- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 03/2/2009
- Writing for the Web
Online marketing business owners often wish they could get some feedback on their websites. It’s always a good idea to ask your own clients and customers. Of course, you can hire a copywriter for a diagnostic program. But first, here are 5 mistakes you can fix yourself. Mistake #1: The unwelcome “Welcome” message. You want to be friendly, but you need to use every inch of your valuable Internet real estate. Let’s face it. Your visitors know they are welcome. After all, you bought a domain name and paid for hosting! And of course you want them to look around: you provided at least one menu bar. We all know online marketers who violate this guideline but attract profitable business. If you really want a “welcome” message, set up a test. Compare your welcoming page to a more direct headline page and see which gets better conversions and sign-ups. Mistake #2: Opt-in box missing, hidden or unclear. This mistake sabotages your main purpose for having a website: collecting targeted opt-ins. Place your opt-in box at the top right or top left corner of every page of your website. Mention your “irresistible freebie:” what you will give away as to thank visitors for signing up. These days you can’t get away with promoting your ezine as a gift. You need to sell visitors on sharing their opt-in information. Your goal is to collect targeted traffic for your ezine, ecourse or other mailing list. Once visitors leave, they’re gone forever.
Mistake #3: Wimpy headlines. Readers will click away if you don’t grab them immediately with a compell
ing headline. Your headline needs to address the reader’s pain or problem. What is keeping him or her awake at night? Why do they pick up the phone to call you? What is the first thing they say? If you are not getting results, bring on the 4-letter word: “test.” A headline that refers to the client’s struggle and pain will work in many markets. But I once tested a headline that began, “Are you struggling to…” against, “The truth about…” The second headline drew more ezine signups and queries in that market. Mistake #4: Fuzzy description of who you serve and how you solve problems. Website visitors will ask, “How will this page help me?” These days many professionals offer services that didn’t exist five years ago. Or they put a unique spin on a popular product. Your reader needs a fast answer to the question: “Am I in the right place?” You benefit, too. Suppose you’re a life coach who emphasizes Law of Attraction in your practice. You want to target only clients who buy into this concept. Otherwise you waste a lot of time screening out the misfits, Mistake #5: Focusing on your own credentials and processes. We all like to talk about ourselves, but visitors want to see themselves in your website content. It’s true: clients often hire you because they like your credentials. Some want to work with an advisor who holds a Ph.D., MBA or professional certificate.
But your website content needs to reflect the client’s perspective. For example, you might say, “Ten years of experience in the field so I can find solutions faster.” Or, “My unique 5-step process delivers results repeatedly so you can be confident of achieving the success you want to achieve.”