Create Content That Converts7 min read
If you want to create content that converts, then you have to understand the psychology of why people buy and the techniques used online to help them convert.
Effective content will tell your readers what your company has to offer, why your company is better than your competitors, and how your company can solve their problems or make their life easier and more enjoyable.
Consider the following:
Your Homepage = Your Hook
Your homepage is the first thing that your website visitor sees, so it better be good. It’s your hook. But contrary to popular belief (and sometimes natural intuition), your goal for a homepage is not to inform or to tell anyone anything.
Your #1 goal for a homepage is for your website visitor to click forward and not back. That is, it is to convince them that you have something on your website worth spending their time on.
Fortunately, you don’t need to tell them much to do that. They only need to be able to answer two things:
What’s in it for me? and, Where do I click?
If they can answer those two questions quickly, then you stand a darn good chance of selling your product. If you babble too long…well, unfortunately web surfers are finicky, impatient creatures that are all too happy to click the back button.
Once you can get them to start clicking, then they have already taken a proactive approach to your site, and they will start reading deeper. So don’t cram your homepage with too many details. Tell them just enough to make them click forward. Don’t worry, once they get interested, website surfers will read deeper.
Don’t forget the importance of your first paragraph
Studies have shown that if you can attract readers’ interest with the headline and then maintain interest throughout the first paragraph, chances are far greater they will complete your entire sales presentation.
The first paragraph of your sales copy should solve a problem or clearly articulate what benefits are forthcoming once a customer becomes involved with your product or service.
Customers buy benefits, not features
There is an old saying, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” It’s still true today. Never assume that the customer will figure out the benefits of your product or service. Tell them. For example:
“Improve your gas mileage by 18% right now!”
Customers buy solutions, not products
Write content that answers questions and solves problems. Center every page of your website on the customers you want to attract. Even when you are talking about your products and services, it is not about you. It is about what those products and services can do for your customer.
The majority of the time, customers are looking to solve a problem rather than buying a particular product, so explain the solutions your product delivers.
“Suffering from a bad golf game? Our clubs will improve your game or your money back!”
That solves a problem. What golfer doesn’t suffer from a bad golf game? Target the problem, then sell the solution.
Change your perspective
Always view your product, and your copy, from the customer’s point of view. Speak on their level. Be specific, clear, and concise. Use clear headers, small paragraphs, captions on photos and bullet points in your messaging. Most Websites can cut their content in half and still communicate the same message.
As a rule of thumb, writing about your business turns users off, and writing about how you can add value moves them towards a conversion.
Use keywords that resonate with your audience, and make sure your content is extremely relevant to what your readers expect and speaks to their goal: if your typical customer is looking for specialized tires, it doesn’t help to tell them all about the many types of cars your tires can work on – tell them about how your tires will make their car go faster/ride smoother/keep them safer!
Avoid using abbreviations and trade terms
Use the language that your least informed customers might use and be sure to expand acronyms. You don’t want customers to feel that the language in your website is over their heads. Even the most sophisticated prospect will not object to your spelling things out by explaining in terms that anyone can understand.
Present a compelling reason
Present a unique and compelling reason for a customer to do business with you. Why buy from you instead of from your competition? This concept is most frequently referred to as your “unique selling proposition” (USP).
Ask the questions:
- What is it about your product or service that is unique?
- What do you offer that your competitors can’t?
- Customers do not always make purchases based on price. And while there are other issues, such as delivery time, guarantee, service, availability, and trust, one of the most important reasons customers buy is value.
Use credible testimonials
Encourage customers to give testimonials and place the testimonials strategically throughout your content to help validate certain points of your sales presentation. Of course, legally and ethically speaking, the testimonials must be legitimate.
Include a clear ‘Call to Action’
And finally: always, always include a very clear call to action that answers the question:
Where do I click?
After all, even an interested customer will simply leave your site if they can’t see where to click to get more information or to contact you!
Kelly was a Creative Content Strategist at Blue Zoo Creative. Her creative background in art, music and photography, experience in corporate HR, and Master's degree in English Literature from The College of William & Mary, she was able to adjust her style of writing for each unique client.
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