Website Content : How to Engage, Persuade and Convert
In this post you’re going to learn how to improve your website content. There will be useful tips. But before I get to the tips, here’s an important question:
How long does it take to make an impression on your website visitor?
Yep, the average internet user has the attention span of a gnat.
They’re looking for an excuse to leave your website – itching like a bear in spring to hit the back button. They’re being constantly distracted…
… by other things. And some of those things will be your competitors’ websites.
So how do you engage your reader in those crucial 5 seconds? Well, there’s one magic word.
It’s all about YOU (well… them, actually)
Forget about your business philosophy, your high-end clients, the awards you’ve won and all that hard-won experience. There is only one thing that interests your reader. Themselves.
Address them directly with the words `you’ and `your’. Imagine you’re having a conversation with a customer over a cup of coffee. You wouldn’t go on about yourself, would you?
Be friendly, ask the odd question. And give your reader some benefits.
What’s that? Benefits you say?
Yes, benefits…. not features.
It’s probably easier if I give you an example. Here’s some copy for a Philips hand blender that I nicked off the internet.
The Philips HR1363 hand blender offers a 600W motor, double action stainless steel blade, turbo button, anti-splash guard and detachable plastic handle. It features a 0.5 litre beaker with lid and soft-touch trip and buttons.
Do we care? No we do not. Because it’s all features. So I rewrote it to include some real-life benefits. Here ’tis…
This Philips hand blender allows you to chop, puree and blend with ease. Its powerful 600W motor, double action blades and anti-splash guard mean you can prepare delicious, healthy food in seconds with no splashes or mess.
See? It’s the same blender – but now it saves you time and hassle. It makes you healthier. And it stops you splattering food all over the kitchen.
OK, you probably don’t sell blenders but the principles are the same. Stand directly in your customer’s shoes and walk around. Why do they need you? What’s worrying them? How can you help?
Now, here’s something else you might find interesting:
Back in 2006, a Danish user-experience researcher called Jakob Nielsen carried out an evidence-based study on web users. He got 232 people to read thousands of websites, eye-tracking each of them to discover how they scanned the pages. This is what he found:
Squint a bit and focus on the red areas. You’ll see that web content is scanned in the shape of an F.
Why is this important?
Actually, it’s crucial. Put your most sellable benefits in the first two short, snappy paragraphs and your reader will notice them. Then allow for the vertical downward scan with bullet points.
If every page of your content mirrors the F-shape, casual internet browsers will feel instantly comfortable. They’ll think `Hey, this stuff is really easy to read’. Even if it isn’t.
In short, they’ll stick around. And that means they’re more likely to convert to customers. Provided you do one more thing:
Calls to action
What happens when you don’t tell your visitor what to do next?
Without a call to action, your reader won’t take any action at all. Apart from hitting the back button.
Try and include 2 CTAs per page and wherever possible, put the first one `above the fold’.
Keep them clear, simple and consistent per page – otherwise you’ll confuse your visitor. Most importantly, make them very… very…
That’s it for now. But I’m following my own advice – so if you want some help with your content, or you’d like a free website consultation, here’s what to do next:
Call Helen on 07765 520 624 or write to me here.