With the downturn in the economy encompassing nearly every aspect of our lives, businesses large and small are feeling the pinch. MarketingSherpa recently published a survey stating that over 60% of large companies are unceremoniously planning on slashing their marketing budgets significantly this year.


With smaller marketing budgets, companies are hunting for cost-effective, measurable solutions to sagging sales figures. This naturally leads to online marketing in order to generate new prospects and customers. Surprisingly, many sales and marketing heads don't know enough about the true power of web marketing and the latest tips and tricks to take full advantage of its cost-effective nature.


"It all starts with a powerful, search engine-friendly website," says Jon Wuebben, author of Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web (Encore Publishing). "Companies today need to focus on the words they are using to communicate with their prospects and how they leverage this content in order to maximize their online exposure. In a time when more companies are chasing fewer prospective customers, ensuring your online copy is strong and then accessing the viral nature of the web to get it out there, can put you well on your way."


Wuebben says if you want to begin harnessing the power of cost-effective online marketing, here are seven quick and easy tips to follow: 


1.     The Copy on Your Website Should Be Conversational. Connect directly with your potential customer by writing copy in the conversational style you would use in speaking with them directly. Not only will it immediately appeal to your visitors, but it also enables your message to be easily understood.


2.     Use Bulleted Lists. Long strings of sentences which create long paragraphs are hard for people to read and will tire their eyes. Convert the features and benefits that you promote on each page into bulleted lists. These will pop out of the page when your prospect is scanning through. The result? They won't miss any important details or sales points about why your product or service is so valuable.


3.     Limit the Amount of Words Per Page. Each page of your website should be limited to 350 words. If you have more than this, you need to re-evaluate your copy and make some cuts. A wordy webpage can overwhelm to the point where your prospect may leave. So instead of being "copy-heavy" try to be "quality-heavy."


4.     Is Your Copy Interesting to Read? Ask yourself the following questions about your website. Does the copy grab you? Is it interesting and informative? Is there variety in the copy layout? No's all around? Then you need to edit that copy and create a more engaging read for you visitor.


5.     Use Headings and Subheads. Like bulleted lists, they break up the page and give the eye something to focus on. A prospect visiting your site will need you to direct them, and this is a great tool to get them to zero-in on specific information.


6.     Use the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) Method. Your website and its copy should grab the reader's attention, build their interest, and create desire so they will take action - in that order. This method will bring you closer to closing the deal with your prospect.


7.     Ask for the Sale. Make sure that the copy includes specific "calls-to-action" which compel your visitors to the next step in the sale. Are the words "Order Now" found next to your product? Is the phrase "Click here to get your free newsletter" visible anywhere? Add these calls-to-action as they promote the visitor to take a more active and involved approach.


For more information on Jon Wuebbens book, Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web, visit www.contentrichbook.com.