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Podcast #2 – Convert Visits to Sales

The ultimate goal of any business website is to generate an income via that site. You may have a fantastic site that looks great, your designer loves it and so does your mum but if it doesn’t produce a solid return for your company, it is of very little value. A successful website requires careful planning that converts visits into sales. Be aware that not everyone who comes to your site wants to buy. Your job (via your website setup) is to convince them that they should.

#1 – Start with a solid foundation

From the moment you decide to build a website, you must make sure that it is built to the high quality expected from your site visitors. Your 10 year-old nephew might be a whiz on computers and may be able to create a couple of web pages however it is highly unlikely that he will be able to understand the marketing importance of what he is expected to build. Find a designer that has experience in your particular field or has created a site that you have found to be useful (maybe a site that has converted you from a visitor to a purchaser!). Talk to others in your industry to find out who they use and recommended. Remember, a “mouth of mouth” testimonial is much more likely to yield a successful designer than a Google search of the multitudes.

#2 – Aim for your target audience

This one should be a “no-brainer” – make sure your site is directed towards the cliental that you want to buy from you. Don’t create a site full of humour and cartoons if you are endeavouring to sell accounting software. Likewise, don’t create a gothic looking website full of dark colours if you are selling to “stay at home” mums. As with tip #1, this problem will be avoided by working with a reputable designer who will know how to hit your target between the eyes.

• Use colours that suit your business and target market.

• Take into account the accessibility of your site. Site-loading time, button sizes, alt text on all images (very useful for audible browsing for sight-impaired visitors) and language should all be carefully considered as the site is built.

#3 – Call to Action

This is another one that should be fairly obvious however I still visit sites (and receive the occasional group buying email) where there is no clear path to make a purchase. If you have a product for sale, it’s not all about the pretty pictures on the screen. Visitors need to be able to quickly and simply buy when they want to – don’t make them search the site for a purchasing button. Put it right there next to the item in preferably bright eye catching colours (if your site warrants such a usage).

On the motel websites that I have created, the booking button is always at the very top of the screen or easily accessible via the menu (and it is labelled clearly). E-Commerce must have a shopping cart in the sidebar with a clear checkout button. If site visitors can’t make the purchase quickly, they will move onto someone else.

#4 Easily move visitors to the important parts of your site

This tip ties in nicely with the previous one – your site must “push” visitors gently towards making a sale, ensuring that they don’t get lost along the way. A site may have slideshows, forums, videos and a blog however each of these should lead to the one destination.This might be achieved by using the blog as a review / feedback forum or the video section may display a YouTube movie of the latest products with a purchasing link. Be creative with the website and guide your potential customers toward the sales area without being too pushing. Some clients may find a push / shove as a deterrent so tread carefully.

#5 Interact with site visitors

Interact with your site visitors and create communities via the use of forums on the site, Facebook for Business, Twitter information and Re-Tweets or any other means. If the visitor feels comfortable to open up a conversation with you, they are more likely to frequent your business to make a purchase. Some retailers have gone to great lengths to create strong community brands and these businesses have gone viral purely on the strength of social media. For example, Black Milk Clothing has followers across the globe that discuss products online, take photos wearing various BMC outfits and post to Facebook and build their own communities to interact with one another. Allow your visitors to leave comments, reviews and information via your site – open the channels up and use them to your advantage.

What are your thoughts on the conversion process? Leave a comment below and let me know how you have used your site to convert a visitor to a client. I have given five small tips and I’m sure there are thousands more out there so let’s share them around!

Keeping your site content FRESH

Content CreationOnce a website is online, some site owners seem to believe that the work is done. The content and imagery is there and will produce wonders for their business or organisation with no further changes. This cannot be further from the truth.

First of all, Google loves fresh content – not recycled or syndicated – but freshly-made batches of information and imagery. If the Google-Bot sees the same info every time it visits your site to re-index, you will find that your ranking in search results will start to dive.

Secondly, your visitors will notice that you are not updating content and this sends out the wrong image to potential clients. If I am visiting a website and see that the Blog has not been updated since 2010 – I immediately begin to wonder if the business still functions. Why bother contacting them to find out when I can go to dozens of other sites that have spanking new information for me?

To avoid the above problems, remember this golden rule – “Your website is never done.”

To keep your site fresh, interesting and relevant to visitors (and Google), take a read through the tips below…

You need remember why you have a website in the first place – to provide information and/or convert a visitor into a customer/member. To achieve this, create regular content that is valuable and useful to your site users. Depending on your clientele, your content may have to be informative about current industry issues. You may include information to help make the user’s job easier or to solve a problem. On a lighter note, you might use humour as a drawcard – not just for the sake of it either. Through the use of clever wording, you could create a niche method of selling like Virgin Australia who have a particular brand of selling associated with the way they deliver information both on and off their site. If a client is entertained by your site, there is a high chance that your site will be bookmarked and revisited in the future.

