Why Most Websites Suck

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See that ship? It probably looked nice when it was built, but couldn’t perform at the moment of truth. Most websites are built the same way. They fall victim of over-design and fancy bells and whistles.

Designers often get carried away with cool features that do nothing to convert traffic. If you’re in business to make money, then nothing should go on your site that doesn’t directly or indirectly help convert visitors into paying customers. If you’ve read any of my material or have been to one of my seminars, then you heard me say it, “You can drive all the traffic to your site that you want, but if your site is not converting that traffic into paying customers, then it’s doing nothing for you.” Really, it’s doing NOTHING for you.

You can drive all the traffic to your site that you want, but if your site is not converting that traffic into paying customers, then it’s doing nothing for you.

Oh, I usually get some resistance to my way of thinking from people who believe that a visitor may just want to come to their site to read the blog. Doesn’t that visit help with search engine rankings? My answer: No. not really—at least not enough to make it worth the effort.

Conversion center marketing is an art form and most business owners – hell, even most web developers – have no clue how to convert visitors.

The first thing you need to do is evaluate your data. If you’re not using?Google Analytics, then you need to stop what you’re doing and get it set up right now. The data you get from this stellar tool is the most precious piece of your marketing mechanism. Learn to read the data—not just the visits—but learn how many people are bouncing from your site and why. Understand what makes them stay longer and what parts of your site they resonate with. I cannot underscore enough the importance of Google Anlaytics.

Once you have a good idea of what makes your visitors stay, click through and purchase, then you need to design your pages around that – even if it’s a bit ugly. Chances are that your customers will like your nicer pages, but don’t get so attached to any element of your site that you can’t hack it off if it’s not working for you.

Secondly, be sure to create powerful titles and headlines. That is what is going to grab their attention. Make sure it is related to the search term they used to find you or they are going to bounce off and go find someone else to give their money to.

Your entire site should be a sales funnel leading them toward a purchase—really, every page.

Be sure to include a clear-call-to-action. You need to tell your visitors what to do. Don’t just leave them hanging with nowhere to go. Your entire site should be a sales funnel leading them toward a purchase—really, every page.

Make sure your pages are easy to read and easy to navigate. Entire?books?have been written on just this topic. If you make your visitor work too hard to find the information they need, they are going to bounce. And when I say work too hard, what I really mean is “think.” Your web pages should be intuitive and easy to navigate. Don’t over-design or you’ll confound your visitors. Everything should be right where they expect it to be; navigation is on the top (not the side), the title is front and center and your all-to-action is on the right sidebar, a few inches from the top of the page.

There’s a whole lot more to creating a high-converting web page, but these few basic rules are going to put you miles ahead of your competition. Now, go get ‘em.

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