In this episode, Timbo and James go inside the workings of websites and reveals what makes a site effective.
- Brevity and dissecting the ideal flagship site
- Finding purpose in your website
- How to draw in more traffic
- Cutting your bounce rate to half or more
- Managing content and effective channel marketing
- Having a unique site personality and connecting better
- Guiding your customers to the right desired path
Internet Marketing Products & Resources
Here you’ll find Tim and James have some things to help your business become more powerful.
Tim: Welcome back, listeners, to Episode 54 of your favorite Internet marketing podcast. I’m one of your hosts, Timbo Reid, and right there is James the Jimmy Schramko.
James: Timbo, welcome back.
Tim: How are you, mate?
Tim: I’ve got to laugh at that photo on last episode’s show notes of you in that – I was going to say pith helmet. It almost is a pith helmet, mate. It’s James in, what are we talking, Grade 5?
James: Yeah, that’s fifth grade, it was my first day of private school, and I dressed quite formally from that day through to about almost six years ago, so I’ve quit my job now, at time of recording, so it was a log run. No wonder I resist the shoes and ties these days.
Tim: The noose around the neck.
James: Yeah. The little preppy caps, they have like this pin on the very top, and the bullies used to punch it like with their fist, and it would push it into the top of your head. Terrible business, private school.
Tim: Yeah, let’s not go there. We both went to one. Gosh, maybe there’s an episode in there. Hey, now mate, let’s get stuck into this. What we’re going to do today is we are going to do a bit of website dissection. Now, I just want to – can I open up an old wound?
Tim: Okay. So, I don’t know what episode it was, quite a few ago. I suggested that you were a bit – what word did I use, was it “abrupt”?
James: Well, I’ve been called worse. I’ll run with that.
Tim: Yeah, okay, we’ll go with abrupt. Here we go, listeners. Yesterday, I sent James an email, because I’m redoing the Small Business Big Marketing website, having a new design done. So I thought, gee, it would be nice to get James’s thoughts on things. So here’s the email. The email subject line is “Thoughts?”. And I’ve always got to be conscious, I’ve got to keep these emails short. So it says, “J, what do you think of this as the new iteration of the Small Business Big Marketing site? Study home page only at this point – anything stick out as being ineffective? Cheers, Timbo.” Alright? Nice, simple email, linked to the new home page skin, happy days. James comes back, promptly as usual, within the hour, and say, “The very first thing I noticed was the red banner for your sponsor. I’d make your opt-in that attention-seeking.” That’s good advice. I like that, that’s a good idea. More about the opt-in, that’s the idea of the site, want people to opt in. But I was hoping for more, James. I was hoping for more.
James: I guess I was being quite literal, but that’s what stuck out for me. It was absolutely my first reaction, my eyes were drawn to it like a heat-seeking magnet. And then I thought “Oh, wow, that’s not really helping you. It definitely helps your sponsor, and if that helps them get lots of traffic then it pays for the show, good.” So I was quite literal. I’ll take that, that’s a fair comment.
Tim: Okay, well good. You’re giving a little bit. So I replied back, within the hour: “Lol! Anything else?” Within the hour, you come back, and say, “There’s too much stuff.” And there ends the conversation. Now, you know, you’re a mate, am I asking too much for just a little bit more?
James: Not at all. No, in fact, we could have that conversation and then maybe some listeners could benefit from the ideas. I’ve been really immersed in this topic for the last few weeks, making massive changes to my own sites.
Tim: Well, I’ll tell you, what I want to do is I want to spend this episode dissecting SuperFastBusiness, which is one of your primary sites. But mate, the point I make, and I was having a bit of fun reviewing that email, although I would have liked some more, but I do like your brevity, and I think we can learn from that brevity.
James: It’s actually, I think, this is one of my greatest learnings, in the last year, and this is absolutely focusing on less. And the more I do it, the better it feels, for some reason, and when I actually sent you back the first email and told you about the opt-in, what choices did you have to go and contemplate?
James: Right. And then when I sent back the next one, apart from saying “Oh God, I wish you would give me more”, what were you focused on after the second email?
Tim: Well, it’s a leading question. I could say there’s one thing.
James: I was hoping you were going to think, “What could I remove from the page to make it less busy. That was the goal.
