article by John Boitnott
Journalist, Digital Media Consultant and Investor
John Boitnott is a longtime digital media consultant and journalist living in San Francisco. He’s written for Venturebeat, USA Today and FastCompany.
In his book No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent, business coach and consultant Dan S. Kennedy shows you how to re-position your business, practice, or sales career so you can learn how to attract customers for whom price is not a determining factor. In this edited excerpt, the author reveals what your website needs to contain in order to be an effective marketing tool for your business.
Your company’s website should be a place of vast (current) information. But first and foremost, it should represent who you are and what you do. So often I see websites that are more like static brochures than dynamic, personality-driven, multimedia websites.
To be a marketing website, your site must have these 10 things:
Most affluent buyers aren’t on the hunt for in-depth technical product knowledge; they’re in search of the go-to experts they can trust to make the best decisions and advise them on the best solutions. Adding personality to your website through photos, video, and your writing is about building that relationship with consumers and solidifying their belief that you’re the person who’s going to make their life easier.
Credibility is one of the leading factors in becoming trustworthy. When dealing with the affluent market, you can’t have a website that displays you as a “sleazy salesman.”
What makes you a credible expert? Have you been seen in the media? Are you involved in trade associations within your niche? Are you a bestselling author? All these factors play a vital role in showcasing your credibility.
One of the best ways to establish immediate credibility is through the use of recognizable logos. Displayed correctly, logos from media appearances or trade associations can bring immediate awareness and validation.
Testimonials are a powerful third-party verifier and help make you credible through social proof. Wikipedia defines social proof as “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. Wikipedia goes on to say, “This effect is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation.”
The best types of testimonials are ones that not only use text to convey their message but also include the person’s photo or video.
- Lead capture with auto responders
When people come to your website, you need to capitalize on their visit by capturing their information so you can continue to stay in touch with them. By providing numerous ways for them to get information, you open up your funnel for leads.
- Keywords and targeted meta data
Knowing your keywords and putting them into your meta data (specific pieces of code that tell search engines like Google what your site is about) is vital to get your website ranked in the search engines.
If you’re unfamiliar with what your keywords are, Google offers a free keyword tool that will help you discover the keywords that people are searching for and the amount of competition for those keywords. Ideally you want to use keywords with high traffic and low competition.
If your website isn’t on WordPress, get it there! There are a number of great reasons to use WordPress, but first and foremost, it’s great for search engine optimization (SEO) because it’s built with clean code that makes it easy for search engines to spider and index your website. WordPress also offers endless plugins that can enhance just about every aspect of your website.
- Current, relevant content
This is important for two reasons. First, it gives the search engines a reason to continually come back to your website. If you don’t have updated content on your website, you give the search engines no reason to come back.
Second, if people come to your website and it’s outdated, the first question that runs through their head is “Are you outdated?” Developing a keyword-rich blog can be one of the best ways to continually add current, relevant content. Effective blogs are ones that have content that acknowledge a problem that’s currently being faced in your industry, mentioning how you’ve been able to take care of that problem for your clients, then providing a mini CTA (call to action).
- CTA (call to action).
Good content with no action is going to be just as unsuccessful as a website with no content. CTAs should be used throughout your website to take visitors through a predetermined path. By using CTAs on your homepage, you can connect with visitors’ pain points and lead them to an interior page that will solve their problem.
CTAs should also be used on interior pages to get visitors to take specific action. These types of CTAs should be connected to a lead capture device such as a free consultation or special report. If a person has just read an entire page of copy on your website about a particular service, there’s no better time to ask, “Ready to take the first step in becoming financially free? Download the FREE Special Report ‘10 Keys to Creating the Life You’ve Always Wanted Now!’ ”
Remember, it’s about building the relationship—so capturing visitors’ information is crucial so you can continually market to them and stay in the forefront of their mind. Even if they’re not ready to make a decision that day, creating a relationship with them so you’re their “friend in the business” is vital.
- RSS feeds and social bookmarking icons.
Both of these allow further engagement with your website. RSS feeds allow consumers to simply sign up for your feed, and every time you add a new piece of content to your website, they’ll get it in their inbox.
Social bookmarking allows users to save links to web pages they like. Unlike a private bookmark within your own computer and browser, social bookmarks are public and tagged by keywords, so they can be a great tool for others to promote the content on your website, which helps increase your traffic.
- Social media icons.
Social media icons allow users to connect with you socially if they choose. Will everyone want to visit your Facebook page? No, but for the consumer who likes to get their information through social media, it should be an option for them.
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