3 Secrets of a Persuasive Website Most Web Designers Don’t Understand

October 22, 2011Leave a reply

Most small business websites are informational rather than persuasive.

It’s the difference between a brochure and a salesman interacting with your prospects.

Implement these three secrets for better website persuasion:

1. Know Who You’re Trying to Persuade

Most people think in terms of demographics.

For example: “My customer is a 30-year-old male earning at least $150,000.”

But for a truly persuasive website, you have to go deeper into psychographics.

You have to get inside your prospects’ minds and hearts and understand their buying motives and preferences.

And the only way to find this out is to flesh out website personas.

For our clients, we create website personas based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, “the world’s most widely used personality assessment,” which measures psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

But our thorough questionnaire helps us go even deeper. We create personas based on real customers so we know exactly whom we’re trying to persuade.

This allows us to anticipate their questions and answer them intuitively and strategically.

It creates the effect of an effective salesman sitting with them, guiding them through the buying process.

2. Tell Them What to Do

It’s astounding how many small business websites lack a clear, compelling, and persistent call to action.

Once you’ve created and written to your personas and created a desire to buy, you have to tell them exactly how to satisfy that desire.

How should they engage with you? Free demo/quote/consultation/download?

Whatever it is, you have to tell them clearly. All roads on your persuasion website must lead to your call to action.

This is achieved through:

  • Highly-visual, clickable buttons.
  • Contextual hyperlinks throughout your copy. For example: “Want a persuasive website? Get your free website quote now.”
  • Web forms on strategic pages and on your content sidebar.

3. Give Them Confidence to Take Action

Anticipate and address their concerns strategically.

Tell them exactly what they can expect once they’ve taken action. Explain the process they’ll go through.

Highlight your credibility and credentials. Showcase your work through a portfolio, case studies, and customer testimonials.

Publish your methodology and research. Demonstrate your competitive advantages. Vividly describe the benefits they’ll receive by taking action.

Offer a bold guarantee. Explain how they can customize your product or service.

Again, all of these tactics should be revealed by fleshing out your personas. When you’re inside their head, you’ll know what they need to feel confident taking action.

To build a persuasive website, understand the psychographics of your prospects, give them a clear and compelling call to action, and give them the confidence they need to take that action.

Want to see how you can improve your website persuasion? Request your free website analysis now.

Use Strategic Website Copywriting to Conquer 2 Ruthless Meters In Your Prospects’ Brains

July 19, 20119 Comments

If you can’t move the needle on two deeply-embedded mental meters with your website copywriting, you’re sunk.

But if you learn how to bounce those needles with strategic website copywriting, you’ll bask in a surge of new, qualified website leads.

These two meters are:

  1. The “Who Cares?” Meter. According to a 2008 Yankelovich Research study, consumers are exposed to 5,000 marketing messages per day. How will you stand out?
  2. The “Bulls@*t” Meter. With this barrage of marketing messages, consumers are more sensitive than ever to chest-thumping hyperbole, unsubstantiated claims, and corporate gobbledygook.

How to Move the Needle on the “Who Cares?” Meter

It all comes down to relevance.

A few technique for becoming more relevant:

1. Speak to Felt Needs with Your Website Copywriting

In other words, speak to your website visitors in their language about things they care about.

2. Provide a Big, Highly-Beneficial Offer

Offer something so irresistible that anyone in need of your product or service simply cannot refuse.

For example, in our case our prospects are small business owners who want to generate more website leads.

We offer our free website analysis. 4-6 pages of custom, detailed, specific recommendations to help small business owners generate more qualified website leads.

What can you offer in your business to make your competitors’ jaws bang holes in the floor and make your prospects come running, waving money in the air?

What do your website visitors actually care about? Are you speaking to that with your website copywriting, or are you answering questions no one is asking?

3. Translate Your Features Into Benefits For Your Customers

Demonstrate how your competitive advantages benefit your customers.

The website copywriting for a data center company website we reviewed was all about themselves, their new state-of-the-art facility of which they’re very proud.

It’s fine to be proud of and to highlight your competitive advantages.

But it needs to be done strategically so that the focus is always on benefits to customers, not “look at how cool we are.”

We recommended they change their home page copy to something like so (translated benefits underlined):

We invested $150M in a new state-of-the-art data center to give you greater peace of mind. Our master-planned data center features redundant power, network feeds, and water lines to safeguard your precious data. The result for you: Less downtime, greater security, increased savings. Learn more about how we make your company safer and more productive.

4. Focus On the Customer, Not Yourself

Suppose you’re on a date. How attractive is it when your date spends the entire night talking about themselves, rather than being focused on you?

And why would you think this principle would be any different than your website messages?

Here’s an example from the website of an online data backup company we reviewed:

[X Company] is…the category leader and one of the most established SaaS vendors in the market.”