Tim: Likely I had the courage to go back to you asking if there was anything else.
James: Well, I expect it to come back. I expect you to come back at me. I mean, I do speak to you every week, and there was actually a side note here which you might – in fact I’m almost certain you won’t have considered, but it is – I’m conscious of your website designer, as well. I’m thinking about his needs. Now I don’t know if he’s verbatim giving you exactly what you ask for, or if you’ve asked for him to give some input, but I don’t want to start reworking your site, going back to the designer, and then him thinking that I’m an asshole. And that’s because your web designer is actually a really good designer, and he’s a top guy and he knows what he’s talking about, he’s got lots of other sites. So I don’t want to second-guess your designer, just to have an opinion that I need to express, because ultimately, I don’t have all the data. It’s not my site, and you’re in pretty good hands already, so that’s something else that I was conscious of.
Tim: Yeah, no that’s fair. I wouldn’t have gone back and said, “Hey, James said…”
James: People do it, though. We have a website company, and we do web jobs every day, and you should see the stuff that comes up, like, “My mother said that the pink is too…” Does your mother sell motor vehicles, like seriously, whatever.
Tim: Oh mate, I used to work. When I worked in advertising, at one point I was running one of the biggest brands in Australia. I won’t say who it was, but I was the account director on one of the biggest brands in Australia. Twenty million dollar advertising budget, and the TV commercials that we produced for this brand were always – there was an excitement, there was a level of expectation when the next one was going to come out. And I remember sitting in front of the marketing director for this brand one day, having presented a script the previous week, for, at the time, a three hundred and fifty thousand dollar TV commercial. And he looked at me across the table and said, “My wife doesn’t like it.” What do you say to that?
James: Well, I guess you have to find out how important that is in the decision. And I had the same scenario, when I was in the Mercedes Benz dealership. Someone would want to try and buy a bright red SL55. And I would say, “Well now you have to make some choices here. What is more important to you? To have the car in the color of your dreams, or that you could perhaps one day bring it back to the dealership and we’d want to buy it from you? Because if it’s red, we won’t buy it from you. If it’s silver or black, we will buy it from you. So take that into consideration.”
James: So in some cases, it might actually be more important to please the wife than for the company to be successful, because there are other motivations for the partner or the husband, I’m sure.
Tim: Well it would be difficult to go home saying, “Darling, I just bought an SLK, it’s silver, I know you wanted red but James back at the dealership said that he won’t buy it back off me in three years if it was red. So here’s a pair of red shoes instead.”
James: Well here’s what happened. They always got the red one, except I’d already set myself up for two years down the track, when they wanted to bring it back, and I’d say, “Remember when I said that this is not the most popular color? They’re just not worth as much, because they sit there for so long, till someone else has to have a red one.
Tim: Here’s a check for fifty percent of what you would have got if it was silver.
James: I’ll give you a tip, though. It’s easier to sell a red car in December.
Tim: Well thank you for that, I’ll keep that in mind, when I open up a car yard.
James: If you ever get stuck with one, shift it during the Christmas season. I’ve always sold the difficult red cars at Christmas.
Tim: Right, let me just add that to my Evernote. Now mate, let’s get back on track. So that’s good. Brevity. I agree, brevity’s everything. There is a bit of a balance and let’s talk about dissecting websites. I think what we should do, and this is almost for a webinar, where people can see the website, because if you’re driving along in your car or you’re at the gym listening to this you don’t have the website in front of you. But it’s pretty simple, we can explain it as we go, hey, James? Because I think it would be interesting to understand –
James: I’ll be very descriptive, given this is a podcast. It’s actually the thinking behind it or the thought process behind it that’s more
important. I’ve just given you one, and that is you have to break it down into small elements, so that you can look at each part of it.
Tim: Alright, so what we’re doing is we’re looking at SuperFastBusiness.com. Would you say that this is your flagship site?
James: Definitely it’s my hero site now, it’s the authority. And it’s about a year old that I’ve been focusing on it. It used to be InternetMarketingSpeed was my focus, but for about five or six different reasons, this became the flagship. And I could go into the reasons behind it if it’s important to get the context as to why I’ve made choices with this site, because different sites have different purposes, like FreedomOcean is a different site. It has a slightly different purpose, and then my sales sites have different purposes. You have to first work out what is the point of this site, and in the case of SuperFastBusiness, this is an authority content traffic hub, where I push people to the right site that’s going to solve their problems. So it is a traffic machine. There’s actually no order button on the site, so it is a traffic blog.
