In every issue of our print publication, The Internet Marketing Report, we review a Web site. Here's a recent review.
VerticalResponse.com converts. Many Web pages suffer from too many cooks: Everyone’s trying to sneak in a call to action or promote a product. These competing messages often distract prospects from converting.
This site has earned our own award, "Elegance in the Service of Online Conversions."
As you can see, VerticalResponse’s small business site, which has won a range of awards including the 2009 Web Marketing Award from WebAwards.org, is straightforward and streamlined.
There’s no confusion over what it wants prospects to do:
1. Take a free trial, or
2. Try it for free.
They’re both different versions of the same call to action.
One version is for prospects who are ready to take the plunge. The other gives less-decided prospects more info before asking them to hand over their credit card details.
A clear call to action ...
Don’t expect prospects to know what to do. Just like an old-fashioned direct mail piece or an ad in the paper, they need to be told what is expected of them. This site has a clear goal. It puts the most important info on the top of the screen, where it can be seen without moving down the page. Putting anything important below the fold is moving control out of your hands and into your prospects’.
... and an easy to read layout
This site uses big, bold fonts to remind visitors why it is worth trying. It’s easy on the eyes, too.
Consider entering your site in the growing number of contests for the best Web sites.
These awards can generate publicity for your company and links from respected organizations. And as online marketing expert Lee Odden says, these awards are great for morale and giving your team a boost.
“A person will work for a living, but they’ll die for recognition.”
You’ll also get independent verification that you’re doing something right – that’s useful when you need to justify additional resources or ask for a pay rise.
The truth? Your site doesn't have to be perfect to win.
In some categories, Web sites that look good but miss basic search engine optimization are winning prizes as best in niche.
VerticalResponse.com’s site deserves to win an award: It looks good, and it’s optimized to appear in search results.
Other award winners look great, but still have a way to go before they trump rivals in search results. For example, the small business award winner, PetersBodyshop.net, is a great example of a solid small business Web site that could do more to improve its local search results.
Looking for awards to enter?
Odden's put together this list of the best, TopRankBlog.com at
Ten Search Marketing Awards You Should Know