You’ve done all the work. You’ve made an offer your target market can’t ignore, your landing page is designed to convert, the page is optimized for SEO, and yet your conversion rate is in the dumps.
Now, you’re crawling the internet to find out what you’ve done wrong. Did you use the wrong images? Is your call-to-action weak? Are you missing a key element to your site?
The fatal flaw to your page may be staring you right in the face.
Your content could be boring your visitors.
What’s Happening On Your Page?
A potential lead has landed on your landing page and likes everything they see. The website looks clean, no obnoxious pop-ups, and there are no red flags about the deal. The page has passed the first test. Then they begin to delve into the content to learn more about what you’re offering to see if it is worth handing over their personal information. The offer doesn’t excite, the copy is bland, and off they bounce. It may be a cliche that first impressions are everything, but it’s those first impressions that make them want to hang out on your site.
Whether it’s a ten-minute video or just a paragraph, if it’s boring you will lose them. Boring content causes you to lose visitors and contributes to a low conversion rate
It can be a tough pill to swallow, but you need to find out if and why your content is boring. Think back to a time in school where your teacher droned on and on. Do you remember a single thing from that lecture or did you make a scorecard for how many times that teacher stuttered or stammered? Your site’s visitors aren’t trapped on the page like you were in class, so they’ll leave when they feel their eyes closing.
Don’t Try to Please Everyone
If you create content with the goal of attracting everybody to the page, it’s probably boring. The issue with creating content meant to appease everybody is that it’s gray. It’s boring. It lacks flavor.
Content geared towards a specific market is more likely to be engaging, but can still suffer from a serious case of the blahs. Here are a few indicators to see if your content is a snoozefest:
- The bite of your original piece got edited away.
- The content has keywords “stuffed” into it.
- It reads like it was written for search engines, not people.
- The page has a very high bounce rate compared to other similar pages.
- You have a hard time reading it yourself.
[tweetthis]If you create content with the goal of attracting everybody to the page, it’s probably boring. [/tweetthis]
You Gotta Give What Your Customers Want
So how do you create content that actually engages your audience, while still informing them of the benefits of your offer? The first step, like in any part of marketing, requires looking at the target market. Understanding what your market wants requires interpreting large amounts of data.
You can’t create engaging content without knowing what will engage your target consumers. It just won’t work. An offer geared towards a decision maker at a large business will be extremely different from one directed toward a stay at home blogger. Targeting people with specific content is necessary for converting and engaging visitors.
Talk Like A Real Person, Not A Corporation
Your company’s voice should match what your targeted audience responds to. A quick way to a lower conversion rate is to have a boring, corporate voice. Filling your content with “buzzwords,” legal jumbo, or otherwise coming across as a business alienates your visitors instead of converting them.
A good solid voice should come across as human, use language and words recognizable by the target audience, and be unique. That doesn’t mean you need to be cracking jokes or have your page read like a Buzzfeed article. It takes practice to form the perfect voice and will require A/B testing to find what works for your audience.
Having a good voice doesn’t just apply to readable content either. If your content is in the form of a video, you have even more branding and voice variables to manage. Where is your video being shot? How are you dressed? What are you saying and how are you saying it? All of these factors have to be analyzed and accounted for before filming your video.
Matching your video to your target market’s preferences will help keep them entertained. An interesting video needs to look professional but not corporate. It must also get directly to the point so you don’t waste any of your viewers’ time. That means skipping extensive logo intros and long-winded explanations of your company.
Skimming Leads To Reading Which Leads To Buying
When your visitor lands on the page, they are immediately scanning it for useful information. They first examine the general layout and look of the site. If they scroll down, they scan through some images, read a few headlines and glance at the offer/form. From there, they look at the headline, sub-headlines, a few bullet points and maybe read a few sentences here and there. Eight out of ten visitors that stay will do just this at first glance. The other two will read everything immediately.
That means you need to focus a lot more on a stellar headline than perfect paragraphs. Consumers should be able to get a general idea of what your content is saying without ever reading a paragraph. Be sure to capitalize on headers and images. Skip the cheesy stock photos and have custom graphics that show benefits quickly and easily.