Tim: Why did you choose a brand name like SuperFastBusiness and not JamesSchramko.com?
James: I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
Tim: If you grow up?
James: Well, maybe I’ll own a helicopter business in ten years. Or maybe I’ll be an investor. Or maybe – I don’t know. That’s what happened with InternetMarketingSpeed. I really went down the Internet marketing zone for five or six years, and now I want to be a little more business-ey. So I can change the brand a little bit. But with James Schramko…I want to just reserve that domain. I own it, it directs to my About James Schramko page now, that whole domain, and I can take it away and do something else with it later. But I think it will be impossible to sell, there’s only three James Schramkos in the world that I know of, and the other two don’t look like they’re buyers. So I lend my authority to my business, but I want the business to be the hero.
Tim: Fair enough. So how do you define – and I’m assuming authority site and flagship site are the same thing, yes?
James: Well, flagship just means it’s the number one, but authority is the type.
Tim: Yeah, okay.
James: So you can have multiple authority sites. Some of my other sites are quite powerful in their own right. I think my top four or five sites are page rank 3, and have hundreds of pages indexed and build a list on their own, but this is the number one for me right now. And I’ve published how I do it, and why I do it and what it is, in my course OwnTheRacecourse, which is actually a major feature of SuperFastBusiness now. When I gave that course away, and when I rolled my front end products up off their individual sites and brought them back to this authority site, it doubled my traffic in about thirty days.
Tim: Okay, looking at SuperFastBusiness, what is the aim of this site? What is the one thing – and I guess this is the right question – what’s the one thing you want people to do when they first visit this site?
James: I’m going to ask if you can guess that from what’s on the site.
Tim: Sign up, register, get on the list.
James: Yeah. I want them to get on the list, and I want them to make a purchase.
Tim: Like there and then? I know that’s ideal, perfect world stuff, but do you really want them –
James: Well, that’s the number one action. It would be for them to find a solution to a problem they have and to make a purchase, that would be ideal. The rest of it is aimed to get them to that point. If they can’t buy something, I’d like them to join the email list. If they do buy something, they get joined to the list anyway, right? So that’s default position. My next best option is they join the list, I keep letting them know there’s new content, they come back, and then they buy something. And then the third option is that they just enjoy the content and share it, and find me someone else who’d like to come and buy something or join my list.
Tim: Now you’ve got, in order to do that, you’ve got your header, you’ve got a nav bar, Home, Products, About, Contact, then under that you’ve got your registration form. Now you are offering a seven-part business growth training course, with sub copy that says “Reveals how to increase traffic, get more sales and build your valuable online asset, includes daily business tips”, and then you enter your email address, with a button that says Get The Training across. Okay, so position of that, get the training course. What did I say, “across”?
James: Get The Training Course.
Tim: So the positioning of that, front, center, top, that’s tested, it’s on every page, that isn’t going anywhere. So that’s part of the header, yeah?
James: It’s on every page. It’s part of the header, it’s on every page, because it’s the prime action I want. And the important point here, this is like framing the offer. They’re getting a seven-part business growth training course because I believe a training course is more powerful than an ebook these days, for my audience, from my own testing. I also know that traffic is a hot topic because I had TrafficGrab and it was my most popular product ever, so that was good. And I know that most of my market want to make more sales. And I know that I’m known for, my – Derek Halpern would say, “superpower” – is to teach people to build their own assets and to stop building somewhere else, and that’s the whole point of Own The Racecourse. But at this point, they probably don’t know it’s called Own The Racecourse. They may or may not know that. Let’s assume they don’t, but I’m going to tell them in simple terms what that is so it’s very clear and explicit. And the important part there is, “includes daily business tips”. Because when I send an email tomorrow, or the next day, they’re not going to go “Why do you keep sending me stuff? I only opted in for the course.” So I would rather they don’t opt in if they don’t want to get the tips. And when they get the tips, from the first tip on, they can always click a link that will remove them from the daily and put them on the weekly. In fact, I should even test “includes weekly business tips”, and send them the weekly by default and ask them if they would rather receive these daily. Now I just thought of that there.
