Articles

Elevators and money

April 6, 2015 by Leave a comment

How many of you out there could tell a potential client what you do or offer in the space of time between one floor and the next while riding an elevator? How many of you have actually even thought about this situation? Granted, there's a lot of industries that wouldn't see a lot of benefit of creating what's known as an elevator speech, but by the same token, they don't hurt to make one for yourself either.

In fact, there's a good reason for creating one even if you never plan on using it. The value is due to the actual process of creating one to start with. An elevator speech, by necessity, has to be short, sweet, and to the point. There's just no time to meander all over the place when you really only have 30 seconds or so to get your point across. Nor do you want to be winging it when it could mean the difference between getting the job/sale/contract or not.

Realistically, you want three different versions of your speech. More specifically, not different in content, but different in length.  Your basic one should be less than twenty words, and ideally, less than fifteen. That size allows you to make quick small talk and still have time to give someone a clear, concise understanding of what you offer. It should roll off the tongue smoothly. In other words, rehearse it in front of a mirror until you have every inflection and nuance mastered. Diction make a huge difference in the message you convey to the other person, so mastering these points allows you to control, at least what's within your power, the other person receives.

The other two elevator speeches are basically just expansions on this basic message, one that's around a half minute in length, and one that's forty-five seconds to a minute in length. Any longer than that and you're going to start giving the prospect enough information to say no to. If they're truly interested in what you have to offer, based off of one of your speeches, it would be more beneficial to actually arrange a meeting instead of trying to rush a sale in a situation that's not conducive to it.

So, with all that said, why did I imply it's beneficial for all business owners to create one, even if they don't ever plan on using it or needing it? For one simple reason, actually. It forces you to focus on what your core message is for your business, the main reason for its existence. You can look at it almost like a mini-mission statement. Once you can distill your business down to fifteen words or so, it can provide you a filter to hold up against new opportunities to see if they make sense. By the same token, you can hold it up against your current operations to see if there's anything you're doing right now that doesn't make sense based off of what you've just determined to be your core mission.

Not bad for fifteen to twenty words or so, is it?

So with that, tell me what you think in the comment section down below. Do you think coming up with an elevator speech can help your business, or do you think it'd be a waste of time?

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Online review sites… Who needs ’em?

March 9, 2015 by Leave a comment

Online review sites. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em. If you’re a consumer, it’s where you go to check out a business before going. If you’re a business, you tend to hate them and wish they’d just go away.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, online review sites, like Yelp® and FourSquare®, allow consumers to rate and review your business, often without your knowledge or input.

Consumers love these sites because they can quickly get an idea of what other people thought about your business. They can quickly get a feel for what they’ll experience, based off what others report, when they interacted with your business.

On the flip side, most businesses hate these sites for pretty much the same reason. It takes direct control of their online reputation out of their hands and puts it into the hands of strangers. Their biggest gripe, and fear, is that anyone can put whatever they like on these sites, regardless of accuracy. Put another way, this ‘anyone’ could be their competition, a disgruntled employee, or even a customer who didn’t get special treatment. Even worse, they can leave this review without the business owner having any ability to remove fake reviews.

The funny thing is, these sites can also be a huge source of new customers when used correctly. They can also be the source of competitive business intelligence; data that used to cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to research just a few years ago. The big trick is to view what these sites offer with an open mind.

The biggest thing to keep in mind when you start doing your research is, not all bad reviews are bad and not all good reviews are good. Some bad reviews can actually improve your sales, while some good reviews can actually lower your sales.

In a talk given by Panagiotis Ipeirotis (YouTube® link here), he discovered that some negative reviews, when the reviewer mentioned specific issues that the purchaser didn’t feel were relevant, tended to act like a positive review. In other words, because the negative review didn’t list something that the next customer cared about, they were more likely to buy.

Because the negative review was specific in the complaint, the customer reading the review felt the reviewer was more trustworthy. By the same token, a very general “this item is awesome” type of review tended to be mistrusted because there wasn’t anything specific about it. It tended to lower sales because they didn’t describe why it was so great.

So if all you’re looking at when you check your reviews is whether they’re positive or negative, you’re overlooking the possibility that those negative review might actually be helping your bottom line.

Another aspect of looking at your negative reviews, and to a lesser degree your positive ones, is that they might actually be valid. For example, if you get several reviews stating that employee X is rude, you might want to investigate whether employee X is causing you to lose customers.

Especially in the food business, where atmosphere and customer service can contribute to having repeat clients, having rude or inconsiderate employee can easily break you.

