The internet is teeming with information on everything you can possibly think of.
This includes information on your business platform.
But, with all this information available, there are still many who aren’t aware of the basics, the dos and don’ts of an online platform.
I recently came across a website on ‘article submissions.’
Finding it on Twitter and being interested, I clicked on the link and it brought me to a site with articles on unrelated topics.
There wasn’t an About page, or any information on what the site was about.
And, there wasn’t a Contact or Services page.
This marketer/business owner was leading people back to his site, apparently for the purpose of selling something, but the site was completely ineffective.
It was one of the most puzzling sites I’ve ever seen.
So, the question to ask is: If someone lands on your author website, by accident, through a search, or through a social link, is it effective? Is it ‘visitor optimized?’
To answer these questions, you first need to know the fundamentals of a business website.
And, a business website could be an author’s site, a home business site, or a small business site.
The basics are the same for all websites that are trying to sell something.
To guide you in the right direction to creating a ‘visitor optimized’ website, let’s go over the very basics.
Online marketing 101 is to create a website that works, a website that converts visitors into clients/customer or a subscriber.
This is the foundation of your online empire.
And, an effective website needs to answer these four basic questions:
1. Who are you?
2. What are you offering?
3. Why is what you’re offering worthy of the visitor’s time, money, or email address?
4. Is the path to what you’re offering, the path to the YES, simple? (The YES is the potential customer’s positive action, whether it’s opting into your mailing list or buying what you’re offering, or other call-to-action)
Let’s go over each element:
1. Who You Are
Make sure your website has an About Me page.
In addition, your landing page should make it clear who you are.
Don’t let the visitor have to hunt you down – don’t let her have to search through your site, just to find some information on you.
Tip: Keep the About Me content conversational, like you’re talking to a friend.
2. What You Have to Offer
Your landing page needs to quickly convey what you have to offer.
To do this, you can use an image with content or a video.
Video is highly effective – it is proven to increase conversion.
Tip: Keep the ‘key’ information above the fold. This means it must be visible upon landing on the page. The visitor shouldn’t have to scroll down the page to find it.
3. Why What You’re Offering is Worthy of the Visitor’s Time/Money/Email
Let the visitor know the value of what you have to offer.
And, if possible, make it seem exclusive.
Figure out a way to make the visitor think he can’t get what you’re offering anywhere else.
Tip: The visitor must perceive the value of your offer as higher than its cost.
4. Is the Path to What You’re Offering (the Path to the YES) Simple?
Marketers use the acronym KISS (Keep it Simple Silly) to emphasis the importance of simplicity.
Your website should be easy to navigate, focused and clear, have a simple design, and it should have an easy path to saying YES.
Tip: To keep it simple, have only one or two steps to opt-in or to take some other call-to-action.
To further cement the ‘tell it all and tell it quickly’ author website strategy, MarketingExperiments.com explains that you have only seven seconds to do what’s needed.
That’s the length of time you have to grab the visitor, let him know who you are and what you have to offer.
Ready, set, go!
About Karen Cioffi
Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and online marketing instructor.
Knowing what to do and ‘not do’ is an important aspect of online marketing, Karen Cioffi’s new Create Your WordPress Website Today (no code, no technical stuff, no fuss) e-class through WOW! Women on Writing.