Tim: There’s an idea, hey? That’s why we’re here.
Tim: Any other questions for me?
James: This is how you help me a lot with my business, Tim, you’re a bona fide expert.
Tim: Well, thank you. And it’s like you’re on a couch and I’m just swinging the clock in front of you. You’re getting sleepy… Now you mentioned ebooks, you’ve proved that training courses are more popular than e-courses these days, so if –
James: Well, I can get opt-ins for the ebook, but they don’t ever open any more emails after that. So with the seven-part training course, it sounds like there’s more to it, it sounds like they’re going to be receiving bits and pieces, or they’ll get multiple things, so that’s probably a greater expectation that they’ll stick around, and they do.
Tim: So what is the format of this training course that you then send out, this seven-part business growth training course, what is it, a series of videos?
James: Yeah, what I did is I took a paid course, and then I uploaded the entire course to the blog as individual posts, and then I made a special landing page they get when they opt in, which gives them a link to every post.
Tim: Straight away?
James: Yeah, and it also says I’ve uploaded the entire course on iTunes, so all the audio’s there, so they get the videos, which are also on YouTube, they get the audio, which is in iTunes, they get a full transcription, and it’s on an individual post per video, and each post links to the next in the course, and these are all publicly available and findable without having to opt in, but all throughout the course it prompts people to opt in so they can get this master list of all the posts. So I’ve sort of made it easier by organizing it for them and keeping them in place, and it also emails them a complete list of all the posts for them to save in their email box.
Tim: So you’re not offering exclusive content. You don’t say you are. And that course isn’t exclusive, because it’s out there in the public.
James: It’s not behind a paid firewall anymore.
Tim: Any reason for that?
James: Yeah, I want more people to find out about me, and I’ve got more things that I can sell. You see, this paid course is also inside my paid firewall, like inside FastWebFormula, but it’s just one of about twenty courses. So if they like this course, they might think that my other stuff would be okay, and it’s a great risk-free way, considering the whole fact that I’m not a big “Buy this, just take a test drive, if you don’t love it, ask for a refund”, I’m not into all that stuff. It’s like, “See everything I’ve got for free. If you like that, you’ll definitely like my paid stuff. If you don’t like it, that’s fine,” at least they know they can see the entire course. And, on a related note, if we are talking about website conversions and elements, on my sales page I give ten-minute intro modules for most of my courses, up front, available for people to try. You know, you could probably watch stuff for about an hour, for free.
Tim: Intro modules being the intro module to the course.
James: For each course, yeah.
Tim: So not something you’ve created in addition, it’s actually just the first module of the course that you’d see if you bought it.
James: This is going to be a powerful episode, Tim, because when I create a training course, I make the first twelve minutes an overview of the course and an intro module/sales motivator.
Tim: With the aim of using that as a sales video on the sales page as well?
James: Yup. I did a blog post about this, about how to do your training format, but I do cover the why, what, how, what if, the format principle, in the first module, so that someone could get enough scope, from twelve minutes, of what this one-hour training would be like.
Tim: Why, what, how, what if. That’s your structure for creating your introductory video for any training course, correct?
James: Not just the intro module but every module. But definitely you cover them, the macro stuff in that, and it’s a really, really good format. I shared it with readers on how they could do it and people have gone off and been able to create courses in like half an hour, because you just introduce the training, talk about why you need to know this, what it actually is, how you do it, and then you just cover off the what ifs, like the action steps would be the last thing, then you move into the next module. This has worked really well, so this is what I’m giving away, and it gets about fifty opt-ins a day at the moment.
Tim: That’s good. That’s a good amount of opt-ins. So we’ve figured out how you’re building a list, we are now going to get into the guts of the site, and really the site is pretty simple after that. On the left hand side what would you call it, “the heart of the site” you’ve got headline, newest, profit-boosting posts and then it’s just a continuation of a post after post after post. It looks like some are videos, some are audios, some are written?
James: There’s always audio or video and they’re always transcribed. Here’s something just while we’re on that element. It used to say news but some of them aren’t news. I’ve adapted and refined my owntheracecourse strategy a little to see that in evergreen single-point training tips or little motivational pieces or questions to the audience, like Should I Shave? Or Are You Stuck? They are like motivators or engagement pieces and I changed the wording there to be more accurate. And the thumbnail pictures, the illustrations, halved my bounce rate. It literally dropped it in half from fifty percent to 25 percent, or whatever the number was, it was close to that.
