net is the most competitive place on earth. You need a great site, a
compelling offer, and sufficient promotion money - just to stand a chance.
The easiest of these is the great site. So start there.
Your site was
probably created in some haste a while ago. And if it is like most sites,
it is just OK. Not good - visitors expect stellar. Your site must compare
to the best on the net or you will not be trusted. It may be time for an
overhaul, and because you already own a site, it is not overly difficult
or expensive to do so. So take a good critical look at your site and redo
it if there is any doubt - your success depends on it. My company,
theNETrep, does free web critiques - so we see thousands of sites. We see
the same mistakes over and over again. Thus we created a list - the 12
rules for a great website. Use the rules as your guidelines when you
overhaul your site.
makes her assessment of your website within seconds of entering it for the
first time. Schlock doesn't cut it - your site must have a highly
professional appearance. Use a graphics designer. Go for clean, simple,
and attractive. Under whelm.
Your home page
must convey your complete message. Think billboard. Tell me exactly what
you want me to know right up front - tell me simply, clearly, and
It is tough
getting visitors. Give them a reason to stay. What is your offer? Exactly
to whom is it directed? What makes your site better than others like it?
What is in it for me if I stick around?
It is mandatory
that your site be quick. Use graphics judiciously. Get rid of the
gimmicks. Cut out the fancy scripts. Try to keep each page and all its
components under 20K bytes.
adds pop to your site. But graphics are your biggest bandwidth hog. So be
careful. Set your graphics to the proper resolution (72 dpi), crop them
carefully, reduce their dimensions, and use compression software to
squeeze out extra bytes. Check out gifwizard
to see how well you are doing.
Don't get fancy
with fonts. A simple font on a light background is usually best. Separate
wide blocks of text into columns. Use plenty of white space.
Use many short
headings. Highlight key words within the body of your copy to elaborate on
Your web story is
told with words - but your visitor is very impatient. He does not like to
read. So make your copy simple, sharp and direct. Use half as many words
as you think you should. Keep your paragraphs and sentences short. Use the
word "you" a lot.
Make it easy for
your visitor to navigate your site - no matter where he finds himself.
Include a link back to your home page on every page of your site.
Your visitor does
not like filling out your forms. If you must collect information from your
visitors, collect as little as is necessary. If you plan on collecting
your visitor's email address, tell her how you plan to use it.
Many of your
visitors are suspicious of cheats and incompetent business people.
Prominently list testimonials from your best customers to help assuage
You will lose
visitors if your site has broken links, missing graphics, or scripts that
don't run correctly. Check your site often with the popular browsers (IE,
Netscape, and AOL) and fix the mistakes.
That is it,
twelve rules - all common sense, most easy to follow. But I am startled at
the number of sites that ignore them. Whether you do the work yourself or
use a pro, overhaul your site now - it is a necessary first step to
winning on the web.
your Web Site has at least one
of the listed mistakes its time to hand your site over to us for
evaluation and recommended renovations and overhauling)
TO TRIUMPH OVER THE 12 MOST "DEADLY" Web Site MISTAKES
© 1998 Guy Parneix (reprinted from HTML writers guild newsletter)
It's a fact...business is more competitive today, than it's ever been! To
succeed, you have to know how to market effectively. Unfortunately, most
businesses have no idea of how to get the most out of every marketing
"dollar" spent. Many don't have a clue on how to create
powerful, hard-hitting, marketing communications.
Maybe today is a good day to take a sharp look at the Top 10 Most
"Deadly" Marketing Mistakes and how you can overcome them.
#1: Ruining Your Reputation With Inappropriate advertising.
This is in number
one position, because it is the biggest mistake that anyone (new or old to
the Internet) can make. The common name for it is: "Spamming".
Despite what you may have heard, there is no better way to run your online
business into the ground than the act of sending unsolicited e-mail. It's
the ultimate mistake!
Mistake #2: Your Web Site Is Focused On YOU,
And Not On
Your Prospect And
Customer Needs. Isn't this obvious? Check out a few web sites...then
answer this question: Are most of the sites telling you what benefits you
get if you become a customer? Or are they telling you about their company,
how wonderful they are, what they do, how great their quality is, hot many
'hits' they get, how great their service is, and all about them?
#3: Fail To Determine Specifically Who Your Target Market Is And
What Their Wants And Needs Are.
Ninety percent of
businesses rarely make the attempt to determine who their market is, and
what their market's desires, needs, wants, and passions are. The
successful online marketers can tell you precisely who they're marketing
to, and what their prospects and customers want in a product or service.
