It is nearly impossible to have a successful internet business if you don’t take time to make an effective web page. One of the greatest things about marketing online is that your customers find you! By providing helpful answers for problems they are already trying to solve, your profitable internet business ideas or products should already closely match your potential customer’s needs, and the sales are easy. That is, if they can find you.
Searchers make their decision to click on a site in an average of only 1.54 seconds!
~The Social Media Bible by Lon Safko
The Search Cycle
We’ve all searched for one thing or another online. Sometimes we find what we want right away, but other times it becomes a lengthy struggle. Successful searches are a result of a website understanding their potential customers well enough to know what words they are likely to type in a general search.
There is actually something called a “Search Cycle” that buyers funnel through as they get more and more specific when making a purchase. Knowing how to use this cycle to your (potential) customer’s advantage will obviously benefit you!
Your future customer decides they have a need. Think about this person and how they are feeling. Do they want to learn how to do something? Are they embarrassed or very sad? Are they overwhelmed and will spend more money to save time? Are they failing to pay the bills? Are their children out of control? Do they have to have the latest and greatest? Ask yourself how you would feel in their shoes and design your approach so that you treat them accordingly. If you want some online money making ideas to get you started, there are some good ones here.
This will be your first, and most important opportunity to help them find you. If they never click, they never find you.
Step 1: First Web Search.
What can you really tell a searcher in a 1.54 second glance? Obviously, the words you choose are extremely important. Think about what words they might type while in their current frame of mind. The first search is often very general, so use general terms to grab attention. Then, find a way to write a useful and unique page description in 150 characters or less that conveys that your site is of value to them. Be sure to have something for everyone at every stage of the buying cycle, because the searcher must feel it is worth their time to click again.
Hint: Check out your competition.
Step 2: Gain Trust
Once they click to your Home, or Landing Page, you now have 5 seconds to gain trust before they click the Back or Close button! The customer is now looking to see if they are in the right place, so design your first page to be a useful tool or map for finding where to go on your site to find exactly what they want to know. On average, if a searcher cannot find what they need in 4 clicks, they leave.
The Home, or Landing Page can kill a search quickly if it does not do these very important things:
- Have a captivating and appropriate visual design that will convey professionalism and credibility.
- Show that you are real, can be trusted, and can be easily contacted in a variety of ways. (Social media is a must for two-way communication).
- Title your pages accurately and cleverly so they get clicked. Choose your adjectives carefully. They can make or break your sale.
- Offer up to date and well written content that is easy to understand and empathetic to their search.
- Include: a strong “What’s-in-it-for-me” message, professional looking images or a logo, a simple layout, a simple selection of content, simple navigation, all written in a simple font without serifs. (A serif is a term for characters that have a line crossing the free end of a stroke–commonly used in print newspapers and magazines.)
- Do not confuse the customer by putting all of your offers on this page. If they click through to the next page, that is a successful conversion!
Remember, the Home Page is not the destination. Make the customer eager to click to the great pages that follow!
Step 3: Search and Research.
The customer is now ready for you to provide specifics. Often the search page is separated from the research page, but the same things apply:
- The very best web pages deliver the valuable information your prospect is trying to find quickly and easily.
- Clearly describe your products. What sets yours apart?
- Say how the customer will specifically benefit from your product.
- Answer every question they might possibly have, so they don’t have to ask!
- Reviews, testimonials, and product comparisons are all appropriate here.
- Always include an “offer they can’t refuse” such as bonus material, special access, promo codes, the latest product information, etc. (All good ways to get them to “opt-in,” but that’s a different article).
- Do not assume that searchers and potential customers will scroll down to your heartfelt conclusion. Get to the point!
- Give your conversion message careful thought!
Step 4: The Buy Page
They are ready to buy!
- Do not distract them.
- Make it easy, friendly, and fast.
- Provide as many options as you can for payment, shipping, and easy return.
- Copy the format of sites where you had your most positive buying experience.
- Reassure them that they can count on you.
- Provide opportunity for feedback and followup, if they like.
The Best Part
There are many pieces to online marketing that have to fit together to have a truly successful internet business. That’s the real work of internet marketing. The best part is different for everyone, but it’s a fact internet marketing at it’s best when it’s helping solve people’s problems in a respectful and stress free way.