Monday, December 07, 2009

3 Reasons Why Your Website Doesn't Make Money

You may wonder why a well-designed, professional looking website doesn't always translate to profits. I've given some thought to this problem, and here are the biggest reasons why:

1) It doesn't motivate a new visitor to stay at your site. A website visitor will decide in 7 seconds whether to stay at a new website. To accomplish this goal, your website must: A) Inspire trust - through B) A professional-looking design, and C) Provide useful and valuable content to the reader.

Cheesy-looking websites done by a high-school kid in Front Page worked 5 or 10 years ago - but not today. People are much more skeptical, and won't spend their time - or money - with a business that looks less-than-professional.

You should include a headline that addresses the biggest problem for a visitor - and how your business can solve it. This will grab a visitor by the eyeballs (to get his attention); quality content - such as articles, Free Reports and/or White Papers - will keep it.

The best kind of marketing is educational or content-based. By using this approach, you position yourself as a thought leader in your marketplace - and not just another business pitching their product or service.

Having a good website is just the start to making more sales. Here's the 2nd reason why your website isn't performing like it should:

2) The website doesn't include opt-in fields for a visitor's first name and e-mail address. The Internet is a great marketing medium - however, it's shortened the attention span of people around the world. Which means that unless a visitor really likes - and bookmarks - your website, he may never return again. Unless... you capture his e-mail address, and consistently follow-up.

It's important because only a very small percentage (3% at most) are ready to buy now. Think of Internet marketing like a dating relationship. You meet someone you're attracted to, and talk with them for a little while. You learn more about their personality, the common interests you share, and if you want to pursue the relationship further.

Some marketers say that you only need a WordPress blog/website for your business, and that's it. Maybe - but only if it provides great content and the opt-in fields with "opt-in bait" - such as a free report, audio, video and/or White Paper).

If someone goes to your WordPress site - and they're not on your list - and you don't have a way to keep in contact with them... you're hoping they'll remember you (over dozens of other websites out there) and come back to your site. It could happen, but given the shorter attention spans of people nowadays, it's not likely.

Once you start and develop the relationship with your list, you'll see better results from your website marketing. Which leads to Reason #3 why your website isn't making the money you want:

3) Not communicating consistently enough - with quality content - to your audience.

If you don't keep in contact with your customer or prospect frequently, they'll lose interest and probably forget about you. And definitely won't buy from you. This doesn't mean you send daily sales pitches, which say something like: "I'm cool, Social Media's cool - buy my stuff!"

This approach gets real old, real quick. To make money with your website, obviously, you need to make sales. You should provide a higher ratio of content to sales pitches. Bob Bly says the optimum ratio in your e-mail marketing is about 80% content to 20% pitches.

Because buyers are flooded with thousands of messages every day - e-mails, social media and blog posts, and traditional advertising - they're becoming more selective about what (and who) they listen to. That's why if you don't provide quality content in your communications - and show you're interested in solving someone's problem - people will stop listening to you (or receiving your e-mails), and won't buy from you.

Marketing fundamentals transcend time - and still work - whether you use snail mail or e-mail to connect with your customers. In summary, here's the formula for website sales success:

1) Present a good business image
2) Show your customers you care and are truly interested in solving their problems
3) Provide a valuable solution that will solve their problems.

If you stay focused on your customer and how you can help them, you'll be amazed how well your website and business will perform - even in a slow economy.