Here's a couple of "why and what's" you need to know: Why does
your customer buy from you? What do your customers want or need most in
the products or services you offer? Once you know the
"why/what", you can focus your marketing efforts to show your
prospects that you can satisfy their "why/what".
Mistake #4: Not Managing Your E-Mail
Your e-mail communication with prospects and customers will make or break
you. Since most of the time you will never get a chance to impress them in
person, you really need to learn how to use e-mail to your advantage. Much
of it is common sense. Each and every day we receive e-mail from people
asking us to do business with them, and many of them look like they were
written by a 10 year-old. Spelling errors, grammar problems, poorly
formatted and difficult to read ... you name it.
#5: You Fail To Capture Your Customers & Prospects Names And
This is the simplest mistake to make and the easiest to correct. Your
mailing list, or customer database is your biggest source of lifetime
profits! To make your customer list really profitable, plan on contacting
each person at least once a month.
#6: Never Try To Sell Your Customer A "Back End" Product.
Your hottest prospect is someone that has just bought from you. This is
your best opportunity for another immediate sell. The key to successfully
doing this is having products that offer solutions to the problems that
your prospects have. Related problems and related solutions equals
increased opportunity for sales. Your job isn't over once you've sold your
customers their first product. Just remember: your customers are never
"hotter" than when they first order! You should look for a
logical product or service to offer your customer. Using the back-end will
turn one-shot sales into repeat customers. Smart marketers do it
Mistake #7: You Are Not Persistent And
Willing To "Stick It Out" Until You've Contacted Your Prospects
You must commit to connecting with your prospects a minimum of 7 times.
You need to contact your prospect time and time again and hit them with
the same benefit packed points over and over again until they take action!
Set up a follow-up routine for yourself. One of the best pieces of
software, I've found, that solves the "follow-up" problem is
called "Pipeline". I used to do all my follow-up by hand (and it
was hit-or-miss), now I'm totally automated. Turn the computer on, hit a
button...and all my follow-up's for the day are done. You can download a
demo of Pipeline at: <http://www.pipelinemail.com/rs/spectra/>
Mistake #8: Destroying Your Site With
Graphics and/or Annoying Music.
This ranks right at the top of the most offensive Internet marketing
mistakes. If you are running a business online, your web site's job is to
sell. Anything that detracts from this process should be voided. Unless
you are selling graphics...then heavy graphics on your site, that take
forever to load, won't sell anything. Sound or music clips on your web
Mistake #9: You Don't Have Any Idea How To
Write Or Produce Persuasive Sales Letters That Get Your Prospects To Buy
NOW, Or To Get Your Customers To Buy Again.
If your car was having a problem, and you knew NOTHING about cars, (except
where to put the gas in) would you open the hood and try to fix it? NO!
Your investment in a good copywriter will be worth more than anything else
you'll ever spend your marketing $$$ on.
#10: Forgetting That Marketing Is The Key To Your Success.
Even if you have the greatest product in the world you will never sell
anything if you don't tell anyone about it. Without advertising there will
be no prospects, and without prospects there will be no sales. It sounds
like common sense, but it's also a common mistake. You only have to do two
things to be successful in business, and you only need to do one of them
on a regular basis. Can you guess what it is?
#11: Thinking You're Going To Get Rich Without Working Hard.
mistake that isn't exactly limited to the Internet, but it is just as
dangerous as the others. If we had to pick just one, this would probably
be the number one cause of failure -- both online and in the real world.
Making money is easy, but you must work for it. A successful online
business isn't built overnight, it is the result of many late nights. If
anyone says that they can teach you to make a substantial amount of money
without hard work, run as far away as you possibly can.
Mistake #12: Not Understanding The Real Power
Of The Internet.
The Internet is a powerful communications tool. It was created for this
purpose, and you'll get the most out of it if you use it as such. There
has never been an easier or more cost-effective way for a business to
reach its target audience. Take full advantage of it. Use the power of the
Internet to reach millions of customers all over the world. And then use
it to provide them with the sort of customer service that was impossible
without it. Use the Internet to gather information, research the
competition, and network with others. There's a goldmine of information
floating around the Net, but you have to know where to find it. Learn how
to use the search engines to easily find almost anything you need and your
productivity will skyrocket.
There you have it...the Top Internet Web site Mistakes. Sure there are
lots more, but these costly mistakes are common and they provide a good
starting point. Steer clear of the Top Mistakes and you are guaranteed to
be more successful in your endeavors on the Internet.