Several years ago, the only way to get this type of information was to hire a secret shopper(s) to come in and pretend to be a customer. Now you have the opportunity to open a website, type in some words, click a few buttons, and have access to that data for free.

Even better, you can gather the same type of research about your competition. Just by surfing on over to their page, you can get an idea of what they’re doing right by studying the good reviews.

You can also spot opportunities to differentiate your business by seeing what your competitors is getting negative reviews on and doing them better. And again, it’s all free at the click of a button.

The hardest thing about doing this research is that you take it too personally. When someone is talking about your business, your baby, you might have a hard time distancing yourself from this information. Instead of taking the information provided and looking for ways to improve your business, you might take the reviews personally.

Unfortunately, taking it personally usually leads to one of two outcomes… You either lay into the reviewer that left the negative review, assuming the site allows it, or you completely avoid the site.

Of the two, ignoring a negative review is the worse option. You can always go back and change your review. You might also have the ability to privately contact the reviewer, depending on the site. Just by reaching out to them and apologizing, they’ll sometimes change their review to a more positive one.

Ignoring the sites completely, on the other hand, means you have no clue what’s being said about you, and by extension, denies you the opportunity to address bad reviews. If bad reviews start piling up, especially about things that can be fixed, then it’s only a matter of time before your customers start going elsewhere.

So the question really becomes, how can you make the most of these review sites? Quite simply, actually look at them. Read what comments are being left, both good and bad.

If they’re bad, figure out if they’re things you can fix. Contact the reviewer, see if they’ll give you another chance. It won’t hurt to reach out to them and try, and it could actually benefit you in more ways than one.

That reviewer might not just change the negative review to a positive one, they might actually tell others about their experience, about how you, the business, actually listened to them and cared enough to right their wrong.

A few minutes of your time can build tremendous goodwill and might even lead to more customers. All because you took notice of a reviewer’s complaint and cared enough to try and make it better..

Even if they won’t change their review, you might be able to determine how to improve the next customer’s experience based off of why you got the negative review originally.

Just so you don’t think I’m just trying to sugarcoat it though, I will say that there’s always a chance that they just wrote a review out of spite, or because they couldn’t get their way, or yes, because a competitor wrote it to hurt your business. It happens. It’s just the cost of doing business.

Now, assuming I convinced you to start looking at online review sites in a different, more positive light, the next step is to actually log onto these sites and:

  • Claim it: Most sites have a process you have to go through to take ownership of the page, allowing you to control the information posted, like menus, services you provide, etc.
  • Put your info on it: Actually put your correct business information on the site. Since these pages are customer generated, they may have incorrect info on the site, like hours of operation, a bad address, or bad phone numbers, etc.
  • Read the reviews: This can be the most time consuming part. Depending on how popular your business is and/or how tech savvy your customers are, you might only have a couple, or a couple hundred, reviews to go through.

After doing these steps, you then need to set up a schedule for checking your page on a regular basis. The more frequently you check, the more likely you are to catch a negative review early, meaning you can reach out to the reviewer and try and address the issue before they stew about it. The downside is that you have to take time away from other duties.

Or you can review your site less frequently. The plus is that you’re not spending as much time on it. The downside is, if you get a negative review, you’re less likely to change their mind the longer the review stays up there.

So it becomes a balancing act. Or you can have someone else do it at your business. The plus to that is, they’re less emotionally attached, so more likely to review the information analytically. The downside is, they’re doing this instead of what they’re normally doing in your business.

The third option is to hire a 3rd party to do it for you. A third party can normally devote the time needed to get the most out of data provided. A lot of them can also monitor the web to see if your business gets mentioned online, either on a different review site, from a blogger or food critic, or possibly even from a news report from a paper or magazine that posts their articles on their website.

So in the end, you have a choice. These sites aren't going anywhere. In fact, they’re only going to get bigger and more authoritative. You can either ignore them or embrace them, but keep in mind, if you ignore them, you do so at your own peril. Choose wisely.

So what are some of your reasons for or against monitoring your business page profiles on sites like Yelp® and FourSquare®? Put your comments in the section down below.

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Are you leaving money on the table? Or how being lazy may have cost me business.

September 30, 2013 by Leave a comment

Ok, I admit it. I’ve been being lazy. Sure, I’ve tried to rationalize it away: I’m too busy, nobody will notice, my blog does a well enough job, ad nauseam. No matter how I try to convince myself otherwise, it’s still the same answer… I’m being lazy.

