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Small Business Web Site Development - 2

Step 1: Get their attention

For your 'small business web site development', getting your visitors' attention starts with you answering one, and only one, fundamental question for your visitors, and that is...

"What's in it for me?"

Fact: 99% of business web sites don't make the sale!

Why? Because their web sites are about them, not their customers. Let me explain... How many times have you visited a web site and the 'Home' page starts with something like...?

"Welcome to J Bloggs and Son's web site. We've been making 'scratchits' since 1654. Our business started in a shed at the bottom of the garden and we now have 1,631 sheds around the world and our business has grown to our current yearly turnover of 1.5 zillion dollars over 350 years and.." etc., etc., etc. (yawn!).

So what? Who cares? OK, maybe this is a bit extreme, but you get the picture. Your visitors don't care. Sure, at some stage they may want to know a bit more about you or your company, but this should be their choice, not yours!

Fact: You have 7 seconds to capture your visitor's attention or they're gone.

Actually this statistic relates to research carried out for the Direct Mail industry, not for small business web site development. It may be even less time on the internet as 'clicking' to somewhere else is as easy as moving your index finger 1 millimetre, and that's pretty easy, right?

So how do you get their attention quickly and 'draw' them down into the rest of your page? Simple. Answer the "What's in it for me?" question right in the headline at the top of your page, then develop this theme in your first paragraph. Remember, this should be a combination of your product's biggest benefit to your potential customers and your USP.

This step is the most important one. Just stop for a moment and think of the consequences if you don't get your visitor's're toast. What's that sound - 'click' - your potential customer just left your web site!

Step 2: Maintain their interest

Right, you've got their attention. To maintain their interest as they start reading the rest of the page, write about your product(s) as if you're describing their benefits (not features, right?) to a friend.

Unless you have a major corporate 'brand', don't try to sound like a massive company with 'corporate speak'. In fact, a lot of the major companies are now realising that their customers want to relate to a person and not some anonymous corporate body. The best ones are starting to change the way they do things accordingly.

You do need to inform your visitors about some of your product's more useful features at some point, but wherever you can, change them into benefits. For example, your electric drill may have a more powerful motor than any of your competitors, but talk about how it saves your visitor time with large jobs and money in the long term because it won't burn out on the toughest jobs, rather than only telling them that it is 25 volts instead of 12 ( I hear another "So what...?").

Step 3: Create desire

We're back to benefits and 'What's in it for me?' again (I told you it was important, didn't I?). This could take the form of a list of bullet-points of all the benefits, rather than sounding like the same thing all over again. Overload on benefits to create the desire to purchase your product.

If you want to learn more about the power of words in writing your web pages, including exactly how to do it, and take your understanding to a whole new level, the best book I've read is another of Ken Evoy's (the guy's a genius!). It's called 'Make Your Words Sell!' and you can check it out here.

Step 4: Call to action

It's amazing how many web sites go to great lengths to describe the product or service, identify the benefits, retain the visitor's interest right to the bottom of the page and then...nothing!

For your small business web site development, you need a 'call to action' to prompt your visitor to take the action you want them to take - don't leave anything to chance. Remember your MWR (click here for a reminder about 'MWR') and ask them to 'Order Now' or 'Click here for Page 2' or whatever it is you need them to do.

This 4-step action plan is easily remembered by the mnemonic, A.I.D.A.:

A ttention
I nterest
D esire
A ction

Recommended reading: This web site can only give you the principles of small business web site development, as copy writing and the psychology of selling are detailed subjects in their own right. Check out Ken Evoy's highly recommended ebooks, Make Your Site Sell! and Make Your Words Sell!, for the complete picture.

P.S. Please help me to help you - if you'd like to see anything different or would like to comment about the content of this small business web site development section of the web site, please email me here.

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