The content of your website is your #1 sales tool. Pictures, tools, and other fun stuff can be important in making your site visibly and functionally appealing, but it is the content that sells. Well written and user focused content allows your visitors to "find out" more about your products and services, as well as how your company will be able to meet their needs.
Content weighs heavily both in terms of how users interact with your website as well as how visitors (both human and search spiders) are able to determine what you offer and what each page of your website is about. While solidly optimized content is important for search engine rankings, considering the usability of your content is of paramount importance for attaining good conversion rates.
The content of your website should be written in consistent voice from page to page. This voice needs to be one that is relatively consistent with your industry and resonates with your target audience.
Active words help the user engage with the content making them a participant rather than just a passive reader. The site's content should be full of active verbs that inspire visitors to take action.
Website should be free of all typographical errors. Both spelling and grammatical errors can be an indicator that you lack professionalism. They must be eliminated to maintain overall trustability.
Skimmable & scannable:
Visitors skim through and scan content to find what interests them before they actually read each word. As much as possible, use short paragraphs, headings, bullets and stick to a basic reading level.
Present your content in a way that speaks to your visitor's overall wants and needs. Focus on them, not on you or your company.
Content should use language that speaks to individual personalities of your visitors. Providing information that certain personalities "need" helps speak to those visitors more directly and move them through the conversion process.
Benefits vs. features:
Present the benefits your visitors will receive. Don't write exclusively in terms of what your product or service does, but what benefits your visitors will get from your product or service.
Content should always read naturally and should never feel “stuffed” with keywords. Never hide content on the page, but use it effectively as a sales tool.
Calls to action:
Each page should contain a close and one or more calls to action. Once you have effectively provided the necessary information, compel the visitor to take a desired action.
Whenever possible and only where relevant, link your text out to other areas of the website as they are mentioned within the body copy. Selectively link out to external sources that reinforce the information you are providing.
All too often site owners want to sideline the content. They feel that pictures, tools and products are the only things that visitors want. Yes, these are an important part of the sales process, but so is the text. Properly developed text informs and persuades. It entices and encourages. It draws and drives. More than anything else, text sells.
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Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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