What nefarious chore have I been such a slacker about, you ask? It’s the task of creating and writing my own, ongoing enewsletter. I’ve been tricking myself into believing that a monthly blog post counted as a type of enewsletter, but I knew deep down that it wasn’t the same.

For one thing, a enewsletter, an email version of a printed newsletter,  is designed to be easily shareable, either by forwarding to friends, family, or business associates, or by actually printing it out and sharing. Trying to share a blog post, on the other hand, is much more difficult and restricted. Making a marketing piece more difficult to share is the last thing you’d want to do.

Your prospects and customers want everything to be as easy as possible. Making something more difficult just means there’s going to be a percentage of people who won’t do what you want. The more difficult the task, the less people will go through with it.

Granted, an enewsletter might not be what you think of when someone says marketing piece, but it really is. It doesn’t work by direct selling, however. The magic in having an enewsletter is that it puts you in the position of a trusted adviser. In other words, you’re the expert. By positioning yourself as an expert, you automatically gain value in the eyes of your prospects and customers and usually lowering their sensitivity to the price of your products and services.

Another benefit of having an enewsletter comes from providing you a platform for getting in front of your prospects on a regular basis. By staying top of mind, when the prospect is finally ready to buy a product or service, you have a MUCH higher chance of being top of mind.

The main strength of an enewsletter is how well they help you build relationships with your customers and prospects. As just about every business book advises, businesses are built by relationships. By striving to be truly helpful from month to month, most prospects and customers start to look forward to your newsletter.

By providing valuable information, you develop the trust between you and your target audience. That trust, over time, becomes a valuable relationship that can help sway a prospect to buy from you when everything else is equal.

Another reason why enewsletters are so valuable and help sales comes down to a well known statistic in the sales field. That statistic is: It takes between 3-5 contacts before a prospect feels comfortable enough to purchase from a stranger.

Having that contact, especially when there’s no sales pressure involved, very easily moves a prospect along the path to trusting you so they’re much more willing to buy from you. Regular advertising: classified ads, direct mail, newspaper spreads, etc, can’t hope to develop the same level of trust that an enewsletter can generate.

Sure, those other means of advertising are important and I would never suggest not doing them, but dollar for dollar, you have much more to gain by having an enewsletter working for you than not.

With all that being said, I know it’s high time I start offering an enewsletter myself, a “practice what you preach” if you will. So within the next month or two, expect to see a notification going out, and obviously a blog post, letting you know when the first issue is available.

If there’s anything you want to see discussed, any topic that you have a question about, please feel free to contact me and let me know. I’ll try and address it in an upcoming issue. You can reach me at:
enewsletter@penultimatecopywriting.com

  I'll normally get back to you within 1-2 business days. I can't wait to hear from you.

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Published in Articles

Is email dead?

September 16, 2013 by Leave a comment

  With all the different Social Media sites out there, (Facebook®, Twitter®, Pinterest®, Linkedin®, and others), a big question to ask is:

  Does it still make sense to do email marketing?

  One of the big factors generating this question is email overload. With more and more spam, scams, chain letters, and newsletters filling up our email boxes to overflowing, It’s hard to see how your marketing message can be noticed in the flood. It’s a very valid point, but as we’ll see, the alternative can be significantly worse.

  What most companies don’t really realize is that they don’t really ‘own’ their ‘friends list’ on their respective Social Media site. While it’s a great feeling to have the likes, shares, follows, and friending happening on your page, the big problem is that you don’t actually have complete control over those interactions, which one business found out recently.

    Matt Kruse, the developer behind a browser extension called Social fixer, found out the hard way what this really means. (LINK TO FULL STORY HERE).  On September 1, 2013, he had on his Facebook® page:

·         A support group that had approximately 13,360 members

·         Approximately 338,050 Likes for their main page

·         Approximately 1.47 MILLION followers on their interest list

  I say approximately for all those numbers, because there’s no way to know for sure what the actual final numbers were. On September 2, 2013, when he logged into his administrator page, he found out that his page was unpublished by Facebook® themselves, indicating he had broken some rule. The only recourse he had at that point was to click on the appeal button.

  Fast forward less than 2 week later, on September 11, he was notified that his page was completely removed, his admin and personal accounts were blocked from posting, or even liking, anything on Facebook®. The same was true for all the admins and moderators associated with the page as well. They even went so far as to block his wife’s account.