After this first glance, your visitor makes a decision. Do they leave the page, read all of the content for more information, or take the offer without further research?
If they’ve decided to read further, that’s when your content gets the chance to shine.
Getting Them to Say “I Gotta Have It!”
Why does your visitor need your product/service? They’ve obviously survived this long without it, so they obviously don’t “need” it. Creating a need early on the page will hook visitors into staying and force them to consider your product. Without a need, they will simply bounce away, uninterested and unengaged.
[tweetthis]Creating a need early on the page will hook visitors into staying and force them to consider your product.[/tweetthis]
Create a need by:
- Identifying or creating a problem they weren’t aware of.
- State how that they could improve on current results.
- Show how they are doing their job the hard way and how you can ease the burden.
- Create a sense of scarcity about your product.
Creating a need is a great way to draw interest, but avoid trying too hard to create a need. Think of those cheesy infomercials that try to create a need by exaggerating everyday scenarios. This is the opposite of what you want to do. Creating a need should be subtle and relevant, not take a small or nonexistent problem and blow it out of proportion.
What Are Other People Saying About You?
You already have the consumer interested with snappy headlines and a relevant offer, now you need to close the deal. Give the reader what they want. Explain the benefits of the service/product, not what it is or how it works. Your consumers want to know why they should A) continue reading and B) how this offer will improve their life. If it’s an offer for an information product, explain how the information will help them accomplish something. If it’s for a physical product, show how the product will better their life.
Customers aren’t going to take your word for it, though. Using customer testimonials is a way to both validate what you are saying and keep your audience interested. Getting testimonials can be tricky and need to be related specifically to the product/service you are promoting.
Having a general “Company X is great to work with. They are very professional” is helpful on a page all about your company, but pointless when your goal is to create conversions. Great conversion testimonials talk about the benefits they saw from the product and how it helped them.
Case studies are also a great way to grab interest. Backing up your benefits with hard data that’s easy to understand roots your claims in real life scenarios. If your product will increase ROI, having a case study to back it up makes your business more reputable and trustworthy. If you don’t think a case study will resonate with your target market, provide some hard data in an easy-to-digest chart or by simply giving relevant stats.
Trimming The Fat On Your Page
On the quest to creating interesting content, it’s easy to get sidetracked. You’re passionate about your product and company, so the urge is strong to tell your visitor everything about it. You want to include how you made the product, explain every single feature, and a hundred other things. Don’t.
What your reader is interested in is the benefits, if it works, and what it will cost them. Everything else is fluff that puts your page at risk of losing visitors. Look at your copy with the fresh eyes of a consumer with a need. Ask yourself “Is this fluff, or is it essential?” This will help your content be focused.
There’s a persistent myth that the average attention span is about eight seconds. It’s more accurate to say that people’s ability to be patient about a message lasts that long. Your headlines and bulleted lists work to grab people during this initial span of time, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to stick around to make your point if they decide to read further. Your goal is to give as much pertinent information as possible before your visitor loses focus.
If you do need a lot of content on a landing page, include visual breaks to help your visitors refocus. That way, instead of bouncing away from your page to look up something else, they can take a brief mental break and pick back up where you want them to. It’s all about controlling their attention and keeping them interested.
Consider taking a minimalist approach to your content as well. Having a landing page with just a few lines explaining a benefit and the call to action makes your product become a simple solution to what may be a complex problem.
Content Only Works If…
Get a high conversion rate isn’t a one-time thing, and it can’t rely solely on your content. Interesting content needs to work hand in hand with stellar design, proper form length, images, and a dozen other strategies.
Creating a great landing page requires a lot of A/B testing, research and having each element support each other. This isn’t something you can do once and leave alone. Constant tweaking and improvement are the only way to get a solid conversion rate, and that include your content.
Next week, we’ve got an interesting podcast lined up for your listening pleasure.
Do you have some advice for creating exciting, engaging content? Share with us in the comments below.
Ben Allen is a freelance content creator who specializes in helping small businesses create helpful and engaging articles. Outside of his work, he also writes about video games, technology, health and education. To read more of his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @allen24ben