In freshening up your site, be sure at all times to engage visitors with your personality. Your site is not run by a Dalek and the content on your site shouldn’t read like it was written by one. Pretend that you are holding a conversation with the visitor and use language that both of you can understand. Don’t try to impress and overwhelm your potential clients by using jargon or technical terms unless it is entirely necessary. Most people don’t browse the web with a dictionary in one hand.

Part of keeping your site fresh could involve regular communication with your visitors. There are a multitude of social media platforms that can be slotted directly onto your website providing instant content and contact with your “followers”. With these in place and some time set aside each day, you can make sure that your business is always “popping up” in front of your clients. Tweets and Facebook comments are delivered straight to their computers via email and their own Twitter and Facebook feeds. In addition, with these platforms directly linked to your website, every update also become fresh content on your pages.

Finally, set up a Blog to publish your latest and greatest news directly onto your site. If you have a look back at my collection of Blog entries, you would be quite entitled to say that I don’t keep my site content fresh and you would be partly right. I need to practice what I preach so I am throwing down a challenge. I am going to endeavour to tweet at least twice a day, Facebook (once a day), write a use Blog entry every fortnight and release a new Podcast once a month. If you decide to join me on this challenge, let me know how you go. My progress will be easy to follow – it will be right here on my website as fresh content!

Goals of an effective website!

In the first podcast from the Rusty Mango Design Website Marketing series, I talked about five simple ways to draw attention to your site and get the all-important visitors coming in. Hopefully that has paid off for you (more tips on that coming soon) and now it is time for action.

Generally a website has been built for a single purpose – generating further interaction with the site visitor (monetary-wise or information-wise). Read the three components below to help achieve this interaction and make your site a success.

The HookThe Hook
Everyone knows that a webpage must load quickly however, just as important, the content on that page needs to grab attention straightaway. You generally have about three seconds for the visitor to get “hooked” on your content or they will leave and go somewhere else. Make sure the titles and imagery of the page are engaging and that the content offers some form of offer or promise which is easily visible at a glance. Don’t overload the page, keep it fairly simple and to the point. 

Keep ’em Keen
The next goal after “hooking” the visitor is to keep them interested in your site. Offer some value in the form of content that keeps them from leaving and makes the visitor want to explore. If you run a service website, build in a FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) section with general purpose tips. Identify in your content the reasons for people to visit your site and offer them solutions to according to your business type. Be sure to keep content fresh for those visitors who are returning to the website after a previous visit.

The Call to Action
The final step in getting a return from a visitor to your website is a call to action. Make it very easy for a potential client to send their details to you. One of the best ways is to offer something for free ( for example an eBook or a free quote ) in return for completing a details form. This form could simply ask for an email address or a contact number.

Once you have the client’s information, you can then initiate further contact to convert their visit into a tangible sale for your business. Implement these steps on each page of your site and you will see a return from your website in next to no time.

Remember….. Content is KING!


Podcast #1 – Marketing your new website

As a web designer, there is nothing more I like to see than a site that I have helped to create hitting the right spot with its intended audience. However, some businesses and organisations think that a website will do all the marketing work for them.

It won’t – there is still work to be done!

So as the first podcast from the Rusty Mango Design marketing series, I have decided to give five sure-fire tips to turbo-boost your site traffic today – even before Google gets a look in!

This information will be available as a downloadable PDF on the Rusty Mango Design website and a transcript of the podcast will be included in the RMD Blog.

Click here to download the PDF

Tip #1 – Get your site name out there and get traffic coming in!

If you are still waiting for Google to index your site – this can take up to a month or so depending on your web developer –  get the word out there using more traditional means.

• If you are a non-profit organisation, get onto your local paper and ask them to announce or attend the launch of your website. While you are at it, why not try to squeeze an editorial out of them. Smaller papers like the Innisfail Advocate obviously need to support their local community and giving your non-profit organisation’s website a “free” plug would be a great way to show it.

• If you are launching a business site, get on the radio or in the paper and give potential clients a “Call to Action” – that is – give ‘em a reason to visit your site. Put a printable coupon on the front page of the site for visitors that redeemable for a free quote, cup of coffee or whatever ties in with your business.

• If your site has been launched and nothing is really happening, try the above steps anyway. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


Tip #2 – Get your Social Media happening today

Spend an hour or two setting up a Facebook for Business page along with a Twitter account. Not only are these social mediums a necessity in today’s online world, but they are absolutely fantastic for getting information / deals announced immediately. With a bit of clever programming, or even some WordPress plugins, you can seamlessly integrate your Social Media with your actual website. This way, you can create instant content every time you update your Facebook or Twitter. Like buttons can also be used to grab a captive audience along with your “followers” on Twitter.

However, when a site has just been launched, use your social networks to get visitors to come to your website immediately. Announce the launch on Twitter and ask all your followers to “re-tweet” the message – like a little bit of “pyramid” marketing. Do the same on Facebook – ask your friends to visit and LIKE your website and pass the message on!

Using this simple tip, you could have an audience of 100’s by the end of the first day ( depending on the strength of your social network ).


Tip #3 –  Reciprocal Links

After your site has been launched, spend some time visiting some industry specific sites that may be able to “drive” traffic to your website. For example, I recently suggested to Glen from Innisfail Cycles and Sports that he should contact local bike clubs and let them know that his business is now online.

