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What a question! And wouldn’t everyone like a one-step easy answer.

A combination of an optimized website, good SEO practices, quality products and services, quality content and time will bring great results. Imagine your site like a small seedling you’ve just planted. If you ignore it, it will wither away but some ongoing care, fertilization, water etc in time it will grow into a huge, thriving tree.

Getting your site up and running is just the beginning! To attract traffic and some good links it will need to be nurtured and  maintained, to grow its ranking and credibility with the search engines. Over time this also increases the monetary value of the site, so not only are you building a business generator but you’re also building a saleable asset for the future.

A top performing website that ranks well and gets lots of traffic can sell for many thousands of dollars. The real estate of the future?

Did you know there are two different types of website? It’s true. There are “branding” websites and there are “direct response” websites.

Branding websites try to build the “brand” of a business. The aim to “create brand awareness” and “generate brand loyalty”. The theory is that if a customer sees your “brand” enough times they will eventually buy something off you.

The problem is creating a brand takes time and money and there are no guarantees it will actually work.

Remember the “dot com” bust?

Many of the companies that went bust were trying to build a brand. They built “branding” websites. But they ran out of cash before anyone started buying anything.

Now, the other type of website is a “direct response website”. Direct response websites are designed to get people to respond right away, either to order a product, subscribe to a mailing list, phone your business, or any other action you want someone to take.

They focus on getting action NOW!

For a business where cash flow is important, having a direct response website can be the difference between a website that generates thousands of dollars every month, and one that collects cyber-dust and never makes a cent.

So what exactly is a direct response website?

Any website that is designed and written to elicit a response from someone can be classified as a direct response website.

Typically direct response websites are copy-intensive, using many words as needed to “sell” the person on taking desired action. The more important the decision is for the person, the more words are needed to sell them on making it.

The core principle behind direct response websites is the old sales and marketing saying “the more you tell, the more you sell”.

How to create a direct response website:

  • First you determine who your prospect is. Who are they? What pain are they looking to alleviate? What pleasure are they looking to heighten? What are they really looking for?
  • Next you match up the benefits of what you provide with the benefits your prospects desire.
  • Then you define exactly what you want your prospects to do. Do you want them to order online? Call to book an appointment? Submit a form asking for more information?
  • Finally, you write and design your website so that it speaks directly to your prospect and asks them to take action. It leads them to the conclusion that taking the action you want them to take is the most logical choice for them to solve their problems and achieve their goals. And you tell them exactly what action they must take.

Once you’ve designed and worded your site in this manner, almost like magic your prospects will start taking the action you want them to.

They will see that you understand them and their unique problems. They will follow up the path you have paved for them. And when you ask them to take action, to buy your product, to call you, to subscribe to your mailing list, they will!

Have you ever stayed up late and watched an infomercial?

I have to admit I’m an infomercial junkie.

I never actually buy anything, but I find it extremely interesting (and profitable)
studying what they do, some of these companies pull in ridiculous sales figures
every single time their commercials play, they must be doing something right.

One thing you might have noticed is the number of “testimonials” and “success
stories” they use. You know, real life stories about their customers’ success with
their products.

These are extremely effective and bring in sales!

People are much more likely to believe something someone else says about
you than what you say about yourself. After all, you’re probably only going to
say good things about yourself!

Also, no one likes a braggart, and when you tell people how good you are at
what you do it can come off as bragging (even if its 100% true.) But it’s a
different story when its someone else telling people how good you are.

Bottom line:
People put a lot of weight in 3rd party testimonials, yet so few businesses use
them!

I bet you have hundreds of happy customers who have nothing but great things
to say about you, right?

Well those testimonials are worth their weight in gold.

Make it a habit of collecting customer success stories from everyone you deal
with, and feature them prominently on your website. No doubt you will see an
instant improvement in your conversions.

No, it’s not your business details or what you sell. You need to provide a
solution to someone’s problems and make them feel comfortable enough to do
business with you. There are at least 40 elements you should be aware of that
can bring more $$$ to your business.

images 150x150 Why does the cost of a website vary so much?Some sites can cost a small fortune, look fantastic and impress your friends but if
no one finds or visits them, then basically they are a waste of money. Other sites
can look ordinary but return huge results and get loads of traffic. Which would
you prefer?
Why not combine all of this! A great looking site that gets great results! The cost
has to reflect the value returned to the business owner and also the site must
achieve what it was built for. All websites are not equal!
Most kids these days can create great looking sites at a minimal cost but do they
perform in the business world. Some important things to consider are; Headlines,
Great copy, Call to action, Opt in boxes
, the list goes on. Not as easy as it looks
but the best part is that if you recruit the right person for the job, it will pay for
itself many times over.

index 150x142 Why is a website better than other forms of advertising? A website should only be a single part of your marketing plan. One piece of your marketing is not necessarily better than the other but combined they can become a powerful tool.

