Let me cut to the chase since this is going to be a very long article. Consider the visitor and all the ways one might get to your site:
- Organic search results
- PPC ads
- Ads on other sites
- Email marketing
- Links within content posted on other sites (guest blogging, commenting, natural back links)
- Links within a resource box
- Your/your followers Twitter feeds
- Other social media platforms
I may have missed a few, so feel free to add your own.
Because the visitor isnt just typing in your brand name or URL, you can safely assume theyve never been to your site, dont know anything about it and are expect the fulfillment of a promise.
Whats the promise?
The promise is theyll get something that addresses their pain, whether its a want or a need. The promise is if the ad says Free Report Guaranteed to Help Boost Your Traffic, theyll get a free report along with a guarantee. If an organic search result says 10 Great Ways to Brighten Up a Dark Room, they expect that promise to be fulfilled.
Every way someone can get to your site is an ad, whether paid or not. Every way is the visitors first introduction to your brand, your business, your website " these are the first introductions to YOU. These places are the first handshakes; they have to be firm and impressionable. Make them count!
Yes, you want to optimize for the search engines. Fine, fine " but what about the visitor? As a copywriter, optimizer and Internet user let me strongly stress this point: NEVER sacrifice the visitor experience for the search engines.
If your ad, search engine result, resource box, etc is highly optimized but doesnt read well because of the optimization, please just stop. Start over. Rewrite. Dont ever let a description of your company get onto the Internet without it being visitor friendly.
So how do you get visitors to your site?
Reach out to them. Address their needs and wants, based on the way they might visit your site. For example, you wouldnt write a resource box the same way youd send out a Twitter feed, or a SE result the way youd write a place a link. No matter where the information is going, however, ask yourself these questions:
- What do I have that my visitors want and/or need?
- What problem does my product/service solve?
- What benefits can they get from my particular product/service?
- What features does my product/service have?
- What sets my business apart from the competition?
- Would the need/want be urgent?
With the answers to these questions, youll have all you need to write a strong ad, resource box or search result. Use these questions wisely. Finally, remember that whatever you write will give the visitor some kind of expectation.
6 Ways to Keep Visitors on Your Site
Say everything is perfect. Your traffic is doing well and your site is busier than New York City. The only problem is, nobody is staying. How can you change that?
1. Remember every page is a landing page.
Your services page can be a landing page, but so can your home, about or terms of service pages. You cant assume that anyone seeing your about page came from somewhere else on your site. Build each page as if its the first page your visitor will see.
2. Less link bait more truth.
Many people use link bait as a way to get people to their site. However, if your content doesnt somehow match the link bait, its going to upset some visitors. A few sites have actually lost a lot of visitors due to a high amount of link bait articles. You can link bait, but use it cautiously, carefully.
3. Fulfill your promise.
You promised them something that made them click on your link. You have to make good on that promise. If you have a how to, give them how to. If you promise a free report, dont try to sell it to them. If you promise them they can learn how to play poker by reading your article, teach them to play poker (or at least give them pointers).
In other words, never, NEVER lie in your headline. Theyll never trust you again if you do. You can give misleading headlines (Why You Dont Need SEO) to tweak their curiosity, but immediately correct it in the beginning of the content on the page.
4. Repeat yourself.
The headline of a page should repeat the headline of the ad or search result. If it doesnt, the visitor may lose interest, be confused or feel cheated.
5. Dont tease.
This isnt flirtatious fun; this is business. Dont tease the visitor in the first couple of paragraphs. Immediately step into the goods. Now, with articles/blogs, you can lead them in with a series of questions to show them you understand their pain, but dont make it a long lead in.
6. Use your friends and family.
Heres the biggest problem with you writing for your visitors: youre a professional and theyre laypeople. They may not understand the terms you use. Before putting any content out on the Net, run it by friends and/or family. Given they are going to be honest with you of course. If they stop and say, whats this mean, you need to use a different word or give an explanation. Example: This will help you increase your ROI (Return on Investment). Basically, understanding what is going to convert and what is dead in the water.
Finally, heres a bonus tip: test. Test everything. I dont mean test everything at once " have a plan " but no matter how perfect you think something is, youre only human. Theres always room for improvement. The tighter you can get your tags, resource boxes, links, ads, headlines, content, etc, etc ad nauseum, the more visitors youll be able to pull in " and the more visitors will stay.
How do you go about getting people to come to your site?
For the past twenty years Gabriella has held positions as a consultant, web developer and creative director until she decided it was time to open Level 343, an SEO and copywriting company. She fancies herself an Italian rocker, rebel and SEO geek. She loves singing in the shower and keeps a notepad next to her bed.