Tim: Now explain that. When you say bounce rate, you mean people going there, and clicking off straightaway?
James: Yup. They come to the site, and then they go out of the site because it’s not what they wanted.
Tim: What did you have prior to these?
James: Just text.
Tim: Right. So do you think it’s the actual illustration style, do you think it’s the fact that you’ve got an image that softens –
James: Yeah. I think the fact that I’ve got an image is big. And I also get a tremendous amount of feedback about the type of image. I get so many people, I mean every single day, including today, where do I get these pictures. “How do you hire a cartoonist?”, or “Do you sell these things?” I get this every day, so I know that it’s powerful, and I also get people emailing me back, and saying, “I love your little pictures, it’s like those calendars with a new picture every day, and I just open your posts to see what the pictures are like”.
Tim: Yeah, okay. Very pinnable.
James: I pin every one of them, yup.
Tim: Now, in terms of the content, James, you’ve got (so I’m going from the top) you’ve got the most recent post is an episode of ThinkActGet?
James: That’s a separate episode, it’s a dedicated ecommerce discussion.
Tim: Okay. So it’s you and Ezra having a discussion.
James: It’s almost a cross-promotion for ThinkActGet, but it’s – I mean I deal with Ezra on about three different platforms. We have a show together, but also he is an ecommerce schoolionaire, very good at it, he was the feature speaker at a traffic and conversion event, he’s got his own mastermind, and his own blog, and he’s also in SilverCircle. So it’s just like, “Hey, you know, we really should share these ecommerce stuff of yours”, so that was that platform. So that’s where it goes on this site for that.
Tim: So it was just an opportunity, you had a question around ecommerce, opportunity to get together, it’s not under any particular show brand, it’s just content, yeah?
James: Just under SuperFastBusiness. It’s a business-boosting tip. If you have an ecommerce store, or you’re thinking about it, that episode is like a literal firehose of tips and content, resources and stuff. It’s a mini product.
Tim: So If I go to the next post, it’s literally a 1-minute video about seo changes that are coming.
James: Yes so it’s an seo news tip. These are different channels so they go to different customers.
Tim: So I’m just trying to understand the way you’re curating all this content basically and just dropping it all into SuperFastBusiness.
James: Yes and I used to have categories down the side and then I removed that and that’s because not everyone comes to the homepage. A lot of people are coming directly into the posts. Some of these posts have 2,000 visits directly. Like I rank really well for some phrases like Office Autopilot, so they come into why I switched from Aweber to Office Autopilot so they don’t need to know about seo or whatever.
Now, if someone buys an seo product from me, then I will email them the seo changes coming news update and I’ll land them on that page. If someone bought a website from me, I’ll email them the e-commerce post but they won’t get the seo one. Does that make sense?
Tim: Yes, it does. How do you manage that? I mean you’ve got a big team.
James: General marketing and then I use tags and groups in your email system.
Tim: Yes, it’s starting to get complicated
James: Use Aweber. Don’t worry, that’s why it’s important to know what this site is all about. It’s one place where I could place all my stuff but I could still communicate to the right person with the right message but I’ve got a pretty tight thing. I know what my site is about now. It’s about, traffic, websites and business. That’s it. They’re the three main topics that I’m covering and if you would click on the products tab, that’s where it leads us into getting into a cool discussion about how this site makes sales for me.
Tim: I do like that and in fact, I was kind of finishing up the homepage but we should talk about it.
James: We should still cover the homepage treatment. The main point you’ve made is that it’s quite simple, you already dig into a topic that interests you, whether it’s seo or shopping cart abandonment or a conversions discussion. You might do that or you might end to your optin or you might want to make more money, click here to see how we can help you which takes people to the product page, you might want to know more about me. And so I’ve put a personal brand out there because the site is a bit clinical unless I give it some character. I put my picture, I put my name and that leads to an about type page but I turn it back to the customer again.
Tim: Yes I think it’s important and not all businesses do that. I was talking about someone yesterday, just personalizing it. Put a photo, show the real person behind it. You got another banner on the right hand column which is again getting people to opt-in. Free trial training reveals how to get more sales?
