Digital Strategy and Planning: Defining the Interactive Vision.

Defining Strategy: an Interactive Road map

Organizations can realize meaningful competitive advantage by developing formal digital strategies that support key business and marketing objectives. By proactively designing, measuring and optimizing these digital strategies and programs, maximum return on dollars invested can be achieved.

Organizational investments on Internet-oriented marketing and sales initiatives over the past 15 years have increased from virtually nothing in the mid-90s to millions of dollars annually. Today, digital activities run the gamut from multi-functional websites, search and email marketing, banner advertising, web-enabled multimedia, and, of course, social media.

This seismic increase in spending is not without good reason: digital marketing works – for new customer acquisition, lead generation, and brand building. However, given the speed at which the interactive marketplace has evolved, it should come as no surprise that many organizations now find themselves with sprawling, disjointed digital marketing operations that lack a central vision and useful measurement systems. ~ Connie Amidei, Chief Digital Strategist, AmiTec Consulting.

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As a result, organizational leaders find themselves struggling to devise, measure, monitor and optimize the performance of these scatter shot interactive programs – which now have the full attention of the entire team. And subsequent digital strategy and budget planning discussions are often overly reactive and disorderly, lacking a structured framework and methodology to guide the process.

The Building Blocks of Digital Strategy

While the digital medium provides leaders wit h a dizzying array of exciting new tools and techniques, it hasn’t fundamentally changed the way most organizations do business. As such, digital strategies need to be considered within the context of an organization’s top-line objectives.

Discovery. Establish a sound understanding of the organization’s underlying strategies and personality, including: unique value proposition, industry nuances, target audiences, sources of competitive advantage

Competitive Analysis. Evaluate the organization’s digital operations vis-à-vis the competitive landscape. Specify competitor strategies and spending levels. Identify relevant secondary research and conduct primary research. Determine industry best practices and applicable best-in-class tactics being employed in other sectors.

Recommendations. Deliver specific concepts that can be employed to support organizational objectives and which can be measured. These can include: innovative techniques for deployment, and integration opportunities, budget re-allocation, and organizational adjustments. Establish measurement frameworks, and digital goals and objectives.

Each phase of this methodology, while interdependent with the others, can be pursued in parallel in order to streamline the process and be completed quickly. Core tenets of this approach are a 360° perspective of the issues, the combination of quantitative and qualitative inputs, and specific recommendations that can be measured and optimized over time.

AmiTec Consulting Group works with clients to pursue digital transformation initiatives that result in new revenues, competitive advantage, and more efficient operations.  Please contact Connie Amidei, Chief Digital Strategist at  AmiTec Digital.   Connie@amitecdigital.com or at 352.281.2681.

 

 

7 Steps For Building A Powerful Web Presence – Process Is Everything When It Comes To An Effective Digital Strategy

Have you started building and growing your online presence beyond a basic website? Did you know that your online presence today affects your credibility, reputation, professional relevance and referral power?

Perhaps you’ve been hesitant to do more because of compliance fears or perhaps you just aren’t sure where to begin. New digital tools, social networks and mobile devices in just a few short years have completely changed the way we live and work. All that change can be overwhelming, and it’s moving at the speed of light.

We’ve entered an era where anyone can build a personal-media platform. If you don’t attempt to adapt and embrace this “new media” revolution with your own online presence, you are putting your business at risk. The risk of sitting on the sidelines today is greater than the risk of moving forward.

In order to forge ahead successfully, you need a process. It’s not the new tools that will make you successful, it’s the process you implement to leverage those tools. When you have a process in place, all of a sudden, things aren’t so complicated anymore. Sound familiar? This is exactly what you do for your clients when you help them develop a clear financial plan and implement an investment strategy that is targeted to their goals. It’s all about the process and we can help.  Connie Amidei, Chief Digital Strategist, AmiTec Consulting

1. PLAN

The most logical place to start is to develop a plan. Think about your goals, budget and the resources that might be required to go digital. Consider which online marketing channels make sense for your business, as well as the education or training you might need to get up to speed with building your online presence. Most importantly, creating a powerful online presence will require a consistent investment of time to build traction initially and to continue that momentum on a daily basis. Now is a good time to evaluate which marketing activities aren’t working and reinvest your resources into building long-term digital equity that will pay off for years to come.

