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By Charlie Cook
Why is it that some web sites help sell products and
services while most languish in obscurity and only serve
as a drain on finances? Web sites are relatively low in
cost to build and manage, and have worldwide reach.
They can help you grow your business and in some cases
be the primary source of new business. Yes, a web site
can be the next best thing since sliced bread.
Why don't most web sites attract prospects, help convert
them to clients or customers, or function as a source of
revenue? To answer this question for your own web site,
focus on its purpose. For most independent professionals
and small business owners, web sites are meant to:
* Attract as many qualified prospects as possible
* Build a target list of people who want you to market
* Convert prospects to clients and paying customers
* Convert clients to repeat clients
If your web site does these things, it's a winner. If not,
then its time to review what is working and what isn't.
WHY MOST SITES DON'T WORK
Most sites are, in a word, boring to others than the creators.
They focus on the firm's services, products, processes and
credentials. They are a turnoff to prospects and can keep
you from earning money. If your web site shouldn't be about
your firm what should be the primary content?
CLIENT PROBLEM FOCUSED CONTENT SELLS
Sites that work to sell products and services attract prospects
because they provide information prospects want and can use
to solve a problem or meet a need. If you're a lawyer, your
site should focus on legal tips and strategies your target
market can use. If you're a graphic designer, include
ideas on using design to improve communications, or if
you're a computer systems expert, give your site visitors
tips on keeping their computers from crashing. A writer
could include a tutorial on writing with examples of copy
makeovers of web pages, press releases or brochures.
This educational focus for your web site works for a
number of reasons. People usually search the internet
for free information. Prospects will want to visit your site
because they know they can get a couple of ideas they
can use, and by providing this information, you establish
yourself as an expert in your field. Finally, your
information educates prospects about opportunities they
may not have been aware of.
Its content that pulls. Just take a look at
http://drudgereport.com/. No flashy, fancy graphics; just
straightforward content. Yet it pulls in over four and a
half million hits each day, five and a half million per day
during this past month and has made Matt Drudge millions
of dollars. Content brings customers to the site and keeps
* What's the content your prospects would love to read on
your site? (Hint: It provides answers to common client
questions and problems.)
SITE DESIGN AND NAVIGATION
Many sites have some educational and client centered content
on their site, but it's buried behind uninteresting homepages
or by flash movies or graphic full pages that turn visitors away
so they never see the good stuff. In some cases it's simply a
matter of moving hidden content to the homepage and
augmenting it to give prospects what they want. Use your
site's design, navigation systems, graphics and links to
ensure visitors view the content that will interest them and
to take the desired action.
* What do you want visitors to your site to do?
* Does the site design move people to the desired action?
HOW TO ATTRACT PROSPECTS TO YOUR SITE
Once you have a web site prospects will want to visit and read,
the next step is to find as many ways as possible to pull
prospects to your site so they find your great content. Use
these strategies to pull in prospects:
* Distribute your articles, including your offer and site link,
to every ezine, web site, publication and forum you can.
There are thousands out there.
* Ask your subscribers to forward your articles to others.
* Make it easy for people who visit your web site to send the
URL of articles found on your site to everyone in their network.
* Help the search engines find your site by identifying the key
words people are likely to use most frequently to search for your
site. Then put them in the title tag and body of your web pages.
IS YOUR WEB SITE WORKING?
Does your site pull in a steady steam of prospects, build your
target list and supply you with both clients and income from
product sales? If not, take a look at your site content, design
and promotional strategy. With a little effort you can leverage
your expertise, whether it's about the law, computers, design
or writing to create a web site that works to educate your
prospects and to grow your business!
2003 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, helps
independent professionals and small business owners who
are struggling to attract more clients. To get the
free marketing guide, '7 Steps to Get More Clients
and Grow Your Business' visit
www.charliecook.net or write firstname.lastname@example.org
|This article was submitted by - Charlie Cook||Please Rate/Review this Article - Recommend it to friends|
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