Helpful stories for planning a Website and your Internet Marketing Strategy.

Is there a silver bullet or secret formula for developing your ultimate sales website?

27 November

I often say “if you meet someone who tells you they know everything about the Internet, you should proceed very cautiously”.

There is no Silver Bullet

When it comes to making sales online, a lot of people want someone to tell them the secret formula and then implement it. But the fact is, there is no silver bullet or secret formula.

There are best practices, but they don’t always apply. Once implemented, they should be verified or modified.

The Internet is a place with a wide array of potential clients in a lot of different geographical locations with unique needs and lifestyles. In addition, the Internet is a new medium which is constantly evolving so the way people respond to different types of websites, messaging, content, colours and other Website characteristics is always changing or evolving along with it.

The search for the silver bullet is not so much about having the winning formula from the start but rather it is about taking a well-educated guess based on market intelligence and best practices, then testing to either verify or (most likely) modify your site and then modify again until you have developed your secret formula.   

Developing Your Website’s Secret Formula

A method most “experts” would probably agree upon is to develop an efficient content delivery tool, (a WordPress blog website for example) that allows you to easily post and manage your content. Keep it simple and malleable from the start. Use current best practices to maximize usability when designing the site. Leverage the power of your existing or external advertising platforms and tools that are on the market to drive traffic to your blog. On your blog create a conversion process that motivates visitors to become registered prospects or clients.

Post Fresh Unique Content Regularly

Update or add new, unique and meaningfully written content and videos to your site on a regular basis. For simplicity’s sake, this performs two main functions …

 1. It gives people a new reason to visit your site over and over, and provides you with new topics to promote on social media and elsewhere throughout the Internet. Ultimately this will drive more and more people to visit and consume content on your website/blog. Remember that people want to buy from those they know and trust. When they need to buy, they will naturally have established a level of comfort with you and see you as somewhat of an authority on the subject. So who will they approach first, a stranger, or the subject matter authority they know and trust?

2. Google loves presenting fresh relevant content to people who are searching for answers. Updating your website on a regular basis signals to Google that it is current. The more people visit your website and remain engaged with your website the more Google believes it is relevant and answering their search queries. When people get the answers they are looking for, many of them will link to the content, which is one of the strongest indicators to Google that your website is serving a purpose and is valuable to its users. Therefore, over time, Google will see your blog/website as being able to satisfy the answers people in your market are searching for which is the main overriding reason Google will prioritize your website in search results.

Track, Test and Tweak

As time goes on, statistics about your website’s visitor performance will accumulate and become a meaningful tool to base modifications on. Hopefully at this point you will have converted a reasonable number of visitors to clients. The process visitors have followed is often referred to as a sales funnel or conversion path and will become your control set. From here you may isolate features of the conversion path and modify them slightly then gauge if results have improved or declined to determine if the modifications should be kept or discarded when compared with the original control item. This type or testing is often referred to as ‘split testing” or “A/B testing”. It is even possible to track and serve both variants to different website visitors automatically and then review the results to understand how the changes have effected your visitors’ actions. Then repeat this testing process to continually update and improve your client conversion path and enjoy the increasing inquiries from prospects, user registrations, and sales conversions.

The Bottom Line

If you are a new website owner, so far you may find this a little overwhelming. The bottom line is:

1.Built your site based on market intelligence and best practices.

2.Keep your site simple and malleable from the start. Add additional features on from there, as you understand your audience better.

3.Update the content regularly and get the word out to your audience.

4.Make sure you are tracking performance and modify a little at a time to optimize and improve your conversion result.

It’s not a silver bullet but using solid, methodical practises like these you can build your secret formula.

Inspired by a meeting with a client then a presentation by Chris Goward, Founder of WiderFunnel