2. PUBLISH

Today it’s easier than ever to self-publish online. Through blogging technology, you can publish text-based articles, videos, audio podcasts, images and presentations on your own website, as well as on social-media channels, in order to expand your visibility and credibility. Work to build a robust library of unique, personable and high-quality content that is accessible and relevant to your target markets 24/7 on your website. This will make it easier for you to be found by your target markets in search engines, on social-media sites and even in e-mail inboxes (for those who “opt-in” to your database). Don’t underestimate the power of publishing as the foundation of your digital strategy.

3. SHARE

It is no secret that we are bombarded with information today. People have enough information. What they really want is knowledge. They want someone to sort through all that information and lead them to make good decisions. Part of creating a successful online presence is sharing the right knowledge (content) with the right people (members of your target markets). Ideally, a decent proportion of what you share online comes from content that you develop, but you can also build significant clout online by sharing content from other influencers and reputable websites or blogs. Activating your online presence through a consistent and systematic social-media-sharing strategy will help you expand your following and stay top-of-mind with your community.

4. CONNECT

You can invest in an amazing online presence and have outstanding content, but without a community, you won’t generate opportunities that can forward your personal and professional success. Focus on building your community online through search engines (web traffic), social media (networking) and your e-mail database. It is your community that ultimately will enable you to cultivate trusted connections who can become advocates for your business, referral sources, promotional partners and new clients. Invest in both the depth and breadth of your network.

5. ENGAGE

As you cultivate your community via your online presence and activities, you will open up the door to engagement opportunities with others. This is professional networking as we know it in the traditional sense, but it’s online, easy and can accelerate relationship development. Building the community first gives you access and permission to engage with the members from within. It also allows you to gather intelligence about the individuals with whom you are connected. Engaging in influential networking activities based on personal knowledge about someone’s personal or work life is incredibly powerful. It can create an immediate warm relationship!

6. OPTIMIZE

Optimizing your online presence is a continuing activity. Online marketing programs cannot be put on autopilot. The landscape changes rapidly and therefore you will need to be constantly updating and optimizing your online presence. Think about all the new features and updates you hear about from social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Just as you optimize client portfolios for risk/reward, you will want to do the same for your digital portfolio to make sure it’s working for you in the best way possible.

7. ANALYZE

Luckily, some amazing and powerful digital tools are available that can give you great insight into how your digital strategy is working [such as Google Analytics]. A good number of these tools are free or low-cost. With digital tracking and marketing tools, you can gather data from your activities and re-balance your strategy from time to time as you learn what works well for you. You will need some time to gather that data and make sense of the results. However, it is quite powerful to be able to measure marketing performance, which is something that has never been available in the past.

Following this seven-step process will help you navigate the digital landscape and build a powerful online presence. Keep in mind that the results of your efforts will not be visible at first, but don’t worry — results will come over time. Think of your online presence as a long-term growth stock. If you consistently work to build it the right way, you will have a valuable asset in the end.

 

Building your Organization’s Digital Strategy

Making an impact online requires more thought and strategy than ever. This is particularly true for nonprofits, which generally have smaller budgets and fewer resources at their disposal.

According to Connie Amidei, Chief Digital Strategist at AmiTec Digital, developing an effective digital strategy starts with planning and assessment. Your digital marketing strategies should focus on creating valuable content, while remaining consistent with your branding message and committing to interacting on social-sharing platforms.

Define Your Story   All good campaigns have core messages.  What is the story you are trying to tell, and more importantly, why should your audience care? Most nonprofits inherently have an emotional story to share, so it’s vital to figure out how it connects to the lives of the donors you are trying to reach. And, finally, know exactly how your story will elicit a response from your audience.

Platforms and Engagement   Once you have your story you’ll want to think about how you will spread it. In other words, what social media networks will you use to engage and interact with your audience?  To determine which mediums will be most effective in your digital strategy, you first have to consider who is most likely to be moved by your story and want to help your cause.

Consider this group of people in terms of age, lifestyle and geographic location. Which social platforms do they favor and what type of technology do they use to gain access to the Web? The more you know, the better able you’ll be to reach them.

Measure and Evaluate   Success means constantly measuring and evaluating results. One way to help determine the effectiveness of your digital campaign is to use social listening tools such as Radian6 and TweetReach to gain insights into how your audience is interacting with your message. A little time spent on evaluation will save money and headaches down the road, and ensure every campaign gets the returns anticipated.

