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So like a good girl I began all the SEO I've read about and sat up late every night hitting "submit URL", just about everywhere I could. Mostly in on topic information sites or directories. So far so good. Seemed to be working as well, traffic already doubled this month on last.
However no sales - what's the problem? I thought maybe people were checking us out and not buying now, but maybe later. Maybe I needed to mix things up a little.
Then two days ago I signed up for a Free Website Course, seven lessons one a day. On day two the author says he's going to tell me the single biggest mistake he sees people making. Well, he wasn't wrong in our case.
To synopsis for you the basic message is to not have you "vision" or "company statement" or anything about you on your front page, as customers are really only interested in themselves and how your product/service etc can help them. Let then envisaged owning or using your product or service, what are the benefits to them? Simple eh!
As soon as I read this I knew this was what was wrong with our site. We had done exactly what he was saying not to do. As I feel we were guided in this direction by the company building our site I felt I should share this in the hope that others don't make this fatal mistake.
At least we found out now and not 6 months down the line.
Best wishes Caran.
In my opinion, this is the biggest mistake any ecommerce site can make. Relevent traffic is the key to your success.
joined:Apr 13, 2002
The ideal site visitor wants to purchase a product. The ideal website will be meaningful to that visitor by offering to fill that need.
There are different kinds of site visitors though, who are at different points of the buying cycle, so you have to balance the site for each, be meaningful to those who are researching as well as purchasing.
Imo, a mission statement type blurb belongs in an About Us page, and should not dominate the home page. Selling your authority on the home page is one thing, but turning the home page into an about us page is something else.
This could go some way to explaining why the (I feel mostly targeted) customers weren't buying.
That said I think the advice given - and by the way martinibuster the specific advise is to move this type of information to an About Us page and leave it there as you say- is on the money.
It makes complete sense. I even feel that, this was my intention for this piece of writing and that the web designer made the decision to put it on the front page. If anyone is really interested they can go to About Us and have a look. Otherwise if they want to buy stuff hopefully you'll hook them straight away from specific selling points first off.
I'm going to have this changed and will post back to let you know if there's been an improvement. It could be difficult to monitor though as I don't know if anyone else was trying to buy but couldn't.
Obviously I'm going to try to find out and then scream loads if appropriate. Caran.
"We've been selling widgets for 27 years and have a long list of satisfied customers. We don't always have the absolute lowest price but the quality of our offerings is unsurpassed, and our customer service is second-to-none."
In marketing, it's called writing about benefits instead of features -- and it makes a HUGE difference, online or offline. The goal of copy is to get the prospect to visualize themselves using and enjoying -- benefiting from the product or service. This goes far beyond dry information. Once copy triggers that response, the job is nearly done.
Laundry lists of features won't do it, and corporate-speak statements about your company won't do it. You've got to have copy that grabs people by their feelings, their imaginations, and makes them want to enjoy whatever it is you are offering.
Sometimes you are re-selling a product that the manufacturer has pretty much pre-sold for you. But even then, when your copy triggers the senses and the imagination, you succeed in closing the deal much more.
It's a strong and important insight.
Share with the customer how easy it is to create deep, straight-sides holes with your product, and you have sold the spade.
Caran - you might want to look at some sort of analytics or tracking package, see how far through your site visitors are actually going. If several went through your checkout as far as the (WorldPay) payment page, and then bailed, then it would have highlighted a possible problem with the payment processing rather than your site content or quality of traffic.
Website Analytics - Tracking and Logging [webmasterworld.com]
Thanks for sharing your experience, it really is an important point for existing as well as new sites (as is Essex_Boy's advice to test!).
Maybe I should post a new topic 'NEW - Our biggest mistake to date trusting the professionals'
Yeah I know essentially the buck stops here. My concern is not the lost sales but the potential loss of confidence. However we are really fortunate in that a lot of the traffic will have come from our own email database of customers that I can now write out to and explain any problem they encountered.
I'm still changing the front page though.
Thank you all for your input, Caran.
Just going to have to chalk it up to experience. I am very mad with myself though, even though I don't feel we are 100% responsible. Thanks Caran
1) You are not selling, Customer is buying. (I am sure; a good sales person can say other way)
2) You are not selling a product, but you are selling a solution. (It might be a product for you, but solution for the user)
3) Most customer don't care if you had to kill 100 trolls before getting to them, what they care is, how your product is going to be help them. (None of the customers are bad, as this is just normal human behavior, me and you have probably acted in similar manner in past)
4) Most customers have the money to buy, you just need to develop their interest and most importantly give them a reason to buy from you and not from someone else.
5) Last & most important. You are not selling a product and customer is not buying a solution (yeah I know it contradicts statement # 2, but still both are true), but you are selling a vision & customer is buying a dream. (talk to any real estate agent about buying a house, you will hear it)
Think of the last time you bought or test drove a car. How many thoughts you had on how you would look while driving the car or showing it off? I donít recall buying chocolate for the purpose of buying, however it is the taste of it that makes me buy them. Same applies to most purchases in life, some at higher level, while others at such a small level that we don't even notice them.
There are always exceptions and odd balls, however I believe above statement is generally true in most sales.
So I completely agree with Caren, when it she says about her learning "customers are really only interested in themselves and how your product/service etc can help them".
joined:Apr 13, 2002
if they end up on the 'about us' page because it is the most viewable page from the SE's
I think it's pretty safe that your about us page won't rank for something you aren't talking about, especially if you don't have deep links to it.