Creating Customer Driven Websites

Unless the purpose of a site is to convey family pictures or hobby graphics to relatives and friends, every business and every webmaster must create a site that draws the customer into the body where he or she can be convinced to buy the product or service offered. A well constructed site achieves that purpose; a bad site insures the customer won’t be back.

Creating a site that sells is not easy to do. Most new online marketers make the mistake of peppering their site with multiple graphics and videos of their product without realizing that content is more important. The viewer isn’t as interested with the outline of the site as he is in searching the site for a solution to a problem.

In order to increase the chances that a visitor becomes a buyer it’s necessary to apply the rules of what makes a website sell.

An Organized Website

While many sites are attractive, they are not necessarily well organized. If the viewer has to dig deep into the nether regions to find information he’s looking for, he’d rather surf to another site. The important points that need to address his problem should be on the landing page.

Even if the message is there, it needs to be presented in an easy-to-read and understandable format. All links leading to the site interior should be off to the side or the top where they will be the least distracting.

Add Valuable Content the Reader Can Use

Content is king. It’s the one thing the search engines look for in order to rank a website. It’s assumed that every site is run by someone knowledgeable about the products being offered. Customers appreciate a site that offers up suggestions and solutions to their problems. Being able to get that information ensures the customer will return again and again.

Many webmasters leave context in the hands of ghostwriters and spend the extra money to get a professional landing page.

Use Graphics, Video and Audio Clips Sparingly

In today’s world of YouTube, it’s easy to get carried away by letting audio and video clips do all the talking. But clips do not replace text. They provide the reading eye of the viewer with a convenient break from looking at black letters on the glaring screen of their monitors. Take a look at any professional site. They limit clips to one or two and those clips are short.

Consideration needs to be given to the surfers who remain on dial-up. They won’t wait for a mega-megabyte video file to download to their desktop.

Building Lists Through Customer Contact

Websites fail in that they can’t insure the customer will return again in the future. Once a customer leaves, there’s a good chance that he won’t be back. To insure he does, the site should offer up something of value. Free reports, ebooks or a subscription to a newsletter are enticements for the viewer to fill out a form with his name and email so he can be followed up. Regular informative emails to those customers who have opted in helps remind them to visit more often.

Many sites include a forum or discussion groups that invite participation. The more active a site is, the more likely it will rank high on the search engines.

The Need for Webpage Consistency

The basic construction of the landing page should be consistent throughout the site. If the layout changes to mimic the outline of other sites, the viewer will become confused. Even if the page isn’t the front page, loading it with graphics, banners and text ads unrelated to the main subject is the sign of an amateur at work.

Links are useful as they help increase rankings, but they must point the reader to sites that offer related products and not the competition.

There are far more methods that need to go into the creation of a website. Taking the time to analyze the target market, then creating a site around that market is going to lead to more viewers and sales.

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