How to Turn Your Website into an Automated Sales Machine (Part II)

The Secret to Providing Useful Information

We talked in the first part of this series about the importance of developing a clear USP and then putting it EVERYWHERE. In this post, we’re going to delve into presenting your information in a way that provides useful information and resonates with your potential buyers.

In order to do that, maybe the logical question to ask is, “What resonates with my potential buyers?”

It would be easy for me to cop out and give the old “it depends” answer. But I’m not going to do that. Regardless of whether you’re selling websites or wool hats, I know exactly what resonates with your potential buyers.

ANSWERS resonate with your potential buyers.

But not just any answers, of course, answers to their specific questions. (So, OK, it does depend in the end. But you knew that anyway.)

By and large, when someone wants to buy something, they go looking for it, of course. And when they go looking, they have questions. Sometimes it is just one simple question, such as, “Do you sell green wool hats?”

Depending on where they are in the buyer’s decision-making process, they may have many more questions. Regardless, whether they’re at the end of the process (and they know exactly what they want), or whether they’re at the beginning of that process (and they maybe don’t even know what types of questions they need to be asking), they still have questions.

Regardless of the case, you need to give them answers—clear, concrete answers.

A Scenario

Let’s say a visitor comes to your site and wants to know if you sell green wool hats. On your website, you clearly say you sell “all types of hats, all colors, all shapes, all sizes.”

The visitor probably thinks “all types” and “all colors” most likely includes green wool ones, but does it really mean green wool ones? Of course they could email you to find out. And if you were pretty good about your customer service, you would likely get back to them within 24 hours and tell them that, yes, “all types” and “all colors” does indeed include green wool ones.

So they could do that. Or, of course, they could just hop on over to another website that says, “We sell green wool hats! Buy it today and have it tomorrow!”

Which would you choose?

OK, that was a long, drawn-out silly little scenario, yet with one exception. It actually wasn’t silly at all. This type of lack of specificity is RAMPENT on all types of sites that are attempting to sell something to someone.

So this leads us to …

Rule #2: Be Specific About What You Sell

(Rule #1: Your USP needs to be EVERYWHERE! was in Part I of the series.)

So the idea here is pretty simple, but it’s something that a surprising number of websites don’t do. They don’t list EVERYTHING they sell (products or services). Instead they say something like, “We do it all.”

First, no one is going to believe that. And, second, it actually hurts your trustworthiness to say something like, “We do it all.” We will be talking about trust later in the series, but just quickly I’ll mention here that in a study done by Penn State University, researchers found that web users trusted sites more if they were specific. And of course trust is a major factor that leads to sales.

But back to our main idea—your potential buyers simply want their questions answered, but their questions are specific. And so your answers need to be specific.

So what’s the best way to be specific on your site?

Strategy


The WordPress Menu system is a perfect tool for helping you point out exactly what goods or services you sell.

Let’s take a look at a site that does a pretty good job of this – TaxMasters. For those who have never seen their TV commercials, TaxMasters is a company in Houston, Texas. Although they are in Texas, their commercials air all over the U.S. Basically they say, “If the government is breathing down your neck about your taxes, come to us, and we’ll get it sorted out.”

Their slogan, in fact, is even simpler than that: “We solve your tax problems.” That’s a pretty varied demographic they’re going after—everyone with tax problems.

Take a look at one of their 30 second commercials:

Funneling

Because their commercials reach A LOT of people, and they don’t have time to explain everything they do, their website needs to be able to funnel these many different people with many different types of tax problems to the right place. And the “right place” is the place that says, “Yes, we can solve this type of problem for you.”

Let’s take a look at the first pull-down menu in the top-left position on their site:

Now, to be honest, there are some things on their site that I don’t think they do very well, but what they do here is excellent.

The first nice thing they’ve done is labeled the menu “IRS Tax Help.” That’s exactly what their potential customers are looking for—tax help. And no doubt that’s probably the very first thing most people who visit the site click on first.

The pull-down options are also well done. They clearly list many different specific areas that different people would be looking for help with.

 

Digging Down Further

So let’s say Tax-troubled Joe has a tax lien on his house. The commercial didn’t specifically talk about removing liens, and so Joe’s question is naturally going to be, “Can they get my lien removed?” Joe goes to site, clicks on the menu, and then sees “Remove a Lien.” When he goes to that page, he sees the following:

Of course when Joe sees that, naturally he thinks, “Dear, sweet Patrick Cox—where have you been all my life? … Or at least for the last five years?” In short order, Joe gives old Patrick a call.

The WordPress Menu System

And so the WordPress menu system is one of your best friends when it comes to listing your goods or services in a logical, specific way. The menu system is also very good because it lets you link to the same content in multiple ways. This is key because two different people may come to your site searching for the very same thing from two different angles.

From the green wool hat example earlier, you might have one menu titled “Wool Hats” and another titled “Green Hats.” Each would be able to get to the same green wool hat in a different way.

Of course you’ll want to be careful not to overload your visitors with too many options. However, your navigation is the key element that can help you keep everything conveniently organized.

If you have enough information on specific goods or services (such as a green wool hat), it might be wise to make separate pages for them so that both your visitors and the search engines will be more likely to stumble across them. If you do this, however, still list things together on a general overview page if it doesn’t get too crowded. The more places you can answer your visitors’ questions with exactly the answer they want to see, the more likely you are to attract their business.

I realize that all this may seem like very simple stuff, and yet so few seem to do it. The reason why seems to be that it’s not always so simple once you start digging into what questions your site’s visitors are asking.

If you haven’t dug into that as much as you should have, then this might be a good place to start:

Some Essential Questions that You Need to Know the Answers To

  1. At what point in the buying process do my potential buyers arrive at my site?
  2. Do they arrive at the beginning with very little knowledge?
  3. Do they arrive at the middle with some knowledge yet needing more?
  4. Or do they arrive at the end of the process with one simple question: “Do you have X for a reasonable price?”

Answering these questions can get you on the right path and move you down the road considerably. Yet you may find that even once you’ve answered these questions, it’s not always so easy to arrange your content so that different visitors with different objectives will easily be able to find it. What is easy, however, is to say, “We do it all,” and leave it at that. Unfortunately, leaving it at that will most likely leave you alone.

KEY POINT – FINAL REMINDER

Every potential buyer, without exception, comes to your site with questions. If you can set up your site so that they can get their questions answered, you’ve just automated one of the most important elements in the sales process and added another essential cog in the quest to turn your site into a literal sales machine. It may take a little work in the beginning, but it will be worth every minute spent once those conversion start rolling in.

(This is the first post in a series. You can see other posts here: Part IPart III. … Be sure to leave questions or comments below.)

(Thanks to o5com for the image. Thanks to HikingArtist.com for the strategy image.)