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Steps to Writing Great Website Content

On the Internet, people are fast-paced, click-happy and easily bored. As a result, web site content has to be written very differently from a printed brochure. You can't just put up an online brochure and hope for the best.

Your marketing message is what grabs your prospect's attention, tells them how you can solve their problem, why they should trust you, and why they should choose to do business with you over and above any and all other choices they might have.

The content on your website needs to be captivating, riveting and engaging in order to keep visitors on your site, keep them coming back and sending others to your site. There are a number of things you need to do in order to achieve this.

  1. Determine your primary website objective.

    What is the purpose of your site? What do you want to achieve from your site? Define your objective and make it measurable.

  2. Identify your target market.

    "Who is my target market?" Once you have narrowed this down, then it's easier to write the message to that market. Every successful business has a target market whether they know it or not. Even the local dry cleaner has a target market: which could be all the professional people living within a five-mile radius of his store.

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  3. Identify the needs and problems of your target market.

    "What needs and problems do my target markets have? Every market has its frustrations and pains. Make your marketing message stand out by identifying their pain and suffering they feel as a result of their needs and problems. Identifying your market's pain will show that you understand and empathize with them.

  4. Provide solutions to your target market's needs and problems.

    "What is the solution that I have to offer my prospect? Identify all the benefits of your solution and how those benefits will improve the life of your prospect and solve the problems you identified.

    Solutions can also be presented by incorporating any combination of the following:

    • Reprint helpful articles from industry experts.
    • Offer a tip of the day.
    • Provide helpful industry news and links to industry resources that relate to your market's problems and needs.
    • Find articles that have nothing to do with your industry, then rewrite them for your industry.
    • Do case studies.
    • Get content from leading journals.

  5. Present the results you've produced for other people in the same situation.

    "What are the results that my solution has produced?" It's not enough just to tell people you have a solution; you have to prove to them that your solution works.

    People will believe other people who are similar to them that have achieved positive results. Provide testimonials from current and former customers and case studies of actual problems that were solved and the results that were achieved.

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  6. Explain what makes you different from your competitors.

    "How am I different from my competitors? Why would anyone visit my website?" Prospects are looking for you to communicate your differences. Those differences need to have perceived value that the prospect cares about.

  7. Create involvement

    You need to involve visitors in your website:

    • Offer them something good to read
    • Audio or video demonstration
    • Ask them a question
    • Focus on them
    • Shock or surprise them
    • Get them to join something - news group, a list, discussion group, a panel, an association
    • Offer them a report that solves their number one problem or need
    • Invite them to subscribe to a newsletter
    • Create a FREE offer - the free offer is what motivates people to act
    • Call for action - ask your visitor to do something:
    • Sign here to receive...
    • Click here to....
    • Ask the expert...
    • Add your comments...
    • Subscribe to ...
    • Get on our mailing list to be notified about...

  8. Hold-on Factor

    After you have their attention, you have to keep them interested by making sure your content...

    • Is interesting, compelling or unique
    • Is not boring or too technical
    • Pulls the reader in
    • Lists enough features to keep them interested
    • Solves more than 1 need/problem of prospects
    • Contains many subtitles and subheadings (one at every 2 -3 paragraphs)
    • Is focused on reader
    • Is fast paced (i.e. reader is able to scan the text, not read word for word)
    • Can be easily updated
    • Will make the reader return often and tell others about it

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  9. Length of Content

    There seems to be a debate about the short versus long copy on the Internet. While long copy is statistically proven to outperform short copy, many still say that long copy will never be read on the web, and that things online are short and fast.

    However, if the copy is too short, the following could result:

    1. A lower response rate due to the lack of information;
    2. A barrage of questions from confused or undecided prospects; or
    3. A higher level of returns since the product failed to meet expectations.

    If long copy yields poor results, it has to do with the copy and not the length. It's too boring. It didn't elevate the reader's level of interest, and it failed to keep them reading.

    To write engaging text, follow some of these simple rules:

    • Use mental imagery that help to visualize what you're trying to describe
    • Lace your copy with words that engage as many of the senses as possible
    • Use analogies, metaphors and examples, including case scenarios
    • Use a language to which prospects can relate
    • Be active, not passive by telling your readers what to do. Use action words and active verbs.

    For example, you're a financial consultant. Rather than, "Poor fiscal management leads to financial woes," say, "stop mediocre money management from sucking cash straight out of your wallet!"

    Instead of, "Let me consult you on how to maintain your balance sheet," say, "borrow my eyes to help you keep a steady finger on your financial pulse."

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13 Sales Pillars to Add to Every Website

  1. Push for a response - need to measure how your website is doing
  2. Capture names - of people who visit your site in order to market/sell to them
  3. Let customer tell you what works and what doesn't
  4. Be buyer focused - buyer only cares about himself, not about your logo, product, etc.
  5. Make the offer crystal clear which fulfills your primary objective
    ALWAYS ASK FOR THE ORDER

  6. Call for action - tell them what to do next in clear terms
  7. Create a strong response device - e.g. order forms, email address, contact info... make it easy to find and to use.. no more than 3 clicks to use it
  8. Use exiting copy - by identifying prospect's needs/problems, agitate those needs/problems, present solution to those problems
  9. Create urgency - by deadlines, limited supplies, fear of loss - will motivate those sitting on fence to buy
  10. Allow people to pay with credit cards
  11. Offer guarantees
  12. Send unsolicited emails to keep you in your customers' minds

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