You slave away for hours, days and weeks building best web site world has ever seen. You master art of HTML, learn how to upload it to your server, promote like crazy. You're going to make a fortune.
Then you wait for orders to roll in.
But they don't.
You see ads all over Internet from people who claim to be able to convert 5%, 8% even 30% of visitors into sales and wonder what *big secret* is. But you've spent your budget buying a domain name and hosting services. The little that you have left over is earmarked for buying traffic - or paying rent. Tempting as it is, spending $47, $67, $97 or more just may not be practical right now.
Incidentally, have you noticed how many Internet products are priced ending in 7? Sevens sell. Don't ask me psychology of it, but it seems to work time and time again. Try it out for yourself.
I'm going to tell you a big secret. And I won't charge you a cent. Not even 7 cents.
Here are 5 secrets that have made a lot of successful Internet marketeers very wealthy.
Secret #1. Simplicity Secret #2. Personalization Secret #3. Attention to detail Secret #4. Capture Secret #5. Ease
Summed up by easy-to-remember acronym, SPACE.
Before I explain what these elements mean, and how they apply to you, let me digress for a moment. What are we actually talking about when we discuss web sites?
There are 4 main kinds of web presence:
>>> Offline companies who want a web site as a shop window. These can be huge corporations or Mom and Pop corner shops. They may sell product or not. But key point is that Internet is not their main business.
>>> Internet mega companies who have complex and long term business plans. Companies like Yahoo and Amazon.
>>> Personal web pages that have little or no commercial intent.
>>> Web sites run by individuals to make money. I call these 'no fall-back' sites. If they don't turn a profit, they wither and die.
We are concerned with last of these. It is these sites that SPACE can be most help to.
Apply SPACE to your site and you really will be seeing it through buyer's eyes.
Layout. Not everyone can be a top graphic designer - in fact, many of graphic designers I have worked with seem to find effective web site design very difficult. Look closely at your site design. Is it cluttered? Have you tried to get everything except kitchen sink onto your homepage?
Back to drawing board. Think of your home page as an extended classified ad. It has to please eye, grab customer's attention and compel them to take next action - move on to next part of your sales story.
Another thing it has to do is to satisfy demands of search engines. It is often said that your homepage text should contain all of your main keywords within first 250 words. That is a good target to aim for. And it helps you focus on what your most important keywords actually are.
Your site will not get sales without it. It is as critical as that. Every copywriter in every ad agency in world knows this secret. In case you can't afford a copywriter, I'm going to tell you what I have learned in 25 years working with some of biggest advertisers around. And it is so simple you will wonder why so few writers do it.
************************** *** They Want Benefits *** **************************
They want benefits.
They. Not you. Your visitors are only interested in themselves. A reader of a newspaper ad is only interested in himself. A TV viewer is only interested in herself. Tell them about themselves. Sure tell them about your company and great products, but do it in a way that is relevant to THEM.
Benefits. In first 200 or so words of an ad (and start thinking about your homepage as an ad), reader could care less about range of sizes or colors. They are not interested in how much meat goes into each pie. They are bored by details. Features kill your message.
What they want to know is how product is going to make them feel better, be slimmer, be more popular, be attractive, earn more money. How your e-zine is going to improve their lives or businesses.
*** Sell them sizzle, not sausage.***
Once you have got their attention, tell them about every feature under sun. By now they are so excited they will eat your words like candy.
While we are talking about personalization, remember, your visitors are only interested in themselves. So humor them. Do a word count of your copy. If you don't have at least 5 instances of 'you and your' for every one 'me, mine, my, I, our or we', rewrite it until you do. The higher ratio better.