Sound too good to be true? It’s not. You already know that websites are essential to marketing. The only doubt you may still have is why YOUR website isn’t bringing in the return on investment that you expected. While there are many possible reasons why your website may not be making you money, I can offer you four simple secrets that will turn your site into an online money machine.
Some of these secrets may seem like common sense, but after reviewing literally hundreds of sites for various companies, I’ve found that way too many businesses are making simple and easily avoidable website mistakes.
Secret # 1: Have a Clear Purpose. Whether you’re just sitting down to map out your site, or you’ve already got your site up and running, stop and take a moment to really look at your site. Ask yourself what the outcome and purpose is for your website.
How does it position you and support your branding? Does it generate leads? Does it just sell automotive products and services or does it also let visitors schedule a sales call, watch a product demo or installation, or download specs? Does your site provide customer service and support? It may be that your site needs to do all of the above.
Sure, you want to make more money, but on top of that, your website must reflect what you want your customers to do. For example, if you want them to buy something, there should be a process in place that guides prospects through the purchase. It should begin with the visitor finding the solution to their need, learning more about it, making the decision to buy the product or service, and then clicking on a button or link to order it.
Maybe the purpose of your site is to build a bigger mailing list, too. To accomplish this, you might want to get visitors to sign up for a monthly ezine. Your process might begin by introducing your newsletter, then outlining its content, providing past issues, and then ending with a subscription box. Make sure you have an automated method of capturing visitor contacts. Get clear on the purpose of your website, then look at it with a fresh perspective.
Secret # 2: Communicate Value and Use Clear Action Steps. You need clear, attention-grabbing headlines and specific action steps on every page. Let me repeat this… you need clear, attention-grabbing headlines and specific action steps on every page.
When I say clear, attention-grabbing headlines, I mean your headlines must ‘hook’ the attention of the reader, and then lead them into your main message. When writing copy, make sure it is benefit driven, and that your benefits are validated with features. Use testimonials, bonuses, special offers, incentives, guarantees, etc. Guide visitors through the entire process so they know exactly where to click whenever they land on a particular page.
Suppose I’m on your site and I’m reading about your aftermarket products or services. When I’ve finished reading about them, does it just leave me hanging to figure out what to do next?
Wouldn’t it make more sense if you had an action step that told me what to do next, such as ‘click here to order’ or ‘to learn more’? Isn’t that the point of your site… to get visitors to read and click on what you want? Too often the action step is left off the page, assuming the visitor will figure it out. Don’t take that chance – every page on your site must include a clear next step.
Secret # 3: Get more domain names. Okay, technically this secret isn’t really about website design, but it is so important, I’m including it anyway. At Prime Concepts Group we have over 500 domains. You probably don’t need that many, but I bet you could benefit from getting a few more great ones.
Have you ever needed to find a company or their phone number and just opened a browser and tried to guess at their domain name? Maybe you tried three or four spellings, but couldn’t find the site you were looking for. Well having more than one domain name makes it easier for people to find your business.
Keep domain names simple and easy to remember.
Having multiple domain names is an ideal way to track the success of particular promotions. Use them in Pay-Per-Click advertisements—this doesn’t mean you have to change your main domain—it means getting other “keyword” domains. Don’t forget domain names with common misspellings, hyphens and keywords, and other extensions (such as .net, .org, .info. .US. .co or .mobi). With customers using their mobile phones and PDAs to access the Internet these days, now is the time to get a .mobi extension or at least create a sub-domain like m.profitrichresults.com (iPhone/Smartphone enabled website), too.
Search for domains online—a few popular sites are NetworkSolutions.com, GoDaddy.com or DeletedDomains.com. I like to search on DeletedDomains.com because it’s a site dedicated to listing domains that others have let expire so you can snatch them up.
Secret #4: Use Keywords to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings. Keywords help prospects find you in the search engines. Selecting the right keywords to emphasize on your site is crucial to your online success. Think about what words your prospects might type into a search engine to find you – those are your “keywords.”
When you’re searching for something, sometimes you may search a broad category with only one word… that one word is also a keyword. Sometimes you search using multiple words at once, such as “website designers in Dallas.” That’s an example of a keyword phrase.
Your task is to think of the keywords that your prospects would use to find your product or service. Use your keywords when writing content, naming the actual html page, like “website designers_dallas.html”. Use them for links on your site and to help the search engines catalog your site so visitors find you.
Make a list of your Top 50 keywords and keyword phrases (actually, I think you should compile a list of several hundred keywords, but let’s start with getting a good list of the top 50). The number of keywords on your list really is dependent on what you sell. If you offer several hundred items, obviously you’ll need a much bigger list.
Do your keyword research when you’re compiling your list. There are several main research methods. Here is an audio resource that explains keyword research in more detail.
Use an online tool like the Google’s keyword tool. These are FREE keyword search tools. Another of my favorite keyword search sites is Wordtracker.com. This one’s not free, but it offers tools and training to master keyword research.
- Ask your customers what words they used to find your website.
- Ask your sales team what they think your keywords should be.
Look at your web server’s “referrer” logs and analytics reports. Ask your webmaster (if you’ve got one) – they can help you.
Use your keywords in online articles, specific web pages, and HTML description Meta tags. Create unique page titles for every page on your site (page titles are the words that show up on the top edge of the web browser). Look at your home page – what does it say? Look at other pages on your site. Each one should be unique to the content and purpose of the specific page. (Your webmaster should know how to do this… if not, get a new one!)
These are just four things you can do, but if you truly work on mastering these four, you’ll see a dramatic, positive effect on making your site a money machine. You have the tools you need to turbocharge your sales; now go for it!