Want to get better results from your website? Writing articles can be a powerful piece of your marketing formula! Here’s how to make this work for you…
Personal referrals aside (oh how we all love those!), the journey to good quality leads, and sales, very often begins with good quality content on your website*.
“Great,” you think, “I have a professionally written home page, individual pages for each of our most important services/products, an “About” page that shares our story. I’m good to go!”
Yes and no; you’re on the right track, but these days, that’s the least that’s required to be credible. If you want to ramp up results, we always recommend you look for ways to:
- draw more people to your site, earlier in their buying process;
- create a powerful first impression that gains prospects’ trust (before other sales teams have a chance to establish a foothold),
- create opportunities to extend the connection.
Articles (or blogs), are a versatile tool for achieving all three.
HOW DO ARTICLES HELP YOU GET BETTER WEBSITE RESULTS?
1.Draw more people to your site, earlier in their buying process
People begin the journey to a purchase by asking questions. They do research to try to understand the arena they’re about to step into. The majority begin that process in a search engine, or in social media.
When the content on your website addresses the topics directly, and is loaded and linked in a way that search engines trust and can follow, you increase the likelihood that search engines will rank your content well.
And that will draw more searchers to your site. It’s not a shoe-in, but it can be done.
Bonus: that same content, when shared to social media with an intriguing subject line and/or image, can help attract attention from scrolling prospects.
2.Gain prospects’ trust
When people arrive at a page that gives them what they need they’re happy. You plant the seeds of trust. When they also get what they want, it’s like you (or your best-performing sales rep) is personally welcoming them and helping them feel at home, confident they’re making a good choice.
Trust flourishes when both the overt and more subtle messages you’re sending appeal to your prospect.
- Overtly: the actual info you’ve communicated.
- More subtly: the cues indicating that your authority, style and values are a fit. Those cues come from the images you choose; the way you present your info—how passive or pushy, soothing or energizing your messages come across; even the colors and layout. Together these all tell a story. Make sure it’s yours.
It may seem like a wild claim, but research has shown that only about 5% of our buying decision stems from our rational, logical self; the other 95% is driven by our emotions. We have a visceral reaction to something—positive or negative—and unconsciously look for reasons to find our instincts right…
Articles help your website deliver better results because they bring people to you and satisfy these needs and wants.
What should you include in your articles?
Include “News they can Use” in a variety of formats:
- Share ANSWERS to questions about your services
- Offer INSIGHTSnsights into your industry
- BEST PRACTICES and/or trends
- Thought starters—the types of QUESTIONS you ask clients when you meet with them
- The STORIES behind projects completed (anonymously, or use a positive review as the prompt for a case study and bring your work to life)
- IMAGES that provide proof—and even desire or FOMO—about your results
- And/or VIDEO snippets with accompanying text, to serve those who prefer to watch vs. read.
And do it in ways that express your style and personality.
These steps will take you far, BUT to get real results from your website, there’s one more important step: call them to action!
If you don’t give them specific next steps, visitors will almost certainly just drift away.
It’d be like having a great conversation with someone at a networking event and then hoping you’ll bump into each other down the road. If you don’t specifically ask them to meet for coffee, or connect on LinkedIn, or at least get a business card, you’ll more than likely just be a fleeting memory.
3.Create opportunities to extend the connection
To paraphrase Donald Miller of StoryBrand fame: your role as a service provider is that of a guide, not a hero. So be sure that your web pages clearly guide people to their logical next step.
Give them options to explore the subject further… a specific path (and reasons) to stay connected. Three good ways to help your website articles get better results:
- Embed links to pages and/or resources on your site where visitors can find even more information related to your topic. Not only does this help your prospects, it keeps them on your site, elevating your site’s quality score ranking with search engines.
- Provide an invitation to download something for free, that they would view as definitely worth money: something that will help them solve a problem, execute a task, plan a strategy, save them time or money, dream bigger… you get the idea. Be sure this download includes your contact information and/or yet another
- Ask them to stay in touch, by email, and in social media. Tell them what type of value you’ll offer, and how often. Don’t ask for more than their first name and email address.
Why both email and social? Platforms like Facebook, Instagram change business outcomes on a dime when they change their policies. Email is the only inexpensive vehicle that puts complete control of your relationship in the hands of you and your prospect or client.
And a note about email: when someone gives their email address to you, treat it like gold. DON’T add them to your email list without permission. And when you have that permission, don’t spam them. If you can, give them options to choose their frequency or the type of content they want (after they’re signed up—too many options at sign up leads to indecision and NO action at all).
Your website truly is your online storefront. It’s where well over 90% of people who will do business with you first get a taste of what you do, how you do it, what and who you value. Those first impressions form within seconds. You really can get better results from your website by writing articles, and following these 101-level tips for making the most of each one. If you’d like to take your content marketing program up a few notches further, give us a call—we’d love to help you with topic and keyword selection, research and writing, graphics, and email marketing, too.