In our last issue we spoke of the necessity to build interest. To fan that weak spark of interest (all there is, many times, when someone arrives at your website). To create a roaring flame of desire, where the person phones, places an order, or walks into your store.
Advertising and word of mouth of mouth inform someone of your existence, enough so they have the idea they might need or desire your product or service – enough that they want to find out more.
That is all they can be counted on for, to orient the prospective buyer towards you. It is a big enough job, with the vast barrage of advertising messages everyone is exposed to daily. The result is a reach – some kind of motion in your direction.
Of course advertising and referrals sometimes do better than that – and the phone rings and you have a new customer. But what about all the other times that isn’t true?
This is where websites shine.
We have measured exactly the effect of putting up a website for a client who never had one before. Because there was no other change in their marketing, and they kept excellent statistical records, we were able to determine that the website almost doubled their new business volume.
Why? The increase represented prospective new customers who had some interest on hearing about the client – enough to act only so far as visiting a website – but not enough to phone and make an appointment. The website then brought their interest level to a point where they were ready to call.
That website, three years later, continues to do the exact same job. The owner told me of a new client, who came to them just last week from their website. That person had spent so much time online, they probably knew more about the website than the owner did.
How do you build that kind of interest? It isn’t with pictures of sexy girls. That just helps gets you noticed in the first place. It isn’t even, really, attractive visuals and sound or video clips (though all that helps).
The longer someone spends on your site and the more pages they view, the bigger the flame of interest and sturdier the level of trust, the more likely they are to buy. So sheer number of pages is a factor.
But ultimately it comes down to this: What makes the big difference is content that really talks to the visitor. Visuals that are not just attractive but show the visitor that you have what they are looking for and make them drool to have it. Copy that communicates to the visitor and shows them that you know what you are talking about, that you’ve solved problems like theirs for others, that you can be trusted. That you have the product or service they are looking for!You are bringing about a series of understandings in the prospective client. Though each one may be small, they add up, ultimately, to the phone ringing.
It is a peculiar thing that many people end up with sort of robotic or mechanical looking and sounding websites. I think people believe, the Internet being an electronic medium, that they are supposed to duplicate the impersonality of this, when the exact opposite is the case. Because it is an electronic medium, you aren’t there live, they can’t hear you talking or see you speaking, you have to work even harder to make your words and images a personal, living communication to the visitor.
We have often been complimented on the quality of our copywriting. Yes, we are knowledgeable and have many years of experience doing this. We’ve studied texts on copywriting. We’re very literate. We always make sure we know our subject.
But, in the end, that isn’t what does it. The most important thing is that when we sit down to write copy, we imagine the visitor to the website or reader of the ad on the other end, and think of ourselves as actually speaking to that person.
The content of your website isn’t being sent out into the void. It is going to Someone, and that Someone is a potential customer of yours.
Talk to him.