When I write copy for websites, clients often ask, “What about optimizing for search engines?”
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) can be critical because we need a certain critical mass of traffic to be successful.
But there’s no point in bringing traffic to your site if you’re not already converting. Here are 3 ways to make that happen.
(1) Appeal to the senses.
When I lived in Seattle, I used to walk my dog down a neighborhood street, where we would pass a small neighborhood bakery. We inhaled aromas of freshly-baked buttery treats, made the old-fashioned way.
Notice what happened when I just described the experience. Your taste buds got activated. You probably recalled some fresh baked goodies of your own. Smell is a powerful sense!
You can use word pictures to evoke feelings and awaken your visitor’s senses. Go beyond the visual. Use metaphors of hearing, smelling and touching.
It took me a long time to realize that copywriting was more than a choice of headline templates. Fresh, creative description was what readers craved. Tired old cliches would deaden their responses.
(2) Offer a sample.
I successfully resisted temptation for many months. And I rarely carry a wallet while dog-walking.
Then one day I ran into a friend on a muffin mission.
“I will treat you,” she offered.
Not wanting to be rude, I took home one half of a small pastry…which turned out to be far more delicious than I anticipated.
The website equivalent: a mouth-watering sample – a free report, audio or video, with a promise that will hit your readers’ hot buttons: tips, secrets, how-tos. It’s easy to hold back when you’re creating the free stuff, but it’s a sample. Bakeries don’t keep a special case of day-old, mundane products for samples.
I always feel cheated when I sign up for a “freebie,” only to get a few trite paragraphs followed by a sales pitch.
For instance, I followed one popular guru for awhile. He’d impressed so many people I was genuinely curious about his work.
But I never figured out what he had to offer. His freebie video consisted of his rags-to-riches story along with some stories about his clients. “With just a few tips from me,” he would say, “they are now multimillionaires.”
Yes, I wanted to say, but what did you do? Would this be something I’m comfortable doing? Can I imagine myself working with him?
(3) Follow up.
As I walked past the bakery, I was reminded, “Next time I need a quick thank you gift, I can come here. It’s right around the corner.”
The bakery doesn’t have to go anywhere. It was right in front of me. I couldn’t help seeing it when I walked by.
And while search engines bring traffic, sometimes your best clients won’t find you by searching. They’ll stumble over it. They keep seeing your name. In some business fields, they’re not even looking. They won’t know they want you till they see you.
(4) Look for signs of success.
Alas, I soon became a customer of the bakery. That was easy.
How are you measuring success? Are you looking for signs of a growing list? More sales of a certain product? More mentions on other people’s blogs and social media posts? What indicators really make sense to you?
(5) Make it easy.
My neighborhood bakery welcomed well-behaved dogs and even offered biscuits. So when I was out with my dog Gracie, I could pop in and make an impulse purchase. No barriers!
Sometimes I can’t figure out what I’m invited to buy. I’ve been to so many websites where I couldn’t find a form to order an ezine, let alone an order form. And I usually give up when I’m asked to complete credit card forms for a zero-balance product.
Just that one impulse buy could be the start of a long relationship. I patronized that bakery till I left Seattle.
What are you doing on your website to get visitors hooked? Share in the space below!