When you are faced with writing content for your website, one of the most difficult things in the world is to stare that that blank page with that disrespectful cursor sitting there just blinking at you, taunting you to throw a punch at your computer monitor.
Especially when it comes to writing content about your products and services, it seems like our mind goes blank and we forget everything that makes us unique and so valuable to our customers and our market.
This is by far the norm rather than the exception for most people. You are not alone!
What you need is a bit of a kickstart to help you get the juices flowing and your fingers clicking away at your keyboard.
You need a framework that allows you to answer some questions about your customers, some questions about your products and services, and questions about your company that will give you an effective formula that allows you to write great content that generates leads and engagement.
Content that not only explains what you do and how you do it, but communicates it in a way that captivates your potential clients and customers and has them anticipating the next step.
Most people write their content in the wrong way, and they end up with content that is boring, disengaging and does nothing for the reader but waste their time and give them motivation to go back to Google and continue their search.
Now hold on a minute before you start taking personal offense to what I’m saying. I know you worked hard on your content. You’re just communicating the wrong thing.
You’re writing about what you think your customers want to read about – what your company does.
The problem is that they are too consumed with themselves and their own pain and problems to really care that much about what you do.
You’ve written about what you do, but their looking for the how. Their looking for how you are going to help them feel better, do better, look better and be better.
Your customers care about themselves!
That’s why they don’t click on your buttons, or fill out your forms, or call you, or browse your site past the homepage they land on.
Just think about it for a second. How does it feel when you’re in a conversation with someone and every time they talk it’s about themselves. It sucks!
I call this “weeing all over yourself”.
Now that I have adequately covered the wrong way to write website content, let’s talk about the right way!
The cardinal role in writing content for your website is to get involved in the conversation that is going on inside your customer’s head (Thank you Robert Collier).
You have to talk to them and to their pains and problems.
You have to help them understand that you not only have a solution, but that you understand what they are going through and what they are feeling.
Image credit: http://www.whywesuffer.com
You see, they don’t even really know what they are really struggling with and what their real problem is. If they did know that, they would have taken steps to fix it.
Your job is to give them a voice. To give them something they can align with. Something that makes them feel understood and like they matter.
Your customer needs to see that you intimately know about their problems. That you understand their problems better than they understand them themselves.
There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective ways is to ask questions in your content as if you are stating a question right out of your customer’s head. An example of this for this particular subject would be something like,
“How do I write content that gets generates new leads and sales?”
“How do I get rid of this back pain? I don’t know what to do.”
“How do I find a roofing company that won’t burn me and that will get the job done on time and within budget?”
Questions like this reveal the conversation that is going on in your customer’s head, and voices it in a way that helps them feel like you understand them. This is the first step to genuinely connecting to your customers through your website.
Most website content is written to an audience, but if you think about it, your customers are not gathering together in the cafeteria at lunch time in a crowd to read about your products and services.
In fact, they most likely feel alone, insecure, afraid, frustrated and anxious…like their the only one with the problem they have.
If you just imagined that in your mind when you wrote your content, you would completely change the way you write.
Think about it. Have you ever been so captivated by someone asking you questions that you just want to scream out loud, “HOW DO I FIX IT??!!”
Here’s an example!
When you sit down to your computer to write content for your website, do you ever feel like your boss or manager is standing over your shoulder watching you…just waiting for you to type that first keystroke so they can criticize and chastise you for your impending monumental failure at communicating the companies value in the right way?
Have you ever sat down to write, and then as the blank page stares at you as if you were David in front of Goliath, you think to yourself , “Hey, I wonder if that email from so and so came in about that new policy that is so much more important than what I’m doing right now?”
Do you ever just wish that you didn’t have to start from scratch when you sit down to write? Like if you just had something that could just get you started on the right track, you could fly through it and get it done?
Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m just going to finish clearing my inbox and re-prioritize my tasks for the day and then I’ll start writing!”?
See what I’m saying!!!! You are sitting there right now like, “Yes…, Yes!, YES!! Yes yes yes!!!! What now?”
And that is the key.
When they know you understand and that you are having the same conversation they are having in their head, the natural progression is to the next step of asking you for the answer!
It’s almost impossible for a person not to think you have the solution if they feel understood and accepted in their admission of vulnerability and weakness in a given area.
By asking questions they are asking and voicing complaints they are voicing, you are helping them admit they don’t have an answer and relieving them of the intense burden they carry. You are freeing them to think about the possibility of a brighter future!
“You have to get their attention before they will listen to anything you say.”
No matter what you are purchasing, it’s all the same!
For instance, imagine you are going to buy a new cell phone. Let’s look at two different scenarios.
You walk into the local cell phone emporium, and the guy that greets you when you come in immediately takes you over to the newest, best phone in the joint because that is the one he has and starts rattling off everything he knows including all the 3000 features and all of its capabilities. You are excited at first. Who wouldn’t be? You are going to get a new smart phone right?
Well, your excitement quickly dissipates as the constant stream of talking at you becomes overwhelming and you start to feel annoyed and agitated and wonder where you even are right now.
Painful, I know. Lets look at the next scenario, shall we?
