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Building web pages that move people to buy
By Charlie Cook.
The purpose of your marketing is to attract prospects and help them make a series of decisions that lead them to purchase your products or services. The sequence of information you provide on your web site and its visual presentation can drive clients to contact you about your services or buy your products - or it can send them away.
Many small business owners have web sites but few are making as much money from their sites as they'd like to be. If you aren't getting the web traffic you'd like, or if you're getting lots of traffic but no buyers, the problem is most likely the design and copy you are using on your site. The seven web page building guidelines below will help you convert prospects to clients with your web site.
1. List The Actions You Want Visitors To Take.
Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter, read your marketing message, read your copy or just contact you? Before you design or edit your page, make a list of which actions you want people to take and in what order when they visit your site.
2. Identify The Decisions Visitors Need To Make Prior To each Action.
Before you design or redesign your homepage or edit your copy, clarify the decision making sequence that you want visitors to move through. Most marketing materials, web sites included, rush to sell prospects on the solution without laying the groundwork.
Help prospects clarify the problems they want solved and the value in having them solved. Once you've done this, you've created the context for selling your solution.
3. Design The Visual Hierarchy To Move People To The Desired Action.
Use the size, color, and the location of elements (type, illustrations or photographs) to bring visitors' attention to the most important message first, then to the second most important message or link. Make sure that visitors can scan your page and find the most important links first or can scan the copy and quickly pick up the most important points because they stand out visually.
4. Stay Focused On Prospects' Problems.
Your prospects want to satisfy their needs and, more importantly, avoid incurring a loss or pain. Lead with copy about their concerns. Let them know that you understand their aspirations as well as their worries and the problems they want to solve.
5. Write Your Copy To Support Prospects' Decision Making.
To demonstrate that you know and understand your prospects' problems, be specific. Avoid general phrases like "save time and money", which apply to hundreds of services. Give detailed examples of the problems your prospects experience and how you solve them.
6. Tell People What To Do.
If you want people to read a key article first, then sign up for your newsletter, and then contact you, tell them so. List the steps you want them to take at the top of the page and then use your page design to support this sequence of actions.
7. Make It Easy For Prospects To Contact You And To Buy.
Include a contact or order form on your homepage and make your email and phone number easy to find.
Change the design and copy on your site to help visitors take the steps to become clients. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the difference in your response rate and your business growth.
2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and small business owners attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up to receive the Free Marketing Guide, '7 Steps to Grow Your Business' and the 'More Business' newsletter, full of practical tips you can use at http://www.charliecook.net
Tags: E-commerce and Internet