John Hellaby, creator of new website checkmyhouseprice.com.au shares his top 10 tips for making your website profitable in 2012.
New web based technologies and our use of the Internet, are the driving forces behind a change of thinking in how company websites are designed and it’s proving to be massively profitable for early adapters. This new approach encourages looking at the company website almost as though it is a member of your staff – but one that works 24 hours a day seven days a week for minimal pay.
By looking at your site in this way, you are able to maximise the profit you see from every visitor by converting visitor traffic into a profitable transaction at a far high rate. And while traffic is important, you can have all the traffic in the world but if you’re not converting at a high rate, you are missing out on a significant amount of profit.
While traffic is important, you can have all the traffic in the world but if you’re not converting at a high rate, you are missing out on a significant amount of profit.
So here are 10 key steps to take when planning your business website:
1.SET A GOAL FOR THE WEBSITE
It is important to know what you want the site to achieve. There is no point putting up a site just to have a site. It needs to have a purpose. For example www.checkmyhouseprice.com.au has the goal to convert every homeowner who visits into a lead for real estate agents. This is the most critical part of the design process.
2.UNDERSTAND YOUR VISITORS GOAL
It is vitally important to have a solid understanding of why people will visit your website? Is it to get information? To book an appraisal? To see what is for sale?
In the case of sites like www.realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au, people visit these sites because they want to see what property is for sale. Why will people visit your site? What do you want the reason to be for people to visit your site? If you can understand your visitors’ goal, you can create a process that will meet both yours and your visitors’ goal leading to extremely high conversion rates.
3.CREATE A LOGICAL, VISITOR-ORIENTED PROCESS TO GUIDE YOUR VISITOR TO THE COMPLETION OF THEIR GOAL.
This also simultaneously achieves your goal. With everything in sales, there is a process and the same is true in web design and visitor-to-goal conversion. You want to create a logical process that keeps your visitor on track and walks them from point A to point Z and the simultaneous completion of both goals (theirs and yours). Consider this as the step-by-step process that your visitors will go through in order to complete the goals. Map it out if need be. Studies have shown that once a visitor starts a well-designed process, the vast majority of them will complete it and achieve the goal.
4.KNOW WHAT YOUR VISITOR WILL TYPE INTO GOOGLE TO FIND THE SERVICES YOU OFFER
This will generate massive amounts of free traffic for you if you get it right! It’ll save you thousands on adwords campaigns and marketing and most likely, it’ll mean you name your website a catchy, memorable name that sticks in people’s minds. Say for example, you’re a Real Estate Agent in Manly and you want to generate listing leads for yourself. Which domain name is going to be better?
The best of the three above is actually C. Why? Because unless you are an agent with celebrity status in Manly, you’ll have to spend a fortune on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to get on the first page of a Google search organically. By creating a domain name that is or closely resembles the search phrase people type into Google, you automatically get a far higher ranking on Google.
5.USE THE GOOGLE KEYWORD TOOL TO MAKE SURE YOUR SEARCH TERM IS WORTHWHILE
The Google Keyword Tool is gold! Use it (search ‘Keyword Tool’ in Google) to make sure you’re not targeting a tiny keyword group that just won’t be profitable. It’ll also suggest other potentially good keyword terms you could use. The Google Keyword tool is a great indicator of potential traffic.
6.DESIGN YOUR SITE TO BE CLEAN, UNCOMPLICATED, AND CLEAR
Don’t give in to the urge to fill your site with all sorts of extra information – remember your site has a goal, a purpose – anything additional to this is just noise and will distract your visitor. Keep it simple, clean and make sure your message is clear!
Don’t give in to the urge to fill your site with all sorts of extra information – remember your site has a goal, a purpose – anything additional to this is just noise and will distract your visitor.
7.REMEMBER THAT VISITORS TO YOUR SITE ARE LAZY!
Make everything easy for your users, if they have to try and translate or work out what they have to do or read or understand, you’ll lose them faster than a fiver at the Casino. This comes back to ‘keeping it simple’ and having a clear process that leads them to the goals, theirs and yours.
8.LOW, LOW, COMMITMENT
If you ask your visitors to make a million dollar commitment on your website, chances are you’re going to get zero takers. If you ask them for their name and email address, in return for valuable (to them) information you’ll get a great result. Always remember the lower the commitment you’re asking for, the more people you’ll get to commit.
9.CREATE A COHERENT TARGETED MARKETING MESSAGE
Make sure your marketing message is the same through all formats of your marketing. If you’re offering a free report – then offer that free report in your online and offline marketing. That offer and marketing message should be echoed when visitors get to your site – so they know they’re in the right place. Target your marketing message to appeal to the kind of visitors you want to visit your site – do this and you’ll see a sensational conversion rate – a great conversion rate means a profitable website!
10.TRACK, TEST, MONITOR AND MEASURE
There are so many tools available in the market to track and test everything on your site that not using them is inviting failure. The best thing is the majority of them are either free or insanely low cost and they make a massive difference to your websites success. You’ll be able to monitor goal conversion rates, see where your visitors are coming from, what keywords work best – you can even get eye tracking tests to see what on your page attracts your visitors attention and what holds it. Using these tools will allow you to get inside the mind of your visitor and improve your site to better meet their needs. By meeting their needs, you’ll improve conversions and increased conversions mean increased profit.