6 “Life or Death” Factors For Any Website!
Not a week goes by that half a dozen people don’t ask me what separates a great, money-making website from a bad one. In response, I surveyed a number of different websites, large and small, to find what they share in common to make them so successful. With few exceptions, every extraordinarily great website contained the following elements:
Every great website has testimonials from satisfied customers. These testimonials help set the potential customer’s mind at ease that the products or services sold online will perform as promised.
Truly great testimonials not only endorse the product, but clearly state how the product increased sales, saved money, or benefited previous buyers in very specific and tangible ways. Testimonials should present real benefits others can readily identify with, understand and, more importantly, want those same results for themselves!
Headlines capture visitors’ attention and get them involved in the website. How do you read the newspaper? If you read like most people the headlines first catch your attention and determine whether you’ll actually read a story. Similarly headlines on a website determine whether visitors get involved in the information or surf away never to return.
My own experience has shown that the proper headlines can easily and quickly double, triple, or even quadruple a website’s sales almost overnight.
Bullets communicate various and subtle bits of information about a product or service without making readers plow through paragraphs of information to get to the meat of a website’s offering. Bullets arouse interest, build excitement, and convey a lot of information very quickly to time-starved web surfers.
Every great website offers bonuses to people who buy, apply or fill out a form. Nothing induces someone to do business with you online like offering them something extra for taking the action you want. Offering a bonus report, tape, extended membership, extra quantities of product at a deep discount, coupons, or just about anything makes people more willing to go ahead with the purchase decision.
Everyone takes a risk whenever they buy anything from anyone. The risk centers on whether or not the product or service will perform as promised. In a retail store most people feel pretty confident the store will still exist if they need to make a return or exchange in a few days. On the web, however, that risk in making a purchase seems much higher than in the “offline” world.
Every great website makes a point of specifically telling customers about their return policy and truly exceptional sites offer 100%, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantees. People rarely take advantage of such guarantees and I have personally seen a website’s sales increase by 45% just by extending the guarantee period an additional 30 days.
Every great website has a phone number with a real live human being on the other end who can answer questions and provide product support.
So there you have it! With few exceptions this represents the formula for creating or identifying a truly great website.
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist & creator
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