Your Web site is your foremost item of promotion. Using the Web enables you to produce the electronic equivalent of a full color brochure and update it at your leisure. Despite this, it is not a universal open sesame to sales. It needs backing up with other channels of communication (see preceding and following). Traffic at the site also depends on the efficiency of the search engine, referrals from other sites, and your ability to draw people in once they've clicked on.
As with print, the impression created by the first page is of paramount importance. You have to grab, hold, and develop attention within 30 words; and the end of each page needs a hook that pulls the browser further in.
Where a limited budget precludes you from getting professional copywriting and art direction, it is inevitable that fewer people will visit it. Nevertheless, it is amazing what the power of intention can enable you to achieve, so keep a close check on the leads your Web site develops and, by intelligent use of all feedback, make sure it builds into a real selling site.
Web sites as a critical information and selling tool are covered in detail in Chapter 16.
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