Almost every business knows that a website is their most important marketing tool. It is the place people go when they are considering doing business with you. Your website should be as attention grabbing, well written, informative, and motivational as you can possibly make it.
Here’s the problem. More than seven out of ten websites fall woefully short of these goals. They talk about themselves, not the needs of their customers. They miss – often spectacularly – one or more of the Four Key Elements of successful website marketing. It’s almost like the idea of “getting a website up” is more important than “getting a website right”!
The Four Key Elements Of A Great Website
1. The First Few Seconds: Grab and keep the readers’ attention
This includes the use of HEADLINES and IMAGES.
Very few small business sites contain an interesting headline on every page – a headline that, in two seconds flat, makes the reader to want to learn more (thus read further and stay on the site longer). Here’s a quick fact to remember: Headlines are read 5 times more than body copy.
Remember: the requirements of online web copywriting for headlines and images are very similar to writing for print.
· Images should be relevant to your product or service. An irrelevant image will create questions, doubt and resentment in the minds of your reader.
· Caption your photos whenever possible. (People read captions before they read the copy.)
· Keep content clear, concise and conversational.
2. What’s In It For Me?: Communicate significant benefits
It’s not enough to list all the things you do; you must attach a desired customer BENEFIT to each feature (e.g. With our innovative, non-abrasive technology your car won’t get micro-scratches during the washing process).
3. Educate Your Reader: Help them make an informed buying decision
Tell them the most critical things they should know before doing business in your industry. (e.g. “Non-filtered water can be hard on your car’s finish over time. Only 18% of car washes join us in filtering and recycling our water.”)
4. Grease The Skids: Make it easy to do business with you
· Include OFFERS for “Now Buyers” ($4 Off our Gold level service) and “Future Buyers” (download our Free “Guide To Maintaining Your Car’s Finish”).
· Also include RISK REDUCERS like “All washes come with a 48 hour Rain Check” or “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed!”
Be Customer-Centered, Not Self-Centered
Way too many websites are what I call “How Great We Art” ego trips. Once you wrap your mind around the importance of making your website Customer-Centered rather than Company-Centered and include the four key elements, you’re on your way to developing a killer website and increasing sales.
Do It Yourself? – Or Get Professional Help?
The decision whether to write your own website copy, leave it to the web designer or engage a professional copywriter service is a major one.
· Are you a professional copywriter? If not, why would you choose to spend your time on something others could do better and quicker?
· Web designers know technology and, perhaps, graphic art. They are not copywriters. I hire web designers in my business and other web designers have hired me to write copy for them.
· A professional copywriter and brand strategy consultant can be the best marketing investment you ever make.