You walk into the local cell phone’s r us and a friendly young woman greets you and your family with a warm smile. She walks you over to a comfortable seating area and asks you and those that accompany you if you would like a bottled water. She then starts by asking you all about yourself and your family and takes genuine interest in everything about you.
She asks you about the phones you have now, and what you do for a living, where you travel, what you like to do on the weekends, where you are from, where your kids go to school.
Then she asks you about the biggest problem you have with your current phone and plan and what you like best about them. She asks you if you could waive a magic wand, what would your phone and service do for you?
On top of that, she is taking diligent notes the entire time you are talking. She understands that this experience is all about you and how she can get you what you need and with the best experience possible.
Huge difference right?
At the end of scenario 1, your face is melting off of your skull, and you want to run screaming into the busy street.
At the end of scenario 2, you are so engaged that you will sign on the dotted line no matter what she tries to sell you and then you will promptly invite her over to your house to eat dinner with you and your family.
This is exactly what we want to do with your content!
When you can accomplish this sort of genuine engagement with the copy you write, here is what will happen:
There is also a great byproduct of all of the above and that is…
When you give people what they need to make a good decision and you make it frictionless to take the next step, they begin to trust you and buy from you.
Let’s get started shall we?
This questionnaire is meant to create an outline that will help you to write this page’s content in a more organized and effective way. Most importantly, this questionnaire will help you to understand the value behind this service and communicate it in a way that is engaging to the only ones who matter – your customers and clients.
**Here’s a secret…“People don’t care about the details so much as they care about whether or not you can fix their problem. You get them to see that by showing them you are in touch with them and what they are experiencing – that you understand their pains, problems, and goals.
This is the most important part of any content that you will write on any page on your website. If you don’t intimately and fully understand the problem than there isn’t a way for you to accurately and effectively solve that problem.
This section is meant to help you describe the problem in a way that your potential customer or client can relate to and engage with – in a way that they can connect with emotionally. If it resonates with them, they will be interested in the solution you provide. It’s that simple!
Describe the main pains that your potential customer/client who are reading this page are experiencing right now. What are they scared of, anxious or about, confused about? What do they need to understand what you are trying to explain on this page?
Here are a couple of examples of some problems for potential customers of a roofing company.
Here is what it should look like:
**You may not need all the spaces above. Just use the ones you do and add more if you need to.**
List all of the types of people that will be interested in this solution and this content. Who are you talking to?
Above, you defined the problem and the pain. In this section you are going to list the ways that your company helps its clients/customers overcome those pains & problems and to achieve their goals and aspirations.
For each problem that you listed above there should be a benefit below. If you can, provide an example of this benefit playing out practically for one of your customers/clients
This is an opportunity to emotionally connect with the visitors on the site. We have already talked about the problems, and now we offer the result of the solution in terms of the problems we just stated
This is one of the most important parts of the content on any page of your website. It is one sentence (2 max) that describes the main value that this page provides to your customer/client. This short introduction is going to communicate to the reader why they want to continue to read the rest of the content so it needs to be short and concise and value driven.(big picture)
Use the information that you’ve compiled above to fill in the answers to the questions below.
This is the section where you will describe the service step-by-step and explain the means or processes to achieving the benefits listed above.
This is the section where you can list the details of the process of the program/service.
How does this process look step by step?
Give a step by step description using simple bullet points. This draws attention and makes the content easily scannable. Try to limit each bullet point to no more than 3 or 4 sentences.
What is the main benefit or reason for this page?
This is a great place to insert some testimonials that speak to this. Actual experience builds a lot of trust and credibility with your potential clients.
Some examples are below, but you don’t have to fill them all in.
Some examples are below, but you don’t have to fill them all in.
There are two purposes to every page on your website. The first is to give meaningful information that moves your reader to take the next steps. The second is to make those next steps easy to find and take.
I could and will spend a lot more time talking about call’s to action, but I am going to give a basic rundown here so you know about them and how they are to be implemented at a basic level.
THERE MUST BE A CALL TO ACTION ON EVERY SINGLE PAGE OF YOUR WEBSITE!!!! (Yelling)
This is arguably the most important part of your content. On 98 out of 100 websites, the reader/potential customer/client will be left hanging at the end of the page they are reading with no clear next steps to take to move forward…or in any direction for that matter.
It’s like giving someone directions to your office by just giving them the address of the building it’s in without the suite. Then when they get there, there is no map in the lobby to guide them where they should go.
The goal is to get your visitor to take a definite action somewhere throughout your content on every page that moves them closer to engaging directly with you in some way. This can look different depending upon the situation, but here are a few possible calls to action.
There should be calls to action throughout the content that move people along the process to taking the next step, getting in contact with you and your company, signing up to your email list, or purchasing your product or service.
These calls to action can take many different forms, and must be relevant to the context they are placed in. What I mean is you don’t want to put a big red button that says “Buy Now!” at the end of your “About Us” page. Does that make sense?
Here are some examples of some possible calls to action.
In my next post, I am going to actually provide examples of this process so you can see exactly how this is supposed to look with actual content.
Subscribe below so you are updated when I post it.