Recently, I've been spending a lot of time evaluating and writing web copy for clients. Not only have I discovered that I really love this type of work, but I am also seeing common trends of what websites do well and where they could do better.
It should go without saying that your website should be aimed at your prospects and customers, but, perhaps surprisingly or not, this isn't often the case. It's quite common for me to go to a website and be quite puzzled about what this company actually does.
Put on your prospect glasses and really look at your website:
- Can your reader easily find important information?
- Are you addressing what is important to your reader instead of what you think is interesting (for every section ask, "Is this providing useful, understandable and relevant info to my readers?")
- Is it written a way so your readers really understand what you do?
Here are a just few suggestions on how you can make your website more appealing to your potential buyers.
Acknowledge that readers need different levels of information
This week I was looking at the resources page for a technology company, and they did something very simple that I thought was very effective. Next to a few of their resources (white papers, eBooks, webcasts, etc), they indicated "new user" or "intermediate user".
Instead of trying to have all of your content appeal to all of your readers, think of ways you can segment your readers and customize the content. Here are just a few ideas on categories you can consider:
- Experience with solution (i.e. just starting to look or evaluating vendors)
- Role/position in company (e.g. developer , mid-level l manager)
- Size or organization
Have an About Page
One of the first places I look for information on a website is the About page. Make this prominent interesting. While most websites had this, I was surprised by how many did not - or how many were really lacking in info. I really enjoyed this blog post from John Haydon called 27 ways to breathe life into your blog's "About" page; I think many of the points are valuable for anyone's about page.
Consider every page to be a landing page
You never where a prospect will enter your website, so you need to think of every page as a starting place for your readers. If you were a reader arriving at this page, would the content make sense and would you know what do next? Ardath Albee wrote a great article on this recently that I highly suggest to help you think through this process.
Have a next step on every page
What do you want you want your readers to do once they finish a page? Maybe they can get more info by reading a white paper or eBook or maybe there is an especially pertinent case study they can check out. Whatever it is, don't leave them guessing . . . tell them!
Tell readers how you are different
There are many times when I am evaluating a solution, and I want to understand how one product differs from another. I scour websites to find this info, but I have found that blog posts (hopefully impartial) are the best way to evaluate competitors. Wouldn't it be nice if the solution you were looking at could make this clear? And, how do you know the people who are evaluating your solution are really choosing your competitive differentiators you think are most important?
Make it easy for the reader to contact you
When I was working on a competitive analysis for one of my clients, I was looking for contact information for each company. I thought this type of info would be easy to find, but, surprisingly, it was difficult in more than one case. Give your readers a phone number, email and name of the person to contact.
These are some of the elements I think make a website more prospect-friendly. What other things do you like to see?
- Does Your B2B Website Content Create a Competitive Advantage?
- 5 Fast SEO Fixes You Can Do to Your Website Today
- Are You Losing Leads? Ten Tips for Better Landing Pages
Read more Savvy B2B posts by Michele.