Mobile Options for Nonprofits   There is a huge demand for mobile services from consumers and it isn’t solely directed at for-profits. Nonprofits must focus on incorporating mobile-friendly strategies into their marketing and fundraising campaigns. Technologies like SMS and text donations, mobile websites and apps allow nonprofits to extend their reach as well as their cause.

 

 

Choosing your Clients: Because Relationships Matter

I have a consulting firm. It does great work. It’s a fun place to work. Growth, revenue, and new business wins are nothing more than a by-product of those two facts. Our approach to new business might seem a bit unconventional, but my team has asked me to share it anyway.

Don’t do it for the money.
I don’t know of a single creative person I respect who gets out of bed every morning to earn a paycheck. When things get tough, and that is the default mode in this business, particularly at this time, “the money” isn’t going to pull you through. Better to make a reasonable fee working on something you genuinely have passion for than to make tons on something you wouldn’t shed a tear over if it fell off the planet.

Don’t do it for the creative opportunity, either.
Sounds blasphemous coming from the owner of a creative firm, I know.

We’ve all done it, chasing work simply because it’s a “creative opportunity” is dangerous business. Those magic quoted words have a way of rendering all other ills invisible.  Connie Amidei, Chief Digital Strategist 

An exciting product and an innovative brand cannot begin to compensate for a passionless, clueless or flat-out lazy marketer.

Do it for the people.
The brand, category and product do not matter. The people across the table do. We need to feel a client’s passion and energy. We know that after they finish the meeting with us, they still have to run through the halls of their headquarters championing the work and fighting off critics. We cannot succeed without that ingredient. When deadlines feel overwhelming and production falls short of expectations, it helps to remember you are doing this because you believe in and care about the people you’re working for.

Chemistry and Client Vetting
Potential clients stroll into our offices for chemistry checks thinking they are doing all the checking. On the other side of the table, we are asking ourselves, Do we like these people enough to go into battle for them. Do we think their business model is sustainable? Have they made other changes in the organization necessary for success? Are they at all in denial? Do they understand what marketing can and cannot do? Is there going to be a key decision maker who is not present? The result is having the option to choose your clients.

Total Honesty.
Be so honest about their business, their thinking, and their assumptions that you put them back on their heels. A good client will appreciate the challenge providing it’s done in a thoughtful, earnest way. With a potentially awesome client, you will work toward a better solution quicker. A bad one will slip into inauthentic behaviors and stick their fingers back in their ears. This a critical juncture for choosing quality clients. Pay attention.

One Last Thing.

There is no substitute for brilliant strategic insights and result driven creative ideas. However, that is the easy part. Identifying people who will understand and appreciate it all is the challenge.  Connie Amidei, Chief Digital Strategist

Connie has served as lead consultant and online strategist for over 450 interactive web development projects over the last 9 years, and continues to push the envelope with innovative ways to brand, market and promote organizations online.

Net Gain For Obama

Net Gain for Obama
President’s Online Supporters Pivotal to Pushing his Agenda

President Barack Obama’s top asset in promoting his agenda is not his Cabinet secretaries or aides, but rather his online network.

Obama’s political email list tops 13 million names, a digital force that the White House can tap to push for his legislation, tamp down critics or bolster popular support. It is also a way for Obama to reach into every state, every city and every neighborhood.

A study released last month found that a quarter of Obama voters said they would continue to work online to support the new administration. The nonpartisan Pew Internet and American Life Project also found 62 percent of Obama’s voters said they would ask others o support Obama’s policies.

Welcome to the Democrats’ new permanent campaign, one planned online and executed on Main Street.

“INTERNET: Legions of supporters can be rallied at the click of a mouse”

With a well thought out mobilization strategy in place, the White House will marshal hundreds of thousands of phone calls within hours if it looks as if the president were losing a policy battle. With the click of a keyboard, Obama’s aides could ask supporters to flood the phone lines of Congress, making it untenable to ignore the clamor.

Obama’s unmatched database gives his administration a clear advantage over its Republican rivals, who have seen decades of data mining overcome in a matter of months.

During past election cycles, campaign Web sites were little more than digital versions of their campaign pamphlets. During the last few elections, campaign strategists have turned to the Internet as a way to reach more voters, typically, the uninvolved or youth, and their donations. Now, Obama’s team is turning that strategy into governance.

