The average website visitor spends about 3 seconds on a web page before they decide whether or not they’re in the right place. Whether they’ve come to your website from a direct link, a search or maybe a pay-per-click ad (PPC), they’re looking for something. They have a need, whether it be something they want to buy, information or maybe they just need a good laugh but they came to your website to find something. Do you have what they’re looking for? Even if you do, will they stay on your website long enough to find out? Website visitors are a little like Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator”.
You’ve heard me talk about the 3-second rule before. When someone visits your website, you have about 3 seconds to convince them that they’re in the right place. That’s it. If they searched on baby buggy bumpers and clicked on a link to your site, they better immediately see something about baby buggy bumpers or they’re out of there. If they land on a site and are so overwhelmed by links to Google Adsense ads and affiliate marketing programs, they’re probably out of there too. (I would be.)
I hate self-checkout lanes. First off, I feel like all this automation is really cost cutting methods on the behalf of big business trying to reduce costs by eliminating jobs. I refuse to use them even if it means my standing in a long line muttering to myself that there should be more cashiers available. It’s a matter of principal to me.
Some of the most important website statistics that you can find in your Google Analytics reports can be found under “traffic sources”. When you look at your traffic sources overview, you see that Google reports statistics by “Direct Traffic, Referring Sites and “Search Engines”.
I was recently approached by a gentleman who was interested in having a website built for him. As we started our initial consultation, I commented that his domain name was somewhat generic for the product that he was building the site for. Upon further discovery, I learned that the site name was intended to cover a broad market that he had long term plans of reaching. One of his goals was to segment his market by the different ways people like to learn. He had no idea how to accomplish this. (Which is why he had come to me in the first place.) So, what did we plan?
How can an entrepreneur or small business owner differentiate their product/service from everyone else’s? After you define your niche target customer and identify your marketing message, what else can you do to stand out from the thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of websites that are offering a similar product or service? We all know that you should offer your potential customers and clients multiple ways to contact you. You can provide a contact form, an 800# and your basic contact info for customers who want to call, email, fax or even send you snail mail.. What if you could easily offer your customers a way to chat with you online? Online-help may be the perfect customer service tool to help you keep your customers and clients on your website long enough to answer your call to action. Why not try it? It’s free (or $20 to have the software professionally installed).
I was commenting on an interesting blog article the other day and I clicked off the little box to be notified by email if someone replies to my comment or if someone adds a new comment. Should be simple right? (I mean I just gave them my name and email address in order to leave the comment in the first place.) So, I should be able to just click and go on my merry-way. Right? If the author replies to my comment (showing how much they care and that they value what I have to say), I’ll be notified. If someone else cares enough to comment, I’ll get to know what they’ve added to the conversation. I’m clicking to be notified because I truly found the article interesting and I want to follow it. So why, did I wish I hadn’t started the whole thing?
Ok… you’ve “opened the virtual doors” to your business/blog by telling your friends, family and anyone else who would listen. So what now? (Maybe you’re seeing flashbacks of Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams”… “if you build it, he will come”.) As reality sets in, and you’re not seeing an increase in the number of visitors (or commenters) or more importantly you’re not seeing the results that you’re looking for (sales, email addresses, attention…), you may start asking yourself what next? Well, there are lots of things you can do like using the Google Webmaster tools, submitting your URL to directories, commenting on blogs and optimizing for search engines but…
Let’s just get back to the basics here…
Are you experiencing slow response times? Is your website sometimes unavailable? Are you frustrated by incompetent tech support? Is it time to choose a new website hosting company?
There seems to be two camps of website hosting companies these days. You have the hosting vendors that are competing on price and you have the vendors that are competing on customer service. Now, your choice of a website hosting company may not be what you consider a major decision in the scheme of things. There are certainly decisions that will have more impact on your business. You can always change your mind later and move your website to a different host right? Well, yes you can. And that move can range from a minor inconvenience (waiting for the DNS records to repopulate so your visitors can find you) to a major hassle involving your time (and possibly a lot of teeth-gnashing and pulling out of hair). After all, if you do decide to move your site, there has to be a good reason for it – possibly you were experiencing a large amount of down-time where your website was inaccessible which could translate to loss of revenue. Having to move your website is necessary sometimes but if you can avoid it, why not? So, it’s prudent to do your due diligence before you decide which hosting company you want to go with.