My first website went up around 2001. I used a programmer first then redid it with Microsoft FrontPage. I got back into Internet marketing seriously in 2007. This time around I have studied under many Internet marketing gurus. Using expertise from coaching sales and marketing clients on blogging and website development I published the following article on Yahoo! Voices. It covers several small business tips on what to do to create a good website or blog:
Tips For Your Small Business Website – What Makes a Good One
As a small business, sales and marketing consultant, I have looked at hundreds of small business websites and blogs. Some were exceptionally good while some were exceptionally bad. One of the tips for your small business website regarding what makes a good site or blog is to remember the primary purpose of any marketing or sales activity: it’s to create customers and sales. To do that you must be able to communicate.
After over 30 years in sales and marketing as a salesperson, manager, vice president for a small business, small business owner and now as a small business consultant, I know deep down that the key to success with your sales and marketing efforts is your ability to communicate well with people, especially with prospects and customers.
The challenge, in particular for salespeople, is to get prospects to give them the time to build a relationship. You are busy. They are busy. The prospect who isn’t too busy to see you probably isn’t a prospect. Your purpose with your small business’ sales and marketing is to get prospects interested in advance of your sales calls.
Make a Good First Impression – 20 seconds versus 1/20th of a second
Websites and blogs can improve the chances of prospects being interested in seeing your salespeople. For decades, sales trainers have warned salespeople about the importance of making a good first impression. The rule of thumb used to be that a salesperson had 20 seconds to make a good first impression.
I’ve mentioned that everything seems to be speeding up. If you are a website or blog, you may only have 1/20th of a second to make a good first impression.
Things that affect the overall appearance of the site
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How attractive is it?
- Is it cluttered and crammed full of things?
- Does it have complimentary colors or clashing colors?
- Is there enough contrast so that text can be read or does your content disappear into the background, like black letters on a dark red background?
- Does it load fast or is it bogged down loading large pictures or other things that slow loading down?
- Does it have lots of little flashing things that distract and sometimes irritate?
- Does your site navigation make it easy to find things?
- Do you have a way to get back to the home page from every page on your site?
- Do you offer a search feature to make it easy for your visitors to find what they need?
Your Goal Is to Communicate to Your Ideal Customers and Prospects
The biggest error I see here is, in my personal experience, the hardest to break. You are excited about your products and services so you are eager to share everything you know. The ‘dark side’ of this passion for your products and services is that you probably rush into telling people about them who don’t care – yet. They are focused on their own problems and interests.
People Search the Internet for Information
Your website or blog needs to focus on your ideal prospects’ reasons for searching the web in the first place: information on how to fix a problem or reach a desired goal. You do this by the following:
- Speak about their challenges, not your specs, if you want to capture their attention
- Show by what you write and share that you care about them.
- Get engagement by asking questions, build a relationship by focusing on their problems and desires, help them to come to know, like and trust you.
- Make your site visually interesting and engaging for your visitors by using graphics or photos, videos, audio recordings, and slide shows.
- Provide quizzes and surveys.
- Use bullet points and short sentences, boldface or italics and subheadings.
- Provide content rich Information – this is an opportunity to be seen as an expert
Call to Action
As a small business site, you really want to do more than provide information. You want to develop a long term business relationship. So ask your visitors to do something. You have three possibilities:
- Opt-in to mailing list
- Request a quote or contact you
- Buy your product
These tips for your small business website describe what your website or blog needs if you want people to stay, read, and take action. You have 1/20th of a second to make a good first impression. That’s how fast they may decide to stay or go. First, be sure that it is appealing: attractive, uncluttered, fast loading and contains some visually interesting features. Your content must speak to their problems or desires. Finally, build a longer relationship by asking them to take action, i.e. opt-in, contact you, or buy.
“Tips For Your Small Business Website – What Makes a Good One“
John R. Aberle, Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dec 23, 2011
There are so many elements to managing a successful small business that any little thing can make a significant difference between failing, surviving and thriving. These small business tips on what makes a good website show you some ways to tweak your site. If you want additional small business tips, get your FREE copy of ecourse, “9 Steps to Finding ProspectsWho Want What You Provide,” my gift to you for opting in.
Building your profits through strong relationships,
John R. Aberle, Aberle Enterprises
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My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. https://amzn.to/2BaP2AH I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.
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