Split test your website.

While at Fast Web Formula 3 a while back, I chatted with a few Internet marketing buddies to find out their opinions on what’s currently working best for small business.

That included Ben Stickland from Market Samurai; I asked him for his three leading web business tips and he responded with three questions which he likes to ask when consulting with a small web business.

The responses are all simple and that’s the beauty of them – making small changes can make a big difference, because most website owners don’t get the simple things right.

I share his responses with you below.

1. Does The Website Make Me Wanna Throw Up?

Is the website copy convincing and does the look and feel make you want to hang around…or throw up?!

Is the site believable and would you consider entering your credit card details on it?

If not, then making some changes can set you on the right road. Concentrating on benefits to the clients rather than features can make a huge difference; including a call to action and giving compelling reasons to take that action should be the focus of any small business website – rather than just writing a bunch of branding copy.

If you manage to get this part right then you are already in the Top 20% of websites on the web.

2. Have They Tested, Tested 1, 2, 3?

Split testing is essential now for any business intent on getting their website working at optimum performance.

It’s easy to write a sales page with 2 or 3 different versions and get it to your web developer to split test and see which works best for your target audience.

It can make a big difference – some clients’ lead volumes have tripled by implementing a new page after tests proved it got a better response than the alternatives.

If your current sales pages are not getting the leads you would like, try changing some of the headlines to make them more benefit-oriented and attention-grabbing; then test them – you should find they start to convert into sales better.

3. What Is The Main Thing They Want Me To Do?

If it’s not clear what the main thing the website wants visitors to do, that’s a serious problem.

You may have a number of things in mind for your website – but there should be a clear primary action you want them to take, followed by secondary and tertiary actions. This needs to be reflected in design, layout, headlines and copy.

Simple things like devoting most space to the primary action and keeping it central on the page will make a difference instantly.

As Ben says, as a small business consultant, the best web business tips focus on solving obvious and basic problems, rather than anything too involved. Get the basics right and you can increase leads and become a leader in your niche.

These are all things we’ve been saying regularly on this site, of course, so they shouldn’t come as any surprise, though it’s always useful to have a reminder. If you’ve enjoyed reading this, don’t forget to check the SEO blog every few days for new posts.

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