Tag: call to action

The 3 Questions Your Website Content Must Answer

It’s not uncommon to spend a good amount of time and money developing a website that looks crisp and modern and functions well. And those things are super important.

When a prospect comes to your website, it’s what’s inside that counts. And the thing your website content must do is answer their need.

 

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Your prospects may have many questions for you. But when they get to your website, it comes down to three fundamental questions:

  1. Can you help me?
  2. Can I trust you?
  3. Now What?

 

These are the questions you need to answer beyond a doubt, and the first two quickly. Because with just a click, that prospect could be gone for good. According to recent studies on attention span, you have about 8 seconds. (Which is one second less than a gold fish, by the way.)

The Home Page

Your home page answers the first question, “Can you help me?” It has to tell the reader, “Yes, this is where you belong, and I can definitely help you”. This page is NOT about you! Your visitor is searching for something that will solve their problem and/or make their life better in some way. They didn’t come to read your brag-sheet.

Make your home page about the prospect. State the problem they came to resolve, and show them you have the solution.

This is your first impression moment. Don’t blow it. It only takes one click to leave your website — forever.

The About Page

Your About page, or Biography, will tell your prospect who you are. This is where you talk about yourself.

But consider that the visitor is STILL looking out for themselves. You must make it clear why you are the right person/business/coach for them. Show how you are uniquely qualified to solve their problem.

Their primary concern is, “I’m going to be working closely with this person. Are we going to get along? Is their personality a good fit with mine? Can I trust them?”

Now, it’ll be up to them to decide if they like you or not. It’s your job to provide an honest view of yourself. (A little social proof  wouldn’t hurt either.)

It is crucial to be your true self here. Your prospects need to decide for themselves if they like and trust you. There’s no benefit in putting up a false front when you’re ultimately going to be working one-on-one with this person. If they discover you’re a fake they’ll feel betrayed. Trust is the key to your success.

Don’t be concerned with those that don’t like you for who you really are. You wouldn’t want to work with them anyway, would you? Of course not.

First or Third?

Whether you write your website content in first-person or third is up to you. I’ve found no clear data showing one is better than the other. Often it depends on the type of business.

Websites written in third-person give the impression of a bigger organization. It works well for companies with staff. Bios written in third-person carry a voice of authority. (And it can be a little easier to brag about yourself in third-person, too.)

My feelings are that the more personal the service you offer, the more likely someone will be looking for a personal connection, like talking to a friend. It’s perfectly fine to have both, such as first-person on the Home Page and third-person on the Bio or About Page. Experiment to see which seems a better fit.

That Last Question

Although the first two questions are mandatory in order to capture attention, there is one more that is crucial. Without this piece, you may still lose the prospect.

“What do I do now?”

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The Call To Action, or CTA, is vital in moving the prospect from curious-to-client. You must tell them what to do next.

Whether you want them to sign up for your mailing list, or simply to give you a call, you must tell them so clearly. Perhaps there’s another page of your website you want to move them to. Say so and provide the link. Confusion causes inaction.

Never assume someone visiting your website is familiar with what you do or how you do it. Provide what they need to know, in simple, concise language, and you will win their trust, and hopefully their business.

 

Cindy White is a freelance copywriter specializing in helping businesses reach their target markets for increased sales and improved client relations through compelling, well-crafted copy. Initial consultations are always free of charge. 

7 Ways To Avoid Frustrating Your Prospect

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Are you accidentally frustrating your prospects with the wrong words?

Back when I worked in the banking world, I constantly had to paddle my way through a muddy river of acronyms and corporate lingo. It was like a mystery decipher game. Where was my decoder ring?

I always suspected that somebody got paid a lot of money to make up that nonsense. I bet they felt pretty smart. The problem was, it didn’t help make anyone more productive or successful. Kind of the opposite, actually.

Hey, guess what. Industry-speak doesn’t always work with your employees (evident by the eye rolling), and it never works on your customers. It’s not that they aren’t smart enough. On the contrary. It’s just that they’re busy knowing their own business. Don’t make them learn yours.

“Your written content is only useful if it communicates its desired message to the intended audience.”

Never assume that others understand your business language.

Those code words that are meant to shortcut communications within your industry are a foreign language to everyone else. There are two scenarios:

  1. You make them feel stupid and they choose not to do business with you.
  2. They pretend they know what you’re talking about and you end up with misunderstandings.

Your written content is only useful if it communicates its desired message to the intended audience. A message misunderstood is a waste of time and resources, and can create frustration. Frustration is the last thing you want to create! It neither motivates staff, nor sells your product.

When creating written content, always keep the following tips in mind:
  1. Spell it out. Avoid using acronyms or “lingo” until you’ve spelled out the full meaning at least once. And only use it if necessary.
  2. Talk to me like I’m 5. Or at least like I’m a fifth grader. Don’t talk down to people, but use words that are easy to read and understand. One measurement often used by copywriters is something called the Flesch-Kincaid (FK) Score. It’s a tool used to measure readability of a written piece, expressed as a grade level. Personally I seldom use it, because I naturally write at a fifth grade level. Remember, readability is an important key to understanding the message.
  3. Be a good friend. Keep a conversational tone and your prospect will see you as someone that understands them and has their best interest at heart. Be kind and helpful in order to build the trust that bridges your reader from prospect to customer.
  4. Use shorter sentences. Long, run on sentences, although they may contain much valuable information, can sometimes lose the attention of, or become a burden to, the busy, distracted reader, thereby losing hope of your message making its intended impact. In other words, Long sentences are burdensome. To make your point, keep it short.
  5. Write for the skimmers. The truth is, most people don’t actually read, they scan. The headline is the first, and most important element. Make it awesome. After that, subheads, followed by the summary at the bottom. If they see value in that much, they’ll hopefully go back and read the rest. Make it worth their time.
  6. Tell me what I need to know. Show your reader they’ve come to the right place. To overload your reader with unsolicited information can cause a mental road block (unless it’s engaging and entertaining, of course). Give the necessary information with a link to further investigate as desired.
  7. Tell me what to do. Your goal is to cause an action step. Click here, buy now, fill out this form, pick up the phone, etc. Just say so. Any time your reader is unsure, the default will be to do nothing.

Your message should tell your prospect that you can help fill a need, solve a problem, and/or bring relief from some pain and frustration they have. Nobody needs additional frustration in their lives, nor do they like to feel stupid. Just tell them what they need to know and what to do next.

Most importantly, your message must provide value to the reader, and to do that, you must speak their language, not yours. 

So if you need help with defining and crafting your messaging or with any marketing materials, PICK UP THE PHONE.  Seriously though, I’d love to talk to you about your needs, so call me. Or send me a message here.

 

Cindy White is a freelance copywriter specializing in helping businesses reach their target markets for increased sales and improved client relations through compelling, well-crafted copy. Initial consultations are always free of charge. 

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