Tag Archives: lists

Top 7 Website Design Considerations

wwwMost business owners recognize the need for a website, only to not know where to turn for website design or, more so, what elements good websites have. Here are the top 7 issues we see in both website design and usability:

  • Unfortunately, we do judge books by their covers. Back when you were around 5 years old or so, you learned to read. And the format you followed was very simple: top-to-bottom and left-to-right. So, what do you think is the most looked at section on your website? That’s right, it’s the top left-hand corner. And we didn’t even need an expensive eye-tracking survey to prove it! What does your hot corner look like? Do I know what you do from the imagery or logo? Or are you leaving it up to me to figure it out?
  • Don’t make me think. When your first visitors show up, do they have to think about what you do, or where you are or how to contact your business? If this is the case, they’re probably hitting the back-button very fast. Don’t get funky with your page navigation – do what everyone else does: buttons down either the right or left side, or across the top (or some combination of these). And keep the navigation simple – let each button expand if there are multiple pages below it.
  • If you sell something, tell me what to do. It’s not only critical to include your phone number on all pages, but you’ve got to tell me what to do, and why I should do it. For example, if you’re an attorney, and you offer a consultation, telling me to “Call now for a free consultation” makes me want to call and get it.
  • Above the fold first. Back in the day, advertisements were sold based not only on the page, but where they were physically on the page. The best spots were “above the fold” – those sections you’d see if the newspaper were folded in half. Today, that “fold” line is the bottom of your browser screen. Think to your website – what do I see before I have to scroll down? Place your most important information, your call-to-action and your phone number very prominently above the fold for maximum impact.
  • There is a line between just enough and too much content. In today’s attention deficit society, too much content on any one page causes our minds to wander. Gone are the days when paragraph after paragraph of right and left justified text ruled. Today, content that works is like a news story – most important information first and lots of bullet points. If you have long content pages, break them up into easier to digest chunks.
  • Credibility and personality. When we come to your website, we need to quickly come to a conclusion that you’re a) legitimate and b) have a personality. Logos from business associations, awards, pictures with local flair, landmarks listed on your Maps & Directions page, etc. all help us understand who you are and what’s important.
  • Polished and waxed. Works just as well for websites as it does expensive sports cars. You can always tell how much the business owner cares by how well polished the website looks. Content that’s easy to read, words spelled correctly, colors and schemes that resonate with your business, images that match your clientele, etc.

No website is perfect, but if you follow these guidelines, you’ll likely see better results, more leads and happier customers.

Photo credit by elessar_x.

12 Secrets To Better Sales Copy

There are no shortcuts to effective, compelling sales copy. The best copywriters follow these guidelines when writing marketing messages. Stick to this list and improve the response of your sales messages:

  • Use the words “You” and “Your” generously. This makes your copy “talk” to the reader.
  • List features and emphasize the benefits. Every reader is selfish and only thinking how your offer will solve a problem they have.
  • Write short paragraphs (2-3 sentences) of varying length. Make use of white space, bullets and subheadings.
  • Grab your reader’s attention with your opening statements. A headline like “Attention: Electricians” really singles out who you’re trying to reach.
  • It’s OK to break grammar rules. Use sentence fragments, start sentences with a conjunction and use contractions.
  • Use connector words such as “Here’s how”, “So”, “In Fact”, etc. to move the reader from paragraph to paragraph.
  • When writing sales letters, the “P.S.” and your headline are the most important elements. Devote extra time and effort to these sections, writing and rewriting until they are powerful.
  • Use the shortest words possible yet still make your point. Why write “policeman” when you can write “cop”?
  • The length of your sales copy should be just long enough to tell everything that needs to be told. Don’t follow any rules – say what you have to say in your sales letter, so long as it remains interesting to your reader.
  • Include your call to action on the first and last page of your sales letter. It should be obvious.
  • Always write conversationally, like you were talking to a friend. And read your copy out loud, you’re sure to discover areas that confuse or ramble on.
  • Copywriting is considered salesmanship in print. Write your marketing messages as one person talking to another.