Website Design, Strategy, Social Networking, SEO, Susan Pomeroy, Ph.D.

Four Secret Ingredients of a Profitable Website

by Susan Pomeroy

Secret Ingredients of Profitable Website

“Like me, know me, trust me, pay me.” ~Joel Comm

This secret to success, in four verbs and a pronoun, contains the exact ingredients you need to create content for a website that successfully sells you, your services, or your products.

1. “Like Me.”

Colors, layout, headlines, typography, graphics, photo… research shows that within less than three seconds these “look and feel” components work together to create that gestalt that either “clicks” and persuades someone to stay… or doesn’t.  This is why design, color palettes, typography and headlines are crucial.

2. “Know me.”

In many senses, “know me” and “trust me” overlap. There’s not a clear-cut divide, because the better prospects know you, the more trustworthy you seem. For many years, people in business often tried to efface their personalities in order to come off as “professional.” And yes, being professional is important. But especially on a web site, being a real person is even more important. We want to see your photo. We want a bio. We want to know what you did before doing what you’re doing. We want a little bit of your story. We want some juice.

3. “Trust me.”

Once people have made that spit-second decision to stay on your site, they begin to investigate what you’re offering and who you are. Trust develops throughout this process, as your site answers these implicit questions:

a. Do you understand my issue or problem? 

b. Do you offer a credible solution to my problem?

c. What qualifications do you have for doing what you say do, what are your credentials, whether they’re academic, experiential, or work-related?

d. Have you helped others? Does your site offer believable testimonials from real people who have worked with you and experienced benefit?

e. How experienced are you? Do you have samples of your work? A client list? Anything to show me what you’ve already done?

f. Do you seem authentic? Usually this is a complex and subjective assessment. A lot of it has to do with language and pricing. Are you giving me the hard sell, trying to get me to spend what seems like an extravagant amount of money? Or on the other hand, are your prices too cheap for the results you promise? Another way to phrase this would be to say, are you in alignment… do your site’s appearance, language, information, etc. work together?

g. Can I sample your work? This might be your blog, a free audio or video, a free teleseminar or webinar, or a free downloadable report. It should include at a minimum signing up for your free newsletter.

h. Can I get in touch with you… at least via phone or email, and preferably also via one or more social networks?

4. “Pay me.”

1. Do I know exactly what you’re selling? 

2. Is there a selection (even if small) of products or services from which I can choose, depending on my needs and budget?

3. Are your offerings described so that their benefits to me, as well as the differences among them, are clear?

4. Do you have a clearly visible means of purchase, whether that’s emailing you for information, or clicking on a “buy” button?

5. Whatever the selling process is, does it actually work? Have you tested it?

Is your website “selling”? I don’t mean simply selling products. I mean, selling the credibility of you and your business, “selling” your mailing list, selling prospects on your professionalism.

If you’ve got all of the ingredients listed above, and your site still isn’t “selling” in some key way, tune in soon for Six Ways to Fix a Disappointing Website.


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