James: So it’s the same offer but with a different treatment so here’s the thing at the risk of making you feel that it’s technical. I don’t want to make this too technical. But what I do, there are five ways people can opt-in on this site and I actually tag each one of them separately so that I know which one gets me the optins. It’s quite simple to do, you literally clone the optin form at your autoresponder. So If you are on Aweber, you got to have five separate lists. You just copy them across. You replicate them five different times. On one you say, “header”, the other you say “side bar”, on the other say “lead player”, the other one you might say “after-post optin” and then you might say “scrolling optin”. So it’s the five ways people can opt-in to my list and it’s really interesting for me to see which one work the most and which one work the least but overtime I can keep refining it. Some people opt-in on the little scrolling thing, some people opt-in in the header, some people click the sidebar link and some people opt-in after the video and some, after the post.
Tim: Which one gets the most of the optins?
James: It’s kind of even match between the header and the scrolling optin.
Tim: Now, with the scrolling optin is that that little scrolling thing when you scroll at the bottom, a yellow box pops up?
James: Yes, it’s only activated. It’s called “scroll triggered box”
Tim: And it’s only activated when you get to the bottom?
James: Only when you start scrolling below the fold. The theory is you’re now more engaged in the site so you’ve earned the right to show them that and it’s not quite intrusive. And I got this optin idea from Peep Laja who is a conversions expert who I interviewed recently, like if you want to go deeper into this, his interview is quite hard core.
Tim: So that’s the homepage? You’ve got a button “Make more money, Click here to see how we can help you”. That feels a bit icky but you know, again, I’m sure you’ve tested it.
James: Well, why would you click on that button?
Tim: Because I want to make more money.
James: Right, so it used to say products.
Tim: Yeah right.
James: Right, so I’ll take icky because it’s a clear label of what it is and why are most people coming to my site.
Tim: Nah, that’s fair, so I’ve clicked on that and I get select the best option so it’s back up me.
James: So this is a problem solver product page. I used to have banners for all of my products but why would I expect that my customers or potential customers know all about my brands? It doesn’t make sense. They won’t know all about it so I have to assume they don’t and just help them with their problem. Focus on that instead of my brand so it’s an “about face”. And when I look at the heatmap versions of this versus the banners, this one is a clear winner.
Tim: That’s interesting because just reflecting back on that skin of my site that I sent you yesterday, I’ve got my products running down the right hand side.
James: And that’s what was to me.
James: You got it. You are trying to go for everything but the chances of it is just…basically it’s ineffective. You need one button.
Tim: One button that says “Want to improve your marketing?” Then go to a page that is your problem solver.
James: Exactly. And can we just have a sidebar moment here for a second?
Tim: Yeah, here we go.
James: We have to say this because it astounds me. I got a support ticket the other day from one of my team members. It says “Boss, this customer wants you to check their video to make sure they’re doing it right”; they’re obviously following OwnTheRacecourse. I clicked on the link to look at the video and I’d obviously clicked on the wrong link so I went back. Checked on the email again and clicked on a link and it went back. But I was actually on my site, well I thought. It was exactly it was identical, I mean, they literally took “7 Part blablabla Training Course”, “Get the Training Course”, it was the same colors, the same icons like they would have literally had said to their designer “Copy that!” and it was verbatim, my site. So I just want to point out to listeners and we have had one of our listeners copy my SEO site before. Do NOT cut and paste my site, get your own site. Take the elements of what we’re talking about but have a personality like, I like other sites. There are sites that I like out there like ThinkTraffic.net or Marie Forleo or Derek Halpern, they do good sites and I look at those and I think “What can I learn from them and what can I test on my site?” and then I go to my designer and say “Let’s come up with something for us”.
So there’s no point having fifty copies SuperFastBusiness out there and there’s at least five hundred versions of InternetMarketingSpeed out there who are copying the Woo Theme that I had. You know I just think it’s uncool and it’s great that you want to emulate and you go “Oh well, James has already figured it out and he tests everything so I’ll just start with that” well, it devalues my site and I’m unique. This site is a one-of-a-kind custom thing and I could tell you I’ve spent a fortune in wages and effort and resources and training to know what I know. I’m happy to share it on a free podcast but don’t copy, don’t cut and paste my site it pisses me off. And by the way, if anyone sees a version of it, tell me so I can send a friendly email and remind people to get their own style.
