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Seven Crucial Elements of a Successful Web Presence

By: Tim Whiston at Tennessee Web Solutions

Submitted on Sun, Mar 4th, 2007 12:00 am

There is more to an effective website than great looking graphics. In fact there are seven crucial elements every site needs to maximize profits.

1. Balanced Visual Appeal
Of course your site needs to have a clean, attractive design. The Web is a visual medium and an ugly website is often the kiss of death.

But your graphics should not distract attention from your marketing message. If your site is an online video game or movie promotion of course it’s ok to have a full-blown flash intro and loads of cutting-edge animations, but if you are marketing a more traditional product or service you should avoid going overboard on the visual presentation.

Also a visitor should not have side scroll to view your entire page. This adds a sluggish feel to the browsing experience and should be avoided if at all possible.

2. Awareness of the 60 Second Rule
It’s safe to assume the average Web surfer will give your site a maximum of 60 seconds of their time unless you actively compel them to stay longer.

For this reason, the area above the fold is the most important part of any page your visitor might land on. When I say ‘above the fold’ I am referring to anything that is visible before your prospect has to scroll down the page.

You should use this area to relay your most important message. You might leverage a well-crafted header graphic, a killer headline, or an audio greeting that plays as soon as the page is loaded to pull your visitor into your marketing message.

3. Easy Navigation
Give you visitor clear navigational options so they don’t get lost. Nobody likes being on a Web page with no idea of how to get back to the page they just came from or where to find the main menu.

You can take this a step further by actually directing prospects where you want them to go. You might have a flashing Click Here button above the fold on your main page that takes a visitor to your portfolio or service display page, for instance. Or in the case of a direct response site you can leave your visitor only two options: order your product/opt-in to your newsletter or leave your site.

4. Quality Content!
A strong and informative message is not only what your target market is looking for as they scour the Web in search of your product or service, it’s what the major search engines will use when ranking your site in the search results.

It’s a great idea to present yourself or your company in a personal and inviting manner. Most people want to do business with other people, and not some nameless entity.

5. Pre-Qualification
Your website should answer many of the common questions and overcome the most typical objections posed by your target market. When this is handled correctly you are able to weed out potentially problematic customers and pull only the best fit clients into your profit funnel. This is obvious enough in the case of a direct response sales letter site.

But even if your business is in the service arena (landscaping, home inspection, wedding planning, etc.) pre-qualification is a must. By providing detailed information on your scope of service, and even including a FAQ page on your site, you can begin the pre-sell product and “warm up” your prospects before a personal meeting or phone conversation ever takes place.

6. A Lead Capture Device To Set The Stage For Follow-Up Marketing
Research shows the average Web prospect needs to see an offer up to seven times before deciding to take action. If you let a visitor leave your site without collecting their contact information for a follow-up campaign, it might be your competition that finally ends up closing the sale.

You might offer a monthly newsletter, an discount club subscription, a sample product, or a free course as the incentive for your prospects to opt-in to your mailing list. These are just a few examples.

In fact there are a slew of different ways to collect your visitors contact info in an ethical, mutually beneficial way. The key is to offer some real value in exchange for the subscription.

7. FindabilityIt’s pretty hard to profit from a website that your target market can’t find. It takes a lot of active promotion to drive traffic to your site, and this should be viewed as an ongoing process.

While the above statement is abundantly obvious to website owners in the business opportunity niche, a lot of traditional business owners fall into the trap of thinking an active site will automatically be available to the citizens of cyberspace.

Article marketing, link building, blogging, e-zine ads, viral marketing strategies, displaying your domain in all of your offline advertising, and joint venture promotions are all examples of effective promotion strategies. Of course a sound tutorial on this aspect of Web marketing could fill an entire manual, but no discussion of website design is fully complete without at least a mention of the need for constant promotion.

Make sure your site meets the entire above curriculum, and you will have yourself a great foundation for profitable web marketing.

About the Author

Tim Whiston
Tennessee Web Solutions
Tennessee Web Solutions is the premier East Tennessee Website Design provider, offering a full spectrum of web design and web marketing applications. This company is owned by the Website Design Service.

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