Some days I feel like the queen of the elementary concept, and today is no different.
As I was thinking about how to increase website conversion as part of an internet marketing strategy I kept thinking about websites I visit that simply bore me. Beyond the look and feel, I am a word person, a content person. I care about not only how a website looks, but what it says and how it says it. I know that some people care more about if it looks interesting, but that is just a starting place for me. I can forgive a less artistic website for one that has well written copy.
One of the things that brings me joy in life is to see a well turned phrase, a way of saying something that makes it stand out. That isn’t to suggest I’m a poet. I’m far from it. In fact I often don’t understand poetry at all. But a well-placed phrase that causes me to pause and ponder is a gift indeed.
I read one such phrase last night in a book I have picked up for a second time called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She says a lot of things that are too poetic for me, but this one phrase caught my attention.
“I am bell and He is sure wind, and He moves and I am rung…” (pg. 60)
The idea of someone impacting her could have been said in a number of more straightforward ways, but she said it like this and it caught my attention. What does that have to do with methodologies to increase website conversion you ask? Simply this: Well written copy is not easy to find on websites these days because most web designers and business people aren’t great copy writers.
Many believe that all a website needs to do is provide the facts, in a clean consistent way. I disagree. I have worked on websites for clients who insist they write their own copy without our input. Often they are engineers or software designers who have no time or tolerance for anything but the facts. The problem is that their audience, the potential clients they are trying to reach out there come with varying personalities. To be sure, some are just like the engineers and want just the facts, but some are not. Some of you might remember Dragnet’s Joe Friday who was famous for asking for “Just the facts, ma’am.”
Despite a love for Jack Webb’s acting, the fact is that many care about more than the facts.
Even more importantly, the facts of your product or service are typically what we call “features” and they give most of us a ton of information we don’t care about at all.
The typical consumer wants to know what is in it for them long before they care a whit about how you do what you do. If they can’t see what you do making a difference in their own lives or their company, then they will simply move on to someone who is communicating more clearly to their needs. Providing compelling marketing copy that catches interest is an important part of keeping them on your site long enough to have a chance to increase website conversion.
In many ways, your home page should be a bit like your elevator pitch. If you have 30 seconds in an elevator to get someone’s attention and “pitch” your company, you have about 5-10 seconds on your website. What does your prospective customer see when they arrive? Is it about you or about them? Is it clear what you can do for them? Does it lead them to want to find out more?
I have had the privilege of watching our staff do a lot of writing about a lot of subjects over the past months as we provide internet marketing services to clients. Some of the subjects we have to work with are pretty dull by nature. How exciting can medical advice or advice for homeowners or board members really be? But I have seen some creative and great copy come out of my staff that makes me believe that with enough care and attention, anything can be made interesting. I know it sounds like I am “self-promoting” in some ways and maybe I am, but as someone who cares about words, concepts and solid communication, it is great to be on a team that cares too. Being warm and professional, clear yet personable, and writing to capture attention and draw you in further is significant if we want to increase website conversion for our clients.
So, my advice for today: Be willing to hire someone who has writing skills to review your website. If it is in your internet marketing strategy to work to increase website conversion, it can’t be just about great graphic design, it also has to be about what you say and how you say it. There are a lot of words out there in the world wide web. Do what you can to help yours stand out.