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November 4, 2009

Don’t Destroy Your Online Marketing Results with Bad Website Design

So, you’ve embarked on a search engine advertising program, maybe even SEO. Whether you’re doing this on your own or using an online marketing consulting firm, there are key points to become aware of.

If you miss these, you won’t increase conversions.

What good is a Number 1 organic search engine ranking or AdWords ad listing, if you don’t have increased sales or if you don’t generate more sales leads?

Too often, we get all focused about the Internet marketing — the ads, the offer — that we don’t think the whole process through step-by-step and consider the experience our website visitors will be having.

If we did, we’d be thinking “big picture” and we would head off some of these potential problems before they occur.

Overcoming Your Website Visitors Anxiety

When people come to our website it’s natural for them to feel anxiety. After all, look at all the cr*p on the Internet today, all the too-good-to-be-true products and services.

But when you and I offer REAL products or services, we have to overcome that concern, even if we’re treating our site visitors fairly and not making outrageous claims.

So, how can you overcome these anxieties?

1. Offer more than a 1-page website. Credible companies have multi-page websites, including Privacy Policy, Terms of Use | Service and About Us pages.

They also have more than 1 page about their products or services.

I’m surprised by the number of 1-page websites I see from companies using infomercials to advertise their products. Often, they have the purchase form right on their home page, their only page (and often their page isn’t secured for credit card ordering).

Websites that are only 1-page don’t seem credible. And having the purchase form right on the home page comes across as very pushy!

Doesn’t this type of site seem all about the company and NOT about their customers? Why would we want to buy from that type of company?

What kind of online marketing consulting firm did these companies use…or did they use any??

2. Next to any sign up or contact form buttons clearly state that you don’t sell your customers’ private information and link to your Privacy Policy page.

3. Effectively communicate what your Value Proposition is, also called your Unique Selling Proposition. If you don’t know why someone should buy your product or service versus your competitors’, now is the time to figure it out. (And by the way, based on my experience, if you don’t know this, you’re not alone, by any means.)

But our websites have to be about more than just us. They have to be about our visitors. What’s in it for THEM, to do business with us? What unique voids in the marketplace can we fill?

As a Small Business Owner, Personally Relate to Your Site Visitors and Communicate Directly with Them

People don’t buy from websites, they buy from people! So, how can you apply this to your own website?

1. For many small businesses and solo proprietorships, their website text should speak to your visitors directly in first person.

This should be written from the voice of the Owner or President. They shouldn’t use third person, institutional-sounding language, getting rid of “we” and “our”, using “I” instead, speaking first person, in an actual conversation. Don’t try to sound like you’re Microsoft!

And while your at it, be careful about overuse of words about you…whether “I”, or those words, “we”, “our” or “us”.

Check out the WeWe calculator (Google: wewe calculator). Make sure to focus on customer-focused words and NOT on words about you or your company.

2. Include your picture on your Web pages.

For a larger small business trying to make that personal connection with their website visitors, try the idea used by the nutritional supplement company Lumina. (Google: Lumina Health Contact Us)

In this execution, notice how Lumina gets you to relate to their customer service department. I still remember it was John I spoke with and that’s been over 1 year ago that I called them!

Again, people buy from other people, not from websites.

For us as small businesses, why should we sound large, pretending to be something we aren’t? And why should we run from our advantage of being small: low overhead, friendly, personal service and accountability, among other advantages.

Make Each Step in Your Marketing a Smooth Handoff from One Step to Another

Whether you’re using AdWords, SEO, or both, make sure your title and description matches the experience your website visitor will have when they come to your landing page.

Quite often when I’m Coaching my small business owner clients or performing online marketing consulting, I find the wording for their organic listing or AdWords ad says one thing and their landing page says something that doesn’t sound the same.

This causes confusion is the best case scenario. In the worst case, it causes a lack of trust. Dangerous!

We should understand our products or services. And we know what we want our visitors to do on our site.

Our potential customers may not understand either. We need to think like them, when we explain what we have to offer them and how to use our website to take advantage of what we have to offer.

And when “shifting” from one page to another, we need to hand-off from one page to another naturally and smoothly, like a car with a smooth automatic transmission.

Don’t advertise one offer in AdWords or organic search, only to have your landing page sound like it was written for another advertising offer. I see this problem a lot!

Often times, having an affordable online marketing consulting firm reviewing what you’re doing can offer easy, inexpensive fixes that can yield big improvements in your search engine advertising and SEO conversions.

Your Action Plan

Let’s review what we’ve talked about.

First, overcome visitors anxieties by offering a multi-page website which answers questions about your company and your services or products, while inspiring confidence in your company. Effectively communicate your Value Proposition.

Second, personally relate to your site visitors. Avoid using the wrong words that may put off your site visitors. Use your picture on your Web pages.

Third, hand-off from one page on your website and one step in your selling process to another smoothly and naturally. We should understand what we want our site visitors to do, but they won’t unless we make the process really clear.

Whether your using an online marketing consulting firm or doing the work yourself, if you take these steps, your search engine optimization | advertising plan will convert at a MUCH higher rate, when you take these steps.


Marketing online since 2004, Paul Marshall can help you market on a budget. He’s an Online Marketing Consulting expert offering marketing services (and d-i-y Coaching). You can learn more about Paul on his Internet Marketing LinkedIn profile and at Strategic Web Marketing.net.

7 Responses to “Don’t Destroy Your Online Marketing Results with Bad Website Design

    Hi your post is amazing, It’s incredible and Man, this thing’s getting better and better as I learn more about internet marketing. Also as part of my ongoing mission to find the absolute best tools to make money, this is without a doubt at the top of my list. Everything happened so fast!

    avatar online marketing consulting says:

    Nice content, thanks for the great information!
    Can you suggest other site with the same subject as yours?

    avatar Fomax says:

    Because of the increase in competition, internet population do have many choices. It’s a reason why a website design does matter a lot. As visitors do not wish to revisit a website with poor navigation, look and feel,

    Great article. Alot of very useful tips regarding appropriate web design. Considering your website is going to be the online face of your business smaller business owners who may not be tech savvy should consider hiring a professional web development company to ensure the site is done properly the first time.

    First impression is everything, you won’t get a second chance for a good first impression, that’s totally true when it comes to web design.

    Mike @ Naruto Frog Purse

    avatar Video Character says:

    Right Mikey! First impression will makes results especially nowadays that people are very visual. As for the steps:
    Multi-page website – check
    personally relate to your site visitors – check
    make the process really clear – check
    :)

    avatar Web Development & Design News » Web Design » Don’t Destroy Your Online Marketing Results with Bad Website Design says:

    […] Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & ResourcesDon’t Destroy Your Online Marketing Results with Bad Website Design […]

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