Why Every Web Page is a Home Page

What’s the difference between reading a novel and a website?

When someone reads a novel they start at page 1, then read page 2, and so on, until they get to the end. It’s a linear process.

But most people start reading a website on the page they arrived at from clicking a link on Google. They can then read the web pages in any order. It’s random access.

So you must consider every page on your website to be a “home page” whose job is to maintain the searcher’s attention and keep them clicking deeper into your site.

This concept was expressed brilliantly by Mitch Joel on his blog

To quote:

The premise is simple: every page of your Website must now be considered a homepage. The hours spent tinkering on your current homepage needs to shift into ensuring that every page is a brilliant representation for the keywords and external links that drove someone to your site.

Fewer and fewer consumers are coming in via the homepage. They could also care less about what your company does or the other products you sell. They were searching for something specific, and if it’s not there after they’ve clicked on a search result link, they’re you’re roadkill on the information super highway.

These days there’s really no excuse for not having Google Analytics on your site (it’s free) so you can see where your website is leaking customers.

Blandvertising and the Power of “Nice”: The Web Content Roundup

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

1). Social Signals & Search & Reading the Tea Leaves http://bit.ly/YC23G5

2). How to Align your Website with your Business http://bit.ly/VRryXe

3). How to Boost Your Business with the Power of “Nice” http://buff.ly/WChRJs

4). Blandvertising: How to move beyond wallpaper copywriting (with case study) http://bit.ly/VRrAhR

5). Two Ways to Start a Conversation with Your WebContent http://buff.ly/Xapckg

6). 7 Tips for Making Your Blog a Content Marketing Magnet http://bit.ly/X7KRvp

7). 34 Tools to Help You Create Better Content From Start to Finish (and Beyond) http://buff.ly/14GmffQ If you love apps…

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

The Top Danger to Online Marketing

In a recent blog post, Copyblogger Media co-founder and CMO Sonia Simone has presented a fascinating case on the danger of digital sharecropping. Too many businesses are fully dependent on secondary sites, and when those companies are fickle or greedy – or when they disappear altogether – dependent businesses will suffer.

The point is, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other social media are great tools in your arsenal. But they are just that – tools. Simone wisely promotes focusing on assets that you can control – your own site, email list and reputation – and keeping “rented” third-party sites in proper perspective.

Check out her complete post on digital sharecropping here: The Most Dangerous Threat to your Online Marketing Efforts

Conversion Optimisation & Facebook Mistakes: The Web Content Roundup

WebContentRoundup21 (1)This week in The Web Content Roundup:

  • Conversion Optimisation 101: Ad Continuity/Scent
  • 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends
  • Facebook Mistakes

If you want more useful links on on creating effective web content follow @thatcontentguy on Twitter.

Conversion Optimisation 101: Ad Continuity/Scent

This is a must-read article for anyone who uses AdWords. Using the metaphor of animals tracking scent, Bryan Eisenberg explains why keyword, ad and landing page mismatches are the death knell of AdWords campaigns.

2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends

This annual research report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs shows B2B content marketers are doing more but still not feeling confident that their tactics are effective.

Facebook Mistakes

The head of social media at whitegoods retailer Appliances Online, David Olsen, shows you how to avoid common Facebook stuff-ups. He reminds us Facebook – like any social media network – is not a silver bullet that will save an underperforming business.

The Curse of Filler Website Content

Dumper (1)Does your website look great, but customers aren’t picking up the phone to make an enquiry? Your website content is probably the culprit.

Web content is rarely neutral. It’s either building value or it’s eroding it.

Here’s how to understand the difference between “filler” content and high quality content, and why you’ll want to purge the latter from your site.

High-quality content satisfies customers, makes your business look great and builds your brand. Low-quality, filler content frustrates customers, wastes their time and erodes brand equity.

Often a business will spend thousands of dollars on their web design and then get a junior staff member to write the content. Amateur content makes your business look amateurish.

Filler content includes content that’s badly written, with grammatical or spelling errors, or is inaccurate and out of date, PDFs that are presented for reading online, press releases (except in a media section) and marketing fluff.

High-quality content is an asset

Well-written web content that anticipates and satisfies customers’ needs is a valuable asset to a business. High-quality content:

  • Entices prospects to give you their contact details
  • Drives sales and helps qualify prospects
  • Increases sales conversions by keeping prospects on the site and giving them all the purchase information they need
  • Provides customer service (often reducing costs in the process)
  • Differentiates your business from your competitors, and
  • Is essential for getting high ranking in search engines and attracting qualified traffic.

Information beats hype

“Sites loaded with informational non-salesy materials such as specs, product photos, research, guides, reviews, etc., were much more likely to convert than overt sales messages.”
Marketing Sherpa, Must-Read Research Results on Search & Online Shopping

Get rid of filler

Filler web content wastes people’s time. It annoys customers and damages your reputation. It diminishes the value of your site. You’d be better off to have never put it on the web.

To create a profitable website you must focus on high-quality content. Less is more. Focus on helping your customers complete their most important tasks with content that’s useful, usable and appealing.

Things to do:

  • Commit to creating high-quality content for your website.
  • Remove all filler content.
  • Base your web content on helping customers complete their most important tasks.