Once you start your online business, you're going to spend lots of time to get traffic to your site. But, if you don't build your web site right, your visitors will leave as quickly as they came. Most likely, they will never come back. Your URL will be forgotten forever. You won't make any money. You'll just waste your effort.
People surfing on the Internet are in a rush. This is the information highway. No one stops in the middle of a highway. First, your web site has to be downloaded very quickly. People will not wait 10 seconds for downloading a page. Have you ever left a web site because it took too long to download? Probably. You don't want the same thing to happen to you, so make your site less than 30K in size. It should download in 8 seconds with a 56K modem. In the near future, all of us will have high speed internet connections, but today, some people are still using 28K modems. You can make your web site very fancy, if you ignore the download time. Those fancy pages are good only if they can be viewed and QUICKLY.
Slow the web surfers down
Now, your home page is front of the web surfers, but they are still in a rush. If the first few sentences they read don't talk about their interests, they are gone. So, you ask, just what is their interest? It is "their benefit." Web surfers don't care what your web site can do. They only care about what your web site can do for them. First, they look at the headline or the most visible words in your home page. You cannot say many things in one headline, but you must talk about your customers' benefit. Then, they will skim your home page. They will read subheadings. You cannot tell a whole lot with a few subheadings, but continue to talk about their benefit. Finally, a surfer can become a regular visitor and will read your home page more closely. But don't forget to talk about their benefit. ALWAYS!
Now, your visitors have looked around your site, but it doesn't mean they are ready to buy your products. Most of the time, people go online to find some free information. It's important to put lots of free expert advice on your site. If you give your visitors valuable information, they will remember you. Hopefully, they will come back later.
Unfortunately, only a small percent of visitors buy your products on the very first visit. You may even have to get in touch with your visitors several times before they make a purchase. Thanks to the technology, there is a great free way to keep in touch with your visitors. You guessed it. That's e-mail! So, ask for an e-mail address on your web site. Now you have lots of time to convince your visitors to buy your products. I will cover e-mail campaign strategy in a later issue.
Remember, people are in a hurry. Make sure your site can slow the surfers down, so they will browse your site. Don't let them pass you or your product by. The only way to slow the surfers down is talking about THEIR benefit.
© September, 2001