REVEALED! Website Success Secrets Your Web Designer Didn’t Tell You

New eBook explains how smart companies are transforming do-nothing websites into valuable assets that generate qualified leads, boost sales and build their brands.

A marketing manager told me last week, “I know we need to attract more customers and generate more qualified sales leads with our website, but I just don’t know how”.

Do you have the same problem?

A good website can generate qualified sales leads, sell products and boost the bottom line. However, done badly, a website can turn prospects away and erode hard-earned brand equity.

My informative 17-page eBook, called Your Website Sucks – The 10 value-destroying mistakes most websites make… and how to avoid them, outlines in layman’s terms how to transform a “do-nothing” website into one that boosts the bottom line.

Inside you’ll discover the TRUTH about what it takes to create a profitable website, including:

  • The 7 qualities of a valuable website.
  • Why you must be on the first two pages of search engine results… and a simple search engine optimisation strategy to help you do just that.
  • How to create high-quality website content that drives sales and builds your brand.
  • The top 7 tips to ensure you create the best design for your site.
  • The secret weapon for getting more customer enquiries from your website and boosting your sales… even if you don’t sell anything online!
  • 24 easy-to-implement tactics to boost your search engine rankings, set sensible and achievable goals for your website, get your customers to trust you online, turn your website into a sales lead generating machine, and more.
  • 90% of small to medium business websites aren’t profitable – find how to make sure your website is one of the other 10% that delivers sales and customer enquiries.

Best of all, the eBook is only 17 pages long.

You can read it in under half an hour. And then you’ll know more than most web designers about what it takes to create a profitable (not just a good looking) website – the sort that gets leads and sales. But don’t just take my word for it…

Recent praise for Your Website Sucks!

“If you own a website, you need to read this book.”
Will Swayne, internet marketing consultant

“It’s a fab book! You have captured the practicalities of web development in an easy-to-read manner.”
Raphael Murphy, lecturer in Advertising Management at UniSA

Download your FREE copy now

YWS_web

Your Website Sucks! is included in my Website Profit Booster Kit. It’s free and you can download yours right now. Simply fill in your details at thetop right of this page.

How to Avoid a Guest Blogging Goof

All the content in the world is nothing but clutter without a strategic plan. This goes double for guest posting.

Jami Oetting, executive editor of The Agency Post, offers some tips to help sites get past what she terms “crop dusting” content. Specifically, she outlines three phases of a guest post’s content life cycle:

  1. Strategy – map out your goals for guest posting
  2. Creation – brainstorm and outline
  3. Execution – start writing and find your supporters

How to Avoid Angering Google

Jill Whalen, SEO Consultant and CEO of High Rankings, ran an article last year titled “18 SEO Killers”. She mentioned footer links as a potential problem, and this year she followed up on that, expounding on the subject of abuses that Google dislikes. Some common footer abuses mentioned:

  • Content well below the fold
  • Keyword phrases placed in the footer
  • Lists of keywords – stuffed links in the footer
  • Footer links that use different anchor text from the main navigation
  • Links from other sites’ footers

If you’re guilty of one or more, you might soon incur Google’s wrath. Find out how to avoidSneaky Footer Links and Other Footer Abuses That Google Dislikes

Writing Great Blog Posts & Effective CTAs: The Web Content Roundup

WebContentRoundup21Here are this week’s top seven stories on web content and online marketing as voted by my Twitter followers:

1). Crash Course on Creativity http://feedly.com/k/12qatZY

2). The (Not-So-Secret) Secret to Turning Your  Website Traffic into Paying Customers http://feedly.com/k/14Qp6WM

3). 6 Simple Ways to Make a Good First Impression Online http://feedly.com/k/15hyEdF

4). Why Working With Your Brain Is The Key To Avoiding Writer’s Block http://feedly.com/k/15LG0T6

5). 21 Call to Action Examples and 3 Rules for Effective CTAs http://feedly.com/k/17E6cAc Read it & lift your conversion rate!

6). 20 Quick Tips on Writing Great Blog Posts http://feedly.com/k/13OS2sX

7). How To Double Your Traffic By Writing Irresistible Headlines [Interview with Jon Morrow]http://feedly.com/k/140H5ui

Do You Suck at Social Media Networking?

According to Timothy Carter, you do. In his recent article at the Search Engine Journal, the social media mastermind points out the ways just about everyone screws up social media networking. Ask yourself:

  • Do your posts sound too promotional?
  • Are you engaging in one-way conversations?
  • Are you automating streams of content?

If so, you’re probably sucking at social media networking. But here’s the good news: Carter also tells us how we can turn those things around. Check out his advice: Why You Suck At Social Media Networking.

