20 Website Mistakes That Cost Me Three Years And $22,000

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"Learn from other's mistakes," my Mom always advised me.Learn from
mine, save three precious marketing years, tonsof frustration, energy,
and come out way ahead of the game.Best of all, this will not create a
loss of sales, as it did for me.

1. If you use a shopping cart, check if the zip code requestappears
before the city and state on the order form. Mostcarts don't do this.
Why is this important? Because ifordering is not easy, I mean real
easy, for your buyers,they drop out in the process. Ordering should be
aseffortless as possible for the purchaser.

If the zip code is before the city and state and is set todrop their
city and state into the next two fieldsautomatically, it saves the
purchaser's time. Believe it ornot, this one "little" item leaves a
memory chip and theywill remember the experience in the future. Did
you knowthat 60% of buyers opt-out and don't complete thetransaction
because of the little things?

2. Do you have boxes or radial buttons that they need tocheck off in
the ordering process? If you do, then go aheadand fill-in the
checkmark "in" for them. Let them uncheck it ifthey do not want the
choice you gave them. Again,making it easier to buy from you and
reduce the chance ofthem leaving before completing the transaction.

If you have a questionnaire or survey form, check all the"yes"
categories or one of the radial buttons for them sothey don't have to
do the work. They will remember theexperience as "easy" and it will be
imprinted in their minds forthe next purchase or experience with you.

3. Many people forget to set up the "error page" on theirweb site. Do
not leave that to chance. Ask them questionson the error page so that
you will know what occurred. Example:"Tell me how you saw this page
please." Add your e-mailaddress. Hyperlink the address and spell out
the fulladdress for those with different browsers. Make it easy
forpeople to identify any errors on your web site so you canfix them

If you think that will never happen to you and that you havechecked
your links repeatedly, it can still happen.Software has glitches and
they happen to be the best of thebest. In addition, an error page is a
great place to addother hyperlinked navigational bars (a list of the
main areasof your web site). Also, offer an opportunity for them
toenroll in your ezine here as well.

4. Omit the metaphors. Most adults do not have the time orthe patience
to play games on the Internet. If your marketis teens, this is a
different story. Teenagers will enjoythe entertainment.

If you offer an entertaining feature on your site, you willneed to
carryout the theme throughout your site, otherwisethey will leave as
soon as it stops. This has occurredquite often lately as professionals
add video to their site(considered entertainment) and then the rest of
the site isflat. They get a lot of hits to the video and then
noresponse on the call to action that they have set up.

5. Please do not activate "under construction" pages. Waituntil the
page is ready and then upload it. If you areusing FrontPage, you can
remove it from the Navigationalsystem by right clicking on the page
and turning it off.

6. Don't beat around the bush with your visitors. Make yourmessage so
clear that even a ten year old will understandit. Make the language
conversational -- easy English.

7. Make your "buy me" buttons "Amazon" blue. Backed by goodresearch,
Amazon has trained millions of their visitors inthis color and in
their design style. Use their success toyour advantage. Visit
(Amazon.com product link shortened) to see what"Amazon" blue looks like.

8. Do you offer a search form on your site? You need to.Once again --
making it easy for your visitors to find theinformation they want
quickly. Here is a tip that I learnedonly a few months ago that has
paid big since. After all Ihave read and learned over the past 10
years, nothing wasevery mentioned about this. When someone searches
forsomething and it is not found, set up a default-sellingpage.

Here are a few ideas on how to use the default page whentheir search
comes up empty. Offer them a 10% coupon forsomething else, or for
anything on your site. Tell themthis is a one-time offer (they will
not know otherwise). Onthe other hand, you could provide a list of
availablediscounts or offer them a choice of sections to proceed to.Do
not let them get the "Can't find a match" message at anytime.

9. When collecting visitor information for your database, doit one
step at a time. Do not try to do everything at once.If you offer an
ezine, the first step is to ask for their e-mail address only. After
they type that in, take them toanother page to answer questions.

Alternatively, you can send them an auto responder askingthem
questions. Better yet, send them to a survey pageafter they have
subscribed to your newsletter. You willenjoy an increase in
subscribers and survey submissions.

10. If you use drop down menus for your states or countries,remove
them. "Techies" like drop down menus, but visitorsdon't. Let the
visitor type in their state and country. Itis ten times faster and
much easier than looking through along list searching for a state and
country. Even if theUnited States is at the top, it still makes the

11. The best way to give your visitors what they want is tokeep it
simple. This is especially true for the landingpage of your web site.
The landing page is your main orindex page.

What do you want your visitors to do when they reach yoursite? If they
are there to subscribe to your ezine(electronic newsletter), send them
to that page by givingthem that immediate option. Then send them to a
page thatfocuses them on subscribing. Give them all the
informationthey need to make a choice and to subscribe. If they
arefirst-time visitors, where do they click first?

