Posted Thursday, September 30, 2004
If you are a serious Internet Entrepreneur, your top priority must be your website. Your website is a direct reflection of you and your business. Creating a professional website designed to sell will take a great deal of time and effort, as there is much more to take into consideration than design. You must look at a much broader picture and specifically design your website to sell.
1) You must have a professional looking website. Your website is the most important sales tool you have. Your visitor's first impression will almost instantly determine whether or not you're going to make a sale. A professional website should be pleasing to the eyes, well organized, easy to navigate and load quickly.
2) You must specifically design your website to rank high in the Search Engines. This involves much more than just including META tags. Your KEYWORDS, TITLE, IMAGE ALT tags, Text and overall design, all play an important roll in determining how your website will rank. You can learn more by reading the Optimization tutorial at Web Source. (http://www.web-source.net/webpage_optimizing.htm)
3) You must use effective sales copy. Your words are the entire foundation of your business. Most business failures are the result of ineffective copy. Whether it is your website, sales letters or advertisements, your words play a major role in determining your success. When writing your website copy, use the following formula:
A -Attention - Use a powerful headline that demands attention
I -Interest - Intrigue interest and create curiosity
D -Detail - Provide details about your product or service
A -Action - Call for action
4) Drive traffic to your site. In order to create a steady stream of traffic to your website, give your visitors a reason to visit and continue to visit in the future. You must provide your visitors with fresh content on a continual basis. Content comes in various forms, such as news, articles, tips, horoscopes, weather, etc. and is freely available on the Internet. Your content should blend in well with the focus of your website and be updated on a regular basis.
The following websites provide free articles for publication:
Syndication services provide free content from a wide variety of sources. You simply place a small line of code within the HTML of your web page and each of the following services provide fresh content for you. The great thing about syndication services is that once you've placed the code, you don't have to worry about updating the content, as it is automatically updated.
Syndicator - Provides free syndicated articles and columns with photographs
isyndicate - Provides free headlines for news, articles, comics, weather and more.
Moreover - Provides news headlines from over 1500 sources.
ScreamingMedia - Provides free headlines from various resources
5) Provide free instruction. Your website is the storefront for your product or service. You must convince your visitors that they need the product or service you're offering. This can be accomplished by providing your visitors with free helpful advice and instruction in the form of an article, tutorial, free ebook or free autoresponder course.
6) Display your testimonials. You must gain your visitors trust. By displaying customer testimonials, you are boosting your potential customers confidence in you and your product or service. You can either create a web page to display all of your testimonials or use a script to rotate them on your main page. You can find a great random text script here: (http://willmaster.com/master/merrygoround/)
7) Let your visitors know who you are. Provide complete information in regard to your company including, address, phone number and email addresses to request information and support.
8) Tell your visitors about their privacy. Create a page on your website called, "Privacy Statement," and let your visitors know exactly what you do with the personal information you collect.
9) Provide a sample or trial of your product or service. For example, if you're offering a Search Engine optimization service, provide a free META tag analysis at your website. Not only will this increase your sales, but it will drive more traffic to your site as well.
10) Remove the risk. To further increase your sales, you must remove the risk by providing a guarantee. A guarantee will boost your potential customer's confidence in purchasing your products or services.
A professional website specifically designed to sell is one the most important factors in determining your success. Take your time and make sure you're looking at the complete picture before you begin. If you're not secure in your abilities to create your own website, rather than risk the potential success of your business, consider hiring a professional web designer. Your success depends on it.
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the Webmistress of Web-Source.net. Your Guide to Professional Web Site Design & Development. Display complete, professionally written articles & photographs on your website that automatically update each week, free. Join The Syndicator. (http://www.web-source.net)