It’s company-centric chest-thumping, as well as unsubstantiated claims.

Not to mention they’re speaking industry jargon without translating it into why prospects should care; it’s meaningless to prospects, and therefore has no impact. Those are just wasted words.

How to Move the Needle on the “Bulls@*t” Meter

In a word: credibility.

A few ways to demonstrate credibility:

1. Substantiate Claims With Facts, Data, Statistics

Never spout claims without backing them with proof.

Speak the language of honesty, not hyperbole.

Another example from the same online data backup company:

[X Company] is the most awarded, and best performing backup system.”

“Most awarded” could probably be proven, yet it’s not on their website.

But “best performing”? Based on what parameters? Says who? The company? And who else?

There’s zero credibility when a company says they’re the best — unless they substantiate the claim with facts, proof, data, industry awards, etc.

Another example from the same company:

It is also one of the most recommended online backup software.”

Say what? How could you prove that? Whose recommendations? Tech reviewers with vested interests? Actual users? In which case, how can you possibly substantiate that?

These types of claims set the Bulls@*t alarm clanging, red lights flashing.

2. Case Studies & Testimonials

Show proof that your solution actually works, and share what actual users say about your experience.

WARNING: For them to be effective, testimonials must be raw, unscripted, unedited. There’s nothing like a “polished” testimonial to set off the Bulls@*t alarm.

3. Authenticity/Transparency

Have the guts to admit your downside, rather than blaring obnoxious hyperbole.

Instant trust and credibility.

Strategic, persuasive website copywriting can move the needle on the “Who Cares?” Meter and the “Bulls@*t” Meter.

And once you’ve done that, qualified website leads are certain to follow.

Get your free website analysis to see what else you can improve on your website.

Off-page SEO: Giving Your Website a Taste of Authority

July 15, 20111 Comment

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a handy tool for building a respectable ranking for your website.  But 75% of that ranking depends upon your off-page SEO.

Your off-page SEO is based on the authority of your website; particularly what other websites communicate about yours.  Another way to say it is: websites with higher authority will rank better than websites with lower authority.

Inbound links are the main influencer on website authority.  When another site links to your website or even a page on your site, that constitutes an inbound link.

More inbound links, especially from websites with high authority, will create the kind of link love that lends authority to your site.

For instance, an inbound link from the New York Times website will give your site much greater online authority than a link from a low-traffic blog with a tiny readership.

The greatest tool for attracting solid inbound links is the creation of valuable, remarkable content that prompts other sites to link to it.  You can also increase your site’s inbound links by sharing your content in social media and, of course, optimizing it so search engines can easily find it.

A recent search marketing benchmark report by Marketing Sherpa found that SEO has been most effective at increasing website traffic.  Other objectives included increased brand or product awareness, increased lead generation, improved product reputation, increased online sales revenue, etc.

It’s reassuring to see increased website traffic as the primary objective.  If your SEO isn’t increasing the number of visitors to your site, then your SEO needs more attention.

Once you understand the impact of optimizing your website to make it more search engine friendly, both on and off-page, you’ll see why SEO must be a top priority.

Once you realize the impact SEO can have on your revenue, you’ll understand why it’s worth attending to today and not procrastinating.

The Website Architects
  help you put it all together for the ultimate lead generation website.  Contact them today for a free website persuasion analysis.

Bad Websites: Why Beauty Really Is Just Skin Deep

June 30, 2011Leave a reply

What separates top notch lead conversion websites from bad websites involves much more than just how nice the site looks.

There are at least 12 essential elements that work in concert to win over your visitors and lead them through the conversion process.

But don’t underestimate the power of a website that looks clean and professional.  Consider how we tend to take a person in uniform or a suit and tie more seriously than we would if they were dressed in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops.

If your website looks like it was designed by your nephew over a weekend, visitors will treat you accordingly.

You must be willing to invest in yourself if you want your customers to invest in you.  And that requires more than good looks.

Bad sites can still look sexy, but lacking the proper architecture, they will fail to effectively convert visitors and generate leads.   This is the critical mistake made by many businesses.

Eye-pleasing presentation and utterly reliable site function are definitely qualities your small business website needs.  But the real goal here is to have your cake and eat it too.

This means your site needs both quality graphic design and conversion architecture in order to make that happen.  If your site isn’t generating leads and leading customers through the conversion process, you’re wasting your money.

Designing a customized site is only the beginning.  But architecting your website takes it to a whole new level of engaging your prospects, generating online leads and telling your story with depth and clarity.

It’s the difference between a pile of ingredients and and a magnificent wedding cake.

The bottom line is this: a site that produces results trumps a site that looks pretty but fails to live up to its potential.

Are you ready to see all 12 essential website elements come together in a perfect harmony of form, function and persuasion architecture?

Contact the Website Architects today for a free website persuasion analysis.