Your website is your virtual shop.
It’s there to give window shoppers and customers a feel for you and your micro business.
Here’s what happens. A reader surfs by, scans your website then takes a split second decision:
“Should I stay or should I go?”
Which means you’ve got to get the layout and content of your shop just right.
But don’t be concerned. As a smart micro biz owner, you have the power to increase your website’s “stickiness” and here’s how:
How to lay down the glue and keep your on-line guest hanging around
Your customers determine what’s sticky. And that means you’ve got to put them at the centre of your choices.
Here are three things that influence their decision:
Do they like what they see? Your colour scheme, layout and image choice will influence the aesthetic appeal of your website
Do they like what they read? Customers will be influenced by your page titles, headlines, call to action and page content.
Do they want to do business with you? The overall feel of your website will influence whether reader attention converts into action.
As a copywriter I’m really interested in how you can use words to sell. Persuasive writing is a technique that all micro biz owners who write their own copy should practice. There’s loads of information out there, but to start, here’s 5 simple techniques:
5 Steps to Sticky copy
To pack your website with a compelling message you need a sharp insight into your business benefits and the mind-set of your customers. Then you need to use words that encourage readers to react and respond.
- Top of the list is headline writing. Whether that’s your page title or name for your latest blog post, you must invest the time needed to write an eye-catching, evocative headline that promises a compelling benefit in return for reading.
- Next you need to structure your content so it’s easy to read. Aim to make your text digestible with informative subheads, lists and bullet points. Then add bold and italics to emphasise key words.
- Write about benefits then use features to let your customer justify their purchase. Customers want to know “what’s in it for me?” In fact that’s all they’re concerned about. Get into the habit of showcasing how your business adds value to your customer, and your stickiness will increase immediately.
- Create a compelling call to action that entices your visitor to take the next step – preferably there and then.
- Give people a reason to bookmark you, share and return. High quality content in the form of blog posts, topical articles and well written website pages are the key to this.
In addition to good copy, you need to make your website easy to get around.
Think supermarket shopping.
Each section is carefully labelled to make it easy for customers to orientate themselves or quickly locate what they’re looking for. In addition, there’s plenty of physical space and content to encourage customers to browse and indulge in spontaneous shopping.
You need to adopt the same strategy with your website.
- Use your navigation bar to signpost your website’s content. Make your navigation descriptive and aim to use the words customers will use when searching for what you have to offer.
- Embed internal links into your content to help customers stumble upon new information. You’ll notice I’ve used this tactic in this article to help you delve deeper into my blog’s contents.
Spice it up
So you’ve got your copy honed and you’re happy with your signposting and web layout.
The next step is to keep your website fresh and dynamic by regularly adding new content. Google will reward you, and you’ll give customers a reason to return. This is a big advantage when you consider many customers won’t buy on their first visit. Instead research suggests they’ll need to read your message at least 7 times before they get convinced to buy. So entice visitors back by giving them something that’s useful and relevant. You can develop a content marketing to help you do this.
A word on design
I’m a big fan of WordPress (obviously) – in particular the Genesis themes created by Copyblogger Media.
I love that WordPress makes it really easy for a non-techy like me to get to grips with working the back end of a website and changing content as and when I like. OK it helped that I had Jo from Magenta Sky Solutions to help me, but with Plug-ins and customisations I’ve been able to create a feel that suits my personality and my copywriting service. What’s more, with the inbuilt blog I’m also happily creating content for Copywriting Gems and boosting my SEO as I go.
Before you click on…
You can’t get away from it. Websites are an absolute must have for businesses. How do you make your website sticky? Leave your comments in the space below.