Create Powerful and Effective Content That Will Draw Prospects Into Your Site
You may be surprised to learn that the content of over 95% of all website’s are created the wrong way… and what’s even worse, are that these companies keep following each other down the wrong path. Why? The answer you’ll most often hear is: “It’s just the way we’ve always done it,” or “if XYZ Company, who is the leader in the industry, is doing it, they must know something, so let’s do it their way.” Famous last words!
If you want to significantly increase the conversion ratios of your website or any other marketing medium, you must change your approach to marketing and advertising. You need to change the way you think…and ultimately the way you write your content. And the first and most critical thing you need to do is to start thinking like your prospects.
People searching on the web are looking for specific information and an answer to their problems. If you make that information educational, teach them instead of sell them, and then make it easy to find that info on your site, they’ll reward you by taking action.
Websites offer the best marketing opportunity of all time!
No, that’s not hype or an exaggeration. Why? Websites do not have the time or space constraints that other marketing or advertising mediums are plagued with. Think about it - newspapers, radio ads and TV commercials have all become ridiculously short. What can you possibly say to your prospects in a 30 second radio ad, or a 3 x 3 inch newspaper ad, or how about a 60 second TV commercial, if you can afford it? In these mediums it’s impossible to say what you need to say to get people to take action.
No space or time constraints: Web marketing totally eliminates the time and space constraints of traditional advertising mediums. Your website gives you the opportunity to say it all…leave nothing on the table, and teach and educate your prospects about everything they need to know about your type of product or service. A website gives you the absolute best marketing opportunity of all time, but…
95% of all websites don’t take advantage of the unique opportunity they have on the Internet. They mistakenly write web content the exact way they do for every other medium—costing them dearly when it comes to converting visitors to customers. They mistakenly follow the old “branding” philosophy of marketing, filling their websites with platitudes, clichés, catch phrases and laundry lists of services they offer, instead of offering prospects what they want - answers!
When viewing a new page, people don’t read—they scan
People don’t read a web site like they read a book – from start to finish. Instead they quickly scan the first page they see for headings or headlines that match their hot-buttons. They scan for hyperlinks, numbers, keywords and they jump around, clicking and scrolling for the information that will help solve their problem. And remember, their fingers are never off the mouse, ready to either hit the “back’ button or completely leave your site at any given moment. If they don’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll leave your site – and never come back!
A big problem with the typical 3-column website
Currently, most websites follow a 3-column layout. Why? Truth be told, there’s really no good reason for it. Most do it because everyone else does it, or their web designers told them too, or they saw one of their major competitors doing it that way. Another big reason is that they can cram a lot more info on the home page, which in itself is a big mistake..
Think about it…a visitor goes to Google and types in keywords or phrases that bring them to search results - which includes your site. They click on your site looking for information and the first thing they see is 3 very small columns with a ton of information and multiple choices. What do they do? They have to decipher what is important and what isn’t. What hits their hot-buttons and what doesn’t. And usually, they find nothing of interest and move to another site in 22 seconds. And it’s not because you can’t help them…you’ve just neglected to engage them in your site.
We believe that since you’ve spent the time and money to get them to your site…you want to take as much control as possible over their experience of your site. You want to direct them and get them to understand the important and relevant issues regarding what they are looking for as quickly as possible. The only way to do that is by reducing the 3 columns to 2 and then creating powerful hot-button headlines and sub-headlines throughout your content.
Your web site will live or die by its headlines and sub-headlines
If your headings/headlines and sub-headlines don’t grab your reader by hitting their hot-buttons, they’ll be gone – probably forever. Writing headlines is a craft, and almost seems to be an art. But that doesn’t mean they have to be super creative or funny…the opposite is actually true. Your headlines need to be full of keywords and hot-buttons that engage the reader and make them believe that if they keep reading they will get help solving their problem.
Visitors to your first landing page will judge your entire site in less than 20 seconds. The only way to keep them there is by creating hot-button headings, headlines and sub-headlines that they can quickly scan and digest. When you create hot-button headlines, visitors will quickly find items that interrupt and engage them and they’ll begin the process of trusting your site…and eventually your company.