  In the space of less than 2 weeks, for unknown reasons, 4 plus years of hard work growing a thriving community was destroyed. What’s worse, I’m willing to bet that Mike has no way to contact a good percentage of those followers to tell them what’s going on. As far as those followers are concerned, his business disappeared overnight.

  One has to wonder how many of those followers are going to go through the effort to track down what happened to this developer. Will they take the time to try to find his website, or did he lose them for good because of apathy or another developer that’s still accessible?

  This is why, with all it’s faults, email marketing will never go away. With email marketing, you have a means to collect your prospects and clients contact information easily, and the list you create from this marketing effort is yours to control. Nobody can take it away from you. In addition, if you provide email content like newsletters with material that’s actually helpful to your customers, they’ll get used to receiving and opening it. If you’ve done your job right, they’ll actually be looking forward to it’s arrival.

  If your customers are used to getting email from you that’s truly beneficial to them, when something dire happens, you have a ready means to get the word out as to what happened and to let them know you’re still around.

  Now I’m not saying that you should stop any effort at using Social Media to build your business. What I am saying is, develop a way to capture your visitors contact information, even if it’s just a name and email address. Then provide a regular, consistent form of contact with your customers through email, whether it’s a full blown newsletter, a quick tip, or if you’ve gathered enough information through other avenues, maybe holiday and birthday greetings.

  At the end of the day, your business lives or dies by your ability to communicate with your prospects and customers. If you don’t take advantage of all the different tools available to you that fit your business, you’re only going to hold yourself back. Making email the backbone of that communication system means that you’ll always have a way to talk to them, even if you lose a communication limb or two.

  Do you agree or disagree? Let me what you think in the comments section.

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NLP and written advertising

August 26, 2013 by Leave a comment

When most people talk about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and interacting with other people, they're normally referring to face-to-face interactions. An area that receives little attention is how NLP can help print advertising, both online and hardcopy.

One of the big precepts of NLP deals with representational systems and modalities. In layman's terms, it means that people have a preferred way to interact with the world based off the five senses. Some people are more visual, while some prefer auditory stimulus, for example.

For example, a visual person tends to use phrases like, "I like what I see here." or "Do you see what I mean?" For a more auditory person, you'd more likely hear them say things like, "I don't like what I'm hearing." or "Do you hear what I'm saying?"

Granted, there are three other senses, touch, taste, and smell. While a majority of people identify seem to identify with the first two, touch/kinesthetic does come in a distant third, while the remaining two are rarely the primary modality. Usually they wind up being a secondary modality.

Why is this important? It's important for the same reason getting to know your prospect is important. It's all about persuasively, and effectively,  getting your message across to your prospect and getting them to take action. Knowing what representational systems and modalities they use can help make your message more effective by unintentionally making the message harder to understand for someone who prefers one sense over another.

So what are some of the words that people with these representational systems tend to use? Below is a short list of words that are frequently used for each representational system:

Visual

Clear-cut, hazy idea, focus, look into it, hindsight, make a scene, pinpoint, etc.

Auditory

Clear as a bell, discuss, earful, loud and clear, speechless, tongue-tied, word for word, etc.

Touch/Kinesthetic

Boils down to, heated, hang in there, slipped my mind, weighed heavily, tied up, etc

So when it comes to writing your marketing message, whenever possible, try to incorporate words and phrases that include different representational systems. It'll allow your message to be persuasive to a wider audience and it'll help build trust in your company because, in the prospects eyes, you speak their language and that your message rings true.

What are your thoughts? Do you think incorporating into your marketing message language that addresses the different representational systems would help or hurt your message? Leave a comment down below and tell me what you think.

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What is a copywriter?

April 8, 2013 by Leave a comment

After attending a recent networking and business development workshop, it became pretty apparent that small business owners, especially new ones, have either never even hear of the term copywriter, or have heard  the term but don’t have a clear idea what they do.

At the most basic level, and this is a very broad generalization, a copywriter is a person who writes copy, a fancy word for text, that tries to persuade someone to take some sort of action. For example, signing up for a newsletter.

This is different from what a journalist or technical writer does. These two types of writers write to be informative. They’re not trying to get you to do anything about what’s being written, just to pass along specific knowledge about something, like a recent event or how to use a certain feature in a piece of software.

A copywriter, on the other hand, writes with the intention of getting the reader to take some sort of action or feel a specific way about a product or service. That action could be anything: continuing to read the copy, clicking on a button on a web page, filling out a form and mailing it, or voting for a particular candidate.

