Seriously Effective Print Advertising
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Pages, Google Ads & the
What is a web page? It’s an advertisement for your company.
What is the job of your web page? It must convert prospects into customers.
Is your web page working?
Most web pages don’t live up to their promise. They fail to inform the public effectively and they fail to convert prospects into customers.
Most people worry about driving traffic to their page. This is important, and we cover how to get qualified prospects to your page in this chapter. BUT – what happens when prospects get to your web page? Does your page turn them into customers?
Most Common Mistakes
Let’s start with the basics – reader comprehension.
Reader comprehension is the most important thing on your web page. IT MUST BE VERY EASY TO READ AND UNDERSTAND.
If you write at a 12th grade reading level, you are only talking to HALF of the people in the United States – the other HALF really can’t understand you.
At a 9th grade reading level about 70% of Americans can understand you. At a 6TH grade reading level you are effectively communicating with 90% of Americans.
What if all of your clients are doctors and lawyers?. Yes, they can understand it – if they concentrate and pay attention. But this is an advertisement, not a medical journal. They are probably not concentrating – they are reading fast for information.
You MUST keep it simple – for everybody. Remember, even the smart people understand small words. The faster and easier your page is to read, the more likely they are to read it. Again, this is a fact.
The most complicated writing should be no harder to understand than your daily newspaper – and most of your writing should be easier to understand than this.
And – no lingo, no slang, no insider jokes, no acronyms, no jargon. Use simple language that everybody understands, even if you are talking to “insiders”.
Remember, this is about reader comprehension. Even if they put in the effort to read it, will they understand and remember the important things?
Comprehension Part 2
Right now, we are going to tell you how to DOUBLE reader comprehension on your web page.
Go cut all of your paragraphs in half - or in thirds. One line, two lines, and start a new paragraph.
You must always think of your audience. It is HARD to sit and read a computer screen. Any paragraph longer than three sentences is difficult to read – very difficult. A paragraph with six or more lines is almost impossible to read.
Remember, this is new reading material for your prospects. What seems easy for you to read may be very difficult for someone not familiar with the material to read.
What is the result of long paragraphs? They read it, but it doesn’t really register, or they don’t understand it. Reader comprehension drops like a rock.
Is this important? Reader comprehension is the most important thing on your web page.
And – cut all of your sentences in half. Use short, easy to read and understand sentences - even if you have to bend a few grammar rules to do it.
And - make sure you use very dark font on a very light background. [Let’s be clear – black text on a white background]. And make sure it is an easy to read font – like Ariel or Times Roman.
Does this sound boring - Black text on a white background? Statistically you get the highest reader comprehension with black text on a white background. The wrong font can cut comprehension by 80%. The wrong colors can cut comprehension by 90%.
Reader comprehension is the most important thing on your web page.
Does it mean you have to throw away all of the fancy colors and graphics on your page? Yes, you probably do – at least where they come into contact with the written words on your page, or slows down the load time [more on this below].
So – cut your paragraphs, cut your sentences, and use black type on a white background. You just doubled the number of readers on your web page.
advertising, everything depends on the words you use. The right words
have the power to bring huge numbers of customers to your door [or to your
shopping cart page]. That’s the goal and the responsibility of the sales
beauty of a web page is that it is endlessly large – you can write and
write and write about your services.
that is also the curse. You can write, but almost nobody is going to
read it. And the more you write, the fewer people there are who are
going to read it.
is important – people don’t want to read very much, so get to the
point. It’s just like a print ad – headline –
benefits – contact information. Use links to other pages for
additional information. That’s rule number one.
are many more sales copywriting rules. Professional Advertising has a
whole chapter on copywriting. You can find it at Copywriting
make one more point here. People judge you based on the quality of your
advertising – on the quality of your written words. You may be the
best doctor, lawyer, or bricklayer in the world, but if you can’t
convince the public of that in a few short, concise sentences, they will
never call you.
keep it short, simple, fast and easy to
Keep it simple, right?
There are some things to remember when you design a web page. The first thing is that people get confused easily, and when they get confused, they leave.
So keep it simple.
Use as few pages as required to do the job [to get them to contact you or make a purchase].
Use the most common colors and signals. A link should be underlined blue text.
It must be easy to move around from every page. Everything should be very clearly marked. And your reader should never be more than one page away from where they started, unless absolutely necessary.
Don’t use outside links. Why would you ever want them to leave your web page? It doesn’t make any sense, unless absolutely necessary.
