Websites are only as good as the content they contain. Unfortunately, too many companies and website developers don’t focus on website content that is best designed to persuade readers to make the purchase.
Instead, you’ll see blocky, endless content that’s not suitable for selling (whether products, services, or information) on the Web. If you’re struggling to get conversions through your website, the problem might well be your content.
Here’s a list of effective changes you might want to instill.
- Provide Actionable Steps
This happens all the time on websites: Readers come across an interesting piece of content, read it, and put it in their back pocket. They don’t take action or engage any further.
Sometimes, they don’t engage because the content doesn’t apply to a current problem, but all too often, the site hasn’t advised them what to do about the content. Providing actionable steps will improve engagement and inspire more purchasing decisions.
Consider this law office website as an example. The firm introduces a service, then describes a series of steps the reader should take after digesting the content.
It’s a great way to remind visitors of the effectiveness of action if the content has provided clear value to them.
- Make It Easy to Read
When was the last time you read an online article word for word? If you’re like most people, you probably can’t remember the last time.
“[What most web visitors do] is glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for,” says Steve Krug, author of the blog Advanced Common Sense.
You mustn’t expect visitors to read every single word of your content. In fact, only about 16 percent of people read web pages word for word, according to the Nielson Norman Group.
At the end of their scan, visitors should have a clear view of the content’s value without having absorbed each word. Since this what you can expect, here are a few things you can do to make your content easier to scan:
- Use subheadings for each section.
- Employ numbered or bulleted lists.
- Keep paragraphs to no more than four lines.
- Use block quote formatting to highlight vital points.
- Include colorful call-to-action buttons to draw the reader’s attention to the next step.
- Leave jargon out of the equation.
- Avoid repetition when you can.
- Insert images and other visuals to break up the text.
As you make your content easier to read, you’ll gain more views and generate more engagement as a result.
- Put Contact Info and CTA Buttons on Every Page
Most website visitors don’t start a search for your services on your homepage. They’ll look for a certain topic on Google, and if you have relevant content, the search engine directs them to an internal page – typically, a landing page or blog post.
For that reason, you need to treat every page as if it might receive unexpected visitors at any time. Include contact information and call-to-action buttons on each page to invite engagement by whoever shows up.
- Get Creative with Visuals
Visuals both capture attention and drive engagement when they’re used well. They’ve become a standard in website and content creation. Visuals can make all the difference in persuading web visitors to make a move.
“We are visual creatures,” explains Nadine Hanfi, CEO and founder of We Are Visual. “Our brains are designed to process visual information much faster and more efficiently than any other form of information, be it auditory or sensory. Three in four of the neurons in our cerebral cortex are dedicated to processing visual information.”
Try to use images in multiple forms throughout your content. Photographs are an easy go-to, but you might also employ videos, infographics, graphs and charts, memes, gifs, and other visual forms of persuasion.
“Images are also very powerful tools for capturing attention and evoking emotion,” Hanfi adds. “So effectively pairing verbal and visual information in a presentation can enhance understanding, recall and believability. As the sayings go, ‘seeing is believing’ and ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ ”
- Write Strong Headlines
Research from Copyblogger showed that 80 percent of website visitors will read the headline, but only 20 percent will proceed to the rest. This demonstrates the value of writing good headlines.
According to Niel Patel of KISSMetrics, the best headlines should evoke some kind of emotion in your readers. It might make them curious, appeal to their insecurities, or suggest a solution to a serious problem.
“Take time with your headlines,” Patel says. “If possible, make a few and select which one you like best. Don’t skim over them. They are the first thing people read, and they are the basis those people use to decide if they want to read your article or not.”
A lot goes into creating more persuasive content, but these five actionable tips are a great place to start. Take your time to create content that’s as compelling and valuable as you know your company is.