It could also be to feel emotionally charged about a product or service, like mentally experiencing the feel of wind in your hair while driving a convertible, or fear that you won’t be able to get a shiny widget because they might run out.

Copywriters can be generalists, or they can specialize in a particular niche. A generalist, as the name implies, only specialize in the craft of copywriting. They are the Swiss army knife of the persuasive writing field. Whether it’s creating a direct mail package or a postcard, web page to email message, they have the ability to write effective marketing pieces. They tend to have a very broad area of knowledge on numerous topics.

The downside is that they usually, but not always, need more lead-time to do a good job on any project they do. A lot of this lead-time is so they can do the required research to sound intelligent about the product or service. They also need to determine the correct “voice” needed for the audience they’re writing for. They don’t want to talk down or talk up to a prospect; instead, they want to sound like a peer that they can trust. Getting this right takes time.

A specialist, on the other hand, usually has deep knowledge about a much more specific area of expertise. This could be knowledge of a specific industry, like high tech or the self help field, or a specific type of project, like only writing direct mail packages, landing pages, or email advertising.

Because of their focus in a specific area, they usually have a strong grasp on who they’re writing to along with having a good working knowledge of the topic in question. This means it's quicker for them to be able to get the project they specialize in completed for the client. Another benefit that comes with specialization is that, since they’re more familiar with the prospect and how they think, they’re usually able to write more persuasively than a generalist might be able to do.

The downside of hiring a specialist is that they tend to be more expensive than a generalist, similar to how a specialist doctor tends to charge more than a general practitioner. Another possible downside has more to do with how they fit into your overall marketing effort. In other words, if you hire a landing page specialist, you may also need to hire someone who can write the postcard to direct prospects to the landing page.

Going back to the general practitioner versus the specialist physician, the general practitioner might do a good job for most of your medical needs. If you’re having an unusual issue with your foot however, the podiatrist might be a better option to go to than letting the general practitioner try and research the issue and make an educated guess as to the problem.

At the end of the day, a generalist copywriter might not be any better or worse than using a niche copywriter. It all comes down to what you hope to accomplish with your marketing efforts. In a future article, I’ll cover the differences between direct response type copywriters and ad agency type copywriters.

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Published in Articles

Why use landing pages?

April 1, 2013 by Leave a comment

In the offline world of direct marketing, one of the main components of a successful marketing letter is only having one "Big Idea". The more ideas you try to introduce into your sales letter, the less effective it becomes. One reason behind this is due to giving the prospect more information to think over. This gives them more reasons and opportunities to say no to your offer.

Everything in your marketing letter should focus on supporting and strengthening that one big idea. Most top direct response copywriters would tend to agree.

The question then becomes, if it's such an important and effective method to improve the response rate for offline marketing material, then wouldn't it stand to reason that it's just as important to your online marketing? In many cases, it's even more important since you usually have less time to make an impression.

For example, one of the more popular methods for advertising on the web is by pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. PPC is a method to have your advertising message to show up on search results by means of specific search terms. Having the right keywords can make or break your PPC marketing plan.

If these keywords are popular, it can become very expensive to have your ad show up enough times to justify the expense. Say someone is interested in a specific make and model of TV, like a XYZ super LCD. When they go to the search engines to find someone who sells a XYZ super LCD, assuming you paid enough, your ad for that particular make and model TV would show up at the top of the search results.

All that money would be a waste if your ad directed them to your main website homepage. Your visitor will take one look at your main page, scan it for less than 10 seconds, and unless you have something on that page that talks about that make and model of TV, they’re going to hit their back button, leave your site, and go to the next one down the list.

The main reason for this is due to the belief and understanding that, because that ad showed at the top of the search, it would have specific information about that product. The second, and just as important, reason is due to having multiple choices to make, like which link to click on to get them closer to their goal.

Most websites have a lot of links and other distractions that show up on the front page. All these distractions weaken the PPC ad that you used to draw this prospect to your site. What makes much better sense is to remove as many distractions as possible.  This is where a landing page would come in.

A landing page is, for the most part, the online equivalent of a direct marketing letter. Everything on a landing page is designed specifically to focus your prospect down the sales funnel until they make the buying decision. It does this in several ways.

The biggest reason is that it provides continuity between the PPC ad copy and the landing page copy. When done correctly, the prospect has no confusion as to whether the landing page relates to the PPC ad. If the ad stated, “Click here to see the lowest prices for XYZ super LCD,” then the landing page would have a headline that would follow along the lines of, “The lowest prices for XYZ super LCD anywhere on the web, guaranteed!”

