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Tips For Website Content - Perhaps the most important element of your website.

Having a great looking website is not very effective if the content is confusing, poorly written and/or incomplete.  You have two main audiences to keep in mind:Potential Clients and Search EnginesThe former is obvious but the latter is just as important.  These guidelines can help you improve the visitors’ experience:

  • Search Engines love fresh, relevant content.  Update your website often with articles, news and anything that pertains to your products and industry.  You'll improve your traffic and turn visitors into clients.
  • Products Section - In addition to providing a description of your product or service, highlight the benefits.  Explain why your visitors need it.  If possible, quantify the benefits and provide proof.
  • Establish your credibility - nobody will buy if they don't feel comfortable with you. 
  • Write each section and page with Search Engines in mind (see the section below on Search Engines).  Make it easy for Search Engines to index your website in their databases.
  • Consider hiring a professional writer.  A professional writer can make your website much more effective by creating coherent, enticing content.  As well, most will offer to contact your clients in order to create testimonials, case studies, etc.  In addition to having professionally written copy for your website, you can use the material for other marketing purposes (brochures, flyers, etc).

Testimonials: The best way to establish your credibility is to provide third party evidence that your product or service has benefited others. Testimonials from your satisfied customers are a great way to show prospective buyers how they will benefit by dealing with you.  Be sure to include the names of your satisfied customers as well as their company information. If possible, include pictures with the testimonials. This will personalize the message, add credibility and demonstrate that they're real people who've enjoyed tangible benefits from your product.  To create immediate interest, it's a good idea to have at least one of your best testimonials prominently featured on your homepage.

Action: If you want people to buy your products or services, you have to tell them how to do it. Don't leave them guessing. You have to explain exactly what you want them to do, and make it easy for them to do it.  Provide your customers with clear, easy-to-understand instructions of the steps involved to make a purchase.  Your goal is to show the prospective customer that they will be well treated and that the sales process will go smoothly when they contact you.

Online Resources:  People expect instant gratification from the Internet – they are used to being able to find what they want at any time online.  You should include documents, technical specs, etc. that can be used for reference purposes.  If you choose, the information can reside in a password-protected section of the website. Your website can provide important, useful information 24/7/365 to employees, customers, distributors, etc.  If having immediate, easy access to certain information is a benefit to any of the above groups, you should include it.  You can publish the information as web pages and/or allow the user to download files such as PDF’s, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, etc.  Here’s an example:If you have a User Manual, consider publishing it on your website.  The benefits are twofold:· It is readily accessible resulting in improved customer satisfaction and lessening the burden on your customer support.· It can improve the traffic to your website.  Your User Manual will contain many keywords and phrases that are specific to your product and company.  By allowing the Search Engines access to your User Manual, you can increase the likelihood that your website will rank higher in their search results.

Images:A website is the perfect medium to let people visualize your products or services. Include photos of every product you sell. Attractive product shots can pique the interest of your visitors and boost your sales.  If you have a lot of products for sale, consider an online catalog. If you're selling services, you may want to show photos of your staff providing the service. This makes your service more tangible to your visitors.  If you lack photos and images, you can purchase stock photos online quickly and cheaply.  As well, consider asking clients, suppliers and distributors for photos and/or images.

Attractive Opt-In Offer: Most first-time visitors don't contact you right away. However, the fact that they've come to your website in the first place means they're at least curious about what you have to offer.In order to foster a relationship with these potential customers, you should collect their e-mail addresses by encouraging them to subscribe to a free newsletter or a free download (such as a product catalog). This will give you the chance to send them updates, develop a relationship and increase their comfort level so they’ll eventually buy from you.Opt-in offers are an excellent way to turn visitors into prospects and prospects into customers.  Gathering a permission-based email list and sending your marketing material to prospects can be almost completely automated.

Weblog (Blog): A blog is a frequently updated online journal. Although blogs started as a fad, many companies now use blogs to connect with clients, employees and the general public. The elements of interactivity, community and collaboration make blogs a great tool for small and medium size businesses.  Many SMB’s are adopting blogs for customer relations, advertising, promotion and even internal communications. A blog can create interest, encourage repeat visits and keep people updated on what's happening with your products.  Consider including a RSS Feed to encourage repeat visits and wide distribution.

Case Studies: As with Testimonials, case studies are a highly effective means of marketing your product.  A well-written case study will describe the important aspects of your product and how it benefited your customer.

Reprinted from the SnapTech Blog

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An accomplished speaker and writer of website-related articles and guides, Tim helps organizations bridge the gap between traditional business strategy and online initiatives.

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