Frequently Asked Questions
to the links at the bottom of the article "
by Tim Gross, Masters of Marketing.
Hi Folks, Webmaster Tim here...
This tutorial is devoted to one of the single-most important things about online marketing: Your web site. Some of the things covered may seem obvious to you, but trust me: I see the same mistakes made over and over when providing web site evaluations, and I want to set the record straight once and for all!
Simple Web Design Errors That Can Single-Handedly
Sabotage Your Sales (Are You Making Any Of These?)
Look: Your web site is the only thing your customers can judge you by. It is your store, your advertisement, your salesman, your brochure - it's all that and more. It must inspire confidence and demonstrate your competence, professionalism, and personality.
Main Street, U.S.A.
From the street you can see a sign hung on the front of the store. It simply says, "Store". You follow the path to the building - but can't find the door! After pushing on different sections of wall, you finally find a hidden door that opens up and lets you in.
Once inside, it's pretty dark and hard to see except for a few bright neon signs and a bunch of random flashing lights that hurt your eyes. Once your eyes adjust you discover a huge row of shelves with different products for sale, but it's hard to read the product descriptions because they're all written in a faint orange text against a bright pink background. Squinting, you're finally able to read them, but there's not enough information to interest you in buying anything.
All the products are randomly shelved: There is some interesting discounted merchandise here and there, but it's mixed in with get-rich quick schemes and Multi-Level Marketing plans. You drop one leaflet that says, "Make $50,000 In 90 Days!" with disgust. When you finally find something you're thinking about buying, you look around but can't find a salesperson, and can't even find a cash register.
After much diligent search, you find an inconspicuous sign telling you to mail a check to some P.O. box in another country, and that in three weeks after your check clears your product will be mailed to you. But you wanted the product today!
Confused, you notice a flashing sign at the back door that says, "Come in here! You'll love it!" Stepping curiously through the door, you find yourself in a back alley with a guy trying to sell you jewelry out of the back of his car, and a hooker that wants to know if you're looking for a party.
Question: How long do you think a store like that would last?
Answer: Not long. - But there are thousands of web sites like that plastered all over the web, taking up space, clogging up the search engines, and making it harder for legitimate offers to be found.
What have we learned from this 'Twilight Zone'
2) While we're on the subject, make sure that ALL links on your site are clearly marked.
3) Don't assume everyone knows that oftentimes pictures are links. - They don't.
4) Don't assume that everyone knows what a FAQ is. - They don't. Write, "Frequently Asked Questions".
5) Put a link to your ordering page and to your home page on every page. It's insane to make it hard to find your ordering page!
6) State very clearly at the top of your index page and on the top of every sub-page what the reader can expect to get out of your site, and what the page they're looking at contains.
7) Lose the jerky animations. They're distracting and make it hard to actually read what you're offering. When a basketball player is making a free-throw show, why do fans of the opposing team wave their arms wildly behind the basket? -- Because it's distracting to the shooter. Don't try to distract your readers from YOUR goal - which is selling them your product.
8) Lose the funky backgrounds. In fact, lose most ALL backgrounds. The easiest combination to read is black text on a white background. - Period. If you insist, there are some acceptable backgrounds like off-white, light tan, cream, etc. . . But if there is a watermark picture however slight, or a faint pattern, it's harder to read, and you're hurting yourself. Backgrounds can be used to spice up your site on the left-hand side, or with your logo on top, etc., but leave your main body of text black against a white background! (Break this rule at your own peril.)
9) Organize your products so that they make sense. The best way to design a web site is to promote your strongest product - your top seller - 100%, and then offer links to your other products. It's hard enough to sell a prospect on your best product. . . Don't confuse them by giving them too many choices.
10) Special note to those who's web site is nothing more than a combination of links to associate sites:
I've had many people contact me recently for me to evaluate their site, and all their site consisted of was links to other people's products that they had seller I.D. numbers for to try to make commissions from.
