Inside vs. Outside Language
In every business, the people inside the business use different terms to refer to products and services than those used by customers. That’s necessary, because inside the business, employees make finer distinctions about the products and services than customers need to worry about. What this means, though, is that the everyday language you use to talk about what you do and what you offer won’t work well on your website!
There’s an old marketing saying that “It’s hard to read the writing on the bottle when you’re trapped inside,” that applies to this situation. When you’re writing or reviewing copy for your website, keep in mind that a potential customer is looking for a discussion of how what you offer will provide benefits. Focus on what you do and sell only to the extent that it provides benefits, and be sure to give lots of detail to benefits.
For a long time, there’s been a belief in Web marketing that a visitor who comes upon your site for the first time decides quickly–typically within three seconds–whether to stay on this site or to look for another. There are some recent studies indicating that even three seconds may be too long–that many decisions whether to move on can be made in less than a second. However, all agree that a first step of visitors is to give the first page that’s seen a once-over to determine whether the information that’s sought is likely to be found on your site.
If your visitor has to wait for more than three seconds for the first page of your site to appear, you’ve lost the game before it even started. You don’t want to use much of that three seconds for the visitor to be waiting! So quick loading of that first page is critically important. Super-cheap hosting service won’t provide quick loading at all times of the day, so you may need to pay more for your hosting service. And then pay attention to tuning the site for fast loading. Of course, you can use Dave’s Super Hosting, which is intended to give great performance at every time of day.
Once that first page is loading quickly, now be sure that what appears in those few seconds is enough to give the visitor an idea what’s on the site, to make that affirmative decision to stay. You may have a wonderful graphic design, but if the visitor can’t tell what the site is about right away, the chances of the visitor staying and reading what’s important are greatly reduced.
Call to Action
You’ll hear experienced politicians always end a campaign speech asking for your vote. They know that, although it may seem obvious that they’re speaking in order to convince you to vote for them, that if they don’t really ask for your vote they’re much less likely to get it. That “call to action,” in marketing terms, is essential to motivate the behavior you seek.
Be sure to include a strong call to action, although it might seem obvious to you. “Start your free trial now,” “save an abused animal today,” “take a test drive today.” Make sure the information needed to respond to the CTA is prominent. If you want them to come for a test drive, provide your address and driving directions., To contribute, provide a “contribute now” button.
A lead magnet is some incentive that you offer a visitor in order to obtain some contact information such as a name and email address. It’s common to offer a newsletter in exchange for an email address. The newsletter also gives the visitor who’s not completely sold a chance to be reminded of this interesting site (yours!) that they discovered and wanted to consider further.
The Bottom Line
Consider each of these mistakes and make sure you’re not making them! If you’re concerned about the load speed of your site, consider Dave’s Super Hosting, that offers great performance and backup at low cost.