By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
Michele Miller gave the top tip this week, which is....PUT YOUR PHONE NUMBER ON EVERY PAGE (upper right corner).
But, be prepared - it's likely if you ask your web designer to do this - he or she will resist with every fiber of their "creative" being. (Which is a warning sign you should be working with another designer. You're in business for results not creative, "award-winning" web sites.) It'll spoil the "design integrity" they will cry. Remind them whose name is on the signature line of the check.
Four more things that aren't creative but will help your Web marketing. (And, yes, these will also make a clueless creative type moan.)
Want people to come to you? Put the address up there right under the phone number on every page. Want to really make it easy for your visitors? Also link to a Google map. The easier and quicker you make it, the more likely the viewer won 't end up at a competitors' site and location (which is likely listed right there with you in a Google search, even for "local" businesses. When was the last time you used a phone book, hmmmm?)
Do it in large bold font. I don't want to have to find my reading glasses. (And here's where we remind everyone once again that us aging boomer women have a lot of disposable income...)
Tell me on the very first home/landing page what you do and why I should care. Lose the cutesy flash intros and twirling graphic elements. It's been reported time and again that we women use the Web as a tool; we don't appreciate the thrill of the chase. Tell me now and get out of my way. I'm busy...which brings me to...
Don't make me work to buy something. Buh-Bye! I once had a client who'd gotten snookered by the "advertising expert" to do a "progressive" sales funnel on the site (Huh?) It was creative as all get out...and FORCED visitors to go through about five screens before they could BUY anything. It was all designed around a television commercial (that was well done), so if people were coming from that, they were already at least half-way to buying. Seems like it was a no-brainer to send them directly to the buy page from the initial "saw us on television?" text, doesn't it? But, Oh, noooo...it had to be "creative." Do I really need to tell you that the conversion rate was terribly disappointing? Nahhh...
Bonus reminder from my "not all women are Mommies" soapbox: Don't slap stock photos of happy kids or families on your site and think you're done with the whole "marketing to women" thing, ESPECIALLY if your product isn't child or family-oriented. Such sloppy marketing is at best confusing; at worst, irritating.
You wouldn't construct an expensive store, with no signage or address, on a unmapped back road ...then hide all your stock behind a locked door...and never, ever publish your phone number. So, how come so many web sites are built that way? Hmmm...