Hashtag Basics for Social Media Marketing

You’ve seen them everywhere: they’re those random pound signs (#) attached to status updates and tweets. They can be a pretty handy tool in social media marketing, but you’ve got to use them right.

Rachel Sprung, Brand & Buzz Coordinator at HubSpot, offers some handy tips on choosing and using hashtags successfully.

Whether you’re just learning how to hashtag or you need help doing it right, check out Rachel’s article here: How to Use Hashtags in Your Social Media Marketing

Give Better Feedback for Better Copy

If you want great results from your copywriter, you’ve got to get involved. You’ve got to give feedback or they won’t know how they’re doing – or how to improve.

Giving feedback is an art, and one that takes time to learn well. SEO copywriter Leif Kendall offers some key advice on the topic in his recent blog post.

If you’re not totally happy with your copywriter’s results, check out Leif’s article for some great tips on giving positive, effective feedback: How to give your copywriter feedback

Don’t Ignore These Content Marketing Trends

The internet is an ever-changing entity, so it’s vital for content marketers to constantly stay one step ahead of upcoming trends. Technological advances, Google updates, and other factors can wreak havoc on your schemes if you don’t stay on top of current marketing trends.

John Paul Nettles took a look at some of the most prevalent trends today, and offers some invaluable advice in his recent article on the Reputation Capital blog. To find out which trends to pay attention to, check out his article here: 4 Content Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore

Do You Know These 5 Reasons Why You Need a Website Copywriter?

No one builds a website to fail.

And yet many business websites fail to meet basic customer needs. Poor writing is often to blame. The information is vague, badly written, poorly organised or impossible to find.

A good website copywriter can help remedy these problems. Here are five reasons why you need a copywriter on your website team:

1. Your brochure needs to be translated for the web
Writing for the web is very different from writing for print. That’s because reading from the screen is hard on your eyes. So rather than reading word for word, web users scan the page looking for relevant information. Good web content is written to be scanned.

To make content easier to scan website copywriters use around 50% fewer words than in print. They highlight key words with bold type and create bulleted lists. They start every page with a summary (just like a newspaper story). And they write meaningful (not just clever) headings and sub-headings.

2. Your site needs to be found
Your website is worthless if it can’t be found. A large proportion of the average site’s traffic comes from search engines (such as Google). And most people don’t look beyond the first page of search engine results. So if your site’s not on the first page, chances are people won’t find you.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a process of developing a website’s content so that it gets high search engine rankings. People generally search on two- or three-word key phrases such as “laptop computer”. Search engines deliver results for queries based on what they consider are “relevant”.

Key phrase density (i.e. how often the key phrase appears on a web page) is one of the most important factors that define what is relevant. Once you have key phrase-rich content on every page of your website, your rankings are likely to improve. So copywriting is the mainstay of SEO.

But high rankings are only the beginning. You can’t just stuff each web page full of your key phrases. Good search engine optimised copy must also be reader-friendly. It flows and is easy to read, all the while driving your marketing goals.

3. You can’t afford not to
People on the web are very task-orientated. Generally they’re trying to find information, buy something, communicate or be entertained. Well written sites help them achieve their tasks efficiently. They guide them through a process to achieve their desired result quickly and with minimum effort. Good web content is a valuable asset.

Poorly written sites frustrate and annoy people. If they can’t find the information they want or the content is poorly written or nonsensical, people will leave your site and probably never return. If your website wastes people’s time and aggravates them you risk eroding your hard-earned brand equity, not to mention losing business.

4. You want to beat your competition online
Quality writing is the best way to make your site stand out from the millions of others on the web. Why? Because the average website is poorly written. Most sites are full of clichés, hyperbole and generic marketing blather, and the information is poorly organised. Great writing gives you the edge.

Don’t get me wrong – great design is essential too. But great design without great writing is like a car without wheels.

5. You don’t have the time, skill or inclination to do it yourself
Of course, you could write your own website content… that’s if you can fit it in your overloaded schedule. Good writing is hard. It takes time. A website copywriter can usually produce your content more quickly and more effectively than you can.

Using a professional
For these reasons you should consider hiring a website copywriter to help you produce the content for your site. Or, at the very least, get one to review and edit your content to ensure your website is a success.

“Secret” Website Ingredient #2: Customer-Focused Content

It’s hard to go wrong when your website offers, well-organised, well-written, customer-focused content.

But from my experience few businesses heed this crucial advice for creating a successful website:

The graphics and the technology are a minor part of web success. The content is the hard part, and it is also what will make your website a success or failure.
Gerry McGovern, author of Killer Website Content

They focus all their effort on creating an eye-catching design. The content is usually an afterthought – a badly organised mish-mash of brochure copy, old press releases and stale marketing clichés.

