Just Because Your Cousin Murray Can Build a Website for You, Doesn’t Mean You Should Let Him

A lot of people have the ability to put some code together and build a website. All it takes is the right software program and an Internet connection. Because of this, there is a small army of people who are ready and willing to construct a website for your business.

They don’t even need to be a skilled designer. By using one of the stock template sets they can make your site look respectable.

This, however, can be a very bad idea.

I consider it as wise as a do-it-yourself root canal operation.

Here’s why: Ultimately, a website is a selling tool. It is supposed to communicate key ideas and produce a specific result. This might be having a person buy your product directly from the site. Or, it could be to get them to request more information so a salesperson can turn that prospect into a customer.

Most websites fail because of one glaringly huge error. They don’t do a very good job of actually selling.

Most sites contain lots of information, facts, and figures. But, they ignore the most fundamental idea of all: “What is the exact appeal that will get this reader’s attention, raise their level of interest and excitement, and then get them to act?”

Bottom line: the most critical part of your website is putting together the selling message. That means understanding what you want the prospect to do and getting them to do it.

Which do you believe would be more effective?

A site with a strong selling message which directs you to take a specific action?

Or, the most beautiful site in the world, complete with cute little animations but no strong message?

You’re right. The site with the selling message will outperform the other site ten-to-one.

Ask yourself, “What do I want people who come to my website to do?” “What are the key messages that need to be conveyed that will get people to respond?”

Want to see a good example of doing this well?

Check out the site of the greeting card giant, Hallmark. (www.hallmark.com) Their site is constantly changing as new products and special promotions come and go. As I look at it today, it includes an offer to buy cards online and they’ll handle mailing them for you.

Not just going with one offer, they also have a special offer for a pair of stuffed Halloween “Trembling Toads” at a dramatically discounted rate when you buy three cards.

In one more offering, they provide a link so you can see the winner of the America’s Funniest Card contest along with an opportunity to buy that card to send to a friend.

Finally, on their home page there is a link to an article called “How to turn tag sale finds into treasures!” This is a sample article from Hallmark Magazine. This page encourages you to, you guessed it, subscribe to Hallmark Magazine.

They’ve done a great job of building a website that is interesting, attractive, and sells like crazy.

It is no wonder they dominate their field.

So remember, before you turn to a website builder, you need a “message expert” to design what your website should say and do.

Once you have your selling strategy in place, you will be ready to take the next step of putting your message into a website design.

The difference can be a site that produces virtually nothing for you, or one that regularly generates high volumes of new leads and sales for your business.

To your business success,


Want to know how your site can sell more effectively? Schedule a free half-hour telephone website review by calling Sentium at 1 (800) 595-1288.

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Richard Wilson is the Founder/Chief Marketing Strategist for Sentium Strategic Communications which helps companies craft the right message for extraordinary results. Over the past 31 years, his clients have ranged from start-ups to major technology companies.



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