If your business website could talk, what would it say to your visitors? But wait, your website does talk! And what it tells your prospects may make or break your online marketing efforts. Does it communicate what you intend and does it do so effectively? If not, what can you do to correct this?
We've established time and again that content is the most important component of your online marketing strategy. But the first impression a visitor has about your site is often determined not by the substance of your content, but by how your site and its pages look. The success of that first contact is often determined by your site's optics and the visitor's decision to stay and look around or leave the site is formed in those precious few seconds when they land on one of your pages.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind and help you make your VSB website more effective.
When people see your website, or when they land on one of the pages of your site, what is the one thing you want them to understand about that page? That is the goal of that page, isn't it? Back in school my writing teacher taught us to develop just a single idea in each paragraph. Having just a single idea allows you to maintain a clear focus and lets you communicate the idea more clearly.
Just as having a single idea for each paragraph lets you write more clearly, providing a single goal for each page on your site likewise gives your audience a clear picture of the value you have for them. You may feel that having a single goal leaves the page looking rather sparse, and many VSB owners succumb to the compulsion of filling up the page with more information. It's frighteningly counter-intuitive, but if you resist the urge to clutter up your pages and focus on attaining a single objective for each page, your site will more effectively explain itself to your visitors.
The Squint Test
Here's another simple test you can do yourself; it's called "the squint test". Pull up the page you want to test. Then squint your eyes. Now, while you're squinting at the page and before anyone else sees you, what part (or parts) of the page jumps out at you? Un-squint and study that part that was most prominent. What message does it communicate to you? Does it contain the most important part of the page - the aforementioned goal?
There's science behind this, of course. What catches your attention when you squint is most likely what catch your visitors' eyes when they first see the same page. It makes sense, then, for you to place your key message in this particular spot so that the visitor does not miss it.
Closely related to the objective is your call-to-action (CTA). This is the copy that directs your visitor to the next step in the journey you have mapped out for them. The CTA boils down to a short statement that tells the user to click on something in the page. This sounds really simple, but there's a lot more that goes on behind this single piece of copy.
It should start with a statement that assures the reader that he is under no obligation and the offer is absolutely risk-free.
Tell the people what to do next (click a button).
Encourage the visitor to do this right away. You don't want them to sit around and think about things. You want them to act now.