How to Get Visitors to LOVE You – Wooing the World Wide Web
Ask gramps what pitching woo was all about back in the days of yore. A young beau (it was a different time) would woo his would-be sweetheart with flowers, love letters (written in long hand) and “a’courtin’” as the long-timers say. It was an elaborate dance that lasted until the fair maiden finally accepted the marriage proposal, got hitched and lived happily ever after.
As the owner of a web-based enterprise, small, medium or vente, your web site engages in the same rituals that love-sick paramours undertook to woo their future spouses. So, what worked then (if it didn’t work, chances are you wouldn’t be here reading this) works today on a web site.
Following some simple “rules of engagement” (pun intended), to make visitors to your web site fall in love with you, your web site and what you sell in the goods or services department.
Or as your computer-savvy great-granddad says, “Here’s how to pitch woo to the world wide web, young’un.”
1. Get noticed.
During the courtship process, step one is always: get noticed. Stand out from the rest of the suitors – other web sites competing for ecommerce dollars that are expanding exponentially in the fastest, hottest marketplace today.
Standing out from 1.5 million suitors ain’t all that easy. Google your most powerful keyword and see how many links come up. It’s not uncommon to get over two million hits on a search query so how do you stand out from all that competition for site visitor dollars?
Post to social media, of course. Open a Facebook account, a Plurk account, MySpace, LinkedIn and other social media sites and post actively. You’ll build a following if your posts are engaging and helpful. If you constantly Twitter about how good your products are, followers will (1) start to ignore you, (2) block you, and (3) report you for spamming them.
Use pay-per-click programs to drive traffic. Have your little blue cube appear on a search engine results page (SERP). These PPC cubes have some advantages worth noting:
They’re contextual, meaning they appear on pages associated with the query terms entered by the search engine user. Your yoga supply store shows up whenever a search engine user types in yoga or, better yet, yoga supplies.
Post to topic-related blogs. If you’re selling sporting goods, post to sports blogs and drive traffic.
Join on-line associations and groups through LinkedIn. Demonstrate your good corporate citizenship and your currency in the topic upon which your site is based, i.e. surfboard sales. Submit posts to surfer blogs reporting “8-foot glassy swells” in real time, dude.
Network. A no-brainer.
Submit content for syndication through sites like ezine, helium and goarticles – all dot com. Other web site owners pick up these informational articles, post them on their sites and provide a link back to your site as compensation. It’s a good deal and an even better “look-at-me” tactic.
Once search engines start to notice you, visitors will start noticing you. Employ “long-tail” keywords – queries that use long terms like “used surf board equipment cheap.” Not many search engine users will type in this long tail but those who do will see your site right at the top of page one of the SERPs.
2. Entice the visitor.
Once you have the attention of your target market (your sweet spot or sweetheart), entice the visitor. You want that visitor to stick around now that you’ve been noticed so:
- Use a compelling headline on the home page and interior landing pages that piques the curiosity of the site visitor.
- Urge the visitor to stick around with a strong, clear call to action: ORDER TODAY! Only add some none-hype sales text.
- Use a simple system of navigation. Plan your site’s content architecture to simplify the site visitor’s search for specific information.
- Stop the hype. Provide good informational content. It builds good will, it creates site stickiness (return visits) and it makes search engines swoon. Those Googlebots love green, fresh, informational content, boosting your site’s page rank.
- Offer something of value. Right at the top of the home page. FREE. SAVE 34%. BUY ONE GET ONE FREE. Demonstrate your value quickly and clearly.
3. Keep the attention of the site visitor.
You see this all the time. Site owners who provide links to other web sites. Look, it took a lot of time, money and effort to snag that visitor so why in the world would you let her wander off by clicking on a outbound link.
Once you have them on site, keep them on site.
4. Show your best side.
This should be done by describing benefits to the visitor. Forget about your objectives. Who cares? Instead, focus on meeting the objectives of site visitors.
5. Build trust.
A critical part of the wooing process and an important segment of the sales arc. Trust builders include lots of things:
- Your picture (there’s a human behind the site presentation layer)
- Recognized brand names (piggyback on well-established, well-regarded brands)
- Guarantees and warranties. Clear, unambiguous, no strings attached
- Provide a clear, accessible privacy statement and assure opt-ins that you won’t sell their email addresses to every spam thrower on the planet
- Add a trust builder at the check out like VeriSign and an On-Line BBB logo. These emblems assure buyers that their purchases are encrypted and secure.
- Add product pictures. They’re worth 1,000 words.
6. Make yourself available.
You never know when the visitor is going to pull the trigger and make that purchase or opt-in for your weekly newsletter.
Place contact information on every page and have a separate CONTACT link on your navigation bar. And of course, if you’re selling products, you’ll need a shopping cart on every product page.
7. Get down on one knee and propose.
If you want to get the sale or the girl when pitching woo, this moment has to come. It’s the close of the deal or transaction and performance of the most desired action. The easier you make it for her (the site visitor) to say ‘yes’ the more times the MDA is performed.
Then, follow through with totally client-centric amenities:
- An automated invoice sent to the buyer’s email client.
- Expected delivery date.
- Expected receipt date.
- Guarantees and warranties explained in plain English.
- Unparalleled customer care via a toll-free number or email queries.
- Speedy delivery. Get it there early, even.
- Regular contact. Use your customer database to send out a series of automated emails (auto-responders announcing SPECIALS, DISCOUNT and CUSTOMER ONLY sales). Keep hammering home value, value, value.
Getting a site visitor to perform the MDA is exactly like those old courtship rituals of the days when wooing was all the rage. There are protocols, best practices and terms of service.
It’s an engagement. A partnership. Hopefully, if you keep your customers happy, it’ll be a long partnership. Remember, it costs you ten times as much to acquire a new client or customer than to keep an existing customer in place, buying from you.
So follow these simple rules of courtship, engage the site visitor…
…and hang the JUST MARRIED sign on your site.