For example, if you are a coach, ask them if they want toknow more
about coaching. If you are a virtual assistant(VA), send them to a
page or two about what a VA does andhow you help your clients. After
they get to the next page,give them choice of different areas where
you can help themas a virtual assistant or a coach.

Walk them through the process in steps, "hold their hand" asyou lead
them through all the things that you can do forthem. Create a walk-
through easy-to-follow effect. It willpay off in profits.

12. Do not add any pages to the site that do not pertainto the
visitors' reasons for coming to your site. People donot have time for
irrelevant information.

13. You do not need an engineer or a web site designer todesign your
website. In fact, while they would not like tohear this, you do not
need them. They may do everythingright technically, but they do not
know how to get people tostay at your site or buy from you.

Marketers know how to do that. While 98% of engineers andweb site
designer claim they are marketers, less than 1%know anything about
marketing. The truly rare commodity isa fantastic marketer who is
savvy about web site design.

Building your site is just like building a house: without anarchitect
who knows about layout, structure air flow, etc.,all you have is a
construction company building the housefrom their sense of style,
direction and beliefs.

Know where the advice is coming from and hire them only fortheir
expertise. If you are reading an article on marketingon the Internet
that was written by someone who is a website designer, a red flag
should go up.

If you are talking with a marketer who does not have website design
experience and you are looking for help inbuilding your web site,
raise that flag again. The rareperson with the unique combination may
be hard to find, butwe exist -- I designed my learning to be one of
those rareones.

I have helped many people clean up their web site after theyhave
worked with web designers and/or marketers. And trustme, the clean up
is more time consuming than starting allover.

14. Don't make your buyer feel stupid while they are in theprocess of
buying from you -- in the "cart" process.Internet service providers
(ISPs and web site hosts) do thisfrequently. Just one example of this
is when they ask theirnontechie buyers the option, "Choose your

The majority of their buyers have no idea what this means.They do not
understand that you are asking if they want a Unix orWindows based
system. Moreover, even these same buyers areasked in this manner, they
still do not have any clue whatare the advantages or disadvantages of
either one.

So, they feel stupid. You will lose more buyers withquestions like
this. The buyer feels frustrated and 99% ofthe time leaves without
buying. Look on your site, are youasking any questions that make the
buyers or visitors feelstupid?

15. The most common place to click on any web page is thetop left-hand
corner. Put the choice to go to the next pageor to pick the most
popular page or product in thislocation. If the purpose of the page/
site is different, youmay want to put the back and forward buttons

Don't put graphics, especially your logo, on the upper lefthand
corner. This is prime real estate for your website.If you have a
retail site, place your top-selling item inthis space or a drop down
menu of three of the top sellingitems.

16. Answer the visitors' main questions in one easy-to-findand
readable paragraph. Don't make the font too small toread and do not
make it go across the page requiring thereader to scroll. I've seen
young web site designers usesmall fonts on their website which wants
to attract a marketthat's in their 40s and 50s. Fact, the older you
get thebigger the font.

17. Don't talk down to your visitors. They are intelligentpeople who
will not stand for it. They will leave and nevercome back. There is a
difference in talking down andpresenting a conversational style.
Talking down is likeexplaining it to your child; the other is like
talking toanother adult. Technical people have a big tendency to
talkdown to nontechnical people.

18. Make it easy for them to share their comments with you.Whether it
is about a hyperlink that does not work or othererrors they have
found. They may want to tell how much theyappreciated your
information. Create a place on every pagewhere they can feel
comfortable about submitting theircomments. Comfortable also means
that they have a choiceon whether to send their contact information or

19. Organize your site from the visitors' point of view.If you are not
sure, ask some typical visitors. "Whatquestions did they have when
they landed on the first page?",is a great question to start. Get them
to walk you throughtheir thinking. You will pick up some patterns
after thefirst three or four. This is the best research you can doand
it will save you years of revisions.

Do not ask family members or friends. Ask clients who havejust
finished visiting your site. They are familiar visitorsand they will
want something different from a new visitor.You need to set up your
landing page to handle both familiarand new visitors without being

20. One of the most valuable pages in a web site that issadly
overlooked is the "thank you" page. If someone signsup for your ezine
or places an order, include a popup saying"thank you for visiting."
Use whatever way you can thinksays it best, but don't leave it out.
The other half of thisequation is not to loose the opportunity to
cross sell orup sell on the thank you page.

First, say thank you and then give them an offer they cannotrefuse. On
the thank you page, you can provide a coupon for10 percent off on
anything in the store or 10 percent off on anyoverstocked or limited
stock item.

