It is not an accident that you create a website of high performance.
We are often not successful. We often fail to succeed not because we write bad copy, or make the wrong offer. But because we use the wrong format for our website.
How can you choose the right structure?
There are five fundamental formulae for website design.
Pick the one that best suits your business model and you can eliminate all of the guesswork regarding how to structure your website. You’ll likely sell more.
With less effort, you’ll achieve better results.
Five Website Formats for Better Results in 2018
The brochure site
This type of website is often created by brick-and-mortar stores because they don’t want to sell online. They want to make it easy for people to find their store.
The brochure site is often used as a kickback to the early internet. This is because it believes that having an online presence is sufficient. It provides basic information, such as store location and benefits, and even a map to assist you in finding them quickly.
Massey says this is a good option if you are looking for a simple online presence.
What the website needs:
- Professional design that increases brand recognition
- A clearly defined value proposition
- Contact information is easy to find
The publication site
This site works much like a traditional media company. It provides original content or curated content and generates income through subscriptions or donations, ads, sponsors, or sponsors.
What the website needs:
- Excellent navigation and search functionality make it easy for content to be found
- Promote content via email and social media
- Subscribe to email and/or newsletters by opting-in
The online store
You can think of Amazon and you will be there. Amazon isn’t the only online retailer. You can find them in many sizes, and they come in many different formats.
An online store might exist solely to sell products. It may offer hundreds, or even thousands, of items. Or it may just have one product.
It could also be used on Amazon and eBay, or a micro-site that sells a better haircut.
What site needs:
- Instead of focusing on selling your products, focus on solving the problems of your customers.
- Landing pages that convince and are optimized for sales and search
- A shopping cart that is easy to use
- Trust is built through social proof
This consultative site is typical for businesses, especially B2B, with long sales cycles.
According to research, 60%of the B2B sales process is complete before the buyer even meets with a salesperson. People rely on your website to find the information they need to decide whether or not to speak with you.
Consultative sites provide white papers, case studies, and presentations to help prospects attract and nurture them. You can also find trust-building elements like a blog or social sharing buttons.
What site needs:
- Help people to understand your problem and find the solution
- Opt-in access to useful long-form content
- Email is a great way to build trust and nurture relationships
The online service
An online service could be your cloud storage, accounting software, email service, or even a dating service. You could even use it as a dating site.
Many online service websites design their home pages as landing pages. This allows you to easily answer any questions and builds confidence in your service.
You can do this by signing up for the “freemium” plan, which gives you more features (and better) than the paid upgrade.
What site needs:
- Written sales copy that convinces people to buy your product
- Email follow-up is key to turning triers into users
- Help people get the most out of your product. So they will buy it and recommend it.
How to choose the right website format
You want your website to convert. If your business fits into one of these formulas, it’s simple. You may need to strategize to find the one that best fits your business model and sales funnel.
Begin by identifying the formula or blend of formulas you are currently using.
Next, determine if it is the right fit for you. Is it able to help you reach your business goals? Are qualified prospects attracted to it? Is it a good converter?
Brian outlines three reasons why you might want to change the formula.
- It could be that you are using the wrong formula depending on the type of business.
- Your customers don’t like the formula you use. They want a new formula for your website.
- Different models are possible depending on your business model and marketing plan. For example, you could have an online store that is unique by offering an online service model. You could choose to use either the online store model or the online service formula.
Are you still unsure which formula to use
It is possible to need several formulae.
Let’s suppose that you sell software to enterprises, but that your main selling point is that it offers a service that does everything for you.
Your solution is worry-free, as you take care of training, installation, and reporting. Each customer is assigned an account manager, who works closely with them to make the product function…
Because your selling cycle can be long (it is an expensive solution), you post a lot of white papers and case studies on your website. You also manage a respected industry blog to build trust…
You can also publish how-to books to help small businesses implement your methods on their websites, which will add income stream.
Do you have an online shop? Yes.
Do you offer an online service? Yes.
Are you a publisher? Yes.
Which formula should I use? You could use all three. There are many options.
- Websites that address the problems of your prospects and offer solutions.
- Clear navigation and a search box are key to helping newcomers locate your content and/or product.
- Landing pages that describe your products – both the enterprise has done for your software and the how-to books.
- Shop cart to help people purchase their books.
- Opt-in forms collect information from people when they download reports and purchase books.
- A strong social media presence will bring people to your site to see your content and establish your status as a thought leader within your industry.
- An effective email marketing program keeps your brand front and center before the purchase, and then supports customers after.
It is possible to combine the strategies from each formula to create an effective conversion equation that is tailored to your business.
Which formula works best for you? Please leave your comments below.
Don’t forget Brian’s book! You will get strategic guidance on selecting the right formula for you and other valuable insights.