Today’s Wall Street Journal included an article about changes in the world of advertising. An executive who took off for two years discovers the field has changed. When she tries to find a job, everyone asks for qualifications that didn’t exist two years ago.
If you created your website and marketing materials three, five or more years ago, you might be surprised when just a few tweaks will increase your conversions and bring you more leads.
Recently I worked with a client who wanted a website makeover. I wrote one site for him a few years ago and he was surprised at how differently I approached his website this time. I realized that website development – and much of marketing everywhere – has changed. Here are 5 key components that belong in today’s marketing makeover.
1 – Shorter copy – sometimes no copy – especially on your landing and home pages
It’s true. Copy is shorter. Some people aren’t even bothering with copy. They have a video and maybe a few short sentences. Their websites essentially have become landing pages, with the video playing a starring role.
Does this mean copy will be easier to write? Actually, you may find yourself going back and revising. As most of us know, it’s always easier to write a longer version of a letter or report. When you need to “go short,” you need to hone in on the most important points and emphasize them.
Ebooks have gotten shorter too. Nowadays we skip the fluff, history and background. Short ebooks, dedicated to specific problem-solving, will be effective. I still recommend Reach Desperate Buyers to learn more about identifying ebook topics and promoting ebooks online; it’s been updated extensively.
2 – Videos Everywhere
You can create a viable business without a single video but why try? Video is easier than ever.
If you don’t want to appear on camera, you can create power point videos, which is what I do most of the time. I’m not enthused about getting all dressed up, putting on make-up and fixing the lighting. I use Screenflow, which seems easy and intuitive. You can also use Camtasia (it works better with a PC than a Mac) or Snagit, which seems to be increasing in popularity.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Done is better than perfect.” That saying applies especially to videos. I’ve made several videos where I thought, “I know these videos have flaws but I just don’t have time to do anything else.” Inevitably I got compliments from people who saw them on YouTube. They’re not nit-picking professionals: they’re just eager to get information.
3 – Images and photos
We used to put up sales letters and pages with just text and maybe a few arrows and colored text here and there for highlights. Those days are gone.
You will find many images at places like istockphoto.com and iclipart.com. You can also use your own photos. I recommend that you make some modifications before using stock photos. I don’t use stock images of people on websites but in sales letters or blog posts they can be effective.
Whether you’re creating info products, sales letters, web pages or blog posts, you usually find that illustrations help get attention and make your point. You’ll find lots of image editing systems including some that are free. I use Photoshop Elements, which takes time to learn but it does everything. Picmonkey and Online Image Editor are free (and I don’t get a commission when you use them).
If you don’t want to edit your own images, you can pay $5 each for artists at Fiverr, although it does add up quickly.
4 – White space
The current trend favors light, airy websites, sales letters and ebooks. People expect to skim and they want a leisurely feel.
Use a light background for your website, especially if you use WordPress. Minimize headings and give the appearance of spaciousness. For instance, you can set line-height to 120% so your lines of text aren’t squashed together.
5 – Navigation that flows –
Make it easy for visitors to find their way around your website, ebook or landing page. If you have a dozen or more navigation taps, you’ll create a sense of crowding. Labels are straightforward: no guessing or specialized names that visitors have to decipher.
Do you detect a common theme here? Yes … it’s all about simplicity and speed.
By the way, if you’d like a detailed review of your own site, with concrete tips to get more conversions and clientes, check out