It's true that the design of your sales website is crucial, but it's actually the words that do the real selling and help you stand out in the crowd. It's not enough to simply post pictures of your products and a "Buy Here" button or have some eye-catching graphics, and hope that's enough.
So for that reason alone you have to focus on your site's content. You want your writing to be attention grabbing, compelling and persuasive – and lead to a sale or sign up.
1. Build trust with words
Your content needs to build trust with your potential customers. Simply describing your products and showing a gallery of product images will not build the rapport that is so important if you want to turn browsers into buyers.
You create the rapport by providing valuable and useful content that isn't always directly linked to purchasing. This includes an "About Us" page, a list of frequently asked questions, shipping and returns policies, a contact page that contains more than just a contact form.
And don't forget that having a blog is a great way for your customers to obtain information not just about your business niche but the products too. It's a vital forum for offering updates and content, and you can also interact with your visitors, answering questions and comments.
This type of content should be always be low-sell – you aren't pressuring anyone to buy from you; instead you are building relationships and contacts. Writing useful content builds people's confidence in your company, and your products and services.
2. Be kind to your readers' eyes
We read online text differently to printed material. It's far easier to develop eyestrain when reading off a screen, so be kind to your customers' eyes:
· Don't use light text on a dark background
· Don't use a font size smaller than 12
· Use a sans serif font like Arial and Courier
· Use short paragraphs with plenty of white space
· Don't use a jazzy clash of colors – stick to two or three.
Your content could be amazing, but if it's not presented well or is difficult to read, your visitors won't hang around. So make it easy for them to read and enjoy your content.
3. Let your readers tell you what they want
If you're not sure what content works the best for your site, ask your customers. Social media is a godsend here. It gives you the perfect platform to interact with your readers, conduct surveys, check their comments and ask questions.
It's also a great way to obtain feedback fast, which means you can get to work more quickly on content updates or changes.
So, make sure you have a strong social media presence and use it – it can give you plenty of feedback and marketing leverage – for free.
4. Never repeat content word for word
We all get stuck for words sometimes, but never ever repeat content you've written previously. Google hates lazy writers who do this and could punish their businesses by battering them down the search engines rankings.
By all mean use older content in new ways, and repeat your message in different ways, but don't do your customers a disservice by rehashing old content word for word. They come to you for new information and new angles, not boring words that are simply there to fill up space on a page.
Product descriptions will probably need repeated information – this is likely unavoidable, but don't use information that's on your Home page on your About Us page too. Write something new – don't bore your readers. If you find you are repeating your content too much, you need to plan your pages more carefully.
5. Use some SEO tactics
You don't need to know masses about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to put it to very good use on your website.
The act of writing good quality, useful content is one of the best ways to increase your SEO. Google loves good content, so the more you produce, the more likely you are to rise in the search engines. The adage "content is king" is truer than ever. Here's what you can also do to improve your SEO:
· Use keywords – these help your visitors find you more easily online. So, for example, if you're a reflexologist in Denver, Colorado, you need to use this as the basis of your keywords, such as "reflexologist Colorado", "reflexologist Denver", "reflexologist pregnancy", "reflexologist stress relief", etc.
Use your keywords in your content – but not so much that it affects the flow of your text. Google will be able to tell if you are "stuffing" your content with keywords.
· Add your site to Google's index – this is one of the easiest ways to improve your site's SEO. By adding your site details to Google's index, you let them know you exist out there in cyber space.
· Include a Meta description – this is the summary text that appears below your company name and web address on the search engine pages. It gives visitors a tantalizing snippet of what your site is all about, so choose your words wisely. It could make the difference between encouraging someone to click on your link, or someone else's…
· Don't forget the alt texts – this stands for alternative texts. The alt text is the name you give your uploaded images on your site. The search engines cannot read images, so it's vital you name all your images to improve your SEO.
For example, if you have an image of feet on your reflexology site, the alt text could read: "reflexologist in Denver aids stress relief".
6. Be patient
Making your website content stand out doesn't happen overnight. It takes time to build up great content and trust with your readers. Patience is key.
Be consistent with updating your site and social media accounts. Communicate with your readers regularly and continue to provide great content.
It takes many weeks and months to rise up the search engines rankings and get noticed, but it's worth the effort in terms of your business's ongoing success.
Kay Hutchings-Olsson is a direct-response copywriter at KHO Copywriting. She specializes in writing copy for the self-help and natural health markets, and believes the best way to help others is to help yourself. To find out more, visit her website at http://www.khocopywriting.com