Have the regular links that everybody understands – Home, FAQ’s, About Us, Email Us, Services / Products. Put them right up top where they always go – underlined in blue, in great big font, on every page. Boring? Maybe, but no one will get confused.
But you want your page to be cool. OK. Let us give you an example of the cost of being cool from print advertising:
This is about how people read and process information. With a print ad, your photo goes on top [always] because it draws the reader’s eye. Now, where does the headline go?
The headline goes underneath the photo. Why? Because people read from left to right, top to bottom. Their eye will naturally go from the photo down.
What happens if you put the
headline above the photo? Readership drops by 23%.
When people miss the headline, they don’t bother to read
By putting the headline in the wrong place, you just voluntarily gave up 23% of your readers. Maybe your ad is cool – great. But are you really willing to voluntarily give up 23% of your readers? No - never. We want them all.
Your web page works the exact same way. If the information is jumbled or confusing in any way, your readership drops, and drops, and drops.
So keep it simple - very simple,
and easy to understand.
[The most amazing thing is how many professionals get this wrong. Have you been reading advertising agency and marketing company web pages? How many followed these simple, yet very important rules? Or look in the newspaper. How many advertisers have the headline in the wrong place?].
Your Customers - Again
Now we are going to tell you how to get twice as many people to read your web page.
Don’t use Flash, or any heavy graphics, or anything that will slow down your pages.
Remember – 86% of people still have only 56K dial up service. The first rule of the Internet is to have all of your pages load in 8 seconds or less.
What happens if your pages take longer to load?
You know, because you do it yourself all the time. What do you do when a page is slow to load? You hit the back key, and you leave.
is the purpose of your web page? To get customers. Sacrifice everything
you can to make your pages load faster.
Traffic To Your Web Page
Now we are going to save you hundreds of hours of work, thousands of dollars, a load of frustration, and inevitable failure.
Q: Should I do search engine optimization for my web page?
A: No. Maybe later, but not at first.
Optimizing your web page to get
high rankings on the important search engines is HARD, and it takes a
[There are many search engine optimization companies out there promising big results. Hey, you can be in the number 1 spot on every search engine in the world. Well, it really doesn't work that well - unless you pay them a LOT of money].
Optimization can and does work, and you may want to try it – but it’s not the place to start. It is much easier [and cheaper up front] to use pay-per-click advertising.
Here’s the point: There may come a day when you want to optimize your web page for the search engines. When you have the volume of business to justify it by all means do so. But first you want to create a web page that actually converts prospects into customers. That is your first, most important task. All the traffic in the world won’t help you if your page is bad.
The easy way to get traffic is with pay-per-click advertising. Even if it costs you some extra money, it assures that you get quality traffic from real prospects. You get real traffic from real prospects – in ten minutes flat.
The first thing you must do is create a web page that turns prospects into customers. When you have this you are ready to worry about how to get more people to your page. But until your page converts prospects into customers, you have nothing.
So where should you put your pay-per-click ads?
On Google. At this point in time, Google is the Internet.
Test and perfect your advertising there. Then you can add Overture [which is owned by Yahoo]. That about covers it [these two & their partner sites combined give you 90% of all U.S. users]. Don’t worry about any other search engine. Concentrate on these two and get it right.
And you will have to work at it. You can get your ads up there, but if people don’t click on them Google will remove your ads. Google’s customers are the people doing the searching. Google wants them to find what they are looking for. If your ad doesn’t attract attention and get clicks, it will be removed.
In fact, Google has a long list of rules that you must adhere to, so you will have to work at it.
And, the real trick is to get serious, qualified prospects to click on your web page. If you are just getting unqualified people because you are promising something free, you are going to get a big bill from Google. Your ads must be carefully written to attract the right people.
Google and Overture will give you the details on how to get started. If you need help, Professional Advertising can assist you or get it 100% done for you.
After all, you are on this page. You found us through pay-per-click advertising.
And if you find our web page interesting and easy to use, maybe Professional Advertising can help you on your web page. In all seriousness, paying professionals to help you with your advertising is a very good investment that will give you a very high return. Running ads that don’t work is just too expensive.
Our goal is to help you to become a stronger, faster, smarter advertiser. The Internet really does offer endless opportunity - if you have a great web site..
As always, Professional Advertising is here to assist you with accomplishing your goals. Your advertising is just too important [and expensive] to take chances with. Please contact Professional Advertising for assistance.