so, what happens when someone clicks through to your website?
do you persuade them to stay and find out more about you through the experience you immediately provide?
or, do visitors see information that looks just like the other sites in your niche?
those are enough questions for now. 🙂
but as you think about your answers, take a look at these five common optimization mistakes that keep prospects from connecting with your content.
each section includes guidance on how to fix the mistake.
mistake #1: your visitors can’t tell if your content’s right for them
a row of four new houses that all look basically the same were recently built on the street where i live. when a real estate agent starts taking potential buyers on tours of the houses, do you know what’s going to happen?
the potential buyers are going to examine the properties and make judgments about the differences they notice.
a woman is going to dislike the filigree on one of the front gates and select the house with the simple brown gate and extra large balconies. a man is going to love the house with the filigree on the front gate. another woman is going to hate the house with the extra large balconies and prefer the house with additional living room space.
you get the point.
while these houses appear roughly similar from the outside, visitors quickly assess which property is right for them based on their personal preferences.
the same thing happens when people search for information about a topic. the websites that appear at the top of search results for a keyword phrase might all look the same at first, so visitors will quickly inspect your content to see if it contains the qualities that are right for them.
if your special qualities (your proverbial front gate with filigree, large balcony, or spacious living room) aren’t clear, you won’t convince the people you want to attract that you can satisfy their preferences.
how to fix it
when you stop trying to attract everyone, it’s easier to attract those who recognize and appreciate your unique selling proposition (usp).
you’re right for some visitors and your competitors may be right for others. that’s okay.
mistake #2: your headlines aren’t specific
weak headlines that could appear on any other website in your niche typically fail to offer a benefit, or the benefit could be so vague that it fails to capture the attention of the people who you actually created the content for.
they could also be boring.
how to fix it
if you immediately communicate details about why your content is relevant and useful, you’ll grab the attention of people who need help with your topic.
aim to infuse your headlines with the essence of your usp and show your site visitors that you’re a match for them — faster.
mistake #3: you don’t edit
plenty of websites have success publishing first-draft content. if rough drafts form a bond with the people you aim to serve … cool.
but if your content isn’t striking a chord with the people you want to attract and develop relationships with, you may need to push yourself further.
how to fix it
rough drafts often fail to effectively convey your messages. they may contain too much information or tangents that distract busy readers and make your content less useful.
editing is about creating a content experience. rather than expressing raw thoughts, you craft a thoughtful presentation that helps solve a problem.
when you click on the link above, you’ll learn how to think like an editor.
mistake #4: you don’t give visitors more opportunities to learn
websites with a lot of content may still look like “brochure” websites if they don’t present a different angle or perspective that makes visitors think, “i like this specific approach to this topic.”
when visitors feel you offer them something they can’t find on other websites, they want to hear more from you and stay connected.
if you don’t anticipate a reader’s desire to learn more, he might bounce to other sites to see if they offer more resources.
how to fix it
ideally, you want to have so much great content that when visitors land on your site they’re frustrated that they don’t have enough time to consume it all in one sitting.
they’ll have to make a note to come back. now the question is:
do they sign up for your email list so they don’t miss any new content?
one of my favorite email marketing tips is to make signing up for your email list a no-brainer: show your potential subscribers they’ll get exclusive content that is a perfect match for their needs.
visitors will feel like they hit the jackpot that day on their journey.
mistake #5: you don’t empower visitors to make a purchase
it doesn’t spark the buying process.
if you don’t give visitors a taste of what it’s like to do business with you, you won’t convert prospects to customers.
how to fix it
when you convince your website visitors to keep up with everything you publish, you’re able to build the relationships that will build your business.
and the right balance of content and copy helps your prospects imagine what it’s like to buy from you.
demonstrate why your product or service will give them the transformation they desire.
optimize your content to grow your audience
if you want to do more than just think about the questions i mentioned at the beginning of this post, here’s an exercise:
- assign each of the mistakes above to a day next week, monday through friday.
- spend a couple hours each day identifying where you might make those errors and how you can fix them.
- by the end of the week, you’ll have a wealth of new ideas about how you can improve going forward.
this is the perfect time to take all of the work you’ve put into your website so far and make it even better for the next phase of your business.
copyblogger’s content writing masterclass
join copyblogger’s editor-in-chief, stefanie flaxman, for the content writing masterclass. it’s for all types of content creators who want to build audiences of interested prospects.