Let’s face it; the first thing that attracts you to someone is not his or her personality.
Searching for a client on the Internet can very well be compared to online dating. You ain’t even going to click on that profile if the person’s photo isn’t attractive. Superficial, some may say. But nevertheless true. Besides, is it really that shallow? Because can’t one argue that what is happening on the inside will show up on the outside too?
Bottom line is that the same applies for your company. If your website doesn’t appeal to your target audiences aesthetically, they assume you’re not professional. And more often than not they write you off before you’ve even had a chance to show them what you can do for them.
Admittedly, looks is not the only thing that counts in the end though right? To build a lasting relationship with someone, most of us want it all. The whole package: looks, intelligence and personality.
So as important as it is for your website to attract your target audience straight away, you need to consider all the elements that will make them coming back for more again and again as well. And the all important must-have trio for any successful website is design, content and hosting.
‘Okay you’re cover boy pretty…With an ugly heart.’
A pretty face can only get you so far, as echoed in the lyrics of one of the latest popular hits ‘Ugly Heart.’ While we cannot overemphasise the importance of professional, catchy web design to catch your target audience’s eye in the first place, it is what lies beneath that will force them to look deeper and start engaging with you. This is why content is king. People need to get to know YOU. And like you enough to want to take it further. Not only is it important for all those you are trying to attract, but it is also monitored and measured by Google’s search engines. Simply put, the better quality content you have, the better your chances of getting ranked higher by Google. This is critical for you, because you want to become one of those companies who pop up first when someone starts to look for the kind of service you render.
But what if I don’t know how to express myself?
Not everyone is extrovert, exceptional communicators, or wordsmiths for that matter. So even though you may rock at what you’re doing, you may very well not know how to best tell people that. And rest assured that if this indeed is the case, you will join the ranks of many others. It is for this very reason that there is even a job description such as a copywriter in the first place. So while you might understand your business better than anyone else, it is well worth your while to invest in getting your message across properly- with the help of a professional. Especially if you consider that you’re competing for attention with a whole horde of other companies out there.
Tips for courting your potential clients.
Don’t come on too strong, too fast. Just like in dating, if you overwhelm the person with too much information right from the start, they’ll turn on their heels and run. Break your content up into bite size pieces that are easy to digest online, with an option to click and read more if the reader is indeed keen on digging a bit deeper.
Don’t beat around the bush. Your website should be user-friendly. Lately people are over stimulated with information on a daily basis so they will avoid overly complex. The same applies for your content. Keep it short, sweet and simple. Make it easy for people to understand exactly what you’re offering, what benefits it holds, how you offer it and why they should use you. And make sure they know exactly where to find you.
Be real. People just don’t appreciate pompous or stuffy anymore. Besides, in our sunny Mzansi the majority of people don’t speak English as a first language. So don’t think for one second that ripping out the Oxford dictionary and using words that no one understands will impress. On the contrary, you’ll lose your audience. Keep it light and conversational. Yes, the quality, usefulness and realness of your message are key. But you don’t need big words to make it clear that you know your stuff.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Think about what you would like to see and know if you were on the receiving end of this potential relationship. Make sure you address those nice-to-haves and need-to-haves adequately. Too many start bragging about themselves immediately and fail to show how they can touch the lives of their audiences instead.
Weigh your words. When vying for online attention, you need to understand the rules of online courtship. The fact that you’re playing space is Google, is one of your greatest challenges. You need to make sure you include the keywords that people will search for in your content. So in case you think I’m speaking Greek, let me explain. Let’s say you decide you want to sound all fancy and you decide to describe yourself as a floriculturist. Then no one is going to find you, because the word they will typically type in on the Google search bar will most likely be ‘gardener.’ There is luckily a way to find out what people search for in your space and your website designers will know how. So make sure that it is given some serious consideration.
Show your personality. Okay, so no one wants to come across as too arrogant. But the tipping point that eventually determines whether you get chosen or not, will be your personality and the strengths that you can bring to the party. The smarts call this the ‘reputation economy’ that we are now moving into. Studies are proving that it is becoming more important for people to know why you do what you do, than what you actually do. Show what moves and drives you and how you touch the world you move in. Showcase your strengths and differences, albeit humbly.
Keep the conversation going.
Don’t let your website be this static, boring entity that never evolves or never has something new to report. Keep your audience interested by keeping the conversation going. Share useful, interesting, funny or fuzzy information about you and your business with them to keep the relationship alive. A very good way to do this- is through a blog, or a ‘what’s new’ section where you constantly update what’s new, what’s hip and happening. Besides, Google luuurves regular, fresh content, especially blogs. And they should ideally be around 750 words or more.
If you take all of the above into consideration, you will increase your chances of getting more hits on your website. More importantly, you’ll up your chances of being right up there when people are looking for someone like you- significantly. Happy online business dating!