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If you’re spending money on SEO or PPC to drive prospects to your site but you’re not seeing many leads come through, you’re probably trying to figure out what’s wrong—fast. Assuming your site looks professional, your problem likely lies in your content strategy. Here are the top eleven ways I see companies go wrong with their website content. Fix these, and you should see those leads start coming in!

1. You aren’t targeting the right audience.

Too often, business owners and marketers try to appeal to the masses. But to really connect with your prospects, you have to speak to them specifically, describing their unique needs in a way that makes them say, “That’s me!” If you need to reach different verticals or markets, segment your site into separate areas with content designed especially for each (or use landing pages). The other pitfall is picking the wrong target niche. Maybe you know you can solve a need a particular group has, but if they don’t feel the pain of that need or if they don’t have the money to pay you to fix it, then they’re not a good target. It will be an uphill battle to get them to buy.

2. You aren’t digging into the right pain points.

Maybe you have the right audience, but you’re not addressing the right pain points. Pain is a strong motivator, and if you can identify the needs that cause the most pain and help your prospects feel what will happen if they don’t solve that pain, you can move them to action. Your solution or product may solve multiple pain points. To identify which ones are the most painful to your particular niche, conduct interviews with customers and ask questions that will give you the answers you need.

3. You aren’t writing from your prospects’ perspective.

We all like to talk about ourselves. It’s human nature. But it’s terrible for conversions. Your prospects don’t care about your cool company culture or how many awards you’ve won (at least not initially). When prospects arrive at your website, they’re thinking one thing: “I have a problem to solve.” If you can’t convince them in three seconds that your solution solves their specific problem, then they’re going to hit the back button. Yes, you need to communicate the information that will help them trust you (and see that others trust you) to deliver an amazing product or service, but that has to come later — after they understand how you can help them.

4. You aren’t using concrete, specific words and descriptions.

How many websites have you seen that talk about how great a product or service is, how “life-changing” and “ultimate in performance” (I just copy/pasted those terms from two agency sites that showed up in a Google search for marketing companies in my city, believe it or not.) What do those over-the-top terms even mean? HOW do they change your life? What results do they produce? If you don’t explain in detail what people can expect to get from  your products and services, they’re going to look elsewhere.

5. You aren’t writing conversationally.

No one wants to wade through corporate-sounding text. It’s boring and not motivating. To connect with potential customers, you need to write as if you’re speaking with them in person. You can be professional without sounding like a robot.

6. You aren’t including proof.

The world is full of people claiming things that aren’t true. Your prospects aren’t stupid, and they don’t believe something can “change their lives” just because a website says so. You need proof. Proof can take many forms: believable testimonials, case studies, reviews, endorsements, etc. To diminish skepticism, you’re going to have to show, not just tell.

7. You aren’t asking for action.

You can’t expect people who are in a hurry, overwhelmed with the demanding tasks on their desks, to waste time figuring out what the next step is in their relationship with your company. You need to guide them through your buying process, and you need to make it easy for them. Use calls-to-action to tell them what to do next.

8. You’re asking for money too soon.

Unless you’re selling widgets under $50, your calls-to-action shouldn’t ask for money. It’s not likely that people will be ready to buy the first time they’re on your site, especially if you’re selling B2B. Prospects need to research, gather information, learn more about the solutions to their issues. Your job is to prove yourself so valuable throughout this process that the no-brainer decision is to buy from you. To know what you should be asking for on each page of your site or landing pages, consider each stage of the buying journey. What do you want prospects to do the first time they visit? Sign up for a series of education emails? Call for a demo? Download an eBook? Map out your buying journey with the desired actions you want people to take, then craft your CTAs accordingly.

9. Your CTAs are hiding.

Your CTAs need to stand out. Yes, they should coordinate with your design, but if they’re the same color as several other elements on the page or if they’re too small, they won’t capture attention. Everything you do on a page should drive toward that CTA.

10. You’re ignoring the role of UX.

You can have the most conversion-optimized copy in the world, but if your design doesn’t support that copy, it won’t do you any good. Is your site easy to navigate? Can people find the information they’re looking for quickly? Does your site look good on mobile? Is everything working properly, and does your site load fast? People have little patience with poorly-designed websites.

11. You’re focused exclusively on SEO.

Google has gotten a lot smarter in the last five or so years. Copy written for search engines not only isn’t necessary, it’ll also kill conversions. Write for your readers, and work keywords and synonyms in naturally.

If you’ve got these eleven elements right, your website should start delivering the leads, appointments, and customers you’re looking for.

 

 

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