Howard Dean’s primary campaign in 2004 brought together massive first time online support and donors, but that did not translate to real world votes. Similarly, John Edwards tried to mobilize his supporters in the name of national services ahead of his second presidential campaign; those single-issue voters wee not thee, however, when Activist Edwards became Candidate Edwards.

Obama, though, he has been the most successful so far. Obama’s online supporters raised over $500 million for him, created 2 million online profiles at MyBarackObama.com used his database to make phone calls during the campaign’s final days.

According to the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, 59 percent of all voters took part in the campaign online, whether it was sending e0mail, reading political blogs or researching candidates. Obama clearly had the advantage.

The Pew survey asked 2,254 adults about their internet usage and politics from Nov.20 to Dec 4. The margin of error in the overall sample is plus or minus 2 percentage points. Among the 1,591 Internet users, the margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

It has been a careful dance between Obama and his supporters. His aides have avoided bulk email and have tailored each message to its intended audience. For instance, Latinos and Hispanics who supported Obama received an email announcing Linda Sanchez would be co chair of Obama’s inauguration committee.

It is the only way to break though bulk emails that load voters inboxes, consultants say.

“I think we have seen them think critically about every single email that they send”, said Connie Amidei, an Internet Strategy Consultant who worked with Obama’s online campaign.

For decades, politicians have sought ways to harness public sentiment to outflank troublesome opponents, news organizations and rival interest groups. Obama’s network is a powerful weapon. Progressive organizations have joined the constituency management effort. MoveOn.org sent an email to some of its 4.2 million supporters asking them to get involved.

Obama’s strategy could send phone lines crashing within minutes of a declared protest. Similarly, the instant communication of the Internet and cellular phone text messages could end it just by typing one word: “Stop.”

That power gives Obama’s online advisers, the netroots a potentially bigger role than many of his cabinet picks and major hires in pushing through his agenda.

Since the election, millions of Obama voters have visited his transition Web site http://www.change.gov to discuss ways in which they can support strategies for change according to Pew. The day after the inauguration, Obama’s transitional site disappeared and replaced by launching his interactive presidential presence http://www.whitehouse.gov where his campaign for change continues to engage millions of new users daily.

Cheat Sheet: Web 2.0

What is it and should you care?

Web 2.0? More than just another buzzword…
Web 2.0 is one of those phrases which we’re hearing a lot about currently. Everybody is excited about it but do they really know what it is?

So what is it?
In the simplest terms it is the phrase being applied to ‘the second coming’ of the internet. Dot-com investors are partying like its 1999 and a number of pioneering online services are very much keeping that party exciting, getting everybody talking about the internet once more and its increasing relevance to our lives.

Such as?
Well, web 2.0 is a bit of a catchall, which covers a broad range of new online services, user-generated content, communities and social networking tools. The most popular are sites such as Blogger, Flickr, MySpace, YouTube and Wikipedia and the Godfather of web 2.0 – Google. The phrase also refers to the creation of far greater levels of interactivity, not just between users, or between users and the internet but between complementary online services through mash-ups and web services.

So this is all consumer stuff – photo sharing and the like?
That’s where a lot of the energy is coming from and the services doing the early running have absolutely been focused on driving and exploiting end-user trends. However, the idea that the web is ‘where it’s at’ is not lost on big business. For example, web 2.0 covers ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) – companies are being told they no longer have to buy software but instead should access applications online. Many people aren’t yet ready to embrace that move but investors and advocates of SaaS are certainly convinced.

Where did the name come from?
The 2.0 name is a clear allusion to the naming convention of software updates – this is the internet version 2.0, get it? – which is slightly ironic given the revolution taking place in software as a service is not good news for traditional client/server software.

Why is that?

Well, to quote Marc Benioff, CEO of salesforce.com: “All of the action is in services. Web 2.0 is where the action is.” His company has embraced this move whole-heartedly, providing a portal for all manner of web 2.0 applications aimed at the enterprise – including online word processors and spreadsheets, (nobody said web 2.0 had to be limited to interesting, fun applications).

We are convinced that Web 2.0 should be a major consideration for businesses.

But should I care?
Absolutely! Two or three years ago there was a feeling that innovation online had failed to emerge from the doldrums of the dot-com boom and bust cycle and had hit something of a dead end but now innovation is arguably at its most frenetic level ever.

Never underestimate the effect the internet can have on our lives, now all we need is a browser and a broadband connection and there’s very little we can’t do.

