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Monday, 8 August 2011

Build It And They Will Come - WRONG !!

If you have a website the chances are it's not making you much money. Because statistically, some 90% of businesses' websites DON'T make a penny or get people to contact the business. Truth is, making your website pay its way is not quite as simple as your website designer might have led you to believe.

Here's why: in the same way you can't build a profitable and solid business just by printing a glossy brochure and waiting for it to magically pull in the business, you can't simply throw a few "brochure" web-pages onto the Internet and score an immediate success.

And if you’ve been to a typical website design firm for your site, that's what you might have: an online-brochure which has virtually zero marketing effect. Most website designers are basically a new breed of graphic designer and they are NOT marketing experts. That’s why most websites don’t make any money.

The good news is, making your website profitable can be achieved fast, as long as you stick to some simple but very powerful fundamentals. And you can start right now.
And it all starts with your home page, because that’s the first thing people see when they hit your website.

Here are 3 tips to help you maximise the results you get from every visitor to your home page:

1. Ensure your Home Page passes the 8-second test.

Research shows that you have just 8 seconds to grab your website visitors' interest. They don't call it “web-surfing” for nothing: if you don't grab your visitor’s attention and break this pattern of behaviour, then they will hit your site, stay for a few seconds... and then they're gone. Usually forever.
So when they do hit your home-page, you need to present them with a clear and pressing reason to stay. And that means a headline. Don't let your website designer or your graphic designer sell you on the idea of logos, pretty pictures and whitespace ; that's just a "brochure website". Trust me, they don’t work. No one cares about your logo, the picture of the anonymous businessman in a suit at the top of the page, or empty space devoid of any meaning.
A headline is text, usually black, bold, and big which gives your visitor a big, exciting and compelling promise that if he or she continues reading, you're going to give them some significant reward for doing so. In other words, you’re going to have one of the few websites that keeps people for more than 8 seconds.
So think of a great headline for your home page, one which really sums up the "big promise" your business makes and encapsulates the overriding reason why people would want to do business with you and not your competitors.

2. Structure your web page copy according to the AIDA formula.

Follow this classic rule and you can’t go too far wrong. Your home page should follow on from your headline and tell your "story". It's got to be interesting enough to keep them riveted to the page long enough to get them over that 8-second "hump".
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, and all of your copy, whether it’s a letter, brochure, email, or your home page should follow this simple formula:
  • You get their Attention with a strong, compelling headline offering them a clear benefit for reading further.
  • Then you get their Interest with strong opening paragraphs which spell out the problems they face and the benefits your product or service offers.
  • You then fan the flames of their Desire by ‘twisting the knife’ and really showing them how you can ease the pain and make their lives better.
  • Finally, you get them to take Action on your offer with a strong call to action. On your home page, that will normally involve people giving you their name and email address in exchange for a Free report or video etc. 
    Every single page on your website should have a single purpose to justify its existence, and should therefore follow the AIDA formula.
It seems too simple and too good to be true – but it's used by the greatest copywriters and marketers, simply because it plugs into our natural human psychology, and it WORKS.

3. Use the lead generation model.
Too many business owners look at the Internet as nothing more than a virtual shopping mall. But we've already seen how your average visitors to your website are gone again within just 8 seconds.
Do you really think you can persuade your visitors to become a paying customer in 8 seconds? Most of the time, it just doesn’t work.

The trick is to switch from a sales model to a lead generation model. When someone hits your site, your sole intention should be to get them to give you their name and an email address.
Then... once you've got their email address you can start emailing them with a targeted, relationship-building and, ultimately, money-making sequence of personalised, friendly, and informative emails.
So there you have it: 3 very simple changes you can make to your home page right now to boost your website profits.

If you have any questions about how any of this can be put into action, call me on 01243 573615 or email me at

HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. The Company was established in 2009 by Neil Holley-Williams who worked for 25 years as a Freelance Consultant for IBM, Skandia Life, Invesco Perpetual and Carnival UK.

How To Sell Even In a Recession

As I write this, billions and billions are being wiped off the wealth of this country. It looks likely that the double dip recession predicted 2 years ago , and possibly a depression, is around the corner.

