Congratulations! A potential customer has found their way onto your main website. You’re not quite sure how they got there, but they’re searching your stuff all the same.
What are you going to tell them?
How are you going to convince them to buy your product or hire your services?
What mysterious magic can you weave to make them press that buy button or pick up the phone?
It all comes down to your website content. And that’s where a lot of businesses go hideously wrong.
Rather than creating content that neatly guides the visitor to a professional checkout or phone link, you blind them with irrelevant information, lose them in cliché and blocks of text that literally go around in circles.
In truth, a lot of this is done to improve SEO and get you found in the first place. This is entirely the fault of marketers who are too lazy to actually write killer content.
If your page starts with the local areas that you cover or a meaningless keyword combination, you’re doing the humble visitor a disservice.
You should be telling them how you are going to change their life, build their patio, make their teeth sparkle or improve their productivity with the latest smartphone app.
In short, give your visitor what they came for
Blogs vs Main Site Content
First of all, we need to understand what blog posts and your main content are. They serve different purposes and are written in different ways.
Your main pages are your home page, about us, services/products page and the contact page. They are sales pages, designed to promote your business and deliver visitors to the checkout or get them to pick up the phone and book an appointment.
Your blog is a content that is written to highlight your expertise, perhaps rank for certain keywords but in essence it’s there to provide additional information for your customers. It’s about value and has a much greater range and can be used to answer specific questions your customer wants answered (e.g., how do I get the most out of my vacuum cleaner?).
Look at Things from Your Customer’s POV
So, the first step is to look at your site content from your customer’s viewpoint. What problem do they have and how are you going to solve it?
One way to do this is to talk it through with a friend or even a customer you already have. If they were sat in front of your right now, how would you convince them to buy your product? What questions do they have which you need the answer to?
Ignore SEO and what keywords you are going to include to boost traffic. Think purely about creating the kind of content your customers actually want to see. The closer you can match their expectations, the more likely they are to hang around.
Check What Your Competitors are Doing
Another thing to do is check out who else is doing site content well in your sector. Which sites impress you and give customer’s every opportunity to buy? You may be surprised to find that sites with less content rather than more often do better.
That’s because they get to the point straight away and don’t include any unnecessary content.
Give a Nod to SEO: Don’t Obsess About It
Yes, SEO or search engine optimisation is important, especially if you’re in a really competitive sector. But don’t go overboard. You can always create landing pages that are SEO keyword specific and which can exist outside your main content and act as a pull for certain types of customer.
Don’t simply add content just because you want to include more keywords. This is a favourite of substandard marketing companies – it may work and get more visitors but they are likely to be turned off by the sheer weight of content.
Keep to the Point, Keep it Strong
Ask yourself this question: What do I want my customer to do next?
This should be the guiding focus of each page you create. It will also help to keep you on track and, hopefully, not add irrelevant text. MAKE EVERY WORD YOU WRITE COUNT.
Always Include a Clear Call to Action
This is another thing that new businesses tend to forget. Always have a clear, easy to identify call to action as near to the top of the page as possible. Make it easy for your customer to take that next step. They’re busy people, don’t keep them waiting.
Why Understanding Features vs Benefits is Vital to the Success of Your Business Website
This is something that many small businesses also get wrong when they first start to write their main website pages.
Features are the components that make up your product or service. Benefits are how they solve your customer’s problem.
A camera is a feature on a smartphone. Its benefit is that people can take really stunning pictures on the go with a simple tap of a button and send it to their friends on social media.
A will writing service is a feature for a legal firm. The benefit is that it gives the customer peace of mind, ensuring that their estate is easily settled when they pass on and assets are given to the people that they want them to go to.
Okay, some nerdy people do like to see features, particularly for electronics and things like computers and cameras. I’m not saying exclude them completely. But your focus should be on the benefits and this needs to be at the forefront of your written content.
One of the best books I’ve read on this is Write to Sell: The Ultimate Guide to Great Copywriting by Andy Maslen. It’s was written well before the big internet marketing fad got going for real but has a lot of good advice on producing great copy. It’s a quick read and one that I go back to every so often when I’m working on sales copy. There is plenty of free advice online, of course.
About Us Pages
The thing about these pages is that most people get them wrong. They are about revealing your credentials and gaining the confidence of your customer. You want them to buy from you so spend some time in creating engaging content. It’s slightly different from the standard sales content of your main pages but is just as important.
If you are builder, tell them about your experience, the type of work you do and what your philosophy is. If you are selling a new app, tell your audience why you wanted to create it and what you are hoping to achieve.
Don’t over-stretch your about us page and certainly don’t use it as an opportunity to stuff a few more keywords in. Above all, appear like a human being.
Make Sure You Look Professional
Finally, all the above hints and tips for producing web content that sells will all be for nought if your site doesn’t look professional. Any right-minded person will not get out their credit card if your site looks unsecure.
Issues I often see are:
- No SSL or encryption certificate.
- No secure checkout.
- Poor quality graphics.
- Spammy content and keyword stuffing.
- Poor download speeds.
The true list is longer than this but the essential point is to ensure you have all the right building blocks in place so your site not only looks attractive but also professional and trustworthy.