Online Marketing Solution
Websites have become the main medium for casual information gathering. Google, Wikipedia, Technorati, and other massive information harvesters offer the world near infinite information at near instant speeds.
When people hear about a company, they type in the URL. Because of this, providing as much information about the business and its offerings is a critical ingredient in successful websites when content is available, people will consume it.
Most users who go through the trouble of finding a particular company are likely going to click on the Products or Services link in the main menu.
They should be rewarded with a landing page that focuses on your actual offerings, and doesn’t display large, Flash-based introductory animations, wander down tangents talking about company history, or do anything else that detracts from the carefully crafted sales message to act.
Few sections benefit more from building content than the products or services pages. Not only does it inform your audience, which is very likely your customer base, but it presents an ideal busines platform and selling opportunity. If people are already on your site, why not push them into action?
The Products and Services pages should be built with a selling path in mind. A selling path that is an easily followed- a short series of actions that leads people to initiate the sales process. Ideally, this should be three tangible steps:
Landing page: People will find the products or services landing page, be happy with your great products or services you sell, or offer, and click on an item for deeper exploration or your shopping cart.
Individual description: Prospects will find themselves on a singular page that describes in no uncertain detail all of the key selling points of the product or service. This page guides them toward the final stage of the selling path: the sales process.
Acquisition: After viewers find everything about the product or service, they will be asked in one click to a page either to make a purchase or becoming a qualified lead by making contact with you.
The selling path is the second half of this; it captures a user’s attention midway through the conversion process and acts as the catalyst for achieving your mutual goal. Because of this, this three-step selling path should be nearly thoughtless for the user—they should find themselves moving down the conversion funnel with about as much resistance as a greased bowling ball encounters rolling across an alley.
Streamlining this process is not as easy as it sounds.
A company whose primary line of business is selling tangible products will find its catalogue of items falling into three fairly distinct categories:
1. Products that can be sold on the web: Just about anything that can be shipped and delivered cost-effectively can be sold via a shopping cart, from fruit baskets to furniture to cars. These products do not need the help of a sales force. Customers can make a purchase without interacting with the company.
2. Products that could be sold via the web but are not: Many corporate websites describe products that could feasibly be sold digitally but are not because the company chooses to distribute them in other ways. Many food manufacturers do not sell their products digitally because they have exclusive distribution deals with grocery stores and other retail outlets.
3. Products that cannot realistically be sold through a shopping cart: These products simply can’t be delivered without a huge expense such as a luxury fishing boat.
While they are still tangible things, the last two types of products have to be treated like services because either the customer has to seek out the product beyond the Web, or the customer and vendor have to engage in a human interaction for the sale to be made.
As with services, a website can only go so far in promoting and selling these types of products, which is why this section will focus on the first category, or those that are sold over the Internet.
When designing and writing web pages for these products, you should always make the selling path prominent, because it leads customers right to the store where they can make a purchase. It doesn’t have to overwhelm the reader- but it always has to be brainlessly accessible.
Imagine if the product landing page were the only web page visitors could read about the products.
You would want to provide them with comprehensive subject matter, creating an environment where they can learn everything they need to know quickly and easily.
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