You have only 30 precious seconds (according to many reports) to capture your prospects’ attention, to engage and pull them into your copy. If a prospect does not find the info he is looking for on your site, he will exit quickly and continue searching until he finds the info on a competitor site.
Case studies reveal that prospects are looking for simple things especially on their first visit: How useful is your product to them? How much does it cost? Are there any problems that they need to know about in advance? Having that info easily available and avoiding certain key content mistakes would mean better conversion rates and happier customers.
Here are some top content mistakes that cause prospects to leave and visit the competitor’s website. I welcome comments and would be interested in your top web content peeves as well.
#1. About Page
Certain content mistakes are easy to avoid and also serve as best practices. Too many brands use About pages to incessantly talk and brag about their story.
About pages are content goldmines. They are perfect opportunities to advertise and increase conversion rates. An about page should be used as a selling tool to convince your prospects why your product is ideal for them. Will it make them rich? Will they lose weight? How is it going to enhance their life? Ideally, About pages should:
- Give visitors a reason (several reasons, ideally) for doing whatever it is you want them to do: contact a sales lead, join a campaign, send money, buy a widget.
- Make a strong case for what sets you apart from other businesses like you.
- Give visitors context for the information they find elsewhere on the site.
#2. Drawbacks of Your Product
Certain content mistakes are hotly debated and not everyone agrees on their solutions in content marketing. Most businesses avoid talking about problems on their websites, thinking that it will turn customers away.
There are several case studies that have proved the opposite, Riverside Pools being a perfect example. Marcus Sheridan, (content marketing expert from thesaleslion.com) who also owns Riverside Pools, set up a blog post underlying all the problems with fiberglass pools. This one article, Top 5 Fiberglass Pool Problems and Solutions, on his website garnered 137 comments, 168 inbound links, and 25,589 views and an incredible amount of money in sales. Since, none of his competitors talked about the problems with fiberglass pools his post always came up first in search results.
According to Marcus, ever since his mantra has been, “He who gives consumers the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of a product will always be the content king.”
FAQ pages are invaluable in answering common customer questions. The sales and customer service team of your business are also resources who will be able to guide you on the problems customers are facing, so that you can address them in future content updates.
#3. Pricing Info
Pricing info is again on the list of content mistakes that don’t have a consensus. Some businesses will not have pricing info, thinking that they don’t want to turn off any customers. Here are the top reasons why it makes sense to always include pricing:
- The first question on people’s mind after they are sold on your product is how much will this cost me? Can I afford it? If they can’t find that info, they will look it up elsewhere, probably on a competitor website in which case your competitor has won.
- Putting your costs and pricing out there weeds out the customers who cannot afford your services or products. It increases conversion rates, helps to save your time and theirs as well.
- It creates an atmosphere of transparency and trust, both essential for marketing on the web.
Some companies have a problem putting up fixed prices. Their pricing varies according to the type of service. This is also true for small business consultants. In that case, these two approaches work best:
- It’s always fine to give a range.
- Include a form on your website, where the prospect can put in details that you need such as scope etc. You then get back to the potential buyers with all the details over the telephone / email
#4. Only Evergreen Content
In the current global marketplace, your website is your virtual office. If you have only evergreen content on your website, it gives the impression of an abandoned website. It is the equivalent of an old store with yesterday’s products and mannequins that have dust gathering. I don’t know about you, but I would not like to buy or do business with a neglected storefront.
Nowadays, there is no one size fits all solution to content. Evergreen pages are also necessary, but you need to have a blog so customers keep returning. You need to have an email newsletter for loyal customers. You need to post content on social media sites for those customers who like to interact with you on social media. In other words you need to have constant action of some kind on your website, so prospects realize that yours is a thriving business.
#5. Not Incorporating Social Media into Your Content Marketing Mix
Research shows that customers prefer to interact with brands through social media channels and that while other forms of contact such as contact forms, emails, phones are still relevant, social media is quickly becoming the number one choice of customers especially for an answer to customer service questions and queries. It’s no surprise that having social media icons on your site greatly increases conversion rates.
The brands who are using social media to interact are doing well and in some cases have turned around people’s perception of their company. The early adopters are paying rich dividends. Mashable had an article with case studies showing the smartest brands using social media correctly.
- Starbucks is a perfect example.To get a better handle on consumer feedback, Starbucks did just that with “My Starbucks Idea.”
The site allows users to submit suggestions to be voted on by Starbucks consumers, and the most popular suggestions are highlighted and reviewed. Starbucks then took it a step further and added an “Ideas in Action” blog that gives updates to users on the status of changes suggested.
- @comcastcares, a Twitter account setup to help Comcast users in need.
- The dell social media initiative where Dell has set up social media command centers where they actively listen for comments on the company.
Do you agree with these 5 mistakes? Do you have more to add? Please share in the comments below.
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