By: Jim D. Ray

As any successful entrepreneur knows, theres more to generating on-line sales than owning a web site. To produce sales, your web presence must be effective, easy to navigate, and properly marketed all of which require a well-rounded understanding of your target client.

But how do we get inside the collective mind of our market? The key is psychology in this case, e-psychology or the science of understanding how consumers shop on-line. Understanding how consumers make the purchase decisions on-line will allow you to develop web site content that appeals to the maximum number of prospective clients.

World Wide Psychoanalysis

Internet advertising isnt the same as print advertising. Web surfers tend to read less on-line, instead using visuals such as photos, animation, and colorful graphics to gather information. From a development standpoint, this places an emphasis on site navigation and overall layout.

The motivations behind on-line purchase decisions differ from those generated by more familiar mediums. To achieve success, your on-line sales strategy must embrace these differences.

Lets begin by glancing at the web sites of your biggest competitors by sales volume. Chances are, the primary content is designed to accomplish three goals:

Generate interest, usually by eliciting or identifying a need
Convey the unique value of their specific product or service, and Promote a transaction.

To produce sales on-line, your web site must do more than serve as an information resource about your company. Your site must ask for the business. Each page of the web presence should lead to an action step promoting a sale or contact request.

On- or off-line, asking for the business is the only way to achieve any greater result than educating prospective clients about your industry and product or service.

Writing For The Web

The foundation of any purchase decision is the desire for a product or service, usually based on a pre-existing need or want. Selection of a specific product or service provider begins when a consumer identifies a company that offers a value most compatible with the consumers perception of value.

Start by writing your web sites content to elicit the general value the product or service provides. Introduce solutions generated by having the product or service, based on the typical ultimate desires of the target market. For example, the benefits of developing a web site for a small business may include increased sales, expanded credibility, and a 24/7 on-line purchase option.

Next, build on this general foundation by introducing the features, benefits and value of your own company. Remember that surfers tend to do less reading on-line, so youll need to accomplish a great deal in each line of text. Each sentence must:

Convey the tangible and intangible value of your product or service
Include key terms and phrases effectively describing your industry and products/services
Promote prospect-to-client conversion
Hook the surfer, encouraging further reading