Strategic Internet Marketing Services- The Six Second Rule
Marketing on a website is multi-faceted. One aspect of marketing is presenting the right messages and offering to entice a sale (commonly known as a “call-to-action”). And obviously another aspect is getting prospects to actually find your website.
They are both very important and are inseparable fundamental concepts. If your website doesn’t get traffic (i.e. REAL people) it doesn’t matter what your website has to offer. And if your website is on the top page of Google and prominently advertised but has a poorly presented offering, then your website will suffer from minimal customer acquisitions, or simply stated, NO SALES.
So just like the old candy commercial where peanut butter and chocolate are dependent on each other, these two aspects of marketing are joined at the hip.
Let’s tackle the actual onsite content for your website. If there is one important message I can give you about your website, it’s that you have less that 10 seconds to capture the attention of the person visiting your site or they will leave. 10 seconds is actually a little generous. Most studies I’ve read put it about 6 seconds. Internet surfers are impatient and don’t like playing “Hide and Go Seek” with your offering or waiting on a site to load.
This means for new visitors, you realistically have six seconds to tell them what you are offering This equates to giving one prominent message that clearly states what you offer and why you are the best choice. You have to capture them quick with a powerful message.
Obviously you should know what you are offering. An electrician may want to convey prominently “Commercial and Residential Electrician”. If the target market is more commercial work, make sure “Commercial” is before “Residential”. Don’t get too fancy with this part of the message. Its important what you are offering is clearly and simply stated so there is no question what you are offering. If you service one city, maybe “Your Chicago Commercial & Residential Electrician” is a good approach. By adding a city, this example eliminates the immediate question of “do they offer services in my area?” Some businesses have an offering not so cut and dry as an electrician or plumber, so you will need to decide your focus. Try to be as niche oriented as possible and avoid trying to be all things to all people. Niche services tells an Internet shopper you are a professional and laser focused on a niche.
The next step is to decide on your web “elevator pitch”. Question 9 (Internal Business Section) and the information gathered in the customer survey in Chapter 2 should give you a good indicator of what this pitch possibly should be, but we need to gauge it based on two criteria to see if its good enough.
You need to carefully consider what makes you standout from your competitors. If you can’t distinguish yourself, then the price of your goods is the default position. This point is elequently elaborated upon in the book, “DuctTape Marketing” by John Jantsch.
Take a look at your top competitors (questions 6-8 in the Internal Business Section) in Chapter 2. Is their website sloppy and unfocused? If so, good for you. If they are more focused, what are they offering to entice the web shopper? Are they offering a discount, a free consultation, expedited services, or free shipping? Maybe it’s more intangible? A tax service may use audit protection and peace of mind as their primary message. What are they doing as their major hook? You will need to check their site periodically to see if their call-to-action changes, but where are they today? You can also look for clues in their other advertising as well.
Give you competitors the “6 second” test. Go to their site, take a quick look, and then look away? What did you see? What was the main message of their website’s home page?
Is your answer to Question 7 (Internal Business Section) in Chapter 2 more compelling of an offer? If so, good. If not, work on it. Check with trusted clients to see what they think. Do not let loved ones or people you trust in a non-related field guide this decision. Your goal is to appeal to your target audience, not friends or family.
Depending on your budget and what you discover, you may want to create two or three different call-to-actions and test them to see which one is the most effective. Each call-to-action should be concise. Make sure you can state your primary call-to-action in less than 10 words. Remember, the casual shopper is impatient and doesn’t want to read a paragraph of text.
There is a second aspect to our major call-to-action, or hook. You are not just competing against your competitors, but you also need to capture the visitor and offer them something so good, they are compelled to act, especially if they are on the “fence”. Remember our friend sitting in his comfortable chair? Is your offer enough to make him want to be interested in your services? If not, rethink it. You may need to get out of your comfort zone. You can always change it.