Website Conversion – The “Secret” Ingredient That Makes Your Web Marketing Dollar Go Further

So many business owners focus solely on increasing website traffic – getting more visitors to their site – to the detriment of improving website conversion – converting more browsers into buyers.

The bottom line is that you’re wasting your money on traffic if your site’s doing a poor job of conversion. It’s like putting a massive ad in the Sunday paper and having hundreds of people visit your store, but not having enough salespeople to serve them. They just leave with a low opinion of your operation.

Improving website conversion is a good investment because it maximises the return from the visitors you already have. If you can improve your conversion rate – the percentage of visitors who become customers – from 1% to 2% you double sales!

And unlike traffic generation – such as SEO or AdWords, which you have to keep throwing money at – improving your site’s conversion is often a one-off expenditure. And it’s not terribly difficult to do either!

The folks at Buckingham Design Associates have written a great article outlining 8 Vital Website Conversion Tips for Turning Clicks into Sales. Their recommendations include easily implemented tactics such as:

  • Dishing up key content on your home page
  • Using your “about us” page to build trust
  • Using a FAQ to defuse common buyer objections
  • Getting your website content written BEFORE you hire a designer, and
  • Offering free content.

You must read this article before you increase your SEO or PPC budget.

A Double-Dose of David Ogilvy: The Web Content Roundup

WebContentRoundup21Here are this week’s top seven stories on web content and online marketing as voted by my Twitter followers:

1). How My Site Gets Tons of Traffic From Pinterest http://buff.ly/Waz81u

2). Copywriting Lessons from Apple in 1981. Still Fresh Today http://buff.ly/WClf70

3). Seven Ways Writers Can Build Online Authority with Google+ http://bit.ly/X5X2Kb Comprehensive guide by @demianfarnworth

4). 5 Research Studies that Will Drastically Affect How You Write Copy http://j.mp/ZzKiKt

5). How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy That Won’t Put You to Sleep http://bit.ly/15iO8L4

6). 10 Tips on Writing from David Ogilvy http://buff.ly/yuKR2B @brainpicker

7). A new found respect for David Ogilvy http://feedly.com/k/17ysHqu

For more of the freshest tips and tactics on web copywriting, SEO, social media and online marketing be sure to follow me on Twitter.

How Not to Interview a Prospective Copywriter

When hiring a copywriter it’s important to remember that it’s their job to create effective marketing and sales materials from the nuggets of source information you give them.

A give and take exists between clients and copywriters. So it’s important that you help the copywriter by providing as much information as you can from the very beginning.

The initial meeting between you and your copywriter is a crucial event where the writer will ask open-ended questions to get a feel for the best way to compose copy that will achieve your goals.

Lorraine Thompson of MarketCopywriterBlog.com created a humorous animation that shows the disconnect between a copywriter and marketing manager who don’t see eye to eye about the process of creating effective copy.

To avoid this situation and forge a good working relationship with your copywriter, it’s important to schedule adequate time to discuss the needs of your project. Be ready to provide detailed and helpful information about your company’s mission, goals, products and prospective customers.

These facts may seem mundane to you. But getting a clear look at the big picture will help your copywriter compose better copy, which will ultimately benefit you and your customers.

Avoiding Landing Page Dont’s

Though landing pages seem simple at first glance, there are some definite mistakes that business owners make when composing them.

Today we’ll take a brief look at a few of the 5 Landing Page Mistakes compiled by AdWords guru Howie Jacobson, of AskHowie.com.

One area where people often err in landing page composition is in the balance of information.

It can be very tempting to provide readers with massive amounts of text outlining the product or service from every angle. But in most cases, information overload tends to throw the reader off balance.

Likewise, if your website relies on vague headlines and doesn’t stick to the task of supplying the reader with purposeful information about the product, the chance that the reader will lose interest increases.

The goal of a well written landing page is to hook the reader with concise and compelling information, in order to get them eager to learn more. To best achieve this goal, Howie advises landing page architects to stick to a clear headline, followed with a streamlined list of features and benefits.

