I’ve been creating websites that make people money for over 7 years, for a variety of organisations and businesses.

Here, are 34 things I’ve learned.

    1. The most important decision.  I’ve learned that the effect of your website on your sales depends more on this decision than on any other: How should you position your business? Should you position Schweppes as a soft drink – or as a mixer?
      Should you position Dove as a product for dry skin or as a product which gets hands really clean?The results of your website depend less on how I write and design it than on how your business is positioned.  It follows that positioning should be decided before the website is created.
      Research can help. Look before you leap.
    2. Large promise.  The second most important decision is this: what should you promise the customer?  A promise is not a claim, or a theme, or a slogan.  It is a benefit for the customer.It pays to promise a benefit which is unique and competitive.  And you must deliver the benefit you promise.Most websites promise nothing.  They are merely information on that business.  They are doomed to be lost in the millions of sites on the internet.
      Make a promise and stand out.
    3. Brand image.  Every website should contribute to the complex symbol this is the brand image.  This brand image should have personality, and be definite.  Don’t be bland.  If you are friendly, professional, geeky, whatever it is, make your website say that.  You’ll attract more customers than you put off.
    4. Big ideas.  Unless your website is built on a BIG IDEA it will pass like a ship in the night.
      It takes a BIG IDEA to jolt the customer out of their indifference – and to make them notice your website, remember it and take action.Big ideas are usually simple ideas.  Don’t try to over complicate it.  My BIG IDEA is to make you more money from getting you more customers.  Simple.
    5. A first-class ticket.  It pays to give most websites a professional image – a first-class ticket.
      Whatever the image of your business, your website needs to be professional – it needs to work properly, not look like one you put together in an evening.If your website looks ‘home made’, doesn’t work properly or is ugly, customers will conclude that your business is shoddy and they will be less likely to buy from you.
    6. Don’t be a bore.  Nobody was ever bored into buying from a business.  Yet most websites are impersonal, detached, cold – and dull.It pays to involve the customer.Talk to them like a human being.  Charm them.  Make them hungry.  Get them to participate.
    7. Psychological segmentation.  A good website is positioned towards demographic segments of the market – for men, children etc.But a brilliant website positions products for psychological segments of the market.
      The Grinning Demon website is positioned for nonconformists who school at ‘mass market’ products and reject ‘main stream’ comics, books and games.
    8. Don’t bury news.  It is easier to interest the customer in a product or service when it its new than at any other point in its life.  Many business owners have a fatal instinct for either burying news or failing to mention it on their website.  They fail to exploit the opportunity that genuine news provides.  This may be due to lack of time to announce it or ability to update the website.It pays to launch your news with a loud BOOM BOOM.
    9. Go the whole hog.  Most websites are too complicated.  They reflect a long list of marketing objectives, trying to attract too many people.  By attempting too many things, they achieve nothing.It pays to boil down your strategy to one simple promise – and go the whole hog in delivering that promise.
    10. Testimonials.  Avoid irrelevant celebrities.  Testimonials are almost always successful – if you make them credible.Either celebrities or real people can be effective.  But avoid irrelevant celebrities whose fame has no natural connection with your business or your customers.  Irrelevant celebrities steal attention from your product.

      What works best in videos for the website

    11. Problem-solution(don’t cheat!).  You set up a problem that the customer recognises.Then you show how your business can solve that problem.And you prove the solution.This technique has always been above average in sales results, and it still is.  But don’t use it unless you can do so without cheating; the customer isn’t a moron, they’re your friend.
    12. Visual demonstrations.  If they are honest, visual demonstrations are generally effective in the marketplace.It pays to visualise your promise.  It saves time.  It drives the promise home.  It is memorable.
    13. Slice of life (story telling).  Telling stories about every day life and how your business solved a problem may seem corny.  But they still sell, they still work.
    14. Tell the story with pictures. Make the pictures or visuals used in the videos tell the story.  Use less words.  What you show is more important than what you say.  85% of videos watched on Facebook are watched without sound.
    15. On camera voice.  Videos using on-camera voice (the person can be seen talking) do significantly better than videos using voice-over.
    16. Musical backgrounds.  Avoid using musical backgrounds in your videos.  On average, musical backgrounds reduce recall of your video.
    17. Stand-ups. The stand-up pitch can be effective, if it is delivered with straightforward honesty.
    18. Blur of singularity.  The average customer now sees videos everywhere, from social media to websites.Most of them slide off their memory like water off a duck’s back. Give your videos a flourish of singularity, a blur that will stick in the customers mind or relevant symbol.
    19. Animation & cartoons.  Avoid using these unless marketing to children.  They are less persuasive than live videos.The customer cannot identify with the character in the cartoon.  And cartoons do not invite belief.
    20. Factual vs emotional.  Factual videos tend to be more effective than emotional videos.
    21. Grabbers  Videos with an exciting opening hold their audience at a higher level than those that begin quietly.

      What works best in text

    22.  Headlines.  On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.
      It follows that, if you don’t sell your business in your headline, you have wasted an opportunity.
    23. Benefit in headlines.  Headlines that promise a benefit sell more than those that don’t.
    24. News in headlines.  Time after time we have found that it pays to inject genuine news into headlines.The customer is always on the lookout for new products/services, or new improvements in existing products/services.This is “informative” advertising.  Customers like it.
    25. Simple headlines.  Your headline should telegraph what you want to say – in simple language.  Readers do not stop to decipher the meaning of obscure headlines.
    26. How many words in a headline? In headline tests it was found that headlines of ten words or longer sold more goods than short headlines, although, depending on the product/service being sold this can be reduced to six words.
    27.  Localise headlines. In local advertising it pays to include the city in your headline.
    28.  Select your prospects. When you are attracting only a special group of people to your business, it plays to ‘flag’ that group in your headline.
    29.  Yes, people read long copy, even on websites.  Readership falls off rapidly up to fifty words, but drops very little between fifty and five hundred words.  This webpage has over 1500 words in it and you are reading it).
    30.  Story appeal in picture.  Use pictures to tell the story.  The reader glances at the photo and asks themselves “What goes on here?”.  Then reads the copy to find out.
    31. Before and after.  Before and after on websites are somewhat above average in attention value.Any form of ‘visualised contrast seems to work well.
    32. Photographs vs artwork  Tests have found that photographs work better than drawings – almost invariably.They attract more readers, generate more appetite appeal, are more believable, are better remembered and sell more.
    33.  Use captions to sell. On average, twice as many people read the captions under photographs as use read the body copy.It follows that you should never use a photograph without putting a caption under it; and each caption should be a miniature advertisement for your business – complete with brand name and promise.
    34. Editorial layouts  Websites that look like they are giving news and information on products/services will sell more than those that are outwardly selling.

Is this all I know?

This is the start of what makes a website that will make you money.  I’ve not touched on layout, design, contact forms, email campaigns.

But this special information is revealed only when to my clients.

Discover more.  For a free, no obligation discussion about your website and marketing needs, simply complete the form on this page.



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