Tim: Do you feel better now?
James: Much better, thank you. Alright, back on track.
Tim: I love the products thing. For me that’s a big insight, a big win because I do. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure many listeners are guilty of it of trying to do too many things on the one site and a classic, I guess, communications principle is “Less is more” and “Single-minded thought wins every day of the week”.
James: And we also fall in love with our own brands and egos and stuff. So if we can step back from that too it really helps. So, I actually had to do a huge rewrite of my About page because I mistakenly thought that people would really care all about me, right?
Tim: Yeah, yeah.
James: So when you click on the about page, you’ll see something quite obvious.
Tim: Was that a challenge for me to go and click on the About page?
James: Yup, so it’s already straight about the customer now. So, it personalizes it and then I’m giving away a video that goes for over an hour as a “Hey look, you can get to know me more this way”. And then, the calls to action are simply “Look, you can contact me”, “I can help you with traffic, websites, business coaching” and also here’s where you get my whole course for free. So there’s all sorts of wonderful goodies on that. So the customers feeling all “Okay”; hopefully they’re all bonding and connecting with me now because they know what I look like, they know what I’m about and they’ve got something out of it.
Tim: Let’s just finish up by talking about the products section mate. So we click on the products, we go to what you call the “problem solver products page” where you select the best option. You’ve got three options. Let’s say one of the options I am on “I want to increase my online business profits”, I click on that and now, I’m going and offered another four choices. So I go to another page, now remember I talked to you about this a couple of weeks ago where you said “Well, yeah” like because you do have so many products on offer, you can’t help but have this kind of this second layer of offers, yeah?
James: If you look at the page URL now, we’re in the business category.
James: If we’d clicked on a traffic one, we would have gone into traffic and if we’d clicked on the websites one, we would have gone the websites one.
Tim: Yeah, look I guess it’s a, and I’m assuming it’s working for you and I guess what I love is like it’s not as if there’s, you know, cracker design being applied here. You’re just using text, with what you know, heading one or heading two and it’s big and bold and ballsy and, you know, it takes where you want to get to.
James: Yeah and we don’t have to guess luckily online and the way that I can measure this is I go and look at my sales sites. And part of the biggest challenge I’ve seen is this, in the first twelve days of this month, our web team sold more than any other month ever and that is because they’re finding our site. The traffic to the site went up 200 and something percent because people are able to get to where they need to get to. I think a lot of people didn’t know that I owned ATLWeb.com. And now, people can find it but they don’t have to know what it’s called to find it, they just have to know that their website sucks and that they want a WordPress site. And also, I suspect now that I’m talking about all of the conversions testing that I’ve done and the people I’ve hired to help me and the results I’m getting (77,000 page views a month) and whatever, I think they probably feel that our web team is half good now because they build these sites, and then they’ve seen all of these changes, they do the changes.
Tim: I imagine your hang time has also increased.
James: Actually, it’s gone down a fraction but pages views has exploded. And that is because I think they’re able to get to the sales site faster, right? So they’re like an AdSense site, it’s okay if they leave the site via the ad. If they go off to the products page, I don’t mind if the spend a little less time here because maybe I’m doing a better job at being clear about communicating how I can help them and then they can find their path easier; so, less time running around the hedge maze. Now it’s just straight in the front door, straight out the backdoor, here you go.
Tim: Yeah, I love it mate. I reckon we’ve covered it. Is there anything left unsaid? Do you have another vent about people copying your site?
James: One of the most important things is the search box. Make sure you have one because that is able to be picked up in analytics if you turn it on. And you’ll be able to find out what people are looking for and then create content that addresses that in your next iteration. And on a slightly similar note, when people are in different pages, your sidebar should be relevant to that page. So when they go deeper into the site, I start adding a most popular post widget which will guide people back to what’s hot. And at the end of each post, I put a related posts widget so I can funnel people from the first post that they come to to the very most relevant post after that and that’s going to really increase the page views.
Tim: Are you controlling those popular posts or are you just literally using that widget based on clicks?
