web site marketing
Q: “I need a new website but in the meantime I want to keep collecting names to build my list. Currently, when people go to my website, they’ll see a sign ‘Under Construction.’ Any other suggestions?” [Read more…] about Start Generating Leads While Building A Business Website
Many of my clients get frustrated with web developers who take way too long to build a website. One client waited for months…and then another few months because the developer decided, “We need a new platform.” Their business stays on hold while they wait … and wait.
They also get frustrated with designers who seem reasonable and then explode into action. I once sat next to a business owner at a networking breakfast. She told me, “Thirty bucks an hour seemed like a great deal! Then I got a bill for $4000.”
These days I recommend that you create your own beautifully designed website yourself, without a webmaster. It may seem like a lot of work but once you’ve caught on, you can put up a site in minutes. That’s what I do for my own clients in the Website Express Program.
We’re in the teen years of the 21st century. Just like teens in the human world, they’re chaotic and changeable! They can be noisy, overwhelming, filled with surprises and even annoying. Hey, they move to a different beat!
Here’s a video to see if your website is ready.
Often clients begin a consultation by saying, “I want a website just like this person. He’s so famous – I’m sure he’s got the keys to success!” Or, “I like this website from a competitor. Can we set up mine to look the same?”
Sometimes this approach makes a lot of sense. But sometimes the business you admire is at such a different stage, or targets such a different market, that this request just doesn’t make sense.
Even veteran business owners and marketers fall into this trap. They know they need a makeover and figure they can take advantage of the experiences of others.
The most successful websites begin with your experience. What feels right to you? Do you feel you’re trying to reach someone else’s goals?
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