When was the last time you read the words on your website? When people first arrive at your website, what do they see? What are the words they read? Good websites show a positive image that represents their product or service. Often it’s an image of happy “customers” – this works because products and services are really selling happy outcomes, not the actual product or service. Equally important to the image are the words that accompany the image. Let’s discuss why the right content matters for your website’s success.
The words (content) with the hero image need to do three things, in three seconds or less:
- Clearly identify exactly what the product or service is.
- Clearly explain how it’s going to change the life of the website visitor.
- Give a clear call to action – How to buy it, sign up, learn more, etc.
Did you notice what each of the 3 points have in common?
Yes, clarity. It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is or how amazing your website looks. If a visitor doesn’t know what you’re offering and why it’s going to make their life better, they quickly move on. A/B split testing has proven this time and time again.
Why Good Sales Copy is Critical
People have an ambivalent relationship with the word “sale” and “sales.” Many believe there is something inherently dishonest with the entire practice of sales. The truth is everyone is selling all the time. We sell ideas to one another when we take time to take care of our health, we’re selling an image of someone others can depend on. Sales don’t always have to be a monetary exchange. Selling is happening in many forms all of the time. But still, nobody wants to feel like they’re being “sold” to.
Good sales copy doesn’t feel “salesy.” Good sales copy follows time tested principles.
- Identify the customer’s problem
- Talk about why the problem hasn’t been solved yet
- Identify what is possible after the problem is solved – the benefits of solving the problem
- Explain what is different now – How your product or service can solve the problem
- Give a clear call to action – How the visitor can use your service or buy your product
Good sales copy is helpful – not pushy and not dishonest. It disarms potential customers with honesty and captures their business by providing an actual solution they can understand. The homepage of your website is the sales page for your business.
CRITICAL TIP: You’re not the hero. Your customer is the hero. You’re the guide that calls them to action on their journey. Many businesses fail by presenting themselves as the hero on their homepage.
Local On-Page SEO
The quality of your website’s content is always the most important consideration. Once you get that nailed down, you will want to invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to gain a competitive edge when people search for your industry on Google.
Having your content optimized with SEO keywords and keyword phrases simply help people find your website easier and help you rank higher on Google search results. If you have a website that checks all the boxes from a design and content standpoint, but people never see it, then it’s not doing you much good.
Let’s say your business provides XYZ services in Jacksonville, Florida. You would want to add the keyword phrase “Jacksonville XYZ services” or a number of different variations to your website pages. Each page on your website can be optimized with different keywords or relevant keyword phrases. You want to use these sparingly on each page, and in a way that doesn’t read like it’s forced. Google is now smart enough to figure out that if somebody types in “XYZ service Jacksonville” that a grammatically correct variation of the phrase on your website will match.
SEO is secondary to useful and well-written content, but it is crucial to helping people find you in the sea of businesses you’re competing with.
Today’s most competitive websites offer amazing design and user experience, paired with great content. The words on your website need to be relevant, useful, cliché’ free, and speak to your customer’s problem. Remember, people are not buying your products or services – they’re buying the happy outcome of using your products or services.
Writing good content, also known as copy, takes time, effort, and skills. If you’re too busy running your business and don’t have the time to learn the craft of copywriting, there a people who do it full-time for a living.
Writing is hard, but when you write every day, you develop a skill set – like anything. You can outsource your content writing to a professional copywriter and ensure your website is optimized to be your best sales partner.