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Top Ten Tests to Maintain your Web Site - Part 1

By Judy Cullins
Posted Saturday, September 25, 2004

Once your Web site is up, you must maintain it. Maintenance means changes, and each time you make a change, you may make a mistake. If your visitors get a link that doesn't work or has incomplete instructions, or if your copy is lackluster instead of passionate, they will leave your site and not bookmark it.

Before you invite Web potential clients and customers to see your masterpiece you need to check and correct all parts of your site, especially the home page.

Use these 10 tests to maintain your Web site.

1. Test your home page headlines.

You have 8 seconds to get your visitor's attention. This one item alone can make a huge difference in the responses you receive.

Instead of the wasted words "welcome to my web site," put a benefit headline on your home page as a hyperlink such as "Quadruple your Web Sales in Five Months" or "Why Choose Your Name as your Coach?" that takes your visitor straight to your sales letter for your product or service.

Headlines are more important than the copy beneath them, so if your headline doesn't do it, you increase clients or sell much product.

2. Test your offer.

People perceive more value when you add an incentive to buy.

If your are a coach, offer your visitors a discount on your regular coaching prices for the first session. Instead of $110 for a half hour coaching, make it only $35. At this meeting, you and your client can decide if you are a match.

If you offer a book or eBook, give your potential buyers from one-four bonus FRE.E reports or a tips list with the order. It takes little time and effort to create, but this perceived added value increases sales ten-fold.

In eBook sales letters I mention the bonuses and add them onto the PDF file at the end of the book for sale. One year, for the Christmas holidays, I sent out a half price notice for ten eBooks. The results amazed me.

Create a new link on your home page to take people to what I call "discounts of the month." Then you can change your offers every month. People expect your web site to have a lot of content and to change often. This is the 80% maintenance we talk about.

3. Test your promotion piece (sales letter) for one service.

First, create a short sales letter to include the background of your client's challenge, the benefits of your service, testimonials from satisfied clients and your offer. Keep this up a month or so on your site, then change the copy. Create a longer sales letter that addresses all your potential clients questions and resistances, plus your guaranteed results (benefits) you offer. Longer copy can make a difference because it answers more questions and makes a buying decision easier.

4. Test your price.

A price that is too low is as bad as a price too high. Too low a price devalues your product or service. Potential clients or buyers might think, "If it's that cheap, it must not be good."

One myth is that eBooks have less value than print books. If your book has information your particular audience wants, it has high value and you must price it accordingly. Even if you want it mainly to bring you credibility, make sure the price matches your audience's perception of value.

Many services like coaching offer a free introductory meeting so the potential client doesn't have to take a risk. I disagree with this practice, because I want only an audience who are willing to spend not only time on their book or promotion project, but also value the expertise and wisdom of the savvy coach.

5. Test your copy.

Change testimonials or pictures every so often. Redo your home page from time to time, especially if its messages aren't pulling in the clients or product sales you want.

After I put up a glowing testimonial from a top coach for an eBook near the top of my home page, its sales increased five-fold in one month.

Look right now on your Web home page. What does your copy say? Does it give solutions to your visitors' questions or challenges? Or, do you use "ho-hum" language like:
"Subscribe to my ezine,” or "My mission is to...."

You need to give your Web visitor a reason to buy. Near your subscribe piece, add a short testimonial from a fan about your ezine. Add a short sentence about your ezine that includes top benefits.

Make your copy "you" oriented. Dan Poynter, author of The Self-Publishing Manual, and known as 'Mr. Self-Publishing." said this about my free monthly ezine "The Book Coach Says...ezine is chock full of useful information - totally worth your time."

Know that your job of testing never ends. It's what we call maintenance. Eighty percent of life is maintenance! Just experimenting with these tests will bring more sales. Keep testing to know what your potential buyers really want. Results as increased clients or product sales are always the best way to test your Web site’s success.

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