Website fundamentals

As a business person it is absolutely vital that you understand the Internet, the importance of a great website and how to use your website as a powerful sales and marketing tool. 

Success factors

There are only two things that determine whether a website succeeds or fails.  

They are:

  1. Visitors – the number of people that visit your website.
  2. Conversion Rate – the percentage of these visitors that buy something from you or make an enquiry.

It really is that simple!

The success of any commercial website is determined by how many visitors the website receives, and by what percentage of those visitors purchase or enquire about the company’s products or services. 

If you, or someone you know, has a website that is quite simply a complete waste of time, then we 100% guarantee to you that the website will be failing because of one (or both) of these areas!

The Two ‘P’s Of Incredible Website Success

If you really want a website that generates amazing results – then you need to understand not only the importance of ‘visitors’ and ‘conversion rate’ but also how to improve these two areas.

This brings me to the two ‘P’s of website success.  

The amount of people visiting your website is directly determined by your website‘Promotion’.

The percentage of visitors that are taking action on your website is directly determined by your ‘Persuasion’ or by how persuasive your website is.

  • If your website ‘promotion’ is poor, then very few people will visit your website. 
  • If your website is not ‘persuasive’ then very few of the people who do visit will be persuaded to take action.

Persuasion is the foundation

If you are looking at establishing a new website then the first thing you should be focusing on is ‘persuasion’.

Many, many people fall into the trap of focusing on promotion too early. They spend lots of money on promoting their website and watch in sorrow as the website fails to persuade anyone to buy or show any interest in their products or services.

Your number one goal as a prospective website owner should primarily be to establish a new website that is extremely persuasive! A website that persuades its visitors to take action.

Once that first step is completed and you have a persuasive website - then and only then, should you start to look to promote the website. I cannot stress this enough: focus on persuasion first.

Measurement is vital

You have probably heard the quote – ‘if you can’t measure it – you can’t manage it’. Before you can improve something you need to carefully measure it - only once you know how something is currently performing can you can try new initiatives to see if you can improve it.

Let me tell you a little story to illustrate my point:

A good friend of mine, John, tells an interesting story from when he worked as a business consultant in Melbourne, Australia.  During this time, he worked with a client who owned a car audio business.

One of the first things John investigated on his first day on the job was the marketing expenditure of the company.  On talking with the owner of the business he discovered that the business was spending many thousands of dollars (the majority of its marketing budget) on radio advertising.  He asked the business owner how many sales resulted from the radio advertising on a weekly basis and was promptly informed that the business owner had absolutely no idea.

John then implemented a rudimentary measurement system whereby every customer who came to the counter to purchase some product was asked the question, “How did you hear about us?”  The answers to this question were recorded on a simple chart located beside the till.  After two weeks of careful measurement both John and the business owner were shocked to find that only two sales had occurred as a result of the radio advertising!

John's first recommendation to the business owner was that they scrap the radio advertising immediately.  On further analysis of the results, they also discovered that the majority of the sales over the two week period had resulted due to the location of the store.  People noticed the store on a daily basis because it was located next to a busy street that people used to drive to work and back again.  John’s next recommendation was that they develop some better store signage and put some further effort into their window displays.

The resulting changes made a huge impact on the business and they all occurred as the result of some simple measurement!

So … how can we apply the moral of this story to our websites?  If we want to improve our website results we must carefully measure the different aspects of our website's performance to discover what is working, and what is not working.  Makes sense, right?

The great news is this: Measurement with a website is amazingly simpler than measurement in the real world!  The invention of the computer has made possible levels of measurement that were only dreamed about by previous generations.  On a website, provided you have the right systems (for example – a system created by Zeald!), absolutely everything can be automatically tracked and measured by the computer!

Make sure your website has powerful tracking and measurement systems in place.  You should be able to access critical information about the results of your website at the click of a button.  If you want to achieve amazing website results, great measurement is absolutely vital!

Dashboardimage 1

uniquevisitors 3

And this leads us onto our next topic.

Continual ongoing improvement

One of the unique advantages of an automatic measurement system is that you can test and measure absolutely everything.  Nothing needs to be left to chance or guess-work.

I run across people all the time that seem to think the key to a successful website is this:  you set up a website and then one day you discover a miraculous ‘secret’ and from that day forward your website performs like a superstar.

This has not been my experience.  Every successful website that I have witnessed is the result of lots of small consistent ongoing improvements. 

If you want to develop an extremely powerful website within your business, then you absolutely must commit yourself to a system of consistent ongoing improvements.  You need to be following a continual process of improvement that I call the ‘Test, Measure and Tune’ (TMT) process.  

The TMT process is very simple: first come up with initiative to improve one small part of your website (e.g. The headline on one page) then:

  1. Test this initiative (perhaps by changing the headline for a week).
  2. Measure the results of the initiative.  (Did the new headline increase the effectiveness of that page?)
  3. Tune your initiative.  If it was a success then look to do more of the same.  If it was failure then go back to the old way and change something else.
  4. Then test again (repeat from step 1).

TMT simply means this: you should be continually testing new initiatives, carefully measuring the results, and then tuning those initiatives to maximise their impact..  Then repeat the whole process again and again.

TMT is an extremely powerful process that I cannot emphasis enough.  Every single successful website that I have seen always has an owner that is conscientious about continually going through this cycle.  It does not always take a huge amount of time – it just requires discipline.