Websites like this are rarely profitable. They fail to deliver enquiries, leads and sales. In fact, a website without high-quality content can easily drive potential customers away and erode hard-earned brand equity.

If your website isn’t getting the results you would like, don’t spend any more money on a prettier look and feel. Rather, make the content on your site a priority. Here are five reasons why:

1. People read on the web… but differently

Think about it for a moment. What’s the number one activity that everyone on the Web does? They read! The World Wide Web is made of words.

Now consider this: if you took all the images off your website, would it still work? Most likely. If you took all the words off your website, would it still work? I doubt it.

It’s the words that do the selling on your site. The words build relationships, drive actions and keep your customers happy. So if you want to be a success on the web you need to make words the hero of your site.

But keep in mind people read websites differently than printed pages. They scan, skim and scroll, looking for relevant information. Therefore your website content must be written for scanners.

Write meaningful and descriptive headlines and sub-headings. Online text should have roughly 50% of the words you would use for print. Include lots of bullets, lists and meaningful sub-headings. Use links to break longer information up into parts.

Don’t think you can just plonk your brochure text onto your website and people will read it. Because they won’t be bothered! But if you write you content for scanners, you empower visitors to find information quickly, improve their memory recall and add credibility to your site.

2. Content persuades visitors to take action

The web is not a passive medium like TV. When people go online, they’re active. That’s the nature of “interactivity”. High quality content persuades website visitors to take action in your favour.

Good website content is a lot like good direct response marketing (such as direct mail or infomercials) because it motivates the reader to take action. Sign up for our newsletter, view our product range, download this report, ring us for a quote, click here, and so on.

If you’re marketing on the web you’re relying on the responsiveness of your website. If nobody clicks your links you get no customer enquiries, no sales and no business. So your website content must guide your visitors to the actions you want them to take. People want and need clear instructions, so make sure you give them.

3. Content builds trust and credibility

People don’t go online looking for advertising. What they are seeking is information. Rather than the hard sell, your website content should provide the information visitors need to make an informed purchase decision.

Your website is an opportunity to communicate your expertise in solving your customers’ problems. By sharing this knowledge you show you’re credible and begin building relationships with prospective customers. Their desire to do business with you will increase as you keep supply them with more useful information.

After you’ve demonstrated expertise in your market and knowledge about solving your customers’ problems, then you can introduce your products and services.

It’s a simple fact: customers’ do business with people they like. And they’ll like you a lot better if your website content is filled with relevant facts and helpful information.

4. Content increases your visibility in the search engine rankings

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a process of developing a website so that it gets high rankings in search engine results pages. High search engine rankings are essential to helping people find your site.

Search engines are all about relevance. When you type in a search query the search engine aims to deliver a list of web pages which contain content that’s relevant to your query.

Search engines use a combination of many factors to determine relevance. But two of the most important factors are key words and incoming links. Both of these factors rely on good content.

Key words – These are the phrases people enter into a search engine e.g. “laptop computer”. Effective use of key words tells the search engines what your content is about, thus helping to attract targeted traffic to your site.

First you have to know the key words customers use most frequently when they search for the type of products or services you sell e.g. do they enter “laptop computer” or “notebook computer”? Then you have to sprinkle these keywords in strategic places in your website content.

But it’s not just a matter of stuffing your web pages full of key words. You have to create key word rich content that also informs, motivates and delights your target audience.

Incoming links – Search engines count incoming links as votes of confidence for your website. So, generally speaking, the more links you have, the better your rankings. And if you get links from high quality sites, that’s better still.

Obviously, having great content helps you attract links. Because if people find your content valuable they’ll want to share it with others by way of a link. No one wants to link to a site filled with empty sales hype.

5. Content gives you a competitive edge

Quality writing is the best way to make your site stand out from the millions of others on the web. Why? Because the average website is poorly written. Most sites are full of clichés, hyperbole and generic marketing blather, and the information is poorly organised. Great writing gives you the edge.

High-quality content is an asset

In summary, well-written web content that anticipates and satisfies customers’ needs is a valuable asset to a business. High-quality content:

  • Entices prospects to give you their contact details
  • Drives sales and helps qualify prospects
  • Increases sales conversions by keeping prospects on the site and giving them all the purchase information they need
  • Provides customer service (often reducing costs in the process)
  • Differentiates your business from your competitors, and
  • Is essential for getting high ranking in search engines and attracting qualified traffic.

This post is part 3 of the series: The 4 “Secret” Ingredients of a Profitable Website