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Using Your Website Design to Engage, Persuade & Sell


Your website draws traffic but your page views aren’t converting into customers. Could it be that your website is pushing your customer away?

Here are my notes from the breakout session, “Using Your Website to Engage, Persuade & Sell” presented by Tom Tortorici (@tom_tortorici) from the 2014 Wordcamp.

SEO helps your WordPress website get noticed, but search engines don’t make purchase decisions; humans do. If you need help with designing your website use these trusted suppliers. By understanding how to appeal to the eye, the mind and the heart, we can use what we know about our audience to draw them in, make a solid connection, and overcome resistance. And with plenty of website-makeover examples, we’ll learn how to tap into both the logical and emotional aspects of purchase behavior. By taking off our “seller’s hat” and putting on our “buyer’s hat,” anyone involved with creating websites will discover what really works for online visitors. You’ll walk out with smart marketing and website ideas that you can put to work right away.
A good website engages the eye, the mind and the heart.

The eye:

  • The eye first lands on the upper left.  You need an impactful image there. A warm, confident or positive image that reinforces your brand.
  • A headline should follow that clearly conveys what you’re selling – make sure you answer the “so what?” question. For example: “We’re social media specialists who are passionate about what we do”  is not as actionable as “The social media rewards that turn your busters into brand addicts
  • Next, secondary headlines draw the line in…a visual stepping stone.
  • Make sure your logo has an optimal orientation for the space and is readable.
  • Remember, good design and images draw the eye.  Persuasive messages and writing draw a response.
  • It is always important to use clear call to action.
  • Last, make your content friendly to the eye: short paragraphs with bold lead ins.  Consider having a brief summary paragraph highlighted at the top for scanners (readers who scan).

The mind:

  • Focus on the buyer and not just the seller.  (YOUR instead of OUR).  Make the customer the hero for finding such a smart solution.
  • Start with customer’s goals and obstacles and how your product helps them achieve it.
  • State specific benefits rather than vague benefits (words like “customer service, value, etc” don’t pass the “so what?” test)
  • Offer useful, insightful objective information
  • Testimonials are great but are better sprinkled throughout the site in larger fonts than on one testimonials page.
  • When desire overcomes resistance is the “cha ching point” 🙂

The heart:

  • Show you understand the user.  “A marketing message will only connect with people when it taps into something they already think or feel.”
  • Show you feel what they’re already feeling.  “Emotional triggers paint emotional pictures that convey what’s important to the buyer.”

You can download or view Tom’s slides here:

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Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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