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What’s Standing in Your Way?

What’s Standing in Your Way?


From: “Access to Access” and Seth Godin’s Blog

What’s standing in your way? What would help you start and ship and create something of value?

Access to ideas is easier than ever before. You can see over the shoulders of the great leaders in every industry, instantly and for free.

Access to tools is easier too. Every digital tool in the world is easily available, often for free.

Access to markets? The internet brings every market segment into clear view and lowers the cost of reaching it.

Access to capital? It’s never been easier to find funding for an idea that’s enabled by the efficiencies the web creates.

Alas, the only access that’s harder than ever is access to the part of your brain that’s willing to take advantage of all of this. Precisely because it’s easier and faster than ever before, it’s easy to be afraid to reach out, to connect and to commit. No one can help you with that but you.

More from: “Access to Access” and Seth Godin’s Blog

Suzy Payne Rabb
Sage Peachtree Certified Consultant
Sage Solution Provider
Passionate about Small Business
 
Send email to suzy@121-business.com
Website: www.121-business.com
Join my professional network at Linkedin and follow me on Twitter.
Keep Your Website Simple

Keep Your Website Simple


From: Transform Your Small Business Website From Blah to Ta-Dah! from Jessica Swanson and Manta Tip of the Day

Have you ever visited a website and were absolutely bored out of your mind?

Unfortunately, way too many websites are just big, fat sales brochures yapping on and on about every excruciating detail about the company – right down to a 500-word history on when and why the company was founded. Uggg!

Always remember that your website needs to be about your customer, not about you. Your customer doesn’t give a hoot about when and why your company was founded. All they care about is their problems and finding a solution. Blah and boring websites are much more common than websites that work. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that most small business owners need to do a complete overhaul of their website in order to bring it from “blah” to “ta-dah.”

The good news is that there are simple and immediate solutions that you can implement in order to keep prospects on your website and convert them to paying customers.

Here is a list of five simple and proven ways to transform your website:

1. Create a clear purpose.
When a visitor comes to your website, your purpose needs to be crystal clear. Do you want the prospect to enter their name and email into a website opt-in form? Are you trying to sell a product or service? Are you interested in educating the prospect over time? Your website should be designed to efficiently guide visitors to the information that they are seeking. It must have a clear and direct purpose.

In the overcrowded world of the internet, you only have three seconds to capture the attention of your prospect. If your visitor is confused (even a little), they are going to leave your website in order to find a more obvious solution.

2. Highlight your benefits.
A prospect visits your site in order to solve a problem or improve their lives. It’s your job to convince them that your product or service will accomplish this. You can succeed in doing this by highlighting the benefits that your prospect will receive if they purchase your product or service.

Will your product make your prospect happier? Will it save them time? Will they be healthier or wealthier? It’s imperative that you convey to your prospect that if they purchase from you, they will receive an obvious and important benefit.

3. Keep it simple.
Time is a precious commodity in today’s world. More than ever before, your visitors are looking for a solution to their problems in a quick and timely manner. They don’t have hours to browse through your website looking for the answer.

Keep your web copy concise and to the point. You should use short paragraphs, bulleted lists and bolded and underlined text to highlight items of importance.

4. Give your visitors reasons to trust you.
As soon as a visitor comes to your site, it’s crucial that they feel that they can connect and trust you. There are a number of ways to increase the trust factor. Make sure that your contact information is prominent and easy to find.

Your website should be free from grammatical and spelling errors. Your site should have the look and feel of a well-established and successful company.

Research suggests that trust must be established for a prospect to either give you their information or make a purchase.

5. Offer your visitors options.
Whether you’re offering a product or service, your sales will immediately increase if you offer your prospects multiple options.

Giving your prospects three distinct price points to choose between is a highly successful model. For instance, if you’re offering a service, you can bundle your service into three different price points that will appeal to different buyers. If you’re offering a product, then offer a low price point, middle price point and a high price point.

When buyers have choices they feel more in control. They appreciate the fact that they are selecting an option that works best for them and their specific needs.

There are numerous ways to keep prospects engaged in your website and convert them to happy clients and customers. If you design your website with a clear and specific purpose, keep things simple, create a sense of trust and offer numerous benefits and options, you’ll soon find yourself with an abundance of new sales, clients and happy customers.

 

More from “Keep Your Website Simple” and Manta Tip of the Day

Suzy Rabb
Sage Peachtree Certified Consultant
Sage Solution Provider
Passionate about Small Business

Send email to suzy@121-business.com
Website: www.121-business.com
Join my professional network at Linkedin and follow me on Twitter.

Build a Killer Website

Build a Killer Website


From:  Build a Killer Website: 19 Dos and Don’ts and Inc.com

If you do it right, your website can be the best marketing tool you have.  Ilya Pozin, founder of the Web design firm Ciplex, on how not to screw it up.

Important Dos

Set smart goals.  And make sure they’re measurable. Here are a few great ones a Web designer wants to hear: increase conversion rates, increase sales, generate more leads, reduce overhead, and improve brand awareness.

Plan on becoming an SEO wizard.  Sure, you’re going to want help from the pros and eventually you might even need your own in-house SEO expert, but search engine optimization is something you need to know about too. It has one of the highest ROIs in marketing. Plus, do it right and SEO can literally put your marketing on autopilot, allowing you to focus on improving the quality of your business, instead of figuring out how to bring in customers to your site. Start reading SEOmoz and stay up to date with SEO changes by reading sites like searchengineland.com.

Use open source tools. You could go with a proprietary content management system (CMS) but that means you’re typically stuck with one company and paying hefty license fees to boot. Do yourself a favor and go with an open-source system—I like WordPress and Magento—that any developer can access.

Think about your mobile strategy simultaneously. Research the percentage of your visitors that are likely to use mobile devices to access your site. If it’s high, you may want to consider building a separate mobile version of your site, or even an app. If it’s relatively low, just make sure your website works on smart phones, but don’t invest into a mobile version.

Steal from your competitors. Before you build your site, check out your competitors and write down the things they do well. If you like the look and feel of another site, there’s no reason not to start with something you like and then make it your own.

Develop your content. The biggest slow-down in the Web design process is content. If you’re going to sell products on your site, get product photos and product descriptions ready. If you sell services, you’ll need a description of each service. Get as much of your content together before you start building your site—it will save you weeks. And while you’re at it…

Write with calls to action in mind. Good calls to action allow visitors to quickly decide what they want to do next. Having a big sale? Don’t just write a banner that says “50% off all products.” Write one that says “50% off all products, CLICK HERE to view them.”

Always answer the question “why?”.  Have you ever walked up to someone you’ve never met, handed them a business card, and walked away without saying a word? Likely not. If you want people to do something on your website, such as sign up for your newsletter, don’t just put up a box that says “enter email” or even “sign up for newsletter”—you’ll get a very weak conversion rate. Tell them why they should do it: “Sign up for our newsletter to receive weekly specials.” Same thing goes for Twitter and Facebook logos. Just putting them up isn’t smart. Tell people why they should follow you on Twitter or friend you on Facebook. What will they get out of it?

Trust your Web designer. I tend to see the worst end results with customers who come in with a “I know what I want, just do what I tell you” attitude. You hired an expert because they know more than you, right? Let them do what they do best and they’re more likely to meet and often exceed your goals.

More From:  Build a Killer Website: 19 Dos and Don’ts and Inc.com

Suzy Payne Rabb
Sage Peachtree Certified Consultant
Sage Solution Provider
Passionate about Small Business
 
Send email to suzy@121-business.com
Website: www.121-business.com
Join my professional network at Linkedin and follow me on Twitter.