While there's nothing particularly wrong in doing that, (although there is more profit potential in selling your own products) they each had one thing in common: They were very anonymous, there was no introductory paragraph introducing themselves telling who they were, and why the products they were offering were valuable or even worthwhile.
Most of them are probably not making many sales. The web is nothing BUT links. If all you're offering is links without any personal recommendations, why should anyone take notice?
How Link Pages Should Be Run:
Why should your reader believe you? -- You've got to build their confidence by showing your stuff. Offer them free info, free reports, free stuff that makes them think you're a cool guy or gal. Then, when you've established their trust, tell them, "By the way, I found this killer marketing package/ software program / sports drink / whatever - that really helped me out. I highly recommend it. Click here to check it out!"
At that point, they just might. Also: EVERY ONE of the products you're trying to sell has to sound legitimate. If even one sounds like a scam, they won't trust any of them. If you were offering these:
Accept Credit Cards On Your Web site / No sign-up fee
Save at least 25% on your taxes next year
Proven system to make your cats stop urinating on your head
UFO's - What is the government keeping from you? Find out!
Envelope Stuffing - Earn $5 for each envelope - $1,000's a week!
What would people think of these offers? To me (and most others), the last one (Envelope Stuffing, a known scam) would make me suspicious of the others as well. There's nothing wrong with the first four (especially if you can't keep your cats from urinating on your head), but people won't believe ANYTHING you offer if even one thing you're promoting is bogus.
11) Make it easy to order! Just like you hate looking for a salesperson at JC Penney's to ring up your high heels and chain saw, your customers can't be bothered with searching for an ordering page on your site.
Put a link to your ordering page on every page of your site. Provide as many ways to order as possible, and be as reassuring as possible. (These are crucial elements and are discussed fully and exhaustively in the Inner Circle.)
12) Guarantee prompt delivery of your product. In the internet age, no one wants to wait more than three minutes for anything. Offer to send products out within 24 hours of receiving an order - and don't wait for checks to clear. If it's a high-end product, offer Overnight Express delivery. If it's a software product, offer to email it immediately, or offer instant download. The quicker you can promise to get the product into the customer's hands, the more likely they'll buy.
13) Think twice about what sites you link to. Would americanexpress.com have a link to some porno site at the bottom of their web page? Would Ralph Nader have a link to a Multi-Level Marketing scheme at the bottom of his? Your prospects judge you on everything because it's all they have. Only provide links to web sites you'd be proud to be associated with.
Let's Wrap It Up...
I know that's easy to say and harder to do, so I've decided to provide our Inner Circle members with step-by-step web design tutorials, where you can actually watch me create a website from scratch on full-screen "screencam" video while I narrate why I'm doing each step. Once you join the Inner Circle, you'll be able to download each clip to learn exactly how you can create a money-making site from scratch.
To join, just click here to go to our "web jump" page and click the "Inner Circle" link.
And on a side note: I did the hands-on work of building the Inner Circle website, and I can tell you first-hand, that there is an absolutely *staggering* amount of hard-hitting marketing info in there waiting for you right this second. Some of Mike's successful money-making approaches are totally "out there" - I don't know how he thinks some of this stuff up! -And the ongoing "twists" he's been coming up with just recently are just killer. Who would've thought that there was anything "new" to come up for marketing on the internet??
Plus, the other top marketers' transcripts are just awesome as well. From Brian Keith Voiles' ad writing formula to Bill Myers' direct mail approach (the best - and best explained - I've ever seen), from Carl Galleti's "Greatest Moneymaking Secrets of All Time" to Dan Kennedy's "business in a box" concepts (I love Dan's stuff!), this truly is the mother lode of marketing treasure.
Click Here to go to our "launch page" to join right now and see for yourself. It's guaranteed, you've got nothing to lose ...So go for it, you'll be glad you did!
All the best, Tim Gross.
P.S. -Every time I glance through the transcripts and watch the video on the site, I pick up something new... The last time, I *instantly* improved a headline for a client. The time before, I learned how to actually make money when a customer returns a product! (That one really blew me away - and it works!) You've just got to check it out for yourself. ;-)
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