If you are starting a new business, the first thing you should do is create a website, right? NO!!! Many people jump into creating a website too quickly without knowing their businesses well enough and end up spending a lot of time and money. It’s not uncommon to spend 3 months or even 6 months to get a website done, and if you don’t know exactly what you want for your website, your webmaster can waste your precious money by creating something fancy but not practical.
I’ve talked to many webmasters in different countries and it’s sad to say that many of them don’t know what is really required for a business site. Here in Chile, I see many websites are created with Flash and I cannot access them using my iPhone. It’s really frustrating when I just want to find out a phone number or working hours of a restaurant or a shop to make an appointment.
The purpose of your website is to tell people who you are, what you do and how you can help your clients. But most importantly your website has to make money. I’m not saying that you have to sell products, but you have to grab your prospects and convert them into paying customers. Whether you are just getting your first website done or you already have one, check to see if you are making any of these mistakes, and how you can turn your site into a money making website.
1. Not knowing who you are talking to
In any business, you have to know exactly who your market is. Are they male or female? Where do they live? Are they married? What is their income level? What is their lifestyle? Knowing your market helps you craft your message and communicate more effectively. It also helps you define your marketing strategy about how to reach your potential clients. Before doing anything, know your ideal client as if you can visualize the person. It will make your marketing so much easier.
2. Too fancy or too ugly
It’s true that people judge your business from your website, so if you don’t feel like telling anyone about your website, it’s time for a refresh! If you are starting up, you don’t need anything too fancy. Just get it up quickly. Keep it in mind that your website needs to evolve as your business grows.
If you are a DIY person, you can use Weebly, Yola and Unbounce. These web creation tools are free and you don’t need any coding knowledge. I’ve never tried them, but they seem easy to use and they can be a good start when you are creating your first website.
If you want something more robust, WordPress is the must (use WordPress.org instead of WordPress.com). There are a lot of free templates you can download and customize for your website. You can hire a webmaster to create a template with customized header and design. Once done, it’s very easy to update the contents on your own.
3. Domain is confusing or difficult to memorize
Especially when you are speaking on radio or video, your domain must be easy to memorize. Avoid using a dash or underscore because they are difficult to say. Using an alphabet or a number to replace a word such as “B4” intead of “before” or “4U” instead of “foryou” can be confusing. You should consider buying domains that people usually misunderstand. For example, I have both abundantwomen.com and abundantwoman.com, and abundantwoman.com is redirected to abundantwomen.com. Another domain you should consider buying is your name. The best place is to buy a domain is mamikodomain.com. It’s user friendly and it doesn’t annoy you with a lot of additional options to choose. Buying your domain here costs less than $10 a year.
4. There is no Opt-in form
If you don’t know what an Opt-in form is, they are the little white boxes for people to enter their names and emails. Go to www.AbundantWomen.com to see the example. This is probably the most critical component of your website. People who took the time to visit your website are interested in what you do and if you offer something valuable to them, they are highly likely to be your customer. So you must get their names and contact information in order to follow up with them and convert them into a customer. You can create an opt-in form using MamikoEmailMarketing.com. It’s an easy and affordable option to start.
5. No compelling reason to opt-in
Nowadays people are bombarded with so many emails that they have second thoughts about giving their email address to receive another email. Who is still asking for contact info in exchange for a “newsletter”? People are too busy to read old-fashioned newsletters with so much text, announcements and advertisements any more. You have to give something valuable and compelling for people to give out their names and contacts. Think about ebooks, reports, audio, video, free consultations or even coupon for discounts and free shipping. Giving a free physical book or CD can increase your conversions dramatically. You can charge a shipping and handling fee or do it for free. If you are spending money on advertising, increasing your conversions can reduce your advertising cost. Give something related to what you do or give them a preview of what you do so that you are attracting only qualified people.
Do you want to know more about how to turn your website into a Lead-Generating and Money-Making machine? Check out my free gift at Online Marketing Giveaway (http://www.onlinemarketinggiveaway.com/). But you’d better hurry. It’s ending in a few days!
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