The most important building block of any website is knowing the intent of your users. With over 1 billion websites in existence, if yours is nothing more than an online brochure it has very little chance of selling anything in the crowded Internet marketplace.
People go online to find information. Few people get on the internet thinking, “I can’t wait to see ads and buy stuff!” Is this something you do? Why are you reading this article?
Take a moment to think about your own habits and how you spend time on the internet. Even when someone is shopping for something they are generally seeking information, not advertising.
Sales copy on the internet needs to provide useful information that appeals to the target audience and must not look or feel like a corporate presentation. The actual product or service is generally not revealed until the very end as a “by the way” mention with a light call to action.
1. Don’t make your website look like an advertisement
The average person is exposed to an average of 3250 advertisements per day from TV, billboards, radio, the Internet, and everywhere else. Since most people have been bombarded with ads for most of their lives, humans have evolved to subconsciously identify and tune out commercial messages.
Many online businesses seem to go out of their way to make their websites look like ads, billboards, or other commercial media. They unknowingly turn away potential customers for lacking the recognition and authority held by global brands.
2. Put your expertise on display
In order to build more authority, you must put your expertise on display with highly informative and shareable web content. The goal is brand recognition and to give visitors a reason to use your website – the sales are a byproduct.
Your website should provide information that your customers are looking for, with an editorial feel. Like a knowledgeable sales person helping a customer find the best product to suit their needs, focus more on solving a problem rather than giving a good deal.
3. There is no law which says that advertisements have to look like advertisements
People generally tune out ads, but they tune in to editorial information. If you make your advertisements look like editorial pages, you will attract more readers.
Avoid blatant sales pitches; instead, provide easily digestible information that tilts the visitor’s favor toward your product or service. It should read like an editorial, testimonial, advice, case study, or endorsement.
4. Explain your product or service in practical ways
If no one understands what you’re saying, no one will buy what you’re selling. When you give information that is useful to your prospect, or explain how to solve a problem, he or she is likely to feel at the subconscious level that only your product will do the job.
Few people are predisposed to spend money until they understand the value of what they are getting for that investment. If you don’t provide enough information, you won’t close the sale.