What will that mean for your business ? Well don't PANIC for a start. It's an ideal opportunity to grow YOUR business while everyone else is flapping around.

But, it means that you have to get good at marketing and do what the others aren'tdoing to survive.

The most important thing to remember is that when people have less to spend, it might be tempting for a business to become the CHEAPESTaround, enter a pricing war. In actual fact, what people or businesses with less money to spend want is BEST VALUE for that money. They want to see you offering more value. You gotta be better than the next guy, NOT CHEAPER

Of course, if you are offering a product or service that is exactly the same as what your competition is offering, then it is highly likely they will go and do business with who has the lowest price.
If you concentrate on separating yourself from the competition by establishing yourself as the only viable solution, then... your prospective customers and clients will have but one option... YOU!
So how can you do this?
Well there is an almost infinite number of ways you can make yourself stand out from your crowd and attract an unlimited amount of customers and clients; however, the easiest and most important thing you should do is to position yourself as the expert in your industry and build a solid relationship with your prospects.
And the easiest way to do this is by specialising yourself in a niche within your industry, thus making yourself incomparable with anyone else.
So no matter what business YOU are in, get thinking of ways you can stand out from the crowd to make yourself the only viable solution to your prospects, and remember...
... treat your current customers and clients with the utmost respect and start to over-deliver to them, because not only is it the right thing to do...
... your current customers are your best and cheapest form of advertising!

HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. The Company was established in 2009 by Neil Holley-Williams who worked for 25 years as a Freelance Consultant for IBM, Skandia Life, Invesco Perpetual and Carnival UK.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Another Customer I Badly Let Down

It's happened again. That's at least twice this year and it makes me feel responsible for not convincing a prospect I have a part to play in growing a business.

See, I'm so passionate about what I do, and how what I do can really help businesses, that if I spend time with a prospect and yet at the end of it I've failed to convince that prospect that they really must buy what I have to offer (I offer a Return On Investment); then I feel as though I've let that customer down.

My websites and services are (pretty much) more affordable than many other web agencies, and yet even so, there are prospects who simply go ahead and cut out website investment.

Usually, when this happens, I visit any website that they may have sourced (usually via DIY or by using a non- professional) and I analyse the site.

Generally what I find is something like this..

In case you can't read the image, it says that the web page analysed meets 0% of the requirements for a Page 1 appearance on Google. If someone spends 3 months (on and off) creating a website with that profile; that's a BIG OUCH !! Trouble is, most people who DIY a website would have no idea that their web presence is so ineffective.

Incidentally in the case above, that particular search phrase was searched for 1000 times a day in the UK in the last 12 months (30000 times a month or 360,000 times a year) . That's a big audience these guys are now missing. It will take real investment to claw that potential audience in. Statistics say that, in this instance, there could be the potential to create a mailing list of 1,800 ring fenced prospects to relate to

And we don't just do websites here. We are a website agency that 'knows' about web surfing behaviour, and we work with the biggest marketing experts in the UK and US to ensure that once your site IS found; then those visitors will drop into your sales funnel. That's a rare combination of techy and savvy marketeer.

At least once a month I get enquiries from businesses that didn't realise the value of website investment with a professional,. They phone up asking just how they can make their website 'work' for the business as a lead generation tool, instead of just sitting there watching visitors waft in and out again without making any contact. Sometimes we can work with the website they have, sometimes we can't; then they rue their misunderstanding of the technicalities and the time they have wasted, all for the sake, usually, of a couple of hundred pounds.

If you hear of anyone who is starting a business, and yet thinks they can build a working website, please, please , please let them know it's much more than just building a presence on the web; that's easy. Making the site work is the other 90% and for that they need a professional marketer. Use the analogy of an iceberg, because building a simple web presence yourself really IS only the tip of the iceberg !

You'll be doing them a favour and stop them wasting time on building a site that doesn't give a ROI.

HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. The Company was established in 2009 by Neil Holley-Williams who worked for 25 years as a Freelance Consultant for IBM, Skandia Life, Invesco Perpetual and Carnival UK.