Another way the landing page works is by stripping away all other distractions on the page. When built correctly, a landing page is only going to have information or sales copy that directly connects to the information that brought them here. Continuing with our example, the landing page would only talk about XYZ super LCD. There wouldn’t be any links, unless they lead the customer further down the sales funnel, on the page to lead them to other pages on the site. In fact, there would be no way to get of this page except by either continuing further down the sales funnel, i.e. Buy now, or by hitting the back arrow.

The way the copy on the landing page is written would also be laser focused to draw the prospect further and further down the sales funnel until they reach the point where they have to make a buying decision.

Said another way, there is nothing on this page to distract the customer from concentrating on the object of their desire, no mistake that they’re on the wrong page, and everything is designed to help them buy what they were originally searching for.

Unless you’re willing to develop such focused pages to complement your online, and even offline, marketing, you’re going to see very poor results from your marketing efforts. The name of the game is focus and continuity with your marketing efforts. Anything less is going to be wasted money.

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The importance of navigation clarity and simplicity

October 1, 2012 by Leave a comment

One of the major faults a website can have, beyond not having valuable content, is having a poor site navigational flow. What I mean by this is, how many clicks does it take your visitors to find the information they're looking for. If you're unsure, you may be losing a significant amount of prospects because of it.

One of the most important things you can do to make it easy to navigate your site is to reduce the amount of clicks it takes to get from where they arrive at your site to where they want to be. To understand why, you must first understand how someone would arrive at your site in the first place.

One of the more important things to keep in mind is that not every visitor starts at your homepage and proceeds from there. Your website isn't like a standalone storefront where everyone has to come in the front door and proceed to the section they're looking for. Because of the way the internet works, it acts more like a mall than a standalone building. There's going to be multiple entry points to your site.

Hopefully, some of these entry points are going to be from organic searches done from a search engine. This works by having relevant information on your site that the search engine indexes. After it gets indexed, when someone types in their search terms for what they're looking for, the search engine looks at its index and displays the results for the prospect to review. The more pertinent the information, the higher on the page it displays.

For example, if someone is searching for a specific brand/style of shoe, if you have that particular shoe available on your site, the search results would provide a link to that specific page of your site, not your homepage.

Paid for searches may also be an entry point for your site. If you're utilizing some form of pay per click (PPC) marketing program, then you'd be able to specify which page the searcher would arrive at. Having that prospect arrive at your home page wouldn't be the best use of the traffic generated by your PPC efforts. I'll delve further into the reasons why in my next article.

A third possible way for someone to come across your site could be due to your offline marketing programs. Integrating your online and offline marketing efforts will only improve your results from both. What can really improve the results of both is having a landing page created specifically for each offline marketing package so you can increase the relevance of the information the prospect sees when they go from your offline marketing effort to your website.

A final way someone might arrive at your site is by referral. This method you really don't have any direct control over. This referral could be from someone telling their friends about your products and services, it could be from someone's blog entry, or it could be from some type of review site. Either way, it's traffic that you have no control over where it's coming from or where on your site they're being directed to.

So to review, web traffic can from:

  • Organic searches
  • Paid for searches
  • Offline marketing efforts
  • Referrals

Now that you know how someone makes it to your website, how they move around your site will be easier to understand. The harder it is for someone to find what they're looking for on your site, the more likely it is that they're going to click the back button and leave so they can look elsewhere.

Every time someone has to click on a link to find information, the more likely they are to leave your site. In other words, you're going to lose a certain percentage of visitors every time they have to go to another page to find the information they're looking for.

Ideally, you want the information they're looking for located on the first page they arrive at. Realistically, you want to aim for three or less clicks to get from where they arrive to where they want to be. This is especially important for sites that offer products for sale.

Think about sites like Amazon.com®. When you arrive at their site, they have popular categories listed on the left and a search bar on the top. Entering a search term returns relevant results based off of popularity and how well it matches the search term. Clicking on the link gets them to the page they want.

That's all done in 3 clicks. If it's what they wanted, they can purchase it in as little as one click. It might seem simple but it's a very important concept to remember when developing your site. Keep the navigation simple and limit the number of clicks a visitor needs to click on to get their information.

 

What do you think? How big of an impact do you think your site's navigation is having on either keeping your visitors on your site or causing them to leave for a site that's easier to navigate? I welcome your comments.

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Published in Articles, General