Your website will then completely stand out from your competitors. Your prospects will clearly see that you have their best interests at heart. They start to believe that you want to actually help them and not just sell them something — which is a huge step towards developing trust. But before you can build that trust you must…
First you need to identify your prospect’s hot-buttons
How do you identify your prospect’s hot-buttons? By first identifying their problems, frustrations, and annoyances and then addressing those in your content. Find out where their pain is, identify that pain, and then describe situations and scenarios that illustrate that pain. Put that information in your headlines and sub-headlines – the results will be inevitable. The things causing their pain, for all practical purposes ARE their hot-buttons.
Our system was created with your prospects hot-buttons in mind, it’s what separates our marketing company from any marketing and advertising company in the Twin Cities that specializes in small to mid-size businesses. But if you have the time and inclination, go to: How to identify your prospect’s hot-buttons. Here you’ll learn everything you need know on how to identify your prospects hot-buttons.
Your visitors are very impatient
The average Internet visitor will stay on the home-page or landing page for only 22 seconds. Why? Because most websites fail to hit their prospects hot-buttons and offer enough engaging headlines and sub-headlines to keep their interest. That 22 second figure proves that most web site content is ineffective, especially when you realize that the visitor has actually CHOSEN to go to the web site. They aren’t looking through a magazine or newspaper and running into advertisements vying for their attention. The web site already has their attention…it just fails to keep it!
Stop using platitudes, generalities and catch-phrases
In marketing and advertising, we see and hear platitudes all the time: “largest selection”, “most professional”, “lowest prices”, “highest quality”, “best service”, “fastest”, “most convenient”, “largest in the state”, “experts in”, “been in business since 1725 B.C.” – you get the picture! The definition of a platitude is: a trite or banal remark or statement, especially one expressed as if it were original or significant. Does that describe any of your web content?
It’s not that you don’t want to be those kinds of things, those are obviously foundations to build your company around. The problem is all of your competitors are saying the same thing. So if I see five web sites in your industry that say they’re the #1 service company in the Twin Cities, does that evoke interest? No! You can’t describe, demonstrate, or reveal why your company is the best choice using platitudes and generalities. Platitudes result in an outside perception that you’re just like everybody else.
Teach and educate the prospect as if the info is coming from a third party.
On your website you need to deliver relevant information in a way that’s easy to scan and digest quickly – it’s what the prospect needs to know to determine how to buy what you sell. You’ve got to give your prospects enough quantifiable, specific information so they can understand the important and relevant issues regarding your industry, your product, or your service. This understanding makes them feel in control of the decision and confident that they are making the best choice. The more you educate prospects on what they need to know, what to look for, and what to avoid, the more you’ll sell.
Offer visitors risk-free information.
Every marketing piece you create should contain a low-risk offer to encourage prospects to take the next step – and that includes your website. Generally the risk-free offer should be additional information so you can further educate the prospect and build trust. The right offer allows you to capture a large percentage of all future buyers in addition to the now buyers. These risk-free offers can be third-party educational articles, newspaper articles, checklists, or anything of value that will help your web visitors make the best decision possible.
Stop Following the Crowd
Following the crowd is human nature, and nowhere is it more prevalent then with websites. Take Dentists for example: Do a Google search for Dentists in the Twin Cities and you will see the “follow the crowd” mentality at its strongest. The first thing you’ll see is a picture of a nice looking women, or family with beautiful white smiles. Then you’ll read platitudes like: “one smile at a time”, “your smile is our only goal”, and “creating beautiful smiles for the past 35 years”.
Usually the graphic of a beautiful smiling women or family dominates the home page, and then they include a few platitudes similar to the ones above and they give you a laundry list of their services. And don’t believe for a second that this format is only used by Dentists…it’s used by 80%-90% of all websites on the Internet. The bottom line is: you don’t want to look like your competitors…you want to set the standards for your industry. If you set the standards for your industry, you’ll build trust and you’ll be surprised how many people will thank you for the valuable information.