Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Web site review: 4 questions every site needs to answer

In every issue of our print publication, the Internet Marketing Report, we review a Web site. Here is the latest:

Scary fact: Experts say nine out of 10 Web sites fail to convey what they do in language prospects can understand.

There’s too much jargon, too many acronyms and too much talk about a company’s illustrious history. In contrast, Stratasys makes its highly-technical B2B products and services accessible by using plain English to talk about results.

In these tough times, what do prospects want to know first?

Whether your product or service will cut costs, save money or improve results. Stratasys doesn’t waste time talking about specifications or blowing its own horn.

It anticipates the questions that decision makers are sure to ask:

1. "Will you cut costs?"

Stratasys' home page kicks off with compelling case studies using powerful headlines like “Klock Werks produced customer motorcycle parts in 5 days reducing production time 82%” that would stand out in business newspapers and popular magazines. (Don't know how to give your headlines some sizzle? Pick up Cosmopolitan or another tabloid to see how they do it. )

2. "Have you had success in my niche?"

Stratasys’ case studies appeal to everyone involved in purchasing a product, from users to those approving the purchase. For example, most prospects want to know if a company has had success in their niche. Stratasys makes it easy for them to find out by presenting case studies sorted by application and by industry.

3. "Can I trust you?"

Stratasys sprinkles big name, well-known brands in the testimonials on the front page.

4. "How does it work? It is as tough as they say?"

Stratasys provides free samples and a video introduction to its product.

What we think needs work:

Poor keywording can cost any site traffic and leads, even a polished site like Stratasys’.

What’s going wrong?

Stratasys’ Web folk have jammed keywords that don’t relate to the page’s content into its coding. This keyword stuffing is often discounted by the search engines that think the site is trying to trick visitors and searchers.

Tip: Only put keywords in your tags if they appear naturally in the content on the page, too.

Also the keywords in the title tag of the home page are much longer than the 64 characters recommended by experts.

There are plenty of free tools online to identify potential keywords and identify the best number. Look for keywords with strong traffic and, ideally, without much competition:
Google's keyword tool

You can read more Web site reviews here:

Interested in having your site reviewed, contact Julie Power at JPower@pbp.com


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