Most people obsess over the wrong things on their website. They worry too much about the design or the colours, or “can you move that button a little to the left?”
Don’t get us wrong, that stuff is important. But it’s not as important as the words and pictures. Because it’s the content that connects with people and persuades them that yours is the business to choose.
One of the worst marketing mistakes you can make is to assume that your clients and prospects have the same knowledge as you.
It’s the content that almost entirely dictates whether or not you win their business so make sure you knowledgeably answer any potential questions they may have within your page copy.
You need to talk to their heart, not their brain
People make buying decisions in two distinctive ways – with their brain or with their heart.
The brain makes very cold, logical decisions. It picks what people need. According to the brain, you need a car, so you should choose that £2,000 Ford Focus.
The heart, however, makes warm, complicated, emotional decisions. It picks what people want. According to the heart, you need a car but you want luxury, style, comfort and a status symbol, so you should buy that £28,000 Audi.
When you understand this and get it right, you appeal mostly to the heart, but also give the brain lots of reasons to help justify the purchase.
You’re good at what you do, right? You know that hundreds more people would be better to trust you rather than one of your competitors? So get your marketing in order and influence those people through their hearts, not their brains.
It’s businesses with the greatest marketing skills that win.
Make it about them not you
The trick is to write your website content in a way which appeals directly to your potential clients. Put yourself in their shoes, and think about what they want from your business, what can you do for them?
What they don’t want to know are all the dull things that most companies put on their website:
“We’ve been in business since 1963”. So what?
“We have more than 84 years of combined clinical excellence”. And that affects me… how?
Instead of “me me me”, make it “you you you”. Reposition the facts about your company so that they seem more relevant to the people reading them
Sell me the sizzle, not the sausage
When you stay in a hotel and come down to breakfast, you smell sausages cooking in the kitchen. Sniff, sniff – they smell AMAZING!
You can hear them sizzling in the pan. It makes your stomach rumble and your mouth water. Which is why you happily hand over £12.95 for a fry-up.
If the waiter was to say to you, in a monotone voice: “Today we’re serving a collagen casing full of grated pig and rusk”… well, you’re less likely to want sausages, aren’t you?
Because no-one buys the sausage. They buy the sizzle.
Stop selling sausages on your website. You have a list of services? Who cares? A service is a sausage, sell me the sizzle. Tell me the amazing ways in which your company’s products or services can benefit me.
Make it personal and delete the drizzle
Somewhere over the last couple of decades, it’s become the norm to be ‘professional’ on your website. To write in an odd Victorian style, using nonsensical sentences that don’t actually convey any information: “Here at “XYZ” we continually strive to offer the greatest levels of service and make your problems our own.”
This is called drizzle. Any time another company could copy the content and put it on their website, replacing a few key facts, you know you’ve got generic, boring content that people don’t read. If they don’t read it, it can’t influence them.
The antidote to drizzle is making it personal. Tell me about you and your team. Not the boring stuff, like when you qualified. But tell me why you’re all there, why you care and why you’re the right person for me to engage in a new business relationship with!
Take your back story – what you tell clients when they ask about you – and embellish it. Pull out the interesting things and make them even more interesting. Forget the stuff that doesn’t enhance your story.
You’re right to be worried that this is too “me me me” – but people buy from people (especially passionate professionals), and they are a lot more likely to buy from you if they feel that they know you. Picking the right images is a critical part of this.
Convenience factors and perceived expertise
So people buy with their hearts and justify with their brains. Therefore you need to give their brains more reasons to pick you.
The easiest of these are known as convenience factors.
Most people are inherently lazy, and will pick the option that’s easiest for them. Highlight the factors that make you convenient.
Maybe you’ve got your own car park, easy parking or offer free delivery. Maybe you’re opening earlier or later than others. Maybe it’s weekend opening. Maybe you do private appointments late at night.
Pull out all of the convenience factors and highlight them on your home page. They are as important as your personal story.
You should also highlight perceived expertise and specialities. I say perceived, because you’re talking to uneducated buyers who don’t fully understand your products and services.
And make sure you get the structure right
There is an old acronym for marketing that is still highly relevant today, AIDA:
You must grab their attention quickly. On a website, you have about two to three seconds to do this. This is typically done with a headline. But “Welcome to XYZ” doesn’t cut it any more. Your headline needs to be engaging and relevant. They need to know that they’ve found the business they’ve been looking for.
Develop their interest in you and what you do.
Develop their desire to be a client.
Tell them how to take action. How do they register their interest? Buy a product? Download some content? Sign up to a newsletter?
If content for your website is acting as a hurdle or you’re interested to create new and effective content for your website, get in touch with the Scenicus team today!