The key to writing killer website content isn’t in a Bachelors in English hanging on your wall. It has nothing to do with Ivy League schools, practice or love for writing. I’ve worked with a number of skilled copywriters – all of which have launched small and large businesses to critical fame and successful visibility on the web – who had nothing more than a high school education and the knowledge of how to write what matters.
The Key to Quality Website Content
One of the greater hurdles in the way of business owners is trying to figure out what to write. The blinking cursor can be a nasty adversary for someone who doesn’t know how to concur it. Unfortunately many business owners and managers mistakenly call it writers block or a lack of creative skill when in all actually it’s simply a lack of strategy. Tear down that initial barrier for creating a strategy that works and the website content will flow from you.
It All Starts with Research
Before you can craft a website content strategy you need to do some research. This includes competitive research to see how your competitors are engaging your customers and target audience research to develop a buyer persona (or multiple personas). This allows you figure out who you’re talking to, what they need to hear, their pain points and common problems, the keywords they use to find your products and services, etc. All of that information can be combined into quality website content that helps you stand out online.
Crafting your Website Content Strategy
Your website content can be written in a variety of ways depending on your layout but I’m going to give you a solid template you can use to build a strategy. This kind of “magic bullet” creates a content flow that will consistently perform and improve conversions on a website.
1. Open with a question or state a fact
When you open your website content with a question, statistic or fact you’re engaging the mind of the visitor. It gets the wheels turning and hooks them long enough for you lead them into your content. The more relevant the question or statistic, fact, etc. the greater the hook.
This engagement is necessary because you have only a few seconds to pull the reader in before they move on. A strong initial hook can dramatically reduce your bounce rates. In many cases, this can be combined with the next point to fully engage the visitor.
2. Empathize through your website content
Before you ever try to sell a visitor on an idea, a product or a service you need to empathize with them. Show them with a bit of website content that you recognize the problem they have. This comes from your research, where you can identify and utilize their primary pain points that are relevant to what you offer. Combing this and the first point is a common direct sales tactic, such as asking a business owner “Are you tired of putting out IT fires and managing an aging network while trying to run your business?”
3. Offer the solution
People use the web because they’re looking for a solution to a problem or a path to that solution. If your website content connects with them in a way that shows you understand that problem and then you offer a reasonable, valuable solution then you greatly increase your chance for conversion. This is where you start to sell the customer on your idea, product or service – just don’t over do it.
4. State the Benefits
If you just tell someone “I recognize your problem, and here’s the solution. You should buy it.” the average consumer will ask (either directly or in their minds) “why?”. Clearly stating the benefits of your idea, product or service shows the visitor exactly how they’ll gain or the benefits they get from choosing your solution.
It’s important to note that there is a big difference between benefits and features in website content. A feature is simple, such as “network monitoring” as part of a service package. But turning that into a benefit statement has more impact. E.g. “Network monitoring helps you catch security threats and problems before they can damage your business.”
5. Don’t oversell with your website content
It’s important not to be pushy or over-hyped. It’s extremely easy to scare off a customer so you need to leave the sales jargon and superlative adjectives to car salesmen. With empathy, a solid solution and clearly stated benefits you can easily close with most customers
6. Ask for the sale
Include a call to action in your website content that specifically tells the customer what you want. In the case of site content for businesses that can present in a variety of ways:
- “Call Today”
- “Sign Up Now”
- “Call Now for More Details”
- “Click to Order Yours Today”
- “Add This Item To Your Shopping Cart”
Don’t be afraid to tell the customer what you want them to do. If you don’t you’re at the mercy of their decision and customers can be quick to talk themselves out of a purchase. If you’re dealing with a lot of content or a long page – greater than 500 words – add multiple calls to action throughout the content.
There’s are plenty of “tricks” that go beyond these basics, things used by professional copywriters to boost conversion. For example I didn’t even touch on keyword use and optimization. That’s for another post! Don’t sweat yourself with being perfect. Just focus on utilizing these tactics for setting up your landing pages and website content and you’re guaranteed to see a noticeable increase in customer conversions.