You probably already know that you need an online presence to be competitive these days. You likely use online directories, such as ICN Gateway, or social media to generate leads. But if you are among the 50 per cent of Australian small and medium businesses that don’t have your own website, you’re leaving money on the table. And even if you do have a website, do you know what you need to do to make sure it attracts visitors and sends them through your sales funnel?
Whether you offer a product or a service, there are six basic rules of website content that will help attract visitors and convert them to clients or customers.
Search Engine Optimisation
An optimised website means Google will reward you with a higher ranking, and the higher the ranking on google, the more likely it is your site will attract visitors. Good SEO has three elements:
- technical (how your site is developed)
- backlinks (how many and what other websites point to your site)
- content (the words and images on your site).
And, as they say, content is king! It’s important that each page of your site has a single focus and that you include target keywords (ie: heavy machinery maintenance) in your URL, headings, image and title tags and any meta data (your developer or content writer should be able to help you with this). If you only service one area, make sure you include it in any long-tail keywords (ie heavy machinery maintenance Riverina). This basic SEO strategy also works well for online directories and social media posts.
It’s not about you
One thing many small and medium business owners forget when writing their website content is that they are not necessarily their target audience. It’s important your content speaks to that audience. Don’t write from your perspective – you’ll get better traction writing from the perspective of your ideal customer. Your website content needs to concentrate on how you your service or product can address the pain points of the reader. Yes, even your “About Us” page. So, use the words “you” and “your” more than “me” and “our”.
Talk about benefits, not features
Sorry to bring bad news, but your audience doesn’t really care what your products dimensions or specs are. They want to know how those specs solve their problem. For example, a feature of your industrial vacuum cleaner might be impressively strong suction, long battery life, reliability and a sweeping path of 1150 mm. But the user is not impressed by this, they want to know that it makes their job easier and quicker, there’s less downtime to charge or change batteries and a reduced need for maintenance.
Avoid jargon and cliches
Your website is no place for jargon, cliches or industry acronyms. Studies show people spend less than 10 seconds on a single webpage before either moving to another page or leaving forever. This means you need to grab their attention and drive them through your sales funnel. Jargon, acronyms and clichés will do the opposite. Show your web copy to someone outside your industry and see if they understand what you want them to do.
Website content needs to be in plain English. This means avoiding big words when small ones will do, using shorter sentences and writing in active voice. Just because your target audience is might be someone in a related industry, it doesn’t mean they use all the same jargon, clichés and acronyms.
Make it easy to scan
People scan, rather than read, web copy. Make it easier for them to do this – and still move through your funnel – with clever use of bullets, heading and white spaces. And dont forget to include your keywords for SEO. Moving off the topic of content for a minute, it’s best to stick to a simple colour palette and keeping to 2-3 fonts throughout your site. A good rule of thumb is to use a serif font for headings, sans serif for text, and italics for captions, testimonials and other extras.
Tell the visitor what to do
Before starting any content, first decide exactly where you want to lead your audience when they land on your site? Do you want them to contact you? Go to the shopping cart and make a purchase? Book an appointment? This is called a call to action (CTA), and whatever it is – make it clear. Your CTA should be on every single website page. You have to lead the horse to water AND make it drink.
Unlike directories and social media, you own your website. Which makes it one of the the most valuable weapons in your marketing arsenal. A good website will not only deliver customers while you sleep, it can also improve brand recognition and put you one step ahead of your competitors.
Who can help me?
IONYX, a strategic partner of ICN, is an Australian based digital agency with a background helping businesses improve their digital visibility and capability.
75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design. Too many websites just serve as a “www” to put on your business card.
Your digital visibility serves as a window into the way a company operates. But credibility is also driven through content, and content should always go hand in hand with design.
IONYX supports businesses throughout their digital journey from capability statement explaining what your business does to a full custom website with marketing automation to assist in delivering leads.
Please get in contact to review your current digital presence and how we can help firstname.lastname@example.org