The Passing Lane: Passing the Competition Online by Marnie Perhson

Issue #10 Monday, November 23,1998

About the Author:

Marnie Perhson
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants and the
International Association of Computer Professionals, develops products that help computer professionals market and manage their businesses.

She is author of
How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business,

How to Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business

Keeping Your Sanity in a Home Business.

Marnie also develops business plans, marketing strategies, financial projections, & proposals for Internet projects. Her plans and strategies have garnered clients an average of $100,000 each in seed capital.

Marnie lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .

C.E.S. Business Consultants
Ringgold, Georgia
TEL: 706-866-2295


Steering Visitors in the Right Direction

Once you have visitors coming to your site and you have their interest peaked, it's time to direct them to where you want them to go. Whether you're selling information, products, services or simply generating leads, bear in mind why people visit web sites:

  1. News - according to the MarketFacts research firm, roughly 90% of Net users use the Web for news. A report from Media Metrix shows that news sites are now more popular than search engines.
  2. Research - people visit sites to look for information on products, services, etc.
  3. Shopping - people are starting to use the Web with increasing regularity to comparison shop and are buying more and more over the Web.

Most likely, unless you are generating all your Web revenues from advertising, you are trying to sell the visitor something--your products or services. To draw people in, use a three-step process:

  • First, give them what they want--give them news, articles, or non-sales pitch information that relates to your products or services.
  • Second, include links to your products or services on the page(s) with the news or articles. These can be subtle links - as simple as a "products" or "services" link in the navigational area of the page. Or, it can be a blurb about you as the author and a link to your products/services at the bottom of the page.
  • Third, test, test and test again. Check your statistics frequently when you make a change to your home page or site. Which information areas are getting the most hits? Pay attention to the information areas people like so as to learn what they actually want. Are the pages that contain product information getting more hits now that you've made the change? Are more people clicking on your order form now? And, bottom line, are you making more sales or getting more referrals from your Web site? Keep tweaking, testing, and recording the results until you find the mix that brings the maximum number of sales per visitor.

In summary, use your home page to steer people to the content. Remember, people first ask themselves, "What's in it for me?" or "Why should I click any further?" By bringing content (articles, news, information) to the forefront, you'll draw them further inside your site. Then, make sure they know you're an expert on the subject and direct them as to where to go next to purchase your products or services.

Remember that it's not how much traffic you get, it's what you do with the people once they arrive. What you really want to know is: "how many visitors does it take to make a sale?" Work with your content and try directing your traffic in different ways until you get the maximum yield per visitor.

Text Copyright © 1999, Marnie Pehrson. Part of the original Sideroad.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at