Number 1 business website problem

Website appraisal – criteria for success

If you ask Creative Agency Secrets to help improve your website marketing, a good place to

Number 1 business website problem

Number 1 business website problem
Credit: Wikipedia

start is with a website appraisal.  You get a summary document of issues and recommendations for improvements.

So far, so good.

The number 1 problem with business websites

Let me tell you the one thing that over and over trips up our website appraisal – the site is created without having first answered these 3 questions.

  1. Who is it for?
  2. What is it about?
  3. What do you want visitors to do?

If you create a business website without first doing these 3 answers, the results will be haphazard.

Answering them will inform

  • writing style
  • keywords
  • calls to action
  • menu structure
  • ancillary marketing (newsletter / brochures / case studies)
  • blog categories, themes and post-types

I’ve just been asked to appraise a web page called “Why choose us?”.

Believe me, it was desperately hard, because the page did not answer the question in the title.

I am known for being straight-talking and as a result the report was frank – if the client had first done the thinking, then they would have a much clearer website page and I could have added much more value with more detailed recommendations.  Without answers I could only guess the answers and the recommendations weren’t as full and complete as I would have liked.

Do your business website a favour today

Go and answer those 3 questions.  NOW!

Signed: In grateful thanks – your marketing team

Want more marketing ideas for your business?

Get in touch for a free 20 minute discussion by clicking the link bottom right on this page.

The blue icons opposite are part of our 8-Step New Business Development Methodology.

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Create Demand By Learning How to Make Your Website Perform

This is the webinar of the year which we’ve put together for you.

In it, Rebecca explains how to find out if your website is performing using 3 simple free testing tools.  You should do these tests now and see if the results match your expectations.

  • How to run a website (design and functionality)
  • Top 3 website frustrations business owners have and how to solve them
  • Top tips to get your website generating leads
  • 3 Free tools to test your own website to see if it’s performing (or not)


Get your website working for you

5 minute interview I did with Tom Poland that answers these questions

  1. Why business owners need to learn how to ‘drive’ a website
  2. Top 2 frustrations business owners have with their website
  3. Why business websites under-perform

Get your free ebook – Get My Website Working For Me from this link

Grow your mailing list fast – with a Lightbox

One of the simplest and yet, most effective methods we have found to grow our mailing list at Creative Agency Secrets, has been with the integration of a ‘Lightbox’ or a ‘pop-up’ plugin.

For any business operating with an online presence (let’s face it, if you’re not, you should be!), one of your primary objectives should be to acquire email addresses of potential customers to sell your glorious products and services.

However, relying on customers to navigate your site and opt themselves in is like telling your dog to fetch a ball that it doesn’t know exists. You need to show them the ball and especially why they want to chase it!

Okay, what is a lightbox?

To put it simply, a lightbox is an extension programme on your website that jumps up at your visitors displaying a customised message, usually requesting visitors to supply their email address in exchange for some kind of benefit. These benefits are typically newsletter subscriptions, prize giveaways, eBooks, online courses and other free rewards.

Key factors to building an effective lightbox

  • Firstly, your lightbox needs to stand out. Web users are exposed to multiple lightboxes on a daily basis. You need to ensure yours captures their attention. Most lightbox software allows customisation of colour schemes and text which aid in making it visually appealing when it appears on your website. Aside from being eye catching, you need a powerful and enticing message that will draw them in as well as outline clearly what they get.
  • The lightbox should serve a single purpose – sign up here to receive benefit ___. If you make it too complicated, visitors will lose patience and simply close it without completing the signup.
  • Offer your visitors something that they want. No visitor is going to sign up for your offer if they have no interest in it or cannot see any real value from it.
  • Set frequency and page display settings to something reasonable that will not drive people away. Your lightbox should be a passive reminder, not an aggressive punch in the face to get visitors to sign up.
  • Associate it with your email client management software and it will directly import the email addresses it collects into that programme, saving you time and effort.

Once you have your lightbox setup, you simply launch it and leave it to acquire all those precious email addresses on its own. Easy!

bizsparkup lightbox creative agency secrets

An example of a Sumo Lightbox on a client’s website

Some lightboxes work better than others however. Our previous (paid) lightbox on one client’s website appeared cluttered and ‘busy’ on the webpage. After some deliberation we decided we should see what else was available.

We assessed a number of alternatives across a range of features such as mail client integration, level of customisation, price and so forth. Although paid and free versions existed for most options, we discovered the benefits of many of the premium lightbox providers were not substantial enough to justify the purchase.

