What Do Prospective Clients Really Think When They Visit Your Website?
Earlier this afternoon, I was perusing a business coach’s website.
I scrolled towards the middle of the home page and stopped in shock. In the center of the page, I read the following:
“I am a business couch who will help you achieve your dreams!”
Did I just read that correctly? Business couch?
I left the website as quickly as possible. Not only do I find it extremely off-putting that he misspelled the word coach, but I also could not find a clear, succinct message explaining exactly how he would benefit me as the consumer (beyond the vague message stating he would help me “achieve my dreams”).
And, furthermore, why would I trust a company with my business if they haven’t even taken the time to proofread their own website?
This brings me to my first point: the written content on your website is the most valuable aspect of your business.
You can have a website with stunning visuals, compelling infographics, and great videography, but when I try to read more about your company and can’t determine what you offer or how you will help me, there’s a problem.
If your content is misspelled, vague, grammatically-incorrect, or poorly-written, prospective customers not only will not want to work with you, they also won’t trust you.
If they see typos and terribly-written content on your site, they will assume that you will make the same errors for their business if you bring them on as a client.
What is a customer looking for when they read content on a website?
There are three primary details that every website’s content should include. I refer to these as a website’s ‘Core Content Values.’ They are:
Core Content Value #1:
An easy-to-understand sentence explaining what your company offers.
Core Content Value #2:
A second sentence explaining how your company benefits consumers.
Core Content Value #3:
A call-to-action statement.
Here’s an example of a poorly-written statement that does not adequately express what a company offers:
‘Located in Portland, Oregon, ABC Real Estate always puts the client first and creates custom home solutions for every individual we work with.’
So…what does that mean? What are the custom home solutions you are providing for your clients? And, most importantly, how will you benefit me?
Judging by the company’s title, we know that this is a real estate company. Let’s say that they focus on working primarily with buyers. Knowing that, I would revise this sentence to the following:
‘ABC Real Estate offers a hands-on, dedicated approach when working with buyers in the Portland, Oregon area. We have been in business for ten years, have secured more than 15,000 transactions, and offer a unique real estate strategy for every client we work with. Click here to receive a complimentary, step-by-step guide explaining what to expect throughout the home buying process.’
This sentence explains 1) exactly what the company does (works with buyers in Portland) and 2) how the company will benefit you as the customer (offers a unique real estate strategy for every buyer — doesn’t take a “one size fits all” approach). Additionally, a call-to-action statement is included at the end, offering prospective clients a free buyer’s guide if they click the link. They also have metrics in place explaining how long they have been in business and how many transactions they have completed, increasing their credibility.
Now that we understand what this company offers, you will probably feel a bit more compelled to reach out to them as a buyer, right?
Just to further reiterate my point, let’s talk about some additional reasons why your company’s content is so critical when attracting prospective clients:
If it’s ridden with typos, it will distract visitors.
Even consumers who have very little interest in grammatical nuances will be able to spot a typo when they see one. Not only does poorly-written content look unprofessional, it can also convey a very inaccurate message. Just to throw some humor into the mix here, I was recently scrolling through Facebook when I saw that someone was selling a pool table through the Facebook Marketplace. Although the photos, price, and product details were all great, the owner had listed the item as a “poop table” instead of a pool table. 😊 This is an example of someone conveying a very inaccurate message!
If it’s too vague, you will lose consumers.
Prospective clients need to understand what your company offers and the value that you will bring to them as the consumer. In an online world ridden with overwhelming options and content, consumers want clear, precise information delivered to them as quickly as possible. Simply stating that you offer “custom home solutions” for your clients is not enough. You need to take it a step further and clearly state that you offer a defined, customized home buying strategy for every buyer you work with. (Going off of the example used above).
So, how do I improve my website’s content?
1) Apply the 10-second rule.
The average consumer spends about 10 to 15 seconds on a website before they make the decision that A) the website has the content they are looking for or B) the website does not have what they are looking for and they need to look elsewhere. According to OptinMonster, 70% of users who abandon your website will never return. It is very easy to lose customers, so it is imperative that what you offer/how you will help is clearly stated at the top of the home page, making users feel compelled to reach out to you.
Pro Tip: If you want to know the average time a user spends viewing your website, set up a Google Analytics account by clicking here. If you already have a Google Analytics account, you can view the average time a user spends on your website by clicking “audience” and then “overview.”
2) Build trust and capture prospective clients’ emails by offering a free service.
Build a pop-up box into your website offering users something of value. If you are a real estate listing agent, offer a free market analysis on their home. If you are a digital marketer, offer a free e-book with unique marketing tips. If you are an online store, offer a discount. Whatever it is, make it valuable to the consumer. In doing this, you are setting yourself apart as a credible resource, proving your knowledge, and showing that you care about your customers by providing them with a complimentary or discounted service. Additionally, capturing email addresses will help you begin a relationship with engaged leads and market to them in the future.
3) Make your content as brief and succinct as possible.
If you look at my website, www.ASAPEditorial.com, you will see that I only have one sentence in total, stating exactly what I offer as a copywriter:
“I write concise, engaging copy that increases sales, builds credibility, and establishes you as an industry leader.”
From there, I have a call-to-action button, inviting users to view my writing samples.
I know that every company is different, but I highly recommend keeping the information about your company as brief as possible on your home page, preferably only about 1–3 sentences total. You can further elaborate what your company does and the services your company offers under a “Hire Us” or “What We Offer” page. You can take that one step further by incorporating a blog into your website to further explain the services your company offers.
4) Update old content
This is particularly applicable to companies that have been around for several years. Continuously revamp old blog posts, refresh web pages, and keep your content relevant and up-to-date.
Here’s the reality about content marketing: sometimes, we become so entrenched in our work that we lose sight of the way prospective clients see us. In my experience as a content writer, I have seen this happen again and again — it’s an easy (and very common) mistake to make.
Incorporating the Core Content Values I mention above is, in my opinion, the most important step to take when revising your website’s structure. With those key elements, your website will provide a foundation on which prospective clients can easily understand exactly what you offer to them as the consumer. In doing so, you are establishing yourself as both credible and trustworthy, making clients far more inclined to conduct business with you in the future.