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Fifteen Crucial Elements to Make Your Website Work For You! 

1. Setting the right goal to make your website an optimal business growth tool.

Most websites are designed with the goal of telling potential customers about their services and fail to do an adequate job of compelling customers to respond.  The right goal of any website is to design it with the intention of getting customers to contact you directly by compelling them to respond.

2. Make the design of your website focus primarily on your customers.

Many websites spend too much web content copy talking about issues from the business owner's perspective, instead of from the customer's point of view.  Customers want to receive insights about their most pressing problems and how to solve them.  They do want to learn about who you are and what you do, but only after they are convinced that you understand their needs.  

3. Offer compelling reasons for your website visitors to contact you.

Your very first page and nearly every other page on your website should offer a free newsletter, free information product, or other free offer that addresses the customer's situation and compels him or her to signup.  That way, you will have the opportunity to continue to establish a relationship with your website visitors and stay in touch with them.

4. Offer plenty of free, valuable information and other educational products or services on your website.

Rarely do website visitors engage your services after a first glance at your website.  However, they will agree to receive information that they perceive to be of value to them.  How to and other informational articles, CD's, videos and seminars about their problems and how to solve them will help to establish your credibility, build trust and get your visitors to want to know more about you and what you can do for them.  Make sure that these are not sales pitches!  The idea here is to build a lasting business relationship.

5. Focus the content of your website on telling a good story, rather than fancy graphics.

Some website designers still don't believe this, but study after study shows that website content copy is far more important to design when it comes to compelling visitors to take action and respond to your offers.  A well-told story that matters to your website visitors is much more important than having a lot of fancy graphics.  In fact, graphics that are distracting or take too much time to download can hurt visitor response.  For this reason it will pay you to focus first on content that tells a compelling story, and second on website graphics.

6. Focus on results first and the technical aspects second.

Your website visitors want results and solutions that speak to their needs, regardless of your technology, so be sure to write your web copy accordingly.  For instance, if you are in the business of selling fire extinguishers, instead of writing about the specifications of the product your selling, tell your visitors how to prevent fires from starting in the first place and how to put them out quickly when they do.  Similarly, if you are in the food service business, rather than write about all of the stores you own or awards you have received, describe the wholesome and tasty food you serve in ways that make your customers hungry as well as how you can save them money by making use of a special offer.

7. Get your website visitor's attention with your headline.

Designing a headline that generates curiosity in your website visitor, and gets them to read more is of utmost importance.  Depending on the products or services you have to offer, you will want to come up with an enticing statement that tells your web visitor that you have information that he or she needs in order to make money, save time and/or save money, look good and/or feel good.

8. To keep your web visitor's attention, make use of subheadings.

Studies show that long, story telling web copy generates more response from visitors than short, brief web copy does.  However, to keep your visitor's attention, be sure to break up your written copy into pieces that are separated by attention-grabbing subheadings.

9. Write your web content copy in plain, understandable language.

To do this you will want to avoid using very much technical jargon.  Instead, write your web copy as though your visitor were seated directly across from you, as if you were talking directly to him or her.  If you expect your visitors to be technically oriented, provide a separate section about specifications, however make sure that this section explains how each technical feature will achieve specific results.

10. Include testimonials from your current customers.

Testimonials, especially with photos of your customers will establish your credibility and set you apart from the others, and thereby prove you are unique.  You will want to seed these customer recommendations throughout your website pages, rather than on a single page set aside for this purpose.

11. Include case studies that show how you have helped your customers.

Depending on the nature of your business, case studies about your results will also provide credibility to your potential customers.  However, you will want to make sure the case studies are written in such a way that applies universally to your target market.  Be sure to write from your visitor's point of view, clearly stating the problem, what it costs people, your solution, and the specific results that your solution brought about.

12. Be sure that your web content copy shows why you are uniquely able to solve your web visitor's problem.

Why?  Because a good website will share a complete marketing message that includes, the problem your visitor faces, what the problem costs, your solution, and why your solution gets better results than anybody else's.  You do this without appearing to make a sales pitch, but instead by providing education and helpful information that really matters to your website visitors.

13. When considering the overall design of your website you will want to lead your visitors to the website pages where you want him or her to go.

This means that you will want to avoid links that allow your visitors to leave your website.  You also will want to avoid having too many choices that keep your visitors from navigating to your offers for free information and/or services.  Remember, having the right goal of any website is to design it with the intention of getting customers to contact you directly by compelling them to respond.

14. Make your website personal.

People buy from people, not from companies.  Consider including a photo of yourself and your associates as well as one or two personal facts that demonstrate you are a real person that understands their needs.

15. Include a section that tells your website visitors about you and your products and services.

While the majority of your website should focus on your visitors, a portion of your website devoted to describing your services and qualifications may be beneficial.  This is most often accomplished by creating a web page that answers frequently asked questions.  A few of these questions may also provide an overview of your credentials and background, however, you will want to once again focus on solutions and results.

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