James: It’s just a widget calculation yeah. And one other little tiny thing, I’ve taken off my icons that point people back to my Facebook, and Twitter, and Pinterest, and YouTube and all that crap. If they’re at my site, job has been done. I don’t want to send them back off to my Facebook or YouTube, I don’t care. I do send them to iTunes, I’ve still got an iTunes and an RSS icon, and I still have sharing icons; at every post they can share it on Facebook, they can tweet it, they can pin it, they can whatever they wanted, but I do not have Facebook comments anymore. I want to own the comments, I want to control them with my WordPress module. And I feel that it’s a much better experience now with a simpler, well-formatted commenting experience instead of all these Facebook spams. Like, people come back to old posts and start spamming them up, so I have made that choice to turn off Facebook comments and I’ve taken off that little sharing widget. I don’t really want to drive people away from my site so I don’t have the little, you know, “These are my social media properties things”. Now, I’ve just got the sharing things at the end of each post.
Tim: Yeah, I love that. In fact, a future topic for FreedomOcean is “Social Media” but I’ve been saying for months, if not years, “Get your buttons!” well, at least, and this is like speaking to small business owners (bricks and water type business owners) who aren’t online savvy and it’s like “Get those social media buttons at least out of your header”, right? Maybe if you’ve got the guts, put them below the fold. And if you’re really courageous, get rid of them all together. That freaks most people out. But you know, it’s a pretty simple theory like a button off to your Facebook or your Twitter or your LinkedIn and Google, whatever it is, it’s a door out isn’t it? It’s like “come into my”…
James: It is a door out and the only way I want them to get there is when they share my post.
Tim: Yeah, it’s like the supermarket analogy. You know, you kind of feel almost forced to buy something but before you walk out. But if there are a lot of doors out, then it reduces the ability for them to sign up or buy. That’s interesting! Do you think that social media, that lack of social media buttons should apply to most websites, broad stroke?
James: I’ve got to be clear. I’m not talking about sharing the posts socially. But yeah, like for me, the whole point of OwnTheRacecourse is that SuperFastBusiness is my thing and like people are literally a huge proportion. I don’t know the stat, I’ll have to look it up but it’s probably 30 percent of the people are literally typing SuperFastBusiness into their browser to search for my site now. I have customers telling me that “I just type SuperFastBusiness into the browser and go and see the latest posts”. It’s branded now, they know that, so I’m owning my own brand, I control it, it’s on a domain of my choice I know it will be up. I don’t care if Facebook falls over or Google or YouTube or whatever. I’ll still be around because that site is there.
Tim: Love it mate! We should finish the episode with that Elton John song “I’m Still Standing”
James: We’re okay with the loyal, what is it?
Tim: Royalites or whatever you call it.
James: Yeah, I think Dan Andrews is the authority on this, but I think if people aren’t listening to our shows to get free Elton John music, then it’s okay.
Tim: Yeah, well they damn well should be. You know? What’s your favorite Elton John song?
James: Well, I’m trying to think of it. I don’t the names, I’m helpless with the names but there’s.
Tim: Which one is proper.
James: Well give me some names.
Tim: You know, I’ll give you time to think. Well, I went to the U2 concert, that 360 concert last year or the year before, and they strolled out on to the stage to rocket man and it was mind blowing. It was absolutely mind blowing. That’s a pretty good song that one – “I’m Still Standing” (Aussie’s proudest moment). What about “Norma Jean” or “Candle in the Wind”, or whatever they call it?
James: No, I think for me it’s…God! He’s got so many, he’s got “Nikita”, he’s got, no no, “Candle in the Wind” I think that, yeah that one is.
Tim: Hey mate, we better wrap it there because I’ve got an interview for Small Business Big Marketing scheduled in 15 minutes, so I need to get my head around that. And I’ve been doing a guy who’s trying to get a date with Kylie Minogue.
James: Is she single?
Tim: I don’t think that matters. All in the spirit of charity. Well, it’s important for Kylie, for him, you know, he just wants to raise money for a particular charity so I thought it was kind of interesting. That is happening in 15 minutes and I just need to, I want to go and listen to a bit of “Locomotion” to get myself into the spirit. Thank you mate! Well, Jimmy, FreedomOcean is where you can find our rants and
raves and many other things that we do, so go over to FreedomOcean.com and I’ll see you next Friday.
James: See you then, bye!