Isn’t there a danger that mistakes will be repeated? We have been here before, haven’t we?
We certainly have seen an internet boom before and history has shown us that bust follows boom but there is some bedrock here. Of course, there are question marks over how YouTube will make money, for example – because great ideas and even popularity don’t pay the bills – and the next stage for the investors will be monetizing the excitement that surrounds web 2.0. Not every service, which launches under that banner, will survive but a great many will, probably though acquisition in many cases.

Acquisition by whom?
Well Google for starters; the internet giant is absolutely at the heart of web 2.0 and the ability to bring many of these services together to create vast interlinked content offerings will certainly appeal. For the enterprise and end-user, Google already offers a number of Office-style applications as a hosted offering. The company is also readying the finished version of its hosted email Exchange-offering.

The more, dare we say ‘interesting’ web 2.0 content will also appeal to Google as it puts ever more flesh on its content bones.

Learn more...

Why Web 2.0 Matters and How You Can Make the Most of It

This Blog strives to provide you with valuable insight and practical tools for success.

We will offer an inside look at Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices and lay out the answers—the why, what, who, and how of Web 2.0. Our dialog will serve as an indispensable resource for technology decision-makers—executives, product strategists, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders—who are ready to compete and prosper in today’s Web 2.0 world.

Web 2.0 is here today—and yet its vast, disruptive impact is just beginning. More than just the latest technology buzzword, it’s a transformative force that’s propelling companies across all industries towards a new way of doing business characterized by user participation, openness, and network effects.

What does Web 2.0 mean to your company and products? What are the risks and opportunities? What are the proven strategies for successfully capitalizing on these changes?

We will explore core patterns that are keys to understanding and navigating the Web 2.0 era and provide tools for hands-on self-assessment.

Our goal is to provide you with valuable insight and practical tools for success.

Stay tuned~

Increase Your Landing Page Conversion Rate by 25-250% with Conversion Rate Optimization

About Conversion Rate Optimization:

Conversion Rate Optimization is the continual process of making your Web Site and landing pages generate better results from your visitor traffic. For example, more leads, opt-ins, and more sales.

Conversion Rate Optimization is also the fastest and easiest strategy to increase your sales without spending more money on increasing your traffic.

In fact, the most successful companies test everything…

* Headlines
* Call to Action
* Copy
* Images
* Graphics
* Button Look
* Button Text

* Button Location
* No Links
* Press Quotes
* Testimonials
* Pricing
* Flow Through Process
* And more

1. The largest percentage of your visitors are bailing within 0-8 seconds after briefly viewing your landing page.

2. The second largest percentage of visitors bail when they decide your landing page does not prove compelling.

3. A small percentage of visitors attempt to convert (buy or use a contact form to become a lead) but fail. Many of these people will call.

4. A small percentage of visitors convert.

Conversion rate optimization is the process of optimizing your landing pages to minimize your “bail out rate” and maximize your “conversion rate” (CR).
The Top 6 Landing Page Components
To Optimize for Maximizing Your Conversions

The following are the top 6 conversion components that should be tested and improved to boost your conversion rates…

1. Headline – Since your headline is the first line that your visitors will read, the headline of your web page offers the biggest opportunity (about 80% of the opportunity) for improvements in conversion rate. Use headlines that clearly state the biggest benefit(s) that your product offers.

2. Offer – Since your offer is the “call to action” that asks your visitors to act (purchase, sign up, opt-in), your offer accounts for the second the biggest opportunity for improvements in conversion rate.

3. Lead – The “lead” or first paragraph is the third biggest opportunity for improvements in your conversion rate. Leads must be written with strong benefits that capture your visitor’s attention and make them want to read more.

4. Benefits – The “benefit bullets” (bullet-point format) are the forth biggest opportunity for improvements in conversion rate. List your benefits in the order of your product’s “value hierarchy” to your target market. In other words, state your product’s strongest benefit first, and its weakest benefit last.

5. Images – The images you use have a big impact on your conversion rates. The best practice is to use images that clearly portray the biggest benefit your product offers your customer (rather than generic “feel good” stuff like unknown logos and clip art). Studies show that product images work best when placed to the left of your product description (or lead paragraph) since it makes it easier to read your copy from left to right. Plus, people like to reads “captions” under your images almost as much as they read your headlines. So, add powerful captions and make your images clickable to the order/sign up page.

