Last week we talked a lot about the importance of making your customer feel like your business and your business alone is THE one for them. (See my article Dan Kennedy Warns: You can no longer afford to do this.)
It’s a lot easier when you are face-to-face with someone because you can ask questions and give them personalized attention.
However, to really grow your business, you have to be able to translate that feeling on a massive scale.
We talk a lot about how to do this in direct mail and email and other media that is more of a one-to-one type of communication, but one area we don’t talk a lot about is your website.
Websites are tricky. Because unlike an individual letter or email sent directly to your prospect or customer, people will be viewing your site who are in different stages of the buying cycle.
From the prospect who knows nothing about your product or service and very little about you to the fiercely loyal customer who has been with you for years.
Really think about that for a minute.
This means that a one-size-fits all approach will not work.
Sadly, the one-size-fits all approach is what many website builders do. While this may seem like the cheaper and easier approach, the truth is, it ends up costing you more in both time and money.
Concealed costs and trying to fit a ‘square peg in a round hole’ can end up causing you to lose customers and result in having a website that isn’t generating leads or income.
Trying to cater to everyone means you aren’t likely to capture much of anyone. And the likelihood that you snare prospects that are a poor match for your business goes way up.
Instead, here are some ways to make sure you build a better website so you don’t end up with a one-size-fits-all solution.
1. Answer these questions before you start. Whether designing your website or adding additional pages, give thought to these questions to make sure every page fits into your “big picture” plan.
- Who is your audience?
- What factors are important to your audience?
- What is the purpose of your site (or page)?
- What’s the best way to get the traffic visiting your site to take the action you want?
Each and every page needs to have a purpose and needs to work together with the other pages on your site so your visitor has a great experience.
For example, when you put a blog post up, ask what the purpose of your blog post is and how this relates to the rest of your site.
Ask yourself things such as: “Am I trying to drive people to a presentation? Or trying to capture a lead by getting them to download a free report?”
These are only a couple of examples, but the point is there should be careful thought into your plan rather than just slapping up pages independently of each other.
2. Build for longevity. One of my favorite things is automation. One way to automate your business is to build evergreen campaigns. To make your website evergreen, use fundamental direct response marketing principles that have stood the test of time and resist the urge to constantly change your site because some new guru says there is now a new rule to follow.
3. Direct the process. Don’t turn your site over to a web designer, a tech guy, etc. Most are focused on the job they were hired to do and not on the overall design and purpose. They may not know or understand direct response. They certainly won’t be looking at the overall big picture. You need to think like an architect and make sure every element on your website is working together for the end result you want. (I discuss this in detail here.)
4. Make every word count. There is a myth that a website has unlimited real estate. However, just like an ad in a magazine or newspaper, you must make every word count. Don’t get sloppy. If an element isn’t helping with your “big picture” strategy, get rid of it.
When you can put the work into something once and get it to work for you over and over again, you’ll find you’ll not only save a lot of time, but you’ll save a whole bunch of money not having to re-build all the time. Like a great sales letter that continues to work year after year, following these principles, it is possible to build a website that will make visitors feel that you are exactly the right fit for them.
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