Avoiding Landing Page Dont’s

Though landing pages seem simple at first glance, there are some definite mistakes that business owners make when composing them.

Today we’ll take a brief look at a few of the 5 Landing Page Mistakes compiled by AdWords guru Howie Jacobson, of AskHowie.com.

One area where people often err in landing page composition is in the balance of information.

It can be very tempting to provide readers with massive amounts of text outlining the product or service from every angle. But in most cases, information overload tends to throw the reader off balance.

Likewise, if your website relies on vague headlines and doesn’t stick to the task of supplying the reader with purposeful information about the product, the chance that the reader will lose interest increases.

The goal of a well written landing page is to hook the reader with concise and compelling information, in order to get them eager to learn more. To best achieve this goal, Howie advises landing page architects to stick to a clear headline, followed with a streamlined list of features and benefits.

How to Write Good Copy Quickly

There are days when even the most creative and experienced marketing professionals have trouble getting their initial ideas and concepts onto paper. Which can cause frustration, as well as a massive loss of productivity.

For the most effective sales materials, it’s much easier to edit badly written or incomplete text than wrestle with a blank page. So it’s best to not focus on perfection at first, in order to get something down that can be improved upon later.

Building on this rationale, copywriting virtuoso Michael Fortin blogged about the 60-Minute Naked Truth Salesletter Formula that he learned from information marketer Dean Jackson.

Start by jotting a few notes to the eventual reader of the letter and tell them some of the main reasons you’re writing to them.

Next, share with them a list of reasons this product will be beneficial to them.

Follow this list with a list of questions or objections they may have concerning purchasing the product, along with answers to those questions or objections.

Now comes the point where you must tell the customer about the product guarantee or the opportunity to purchase without a risk.

Follow the guarantee with a call to action, along with clear details of what they will receive once they take action.

Next, build a sense of urgency, giving the customer a reason to purchase soon, such as limited quantities or a special sale time frame.

Finally, end with some testimonials from existing customers.

Each of the notes you take will need additional refining to make the most impact. But following this formula makes it very simple to pen all of the essential elements of a sales letter, brochure or website, in an hour or less.

Copywriting Video of the Week: How to Spot SEO Copywriting B.S.

As you know, the internet is overloaded with advice – some great, some absolutely worthless. So when it comes to an “expert” SEO tip, how can you separate the legit from the B.S.?

In a recent video posted at the Success Works blog, Heather Lloyd-Martin gives us a few great pointers on finding sound information amongst all the junk. Some key tips:

  • Consider your source. If you know nothing about the person making the claim, treat the advice with a bit of scepticism.
  • Find out whether other experts back up the information being touted. If not, proceed with caution.

Take a look:

Effective Copy Placement for Websites

Have you ever wondered how your website design affects the readability and effectiveness of your content? Well you should have, because when it comes to marketing online it’s the words that do the heavy lifting.

Recently Smashing Magazine’s Dimitry Fadeyev compiled a list of 10 Useful Usability Findings and Guidelines. Here are 3 guidelines to help your content work harder:

Don’t Assume Readers Will Scroll

Because “77% of visitors won’t scroll” below the fold, present your most pertinent information in the upper part of the page. This includes the website name, a call to action and specific details about how your website will be valuable to the reader.

White Space Improves Comprehension

Even the most dazzling copy will fail to make an impact if it’s crammed into an intimidating layout. Think big blocks of text.

Fadeyev references a 2004 study to suggest that “good use of white space between paragraphs and in the left and right margins increases comprehension by almost 20%.” So give your readers the best user experience by being generous with white space.

Good Product Descriptions Increase Sales

It’s not a great idea to leave your product images to do the whole job of closing the sale. Help buyers out with brief, easy to comprehend product descriptions and specs. To quote: “Research shows that poor product information accounts for around 8% of usability problems and even 10% of user failure (i.e. the user gives up and leaves the website).”

But don’t go overboard with descriptive text. And keeping the white space rules in mind, also make liberal use of to-the-point headings and subheadings.