Have you ever walked into a store to buy one item and ended up leaving with over $100 in purchases? Target, Whole Foods, Costco, and Trader Joe’s seem to have this mesmerizing effect. They have masterfully created an environment that makes products so tantalizing that they practically jump off the shelves and into your cart without a moment’s hesitation. Their store designers understand the importance in putting their best items at the front of the store, making it borderline impossible to walk in without making a purchase.
Now, let’s contrast that with the opposite scenario: have you ever walked into a grocery store and couldn’t wait to get out of there? The music is slow and depressing, the lights are flickering and dim, and the shelves are nearly empty. Even the produce seems to be sad. We typically only use these stores for the essentials, running in when absolutely necessary just to grab the items we need and then leaving as quickly as possible.
When you walk into a store and see empty shelves or cheap-looking items strewn about, you probably won’t feel inclined to make a purchase. However, if you step into a store and see beautifully-organized, quality items filling the shelves in abundance, you will probably feel far more inclined to buy something. The written content on your website has that same effect.
Whenever I am adding anything to my website, I always keep this phrase in mind:
Credible content converts consumers.
The moment a user enters your website, they want to know exactly what you do and where they should be directed. These words are the ‘shiny objects’ inviting a customer to walk through the ‘aisles’ of your website. After you have proved your credibility, they will be more inclined to subscribe to your mailing list, email you, or even make a purchase.
There are three vital components that every website must have, yet frequently don’t. They are:
1) A blog
2) An ‘about’ page
3) A ‘contact’ page
The blog is one of the only places on your website where you can fully prove your credibility as a leader in your industry.
Here’s an example to illustrate: one of my clients, Ryan Fitzgerald, owner of Raleigh-based real estate firm RaleighRealtyHomes.com and Charlotte-based real estate firm UpHomes.com, quickly realized he needed to prove he was knowledgeable about the real estate industry when he became a Realtor in North Carolina several years ago. Marketing himself was not enough — he needed to take it one step further and become a credible resource to his community. So, he built out his blog on a grand scale. He blogged about everything from ‘how to obtain a mortgage’ to ‘how to stage a home to sell’ to ‘where to go for brunch in Raleigh.’
In doing so, Ryan not only proved that he was knowledgeable about real estate, he also proved that he understood mortgages, staging, the area where he was selling, and so much more. Ryan’s blogs on Raleigh Realty and UpHomes eventually became so popular and started single-handedly generating so much business that he hired me to continue writing his blog posts, as he was far too busy to write the posts on his own.
Not only that, but because his blog was so popular and so well-developed (he has hundreds of blog posts, many of which exceed 2,000 words each), RaleighRealtyHomes.com now comes up on the first page of Google’s search results when phrases such as “Raleigh real estate” are searched. He also attracts over 200,000 web users per month, mostly from organic search.
Everyone asks the same question when they click on a website, which is: “Is this person (or company) trustworthy?” A blog is your company’s way of answering that question.
I can’t begin to stress the number of times I have visited a website and could not for the life of me find the person’s contact information. If your contact information is included at the bottom of the home page, bear in mind that most website visitors will not scroll all the way to the bottom. Having a designated contact page directs them to your information right from the start. I also strongly advise including your actual contact information on the page along with a ‘contact me’ submission form, so it will look like this:
Notice that I have included my email address and phone number on the page so users can click either option and connect to me.
Including an email address in addition to a ‘contact me’ submission form on this page helps users feel confident that their message is being sent directly to the company and won’t get lost in ‘Submission Form Cyber Space.’
If you are a larger company, please do not only rely on email or a submission form as your customers’ primary form of contacting a representative. There should always be a phone number available. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to contact a company and only having email as a contact method, especially when it is a pressing question. Having a phone number available makes me trust the company far more because it indicates they are putting their customers’ needs first.
Pro Tip: If you are a freelancer or a smaller company and aren’t comfortable using your office or cell phone number on the contact page, I advise setting up a free Google phone number through Google Voice. All calls and text messages will be directed to your mobile phone and your cell number can remain private.
The ‘about’ page doesn’t have to be very long. Just a few brief paragraphs further explaining how you benefit customers and why you are in business. The key here is to focus this page on your customers and make it less about you. When I first wrote this section of my website, I made it too focused on me and not as focused on how I will benefit customers. This is what I had before I revised it:
As a freelance writer and editor, I have written for marketing agencies, real estate firms, event planning companies, non-profits, universities, and more. I have 6+ years’ experience writing blog posts, website content, property descriptions, bios, press releases, magazine articles, e-blasts, and social media content.
In addition to writing, I am also a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Sotheby’s International Realty. I graduated with a degree in English and a minor in Communications from Saint Joseph’s University in 2013.
However, I soon realized that I needed to focus more on how I help clients improve their website and marketing content. I wanted to make it less focused on me and more focused on prospective consumers. So, I changed this section to the following:
Do you ever wonder what people really think when they visit your website? Does your content make sense? Are you selling your products and services in the best way possible?
As a freelance copywriter, I work with companies on rewriting their content to ensure it clearly states exactly what they offer and how they will benefit prospective customers. I write concise, engaging SEO content that will attract visitors to your website, increase sales, and establish you as a credible leader in your industry.
I have 6+ years’ experience writing blog posts, whitepapers, e-books, e-blasts, landing pages, website content, press releases, social media content, and so much more. I have worked with several reputable companies on rebranding their messaging, writing their marketing content, and attracting new clients.
Interested in learning more about how I can help your company strengthen its content? Contact Me.
In this revised version, although I am still explaining what my company offers, I am focusing more on how clients will benefit from working with me. Customers don’t really care about your company’s history, when it was founded, where you went to school, etc. — they just want to know what the end result will be when they work with you.
If a website is similar to a ‘store’ (branching off of my previous analogy), then a blog is the giant gleaming billboard on the side of a highway telling drivers that a Whole Foods, Target, or Costco is located just off the exit. Google is the highway, and your blog post appearing in their search results is the billboard. Your blog invites users into your website and demonstrates to prospective consumers that you understand your industry. By offering engaging and informative content (i.e. ‘well-stocked shelves’), you will establish yourself as a trustworthy resource.
Having a clearly-written ‘about’ page and an easy-to-navigate ‘contact’ page are equally as important, as they tell your customer exactly what you bring to the table and provide clear direction on how customers can hire you.
Remember: Credible content converts consumers.
My name is Amanda Sapio and I am a freelance copywriter with 8+ years of writing/editing experience. Check out samples of my work on my website, ASAPEditorial.com, and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Follow me here on Medium as well for more life tips and musings. 😊
Interested in strengthening or launching a blog, building out your website, or restructuring your company’s marketing content? Let’s chat!