There are websites which are basically online brochures, and then there are websites which generate leads or sales – or both.
The ones which generate leads are those that give your website visitors a great experience – to the point where they like and trust you enough to take action.
And this is the basis of Google’s primary strategy when it comes to determining which websites are listed on page 1 of search results for keyword searches – and which aren’t. And as most people don’t ever get to page 2 of search results – you need to be on page 1.
If your site doesn’t keep visitors engaged – whereby they visit at least two or more pages and/or take the action(s) you want them to take – then it’s not a good user experience.
What’s the Most Important Element?
As a marketer, I consider content to be the most important element when it comes to websites. Of course web developers and graphic designers will no doubt disagree with me. In the end it’s all about giving the customer the information they are looking for, in a way that makes them feel they’ve found the right business.
1. Address the visitor’s key concerns
When someone types in a keyword and lands on your website, they should understand how you can help them solve their problem - at a glance. A strong benefit laden headline on the homepage is critical to validating that the user is in the right place. Example:
Keyword search: Epoxy Flooring
What visitors see on the website: a large image of their search term, and words describing the benefits and usages of their search term. It’s totally relevant to what they searched for and immediately allays potential fears that epoxy flooring might not be tough or durable.
2. Overcome potential objections
Your website visitors will firstly expect to see your services. This means they’re dealing with someone who can work on their problem.
But what they really want to know is can they trust you.
This is why it’s very important that your copy (the headlines and words) focus on what are the main benefits for them if they choose you. They could just as easily choose any one of your competitors.
They want to know that you are reliable, trustworthy, honest, qualified and skilled. The goal here is to get them emotionally engaged.
3. Use lots of sub-headings
Numerous studies on website surfing behaviour (and real time tracking using heat maps) show that people generally look at pictures first, read headlines second, read picture captions third – and then may go on to read the smaller body copy if they’re attention is captured. People SKIM – so make sure you use lots of sub-headings to arrest their attention.
4. Use relevant images
Images are the number one attention grabbing component of any website or social media page – so make sure you use plenty of them, and make sure they’re relevant to the context of the page they are on. Add text or a caption to explain or deliver a message, and always add alt text so that search engine bots can index the images.
It’s best to use pictures which encapsulate the quality of your work. A big photo of your new van is only interesting to you. No-one else.
Make sure you DO NOT use other people’s images without obtaining permission first. There are plenty of royalty free photo sites where you can acquire free or low cost images to use legitimately.
5. Have an informative About Us page
People buy from people, not companies – unless you’ve spent millions on building a trusted company brand. The About Us page is usually the second most visited page on a website – because people want to know more about who is behind the company name – if they have credibility and authority, if they will like them and trust them. This page needs to be about you and your team, your values and what people can expect when they buy from you.
6. Use video
33% of people prefer to watch video than to read text. In fact it’s higher amongst men. Use video to introduce yourself, to explain the benefits of your service, to explain a complex process, to document a customer case study or testimonial.
Not only does it provide people with the opportunity of seeing who they’ll be doing business with, it is a fantastic tool for driving traffic to your site.
7. Add a blog
A blog is the best way to keep your site fresh, relevant and indexed. It’s the perfect tool for writing short articles on topics of relevance to your target market. Sometimes they don’t know what they don’t know – so if you add new articles (at least once a month) about issues they may face, on changes in your marketplace, new products and services you’ve introduced, how to do things, etc – then you will increase the time they spend on your site .
A blog is a “must have” component for improving search engine visibility. Every time you add content – share it with your social media followers and your email list. You can mix it up with video, text, infographics to enhance appeal and usability.
8. Use testimonials
You can talk about how brilliant you are until the cows come home – but it’s what other people say that really counts. Testimonials (ideally in video format) of other real customers using your products and services are the social proof that people who don’t know you will be looking for. This breeds confidence by seeing that other real people are happy with you.
9. Use guarantees/security seals to remove risk
An outrageous iron-clad guarantee - or series of guarantees – go a long way to reducing risk and building trust. Your guarantees need to specific and benefit laden, not generic. We guarantee our work is not a guarantee. You need to specify for how long, and what you will do if the customer is not happy.
10. Include a Privacy page
If you’ve got any type of form on your site – even just a contact us form on your Contact Us page – you need to include a Privacy Page which spells out how you keep people’s information secure. The text should also refer to tracking cookies. This is a mandatory requirement if you intend using any form of advertising to drive people to your site – eg: Google PPC, Bing PPC, Facebook PPC etc.
11. Language, spelling and errors
Great, error- free copy is a must.
Not only is correct spelling and grammar important – so is the language and style. Don’t be too formal. Be friendly, use phrases that your target audience understand, avoid acronyms and industry jargon. Speak in writing like you would speak to a person face to face. If you can’t write well – get a copywriter to do it for you. It’s that important.
Get Help with Your Content
If you’re not comfortable writing enticing copy for your site, get help. You only have a few seconds to arrest visitor’s attention. If your copy is boring or too verbose, they’ll hit the back button very quickly.
We have several writers on our team who have many years’ experience in writing website copy. It’s their job to ensure you’re presented in an interesting, inspiring and trustworthy way. We want your website visitors to find you irresistible and contact you for a quote.
If you want help with your copywriting, shoot through a request and we’ll be in touch.