6. “Look & Feel” – According to a recent study by Stanford University, 46% of Web sales are lost on web sites that lack the critical elements that build value and trust with website visitors. The number one reason the people indicated why they wouldn’t buy from a web site was because it had an unprofessional “look and feel” that lacked credibility and did not “feel” trustworthy. Having a professional look, and trust building tools (such as VeriSign and BBBOnline certifications) help convert significantly more of your web site’s qualified visitors into new customers.

Other Important Conversion Elements to test:

* Buttons – Button text, color, look, etc.
* Pricing
* Formatting and placement of page elements, images and copy
* Navigation links versus no navigation links
* Press Quotes
* Testimonials

Other Conversion Best Practices and Tips:

* Reduce your “bail out” rate by optimizing your web pages to download within 5 seconds on a 56k modem – Test your pages on Andy King’s “Web Page Analyzer” http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/
* Add a 1-800-Number and Call to Action above the fold (top of the page)
* Add a Logo and a powerful “Value Proposition” to the top left
* Instead of letting visitors click off your landing page, put all your information on one page (This tactic alone increased the conversions of a landing page by 55%)
* Use colors that fit your target customer’s personality

Conclusion:

When you use “Conversion Rate Optimization” to test and improve your web pages and landing pages you can double your sales (possibly even quadruple) when you add up all the performance improvements. Of course it takes time and work but it’s well worth the effort.

If you’re truly serious about maximizing your results, continuously test, track and improve the important elements of your web site, landing pages (and your marketing materials).

To schedule a free 1/2 consulting session to discuss your online campaign strategy contact me at connie@anitron.com

How to Increase Your Web Site’s Results by 50-200%

According to a recent Gartner Group study, 50% of web sales are lost because visitors cannot easily find the content, products, or services they’re looking for on web sites. Knowing your Web Site’s “Conversion Rate” is THE most important e-metric to track, yet 60% of marketers do NOT know how well their web site is converting visitors to clients. Now you can take your online marketing business to new heights with tested and proven “conversion rate optimization” tactics…

Conversion Rate Optimization is the fastest and easiest strategy for increasing leads and sales generated from your web site. Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of making your web site generate more results by being more persuasive, more trustworthy, easier to navigate, etc. Plus, it’s the best way to significantly increase your leads and sales without having to spend a bunch of money on increasing your traffic. In fact, it’s the first step that should be taken before increasing your targeted traffic.

Avoid These Common Pitfalls:
Unfortunately, most web sites are terrible at converting traffic to leads or sales. The typical web sites we’re hired to optimize lack critical trust-building components, have confusing navigation, and contain no compelling or benefit-oriented value proposition, headlines, content, or offers. In fact, they waste 75%+ of their traffic due to lack of “sales-ability.”

Increase web site conversionsIf you’ve invested in web site development only to find that your site is not optimized to generate high conversion rates, you are missing out on your biggest opportunity to increase results and profits. In fact, by making your web site more appealing to your target market, you can double (even quadruple) your leads or sales in a short period of time. A professionally designed web site makes people feel more confident and compelled to buy from you, which in turn means you’ll get:

* Higher sales.
* Higher response rates.
* Higher conversion rates.
* Better customer retention.
* Better returns on your investment.
* Less stress.

Here’s how…

Your 7 Step Plan for Increasing Your Conversion Rate…

STEP 1: Define your visitor profiles
Every company has customers with unique personality attributes and characteristics. For example, a software company we worked with had the following profiles…

1. IT Professionals
2. Chief Financial Officers (CFO’s)
3. Sales & Marketing Managers

Most web sites convert at only a tiny fraction of their true potential because they’re not designed to appeal to their target market, much less the individual profiles of their most likely buyers. Imagine if you could transform your web site into a powerful tool for appealing to and drawing in your prospects like a powerful “magnet” or tool for persuading them, educating them, overcoming their objections, and getting them to act now. That’s exactly what conversion optimization is designed to do.

If you truly believe our product or service will help your customer, this can be done by defining your typical site visitors and writing your copy to appeal to their needs. Use the following 2 attributes to define your web site visitor’s profiles…

1. Demographics: What kinds of people buy from you and what are their attributes?

2. Psychographics: What does the person do psychologically as part of their buying decision process? What are the overall goals that they want to achieve, what are their objections, and specifically how can you show them you’re the right choice over your competition?