Now that you have these tips on what mistakes not to make,you need to
put them into practice. Choose three and startcompleting them. Then
move on to the next three and keepmoving through the list. You will be
excited of theresults.

Bonus Tip 1: 60% of the buyers opt out of purchasing aproduct on the
Internet in between the first cart processingpage and the last page.
It is usually because it took toomany clicks to complete the
transaction or it took too muchtime to think about it or to make
choices. Check your website and eliminate any obstacles or places that
do this soyou can reduce this percentage on your web site.

Bonus Tip 2: If you have questions on your page, dividethem into
categories and don't put them all on one page.Spread them out between
pages. It looks easier and fasterto the person answering the
questions. Give them anincentive to move from one page to the next and
give themencouragement between the incentives.


Re: 20 Website Mistakes That Cost Me Three Years And $22,000

bs866806@163.com wrote:
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This would have me leaving your site without ordering or sending in the

Re: 20 Website Mistakes That Cost Me Three Years And $22,000

bs866806@163.com wrote:
 > "Do you have boxes or radial buttons..."

#21 You don't have to be a "techie" but you at least need to know
that they are called "radio" buttons, not radial, if you are going
to talk about them.

Re: 20 Website Mistakes That Cost Me Three Years And $22,000


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Radial buttons have much better traction in the rain.


Re: 20 Website Mistakes That Cost Me Three Years And $22,000

On Tue, 8 Jan 2008 10:15:38 -0800, "Red E. Kilowatt"

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Yes, but you've got to admit a set of 225/50-15's in bias buttons
looks cool on and older Camero or Fire Bird even if they do lose
traction on wet pavement.

gburnore at DataBasix dot Com
                    How you look depends on where you go.
Gary L. Burnore                       |  ۳ݳ޳ݳۺݳ޳ݳݳ޳ݳ۳
                                      |  ۳ݳ޳ݳۺݳ޳ݳݳ޳ݳ۳
Official .sig, Accept no substitutes. |  ۳ݳ޳ݳۺݳ޳ݳݳ޳ݳ۳
                                      |   0 1 7 2 3 / ݳ 3 7 4 9 3 0 ۳
Black Helicopter Repair Services, Ltd.|     Official Proof of Purchase

Re: 20 Website Mistakes That Cost Me Three Years And $22,000

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The names are "Camaro" and "Firebird" and 225/50/15 size tires were
never installed on them from the factory.  The first 50-series tires
to be installed were on the 3rd generation F-bodies and, IIRC were
245/50/17s.  No 50-series tires were ever installed on 15-inch
diameter rims on F-bodies.

Now, that's not to say someone wouldn't want to retrofit a more modern
tire on their car, but it wouldn't make much sense  to do a 225 wide
tire on a 15x7 rim (the narrowest 15 inch rim ever installed on a
Camaro) which would easily fit a 235 and possibly a 245.   I have some
255/60/15s on 15x8 "Vette rallies" on my Camaro.


Re: 20 Website Mistakes That Cost Me Three Years And $22,000


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FACTORY?  Who cares what the factory does.

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They look good.  That's the point.  Yeah, they didn't COME that way,
and the performance sucks slightly, but they LOOK good.  Besides,
we're talking about BUTTONS not Tires, duh.
gburnore at DataBasix dot Com
                    How you look depends on where you go.
Gary L. Burnore                       |  ۳ݳ޳ݳۺݳ޳ݳݳ޳ݳ۳
                                      |  ۳ݳ޳ݳۺݳ޳ݳݳ޳ݳ۳
Official .sig, Accept no substitutes. |  ۳ݳ޳ݳۺݳ޳ݳݳ޳ݳ۳
                                      |   0 1 7 2 3 / ݳ 3 7 4 9 3 0 ۳
Black Helicopter Repair Services, Ltd.|     Official Proof of Purchase

Re: 20 Website Mistakes That Cost Me Three Years And $22,000

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225/50/15s are pizza cutters and look like shit.  I've never had
anything smaller than 235 on any of my camaros and they were front

Wanna know what looks awesome?  285/40/18

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Why would the performance suck from a 50 series tire?  Actually, a 50
(or even 40) would perform great for general driving. The sidewall
would flex less, making the car more predictable in turns.

But since you spell Camaro with an "e", I suppose most of this is lost
on you.


Re: 20 Website Mistakes That Cost Me Three Years And $22,000

bs866806@163.com wrote:
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There are multiple cities in my zip code. Which one will you choose?


Re: 20 Website Mistakes That Cost Me Three Years And $22,000

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It will give you a drop down of just the cities in your zip code -
which is still faster than filling out 3 separate fields.

Decent marketing advice. Amazon uses yellow buttons.

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