Write Copy with Your Customer in Mind
“We should have a page with all our products, but let’s not put toomany details or prices because we want visitors to have to contact us,”says a third.
Someone from the sales department adds, “On the Contact Us page,let’s use a form with lots of questions that will help us make a sale.Have visitors tell us their budget and how soon they intend to make apurchase. And let’s be sure to get their full name, mailing address andphone number so we can have a salesperson pursue them.”
The Secret to Getting Great Sales Leads from Online Marketing
The Visitor’s Needs Must Come First
While all these ideas have merit for the company, they don’t makemuch sense for visitors. And that’s a big mistake. If you don’t put your visitors first, your website won’t be effective. Bottom line, it’s notabout you!
The best websites are customer-centric. They’re designed to providethe information visitors seek and to present it in an interesting,organized fashion. They let the customer see the real you, which thenbuilds trust.
Finally, they make it easy for visitors to complete whatever actionthey have in mind, whether it’s to buy a product, subscribe to anewsletter, or contact you for more details.
Your visitors don’t want cute or clever. They simply want to know what you’re selling and whether it’s right for them NOW!
Here are 15 tried and proven tips to help make your website successful:
- Start with a clear navigation.
Organize your pages into logically-named categories and use standardterms on your menu. Visitors don’t want to guess where to go. They don’t want to analyze what you mean. And they don’t have the patience toembark on a scavenger hunt for facts.
- Use conversational English.
Despite what your high school English teacher may have thought, nobodywants to read text that sounds like a term paper. Yawn. Write copy asthough you’re speaking directly to the visitor. Use second person like“you” and “we.” Contractions are fine. And a friendly, informal tone isbetter than stiff, corporate-speak.
- Avoid industry jargon.
Don’t use words or phrases that your visitors may not recognize. Use familiar terminology.
- Provide all the relevant information.
When people search the web, they’re seeking answers. If your sitedoesn’t provide the facts, the visitor will move on to the next one inthe search results. Don’t be afraid of sharing too much, and thatincludes prices. Studies show information-rich websites are the mosteffective in converting visitors into serious prospects.
- Leave out the hype.
Visitors don’t want spin. They expect honesty and transparency. Soproudly place all your cards on the table and let visitors draw theirown conclusions.
- Make your home page a to-the-point summary.
Since your home page is the most common entrance to your website, itshould describe how customers will benefit from your content, products,or services. If visitors can’t quickly figure out what’s in it for them, they’ll click that back button. Poof, gone!
- Create unique landing pages for specific topics.
While you might want everyone to come through the front door, the homepage of your website, that might not be the best strategy. A moretargeted approach is to create landing pages that speak to specificsubjects. If someone is looking for information on say your product’smilitary application, he should land on your page that is dedicated tothat subject. Landing pages convert at a higher rate than do home pages.
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- Let pictures help tell your story.
Stock photos are pretty, but do they tell visitors about the real you?No, they’re too generic. You can use them in some places on your site to help break up what would otherwise be a copy-heavy page, but when itcomes to products, real photos work best. Visitors want to see whatthey’re buying and who they’re buying it from.
- Include trust-building content.
Explain why your company is uniquely qualified to provide its productsor services. Provide some details about your company’s history andachievements. Include a photo of the founder if it’s relevant. Considerdedicating a page to testimonials or case studies. Customers buy fromcompanies they trust.
- Keep your website up to date.
If visitors notice that your content isn’t current, then your site loses all credibility. Continually update your site, add to it and remove any information that is obsolete.
- Use a straightforward layout.
Nobody likes clutter, and that includes visitors to your website. Clean, simple and organized works best.
- Make it easy for visitors to contact you.
Put your contact information in multiple places so it’s easy to find. It should always be just one click away. Don’t make visitors work too hard to reach you. They might not bother, and you’ll lose them.
- Keep forms simple.
If your website includes a form, such as on your Contact or Quote page,ask the fewest questions possible. Visitors hate completing all thosefields, and they likely don’t trust you enough to provide all theinformation you’re requesting. Yes, you’d love to obtain their detailedinformation, but it’s what they prefer, not you!
- Include a call to action on nearly every page.
Tell visitors what you would like them to do next. Lead them down the path to a sale or to contacting you.
- Make it perfect or as close to it as you can get.
Spelling and grammar mistakes make you look like an amateur. So doespoor wording. Review your work closely, or better yet, consider hiring a professional copywriter to craft your content.
In today’s information-saturated world, visitors to your website arelikely to be impatient. If they can’t quickly find what they want,they’ll move on. They’re skeptical of anything that sounds “salesy.” Ifthey could speak to you, they’d say, “Just the facts, please.”
Defining What Success Means to You
To be effective, your website must deliver true value. Put yourvisitors’ needs and wants first as you create its content and watch your conversion rate soar!