STEP 2: Create the redesign plan
OK, now you know who your top 2, 3 or more customer profiles are. The next step is to build a “path” you can take each profile through on your web site to give them all the information they need to know to make the decision to become a new lead or client.

Every page of your web site should be mapped out including these five elements:

1. Which visitor profiles are likely to visit each web page;
2. Which specific keywords they may use at the search engines to get there;
3. The questions the prospect landing on that page needs to have answered;
4. The specific strategy the web page will take to answer these questions;
5. A list of the actions each profile might take next.

STEP 3: Write targeted copy for the new site
Now that you know the elements your web site and individual pages need to include to satisfy your customer profiles, the next step is to write compelling, benefit-oriented copy that satisfies the following for your customers…

* WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? What goals are you going to help them achieve and what are the benefits your product or service offers them that will help achieve them and how?
* Why should I buy your product or service instead of the competition’s?
* What objections do your profiled customers have, and how specifically does your product or service satisfy them?

STEP 4: Calls to action
Use primary responses & secondary or “back-up” responses. Usually, the primary response of a web site is to purchase your product or become a lead by signing up for a free white paper, webinar, or information kit, etc. But, for every 1 person who delivers your primary response (buys or becomes a lead), there are at least 10 others who almost bought or almost clicked.

Develop ways to move these “almost buyers” or “almost leads” (the ones who didn’t buy or sign up) closer to the sale with “back-up responses.” Perhaps your visitor is not ready to buy just now. But, she would like to know about your monthly specials. All she has to do is sign up for your newsletter, or similar back up response.

STEP 5: Professional Design
According to a recent study by Stanford University, 46% of Web sales are lost on web sites that lack the critical elements that build value and trust with website visitors. The number one reason people indicated why they wouldn’t buy from a web site was because it had an unprofessional “look and feel” that lacked credibility and did not “feel” trustworthy.

The solution is simple…

a) Use a professional “look and feel” that instills trust within your visitors
b) Show your Verisign Certificate and BBB Online membership on each page
c) Use testimonials
d) Offer a risk-free guarantee

As you can see, having a professional look, and persuasive copy (words) will help convert significantly more of your web site’s qualified visitors into new leads and customers. In turn, this will boost your company’s revenues and profits.

Developing Winning Web Site Strategies

Your web site is the key to your success on the Internet. You can use your site to build your brand, increase sales, generate more leads, slash costs, and much more. In fact, you probably have very specific goals that your web site is helping you to achieve for your company.
If you do have goals, are you measuring them? We often ask people, “what are the objectives of your site?” Answers usually vary from “our site is supposed to provide information about our company’s products”, or “the site is supposed to effectively convey our brand to our audience.”

In actuality, those are very rarely the TRUE objectives; but rather the MEANS to accomplish one’s objectives. A web site’s objectives will in most cases be to drive sales and revenues or generate qualified leads.

The first step to building a winning strategy on the Internet is to identify your exact goals and set your web site’s objectives to achieve those goals. Here are two examples…

Web Site Goal: Lead Generation
If the main goal of your web site to generate more leads for your company, your web site’s objectives should be geared around two things…

1) increasing the quantity of your leads
2) increasing the quality of your leads

By focusing on these web site objectives you can identify what your web site needs to do to accomplish them. For example, if you want to increase the quantity and quality of your leads, you can identify that your web site should be re-designed to…

a) Attract more qualified visitors from the search engines
b) Display the benefits of your product or service
c) Educate your visitors and prospects on how to make a smart buying decision
d) Overcome the objections your visitors may have about your product
e) Persuade them to take action and become a lead for your sales team

To identify your exact goals and set your web site’s objectives to achieve those goals contact an Internet Media Business Consultant IMBC

Web Site Goal: Drive Sales and Increase Revenue

If the main goal of your e-commerce web site is designed to generate sales for your company, your web site’s objectives should be geared around two things…

1. Get more visitors to shop for and buy your products
2. Get visitors to buy larger orders
3. Get visitors to return and buy more often

As you can see from these two examples, setting specific goals and objectives for your web site will allow you to set your plan for improving your results. Now that you have your goals and objectives, you’re ready for the next step which is increasing your web site conversion rate.

To Successfully Drive Sales and Increase Revenues contact for a professional Internet Stragy Consult:

Internet Media Business Consultant IMBC