If these clubs have websites, now is the perfect time to ask for reciprocal links. A reciprocal link simply involves placing a link on each parties website – the bike club links to Innisfail Cycles and Innisfail Cycles links back to the Bike Club.

It’s the age-old saying “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

If your business has a selection of suppliers, ask them to create reciprocal links for you. Most suppliers will gladly add your business to their sites in return for a reciprocal link as you are already a valuable source of income to them and they should want to help in whatever way possible.


Tip #4 – Get your Web Address on everything

If you are serious about pushing your site to the next level, then start by looking at your stationery and signage right away. Your website address needs to prominent on everything you do – business cards, invoices, shop fronts, you name it, it should have your address on it. TV and print advertisements should also have your website address clearly visible and radio ads should always include your address at the close of the ad.

A website is not meant to be a secret so shout it out and get people visiting today.


Tip #5 – Email Marketing

This one needs to be approached carefully as there are fairly stringent rules about spam that can end in grief if they are not handled properly.

For a stress-free email promotion, simply send out an email to your current client list with a special offer – free consultation, ½ price deals, 10% discount – in return for a visit to your new website. Add in a bonus, if they refer someone else through to the same offer on your website, give them another reward for their loyalty. 

Using this method of email, you are only contacting clients that you already have a relationship with. Those clients then contact someone else on your behalf – this is important as the email does not come directly from you!

Only use this method sparingly as repeated usage will fall foul of the spam laws if anyone feels that you are abusing the email system.


Bonus Tip – Make sure your site is SEO friendly.

Once Google finally gets around to indexing or “reading” your site – you should have all the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) completed. You can do by following this list:-

  • Make you have used a scattering of “key words” – words that potential visitors will use to find your site via Google – throughout your pages. 
  • Check your META tags for titles, key words and descriptions or have your web developer check them for you.
  • If you are using site based on WordPress, install the plug-in All-in-One-SEO and add details to each of your posts and pages.

By following the simple tips above, you can gather a healthy following for your site however this is only the beginning. Your site will require constant work to keep it fresh and to ensure that visitors return again and again. In the next Podcast, we will talk about the use of content to attract visitors and keep them coming back for more.

Is your business slogan working for you?

In his book, 101 Secrets to Building a Winning Business, author Andrew Griffiths states that despite trends that come and go in marketing techniques, the tag line or “catch phrase” never seems to go out of style. He does point out that a business should, from time to time, reassess the effectiveness of such wording to avoid the message becoming stale.

To this end, I decided to create a “tag line” that would work for my business and this required some thought as to what message I wanted to convey in a few short words.

With a little brain storming, I came up with a few points that are important in the marketing of my business:

  • Rusty Mango Design proudly markets itself as a quality website provider in the Cassowary Coast region of Far North Queensland.
  • Cairns has a number of competitors however there is only one main competitor in my local region.
  • My sites are affordable as I am a sole operator and my business does not have the overheads of the larger companies.

Using these points, I have decided upon the tag line “Quality Website Design on the Cassowary Coast”. I wanted to avoid saying that my websites are cheaper than the competition as prospective clients may also read this as a sign that my work also looks cheap.

Now that I have the slogan, it will be displayed prominently on the RMD website and on any correspondence with my clients. I may change it tomorrow if another slogan “pops” into my head and is more appropriate however that’s the nature of this type of marketing and making the change is no great problem.

Nothing Beats QueenslandFor evidence on the changing slogans that can be used in a marketing campaign, take a look at Queensland Tourism’s latest effort. Only last year, the slogan marketed around the country was “Queensland – Where Australia shines”. This was plastered on TV, magazines and internet advertising. After a reassessment was made necessary by the Brisbane floods and Cyclone Yasi, Queensland Tourism adapted the tag line to include “Nothing Beats Queensland”. To residents of the State, this has a double meaning: It clearly states that you must come to Queensland because there is nothing else like it and that, despite the natural disasters that we have endured, we are bouncing back better than ever.

Victoria - The Place to BeAnother example of a catch phrase change is that of Tourism Victoria. A couple of years back, the tag line they used was “Victoria – On the Move” which was fine until someone realised that Victorians were leaving the state at a rapid rate and maybe the “Move” part of the slogan wasn’t so great after all. During a recent caravan trip around Queensland, I saw their new slogan plastered on Victorian number plates: “Victoria – The Place to be”. Now I don’t whether my judgement was determined by the number of Victorian caravans on the road but I believe this tag line once again fails to work. If Victoria is “The Place to be”, why do so many Victorians drive their caravans north and spend three months of the year in Queensland? Maybe a different catchline would have been more appropriate for their number plates.

As demonstrated, slogans can allow prospective clients to form very quick opinions about your business so you need to get it right. Grab a pen and pencil, write down the key elements about your businesses and see what you can come up. Make sure you show the slogan to test audience first and gauge their opinions. If it doesn’t get the message across as intended, try again until you get it just right for your business.

Tropical Coast Web Design