Our clear favourite at the end of the process was a product called ‘List Builder’ developed by Sumo*. Their simple user interface meant it was pleasant for our visitors to engage with and the customisable colour and text allowed us to align the lightbox with our clients’ brands.

In the first few months, we saw the number of subscribers jump from roughly 20 – 30 per month to over 300! Our mailing lists continue to grow steadily and our lightbox is undoubtedly a key driver in facilitating this.

So what are you waiting for? Convert your web traffic into willing customers immediately, or get in touch if you would like us to help you get there.

*For a full breakdown of the lightboxes we compared, click here.

Affiliate marketing tips

Affiliate marketing is a technique that businesses can use to boost their revenue by advertising for another company. This relationship is dependent on three participants; the publisher, the advertiser and the consumer and each plays an integral role in the process.

The publisher is the one who refers the consumer to the advertiser’s website and in turn receives a kickback from the new viewership. The publisher usually works on commission which varies according to the amount of new clicks and views that they pull in, which can be tracked by unique links.

To harness this technique to its full advantage advertisers must incentivise the publisher to produce

Affiliate publisher relationship

Affiliate publisher relationship

a high quality and interesting way to point new users to their site. This doesn’t have to be expensive but if you’re lacking a research department you’ll find yourself paying more than you should.

Using an affiliate link within copy should not be overly noticeable or stand out too much or this will defeat the purpose of the exercise. Whether you’re an advertiser or publisher it’s important to know how to add a link without it sticking out like a sore thumb. Try to find a publisher who knows how to do this well by creating engaging copy with links that supplement, rather than detract, from the text.

Sites that are successful at this are these Amazon affiliate sites that make a lot of revenue through different strategies.  Get a free report of 37 strategies for Affiliate Marketing from R.O.EYE.

Deciding how long you would like your advertisement to run for is a key part of the process as it will allow you to determine how much you would like to spend. You can change a number of different factors or even test the waters before you pay up, depending on which affiliate program you use. Sites like keep their links up on different affiliate sites long term as they can be slotted seamlessly into a number of different articles. These articles will usually pop up on Google, even if they’re not brand new, which offers a steady stream of new readers to the site.

Working with a site that compliments your business will make the whole process much easier as they won’t be trying to disguise your brand in an awkward way. It also helps if they’re in some way knowledgeable about the subject area as they will be able to create more targeted, high quality content without a lot of research. If they can make their copy timeless and always up to date then the views will keep rolling in even after the initial buzz after publishing. Informative articles are evergreen so make sure that your publisher is working hard to create content that will continue to bring in readers no matter how long it has been since originally publishing.

Above all track your clicks so you can see which publisher is doing the most for you. You can even use a link shrinker like and give each publisher a unique address to publish, then you can manage these simply and easily.

Fast-track your social media skills

When you know you need social media skills and don’t want to hire an agency to do it for you – the best solution is to get trained.

The excellent Wanita Zoghby-Fourie is hosting Social Media Conference on 18th September in Auckland.  

Her talents have persuaded BOTH Facebook and Google to share the platform to enable you to learn faster.  (Believe me, these guys normally don’t ‘play together’, this is a huge achievement.)

Who should attend

Predominantly for solopreneurs,  small  and medium business owners, and people working on social media roles either within corporates or externally. Although the conference is aimed towards small to medium business, we believe that the same rules apply across all businesses. Everything online is scalable depending on size.

This conference is for you if you are wanting to use social media and online marketing to maximise your business online.

Get a discount – just for you

Creative Agency Secrets clients can get a special discount of $200 use the coupon code SMCONNZ15

Our Speakers are

  • Annah Stretton, known for growing her small business into a fashion franchise,
  • Evan Hick from Facebook and Simon Laird from Google – the two giants in Social Media who have the latest information,
  • Natalie Cutler Welsh who is a social media and networking guru from Gotogirl and has come back from the San Diego Social Media Conference with fresh perspectives to share,
  • Troy Rawhiti-Forbes from Spark who is the online communities specialist.
  • Cassie Roma who hails from San Diego and has helped small business owners with social media and now works for Air New Zealand as their Social Media Manager and
  • Leon Jay who is the founder of Fusion HQ, was the Director of Marketing for Mark Joyner, featured on the Internet Marketing Magazine (a space only reserved for those who have generated more than seven figures online),  and has grown his small business into a million dollar enterprise.

Sign up today – you won’t be disappointed!