Almost all business owners understand the importance of a successful website – but most get absolutely shocking results and end up either frustrated or worse give up completely.
This isn’t just a shame, it’s an absolute catastrophe! The internet is the single biggest marketing tool the world has ever known and we as business owners are so incredibly lucky to be able to utilize such a powerful tool.
Here’s Matt’s 10 top tips for internet success…
Most businesses build a website because it’s the norm. They see it as part of a branding checklist (like business cards, compliment slips etc) that just needs to get done. This attitude is not only crazy it will cost you a sack-full of money to get built and far more importantly will almost certainly not bring you any business.
Instead you need to build a simple direct response website that has a call for action and that will be at the heart of your very own lead generation system. You also need to build a blog, so that you can communicate with your prospects and customers regularly. This will not only ensure you get additional traffic from the search engines (like google, bing and yahoo) it means that you’ll be able to do it all yourself without the need for a costly designer (it’s just like using a word-processor package).
More importantly most good blogging platforms are free and can be combined into a website and blog together. This very website is built using a blogging platform called wordpress.
Otherwise it can just end up a confusing mess for your visitors. You need to take a step back and decide whether your website is to sell something, or give information, or maybe nurture a relationship? Once you’ve decided this, then you need to ensure that every page on your site has just one specific focus. It’s up to you and your type of business – but you must be clear from the start.
Your website should not be about you. This might sound counter intuitive but the truth is I see the vast majority of websites breaking this sacred rule. Sure you’ve got to give some information about your business, but your prospective customers aren’t overly interested in you. They are far more interested in what you can do for them. You must step into their shoes and meet their needs. You need to address their fears and concerns. Above all, you must give them solutions and help solve some of their problems. Then you’ll have a website that people will want to visit and immerse themselves in.
Move the Free Line! This is an expression I often here on the web. It means to give as much free material to your visitors as you possibly can. Don’t hold back. If the purpose of your business is to add real help and value to other peoples’ lives – start now. Give visitors to your website help and information that they can use that will make a real difference to them.
Collect your Visitors Email Addresses – and then make sure you use them. 95% of websites don’t try and collect the details of the people that are visiting them. When I say collecting, I’m not talking about putting up a contact us page with your phone number, email and mailing address.
Of the 5% of businesses that are good at collecting email addresses, most of them hardly ever follow up and communicate regularly with their customers and clients in an effective way. Email is free (for now anyway!) and it just make sense NOT to use it. You could use email to thank people for their custom, make them a special offer, give them a free article or guide, send a newsletter, recommend a product or service they may be interested in, ask for referrals, share some news that may be interested in, ask why they’ve not done business with you…the list is only limited by your imagination. The point is this. You could grow your business by 20% or more just by adopting an effective email marketing strategy.
One of the reasons that email marketing is so powerful is because if you set it up correctly, your entire email operation can be automated. By using an auto-responder you can decide who receives which emails and when they get them. You can even create a system where people who purchase a particular product or service receive a series of emails leading them to further purchases. And the entire process is automated – which means that you could be in bed asleep while the profits roll in.
Video is revolutionizing the internet and those who are embracing its power are reaping the rewards. It allows you to communicate with people at a more personal level, it helps you build a relationship with the prospects more effectively and best of all it helps build trust.
For minimal time and cost you can turn your website into a multi media website that gives your customers the most effective direct experience possible. If you combine video with a lead generation system, email marketing, pay per click and other advanced internet marketing strategies – the results can be exponential!
All highly successful online entrepreneurs are passionate about testing their online efforts. Split testing lets you continually test alternative versions of your web pages, to see which bring the most customers and sales. Tools such as Google’s Website Optimizer enable you to do this at no cost.
Testing like this allows you to easily improve your conversions and more importantly tells you what isn’t performing!
Building up a relationship with your target audience is key to the long term success of your business and there’s no better way of doing this than building a social media support system around your business. With the explosion of growth in social media sites like facebook, twitter and youtube it would be unwise to ignore these potential prospects.
Building a social media system like this won’t cost you a penny to set-up, you can do it all yourself and signing up to these services is free – you just need to spend some time using them regularly to communicate with your followers.
Most business owners know little or nothing about the web. In fact it would be fair to say that many are actually completely scared of it! The web isn’t a scary place, you just need to understand the basics and then move forward at your own pace. It’s just like riding a bike, it gets easier the more you use it. You don’t need to be a geek or a guru, you can just go at your own pace – there aren’t any time constraints.
The benefits of getting this basic understanding are huge – for example, you’ll be able to save thousands of pounds from preying iguanas or you’ll be able to collect some leads, or test some promotions, or get more traffic to your website and more importantly you’ll be learning all this stuff yourself!
Once you’ve got your head around the basics it is actually quite simple to completely dominate the search engines results pages (known as SERP’s) with between 50%-75% of the listings.