed your traffic away), rather than working on new and better ways to ensure that visitors turn into prospects and ultimately into paying clients. If you get nothing else from this report, heed this:
WARNING: Unless your website developer really understands direct response marketing, don’t rely on him to write YOUR message or develop your site!
You might be thinking that getting on the Internet is a very daunting and expensive task. Well, you’d be right. Initial development costs for a professionally designed and implemented website can easily range into the thousands of dollars. In fact many companies that offer “websites” charge outrageous setup fees and $200-$300/month. I read recently that some people are spending $5,000 to design their site – Ouch! And then, another $1,100 to update it just five months later – OUCH!
Another option is a “Template” site. These sites are little more than an online business card with very few options for customization. They don’t use any form of direct response marketing, and as a result, they won’t generate you much business, if any! You usually pay both up-front and monthly fees and are often locked in for two or more years.
Many of the companies that provide template sites simply put together a hodge-podge of content and “tools” and call it an Internet system. In fact, most companies that sell this type of site have a “DARK SECRET” that they do not want you to know. They will sell you a site on the premise that they are able to provide all sorts of third party content for your site. They will include within your site links to “valuable information” for your prospects (i.e. Maps, Directories, Financing, School Info).
The “DARK SECRET” is that whenever a visitor on your site clicks on these links, the owners of the linked site may be paying your provider. The linked sites use this opportunity to sell their products and services, RATHER THAN YOURS! These providers don’t care how many listings or sales your site generates for you. They just want to be a parasite on your hard earned site traffic.
Some graphic design firms may try to sell you on the benefits of a flashy, animated website. This is not usually the best thing to do. Think about the powerhouses of the Internet such as e-bay, Yahoo, and Amazon.com. They use very little flashy content. Instead, they rely on interesting, fresh content and tools that captivate the attention of users time -and -again. Hiring an internet marketing firm with a good understanding of website usability will go along way toward capturing loyal customers who return to your website to buy your product, service etc.
To become widely known:
YOU MUST -ADVERTISE – ADVERTISE – ADVERTISE- TO GET PEOPLE TO YOUR SITE – SEARCH ENGINE TODAY ARE WAY TOO FULL OF YOU TYPE OF BUSINESS. GO TO “GOOGLE” TYPE IN THE TYPE OF BUSINESS THAT YOU ARE IN AND CHECK OUT HOW MANY OTHERS ARE OUT THERE. IT USUALLY TAKES A LITTLE WHILE FOR THOSE LITTLE SPIDERS THAT GOOGLE, YAHOO AND OTHER SEARCH ENGINES SEND OUT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR NOT A FLY BY NIGHT BUSINESS.
WORD OF MOUTH IS THE BEST – BUT HANDING OUT BUSINESS CARDS TO EVERYONE YOU MEET IS A VERY GOOD START LOCALLY. LOCAL NEWSPAPERS.
“A VERY SMALL LINE AD IN LOCAL NEWSPAPERS”
Some newspapers are now charging you a extra fee to have your website linked on the newspaper web site.
If you don’t want to pay the extra fee, ask them to remove the (.) before the com so as not to make a link.
People reading the newspaper will figure it out. But it does depend on how much they charge extra,
if it is not a lot more, go for it.
Your business name is usually in your web site address:
Type of service and website address
Everything else will be on your website
Then you have professional SEO “Search Engine Optimizers’ that will cost you thousands of dollars each year. They can work, but, who can afford them.
Our professional Web Designers will create You a one-of-a-kind Web Site just for YOU! YOUR Complete Web Site Design Service
L. S. Website Design will do their best to see that you are on google, bing, yahoo for free.