Home Sweet Home PageWritten by Heidi Richards, MS
“Your home page is world’s introduction to you and your company. Make it COUNT!” – Heidi Richards
Think of your home page as cover of your brochure. It features exciting information about your company, but like a brochure it must be opened to reveal rest of message. It is connected to other pages in a way that allows other visitors to your site to move from one page to another by clicking on highlighted text or images.
Getting your home page up and running on Internet requires design, operations, and update of your information. Many Internet Service Providers offer home page construction for free, often with a standard format in their “host” package. This is an inexpensive way to get up and running more quickly on Internet. In beginning, it might be an option for your site.
The options of design, operations, and update depend entirely on how much maintenance your site would require and how much information you want surfer/customer to have. It could be as simple as listing your location, hours of operation, and types of products and services you provide. Or as elaborate as picture graphics, movement, and even sound.
Design It yourself. This no-frills approach is inexpensive. The many new and easy-to-use software applications available make it affordable to get started. Provided you feel comfortable with this do-it-yourself approach, and feel comfortable learning a new program you can create your own home page. There are, however, some disadvantages. There is no guarantee of quality for finished product, and it requires a lot of time and energy.
Getting Started in ECommerce - Part TwoWritten by Heidi Richards, MS
In Part One we talked a little bit about what Ecommerce is, getting a domain name and setting up a merchant account. Ecommerce is more than that, much more. To have a really good online presence that gets people to stop and shop you need a strategy for success. Your strategy must include your USP or Unique Selling Position in marketplace. What makes you stand out from all other online entrepreneurs looking for same type of customers as you? Can you stand out from competition based on quality, price or benefits? Once you know your USP, you can begin monumental task of telling world about your site. A really unique selling position will give you an advantage over all competition – well that and a lot of planning and investing of your time and money.
Emphasize benefits and results customer will get from purchasing from you and using your product or service. You can discover benefits by listing all features and then converting them to benefits. List everything your product or service offers. For each feature list a relative advantage from customer’s perspective. You can discover customer’s perspectives when they buy. Simply ask them, “ Why did you place an order today or use our service?” BE very specific when creating your benefit statements. An example of this is, “You will save $100.00 sells better than “you will save money.” “You will loose 20 pounds in 10 days” sounds better than “you will loose weight.” Rank your benefits in order of importance to customer. If you have enough of them, use bullet points for emphasis.
Emotion sells. People make most buying decisions with their heart and not their head. Paint a picture of results customer will get when they purchase from you. “ You will look 20 years younger.” “You will be $100 richer.”
Make sure you include a call to action. Want them to make a buying decision today? Give them a reason to do so. Offer a bribe (discount, bonus, something for nothing).
Your website must load quickly and function easily. If your site loads slowly people will get impatient and go elsewhere. Do all your links work? Have you tested your order page by running sample orders? Have you tested load time using different connection speeds? You can get a fr*ee analysis by visiting Submitplus.com.