Welcome to the Digital Age! For those of you still catching up, pizzas are now ordered online. Cars are built to your specification through an online interface. Marriages are arranged through the internet. Surgeries are even performed remotely with interactive online tools. And now all successful businesses have an online presence. Company websites aren’t just for e-commerce and tech companies anymore. Every business needs a professional website. In this age of tablets and smart phones and Googling first dates, the internet is the first place just about everybody turns before they make a decision, especially a financial decision. If a potential customers didn’t find you through an internet search first, than they are definitely going to look you up before they make a purchase. Chances are, they are going to look up your competitors too, and you can bet your competitors have a website. But don’t panic! Rather than fearing the potential loss of business to your tech-savvy competitor, use this opportunity to show potential customers who are doing their due-diligence that you are the smart choice. Use your website to establish your expertise in your field, while providing potential customers with relevant information that will convince them there is no need to look any further. The right content can do all of this for you. Even if you don’t sell anything online, your website should still tell your customers who you are and what you are about, and it should give them simply instructions on how they can purchase from you. Your company website should have one clear focus, drive sales. Your website could just be another platform for transactions. Or, you can take advantage of its full potential by creating an online space for people to learn about industry news, company updates, the latest products and services. Your website can provide visitors with informative and entertaining articles that are crafted to showcase your products or services. Or, remove any need for visitor to search elsewhere by providing a competitive analysis. Offer a blog with tips, or how-to guides, and invite other SME’s to guest blog, enhancing your own credibility. Your website gives you a platform to position yourself as as industry leader, a guru who always has the latest updates and new ideas. When done right, a website can skyrocket a moderately successful small business, into a wildly successful company. If your ultimate goal is sales, every piece of content should be skillfully crafted to convert your visitors into customers. You need content that is designed to create a need and urgency in your reader. Whether you are hard selling with sales copy or establishing credibility and brand loyalty through informative articles, the focus should always be on creating a desire in your reader, while positioning yourself as a trusted adviser. If your content is strong enough, your reader will have no reason to look any further. Your website will most likely be the first interaction you will have with potential customers, so it needs to make a strong first impression. To ensure that you convert potential customers into loyal customers, your website should clearly outline all of the benefits of your product or service, how purchasing from you will improve their life, and why they should trust you, along with easy to follow purchasing steps. It should also be updated frequently with new, pertinent content so that customers have a reason to return often, ensuring repeat business. Does your current website meet all of these criteria?
Another great resource a website offers is the chance to collect visitor information, so that you can reach out to them directly at another time. Building an list of email subscribers gives you instant access to a per-screened, captive audience who is interested in your services. Rather than passively hoping for people to stumble onto your website, proactively send news, product information, or discounts directly to your subscribers inbox. However, you need to entice your visitors to cough up their contact info in the first place. To do this, your website needs to offer content that has value to reader. Sticking a “Subscriber Here” button on your homepage won’t do much of anything, without giving your visitors incentive to sign up. Incentive can be a “Members Only” discount, a free e-book, or a service that has benefit to them, like a free analysis or critic. The key is value. Give something to them and they will give something back to you – their contact info! But again, it’s content that is going to drive that conversion of visitor to subscriber. Are you starting to “get” the importance of well-crafted content? It effects every aspect of your website, and therefore, your business!
Your website is the ideal platform to build an online community around your brand. Social media like facebook and twitter are alright, but they are limited in their services and aren’t SEO friendly. You can do more with your website than merely post articles or blogs. Use your website to interact with your customers. By including a call-to-action on each section of your website, you are engaging the customer. The communication now goes two-ways. Encourage your customers to join a “VIP Club” to receive special special offers or discounts. Post surveys and poll you visitors. Ask them what they feel would enhance your service. Offer exclusive content for those who sign up for a “Member’s Only Area”. You can even create an online forum where people with similar interests can interact (a great hands off approach to getting fresh, new content. Your visitors update your content for you!). Including a call-to-action benefits both parties when done right. You get their contact information and repeat visits, and their experience is now personalized and tailored specifically to them. By providing that added value, you are ensuring repeat visits and ultimately increasing your chances of closing more sales. But any time you ask your visitor for something, or include a call-to-action, (can you guess what I’m going to say?) the visitor must see value in participating. They must be presented with an offer that is personalized and has a significant enough value to spur action.
The critical mass is fed-up with generic content and advertisements. Their frustration is triggering change on a massive scale. The entire World-Wide-Web is changing their marketing efforts, and the websites at the forefront of that change are providing their visitors with personalized, relevant content. In return, they are seeing a dramatic increase in sales and customer loyalty. But don’t just take my word for it (I’m trying to sell you something after all). As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you do doubt want to see an ROI on any investment. Facts and hard numbers drive decisions in business, not empty promises and unsubstantiated claims. If there is any doubt in your mind that what I’m telling you is not “fact”, Check Out This Study. If you weren’t convinced before, after reading this study on the power of personalized web content, there shouldn’t be a doubt left in your head. Just a couple of the many impressive highlights, for those who don’t have the time to read it:
- In-house marketers who are personalizing their web experiences and who are able to quantify the improvement see, on average, a 19% uplift in sales.
- 40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels.
- Leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities.
Those are some pretty significant numbers!
So, now you know what you need to do. Maybe you’ve decided your website needs a completely face-lift. Maybe you’re on the right track, but are considering a few minor updates. Maybe you need to start from scratch. Just keep in mind, as important as a website is to your business, a bad website can be equally as devastating. Hiring someone who knows what sells, and how to write compelling, engaging copy, that creates urgency in your reader, and is SEO friendly, is critical to the success of your website, and in-turn, your business. On the flip-side, content with an over abundance of keyword stuffing can be just as deadly to a website as a lack of SEO, and will sound amateur to today’s sophisticated internet consumer. With all the things to consider when creating website or developing effective online content strategy or social media campaign, doesn’t it just sound simpler to hire a professional? You may be tempted to have someone on your staff throw together an “About Us” section and write a blog post or two on services, slap your sales presentation up there, and call it a day. But I hope after reading this article, you understand the significance that well-crafted writing can have on your business. Writing persuasive, sale-oriented copy is different than any other type of writing, or any type of selling for that matter. To get the best results, it’s important to hire a professional. I can develop a content strategy and provide writing that is relevant, entertaining and engaging, while creating need and urgency from the reader, never taking the focus off sales. Maintaining an effective content strategy can be very time consuming, since content needs to be updated frequently to ensure your customers have a reason to return. Trusting this task to someone in house, who already has a lot on their plate can backfire. I can have the knowledge, experience and time to run an effective online content campaign for your website. I guarantee you, you will see an increase in site traffic. I will even put that guarantee in writing, just ask when you contact me!
As an entrepreneur, I know it takes a lot to let go and allow someone else to manage any aspect of your business. But as a fellow entrepreneur, with ten years experience as a writer, and six years experience in sales and technology, I know I can help your business grow! You can be involved as much, or as little as you like. Allow yourself the chance to be as successful as possible. I will help you attract new customers, increase the likelihood of repeat business and provide your current customers with added value. The benefits of your professionally updated website, with copy that sales-driven, compelling and designed to motivate and engage customers, as well as establish your brand and expertise, will more than justify the initial investment of my services. And with a guarantee in writing, it’s a fool proof risk. Improve your quality of life by giving your business the boost it needs. Contact me today for a quote on customized campaigns, on-going content strategies, one-time updates or individual articles.
I’m more than merely a writer. I will develop a customized content strategy for your website and online presence. I’m in it for the long-haul – I want to see you succeed.