Your Main Message

 

 

First impressions count.

Sure if your customers only had one or two websites to choose from 1st impressions wouldn't be as important. You would have more time to recover from a bad impression.

If you look at it from your customer's point of view they are searching for a reason. They have a problem to solve. Your website needs to anticipate that problem and lead your customer to a painless solution.

Do that and you are a success.

Imagine walking into a hardware store and the clerk looks at you and states “I can tell by the part in your hand that you need replacement X. It's right here in isle 2 and it's on sale this week.

With a little effort and anticipation your website can be that clerk. After all, who knows your customers better than you?

Take the time to think about the problem(s) your customer(s) will be asking you to solve. Make a list of these problems. Design your website around the big problems you are going to solve.

Some usability studies suggest that you might only want to write about half the content you think you will need. Saying what you have to say in less words requires more effort and is more likely to result in better copy. You can always expand on a good message if you think it's too sparse but a good steak shouldn't need any sauce.

There are many different sales techniques for the written word. In the end what is best for your website is what gets the results you want. However having a quick look at some tried and true techniques might not hurt. In the end you are going to be solving or addressing your customers' problem(s).

AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action and is meant to represent the key elements of a successful sale and the order of execution. And like many good ideas it's as old as the hills and was built up over time:

The evolvement of the AIDA conceptLewis-AIDA-Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ E._St._Elmo_Lewis

The important take away here is that you can design your website content so that it leads your customers to what they need by using these techniques. If done correctly they will buy from you instead of leaving your site to look elsewhere.

A 5 step variation on AIDA from, Copywriter Bob Bly, is called The Motivating Sequence. As you can see it is basically AIDA with an extra step.

Proof.

This extra step forces you to think in your head the same doubts your customers are likely to have. Once you realize what those doubts are you have the opportunity to talk directly to them. Answer the questions in your customers head.

How do you do that?

Simple. Ask the question on your website and then answer it with enough detail to be convincing. Sometimes a customer may have a doubt but will not really be aware of it, by raising the possible doubts yourself and then dealing with them your customer is walked through the same mental process.

Provided your proof is believed.

http://www.bly.com/ newsite/Pages/DMNCOL35.htm

 

The Motivating Sequence

  1. Get attention
  2. Identify the problem
  3. Position your product as the solution
  4. Proof
  5. Action

Many people make the mistake of forgetting the last step or assuming it is implied and therefore not necessary.

Don't make that mistake.

It can be as simple as Call Us, or slightly more motivating like Get Started Today!

Your call to action may not be a sale. If not it should be the next step in a sequence that leads to a sale. More expensive items require more steps to build trust in the relationship.

Sometimes the call to action is to accept a free gift (like a FREE Consultation). Often in the world of online information the action is a smaller purchase which leads to a larger purchase later on.

The sky is the limit when it comes to your own personal creativity. Use this sort of thinking to help develop your USP (Unique Selling Proposition, lot's more on that later).

Your home page should communicate your main message and draw out your desired action.

NEXT: The Bare Minimum

 

 

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