Note: Scott Hepburn - Marketing. Simplified. has experience (and if you read his PRStore blog he also has a lot of wit) in working with small businesses - he kindly contributed some tips for setting up a web site
1) Remember Your Audience
The #1 mistake of amateur Web site builders is forgetting the audience. While it's tempting to write a Web site about how amazing YOU are, focus instead on your customer and the benefits you offer to them. Don't stick to your typical lines, either. Ask yourself, "Is this information my customer wants to hear, or is it just information that I want them to hear?"
2) Contact Us Form
A contact form lets your customers contact you with a question or comment. It's also a great way to gather their contact information so you can follow up with a personal e-mail, phone call, or direct mail. A personalized response goes a long way.
Frequently Asked Questions give you a chance to provide context and clarity to your customers. Remember, they may still be at the beginning of the buying cycle, so it doesn't hurt to educate them about their choices. It's all part of building trust, which leads to sales
4) Headlines Matter
Studies show that Web readers have even shorter attention spans than offline readers. Headlines should express in very clear wording how you'll improve your customer's life. Attracting attention is a good start, but you have to hold their attention, too.
5) Special Offers
You use special offers to attract customers offline...why wouldn't you do it online? It's one more way to guide Web site visitors down the path to becoming customers.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. I'm here to help if anyone has questions!
Posted by Scott Hepburn - Marketing. Simplified. to Get Real Marketing: For and About Local Marketing at April 8, 2008 6:33 AM