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Is your website losing you money? Answer these 3 questions

Take a close look at your website. Be honest. Is it working?

Or are most of your visitors doing this...?

Let's be frank. The average web surfer has the attention span of a 5 year old. A really busy 5 year old. They're looking for any excuse to leave and play elsewhere.

You have about 3 seconds to make an impression. Good graphic design will buy you about 1 second. The other 2 seconds are spent on the words and if you get them wrong, your visitor will be off to your competitor. So how do you hold their attention?

1.        Who are you?

The most common mistake in website copy is failing to explain clearly, in the first sentence, what your business does.

Let’s imagine for a moment that I am looking for a widget. In a spirit of optimism I have typed “widget” into my search engine box.  I am rewarded with this…

Are you still there? Sorry, I may have dropped off for a moment. Any ideas what this company does? Nope. Me neither.

If someone has typed your product or service into a search engine then they already want to buy it. Start by telling your visitor that they’re in the right shop. Confirm your product or service. If you don't make this clear, you’re likely to lose the sale.

2.       What are the benefits?

I'm going to let you in on a secret. It's the one thing that everyone wants to know:

"What's in it for me?"

Your visitor isn't interested in when you were founded or how many prizes you’ve won. They want to know what they'll gain from you. I'll give you an example. Which of these do you find the most persuasive? This one?

... or this one?

Tell your visitor how they'll benefit, not how it's done.  Make it personal.  The most important word on your website is “you”, not “we”.

3.       Why should I believe you?

Do you have evidence to prove that you’re trustworthy? It's fine to tell people that you're fabulous but they won't take your word for it. You need proof.

Does your website include testimonials? Does it contain useful, free information that demonstrates your knowledge? Does it have a blog?

Your website is a great opportunity to show credibility and expertise. If your visitor doesn’t trust you to deliver, you’re losing money.

4.       OK, I lied. There’s a 4th question…

Is it obvious what your visitor should do next?

They may like you, trust you and want to buy your service. But if your website lacks a clear call to action, they probably won’t do anything at all.

Don’t make your visitor think about it. Be upfront. “Call us”, “email us”, “sign up for our newsletter”. Be clear that any action is quick. “Download in less than 30 seconds”.

Go back to your website and have a really good look. Does it answer these questions? Or is it encouraging your visitor to try your competitor? And would you like some help?

I'm going to follow my own rules and make it really easy. I'm here and it'll take you 2 seconds to find me.

Helen Beckingham is an SEO copywriter at Keyword Copywriting. Expert scribbler on websites, blogs and e-books, rather good bassoonist, terrible singer. Contact helen@keywordcopywriting.co.uk here