Paul Newman
As an actor, entrepreneur and humanitarian, Paul Newman found numerous ways to dazzle an audience, from the silver screen to the kitchen table. Before his rise to stardom, those baby blues overlooked a lifetime of hard work.

A man of many talents, Newman’s old-school advice rings true through the world of web design and Internet marketing.

For Part 1 of this series, click here.

8. “I’ve been accused of being aloof. I’m not. I’m just wary.”

With an ongoing recession, betrayals in the financial sector, and general corporate misconduct, buyers are extremely careful about who they choose to do business with.

Do everything in your power to reassure them. Post privacy policies alongside your newsletter signup. Include all relevant association badges to let them know you’re well-respected in your industry. For e-commerce sites, include security badges and security notifications to let shoppers know their money is in good hands.

9. “A man can only be judged by his actions, and not by his good intentions or his beliefs.”

Can people tell what your site is about without visiting your About page? Assume your visitors know nothing about you. If you don’t tell people about your case studies, previous experience, past clients, testimonials, and how your product/service works, they will never know.

10. Robert Redford on Newman: “He has the attention span of a bolt of lightning.”

On the web, this is exactly what you have to contend with. The average “decisions” time of a website visitor is 6 seconds. If you don’t immediately spell out “What’s in it for me?” you are officially back-button bait.

The instantaneous nature of the web has led visitors to expect a customized experience that gives them exactly what they need. Be the website that answers the important questions quickly, and you have a chance of making a sale. Who are you? What do you do? What’s in it for me?

11. “Every time I get a script it’s a matter of trying to know what I could do with it. I see colors, imagery. It has to have a smell. It’s like falling in love. You can’t give a reason why.”

Who doesn’t want visitors to fall in love with their website? Find ways to invite visitors in to interact with your company and your website. It could be interactive photo galleries, video reviews, maps, calculators, buying guides, podcasts, etc. Appeal to the imagination and the senses.

12. “Newman’s first law: It is useless to put on your brakes when you’re upside down.”

The best product in the world won’t save you if your website throws visitors for a loop. Customers simply won’t stick around to figure out a broken website. Make sure your site functions. I’m talking broken links, long load times, missing images, misspelled words, and confusing navigation, just to name a few.

It’s important to do a sweep of your own site every few days, just to make sure everything is running smoothly. Test your checkout process and your contact forms, and visit each page just to look things over.

13. “As long as my heart continues to beat, I think I will continue.”

Remember, you’re in this for the long haul. You need to plan for the future and keep your website active and fresh. Search engines and your visitors need a reason to keep coming back for more.

You want to make your site an active resource for them, something you can use to build long-term relationships. With new offers, fresh content, and updated resources, your website can become the hub of any campaign, via old-school, social media, email, and mobile means.

14. “For those of you who like to scarf your popcorn in the sack, the good news is that Newman’s Own contains an aphrodisiac.”

Find out how your visitors like to view your website. What browsers are your visitors using? Do they have flash enabled? It doesn’t matter how impressive your graphics are, or how mind-blowing your animations and widgets are. If your visitors can’t see it, your site design might as well be an empty box.

Tailor your entire site to their experience. This is the first step of customer service online, and it begins long before the sale.

What’s your take? Have a favorite Newman quote?

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