All aspects should be looked at and tweaked so they are performing at their best. Not unlike a car, there are so many parts- engine, fuel, electrics, wheels, transmission. One faulty component and you’re on the side of the road watching everyone pass you by.

That said, as part of a marketing strategy an optimized website can provide better results and more $$$ than “traditional” advertising. The word to take notice of here is “traditional”. Most people advertise the same as everyone else and wonder why they dont attract clients or customers! Dare to be different! This is where good copy-writing for your site ads will blow your competitors away.

SEO1 300x256 What does SEO stand for?SEO is an abbreviation for “Search Engine Optimization.” A website that is optimized to attract traffic from the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc) is an integral part of any business. More traffic= More business= More $$$

When you search for a product or service on Google for instance, it shows you the top results. How good would it be if your business showed in the top results? An optimized website will greatly increase the probability of this happening.

No business owner needs a ready, aim, fire approach. If you can’t see a target you can’t hit it. Many people run ads or buy websites without knowing if they’re obtaining new leads or clients.

A website that doesn’t bring in business is a “Brochure!”

A well thought out strategy that can be tracked for results will save a lot of wasted time and $$$. It will generate great results which in turn can be rolled over into the next stage of your plan, leveraging your cash outlay and compounding results.

With unemployment numbers dragging their heels in the US of A, you have to wonder what all the fuss is about if you work in the right industry.

As Bob Dylan said “the times are a changin’ “. As humans we’re a pretty slow bunch to embrace the future, that’s just how it is. Stick with what you know and it’ll be ok. Not anymore! I talk with small business owners on a regular basis and it seems they’d rather complain about how business is slow than try some new ideas with their marketing.

Yet these same people have smart phones and are on the internet regularly. Ask them how they look for a service or product, “I Google it” ,then they proceed to part with their hard earned $$$ for another year of Yellow Pages drudgery. Make the connection folks, you gotta be in it to win it! As for education of our kids , what industry do you think should be high on their list of learning? It’s never too late to learn.

A good Marketing Consultant should provide value to your business and get results. It’s important that they understand what it is you want to achieve and listen to your goals.

Too many marketing people are trying to sell you services and products without being accountable for their results. A longer term relationship with a plan is necessary.

A whole range of services can be provided, both online and offline (advertising, managing databases, USP, staff scripts, logos, branding etc.) Only your imagination limits what can be done. In the end it’s about a working relationship with someone who has your interests at heart. As a business owner you don’t need to know how everything works and every detail, that’s not your role, you run a business!

Your marketing consultant is a part of your team and should bring value to your business.

Can you imagine being able to market your products and services to your prospects (and customers) for free?

Just imagine, no media costs bleeding you dry, no slimy advertising reps to deal with, no marketing expenses at all. Wouldn’t that be a dream?

Well, if you collect the name and email address of people that visit your website that’s exactly what you can do. Whenever you want to advertise, whether you’re having a sale, introducing a new product line or just want to remind people about your services, you simply send out a single email and instantly it goes out to everyone on your mailing list. Not only that, you’ll also be building a very valuable asset for your business.

Many business owners do not realize this, but the real value of their business is actually the list of customers they have built up over the years. After all, your customers are the life blood of your business, and a business with a big list of customers can ‘tap into’ that life blood anytime.

Need to make some quick sales to hit your target for the month? Just send an email to your mailing list with a special offer! It costs you nothing to do this and is in your customers hands in a few minutes.

As you can imagine, capturing the name and email address of everyone that visits your website is a very powerful tactic. And the biggest mistake I see more businesses making online is not doing this. Anyway, capturing the names and email addresses of your prospects is very easy to do, and I’ll show you some low-cost software that will automate the whole process for you, even sending
emails for you while you sleep!

Once you start building your mailing list, fire off your first few emails and see the orders start coming in automatically, you’ll be hooked.

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