It’s 2008. How’s your website? You do have one, right?
OK, good. And how’s it working for ya?
In the world of virtual marketing, if your website isn’t producing the results you want, this is a checklist of six basic elements your website must have. I’m not going to get into search engine optimization, or meta-tag-techno-html-jive either. Before we get to that, you need to start with these basic six elements of a business website.
1) Contact information. Make it very easy for a surfer to find your phone number or email. It probably should be on every page, and never more than 3 clicks deep from the home page. With each click, you loose 30% of your surfers. 3 clicks on the contact, or you’re dead. They’re gone to someone else.
A word about contact info. Ever land on a page where you can’t find out who “they” are? You might search and search and still…nothing but an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. What do you do? You click away. Do you trust then? No. With internet marketing, the first instinct is to avoid getting ripped off. Don’t make the same mistake on your site.
2) Who you are. Make it very easy for the surfer to get a good idea of the product or service you are selling. This goes on the website’s home page. Leave no doubt in the customers mind that they are in the right place.
If you have a business with a name that doesn’t tell what you do, please make it clear. Use a tag line. Add a FAQ page for good measure.
3) Testimonials. Your website better have a few testimonials from current or former clients. This is common sense. Nobody wants to be the first person to do business with you. They want to trust that you’re honest, and you’re going to do whatever you say you’ll do. Two to four testimonials…and you’re in good shape.
5) Make them an offer. Think about it. What do you want the potential customer to do? Call you? Email you? Sign up for your newsletter? Ask them to take action and give them a reason to do it. Do you have a limited-time offer? Include it to create a sense of urgency with your online marketing.
6) A confirmation. When I ask readers to sign up for my free e-newsletter through my Constant Contact (click on the link for a 60-day free trial) program, my readers are automatically sent a confirmation. If your readers submit a request for information, you should be doing the same.
NEXT: Part IV…Your written plan – don’t go driving without a map
Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency that plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. He is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.