7 Content Development Strategies that Work

7 Content Development Strategies that Work

We are going to start this off with a short exercise. This will be very easy and shouldn’t take up a whole lot of time.

I want you to take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. 

7-Content-Development-Strategies-that-WorkYou’re done. Congratulations you’ve made it! That is the amount of time you have to attract your visitor on your website.Three whole seconds. Three seconds is all it takes to either hook your visitor or lose them. What does this mean for you? Well, this means you need to captivate your audience from the moment they are on your page. I am going to share with you seven ways to help you achieve this goal.

Technology is making us lose our attention span, so it’s so important to make sure you captivate your audience before they go anywhere. You got three seconds to make it absolutely worth it for your visitors. Let’s go over some of these techniques.

Content Development doesn’t have to be hard. Follow these 7 steps.

1. Don’t Over Complicate It

Remember, you only have three seconds to capture your reader. Because of this, make sure the content you’re providing is easy to read and to the point. Make sure your information has a good flow and engages your reader to continue on your website and read more. A lot of the time, the headline and title is the most important aspect. Using odd numbers in front of your headlines, like this one, usually intrigues the vast majority of people to click on the article. Numbers are easy for the brain to identify with, so we are naturally attracted to them. Especially odd numbers like 1, 3 ,5, 7. Odd numbers have a way of producing a middle digit, with which our brains naturally identify with.

2. Understand Your Audience

Make sure you know who you are trying to target. So often companies do not know their exact niche that they are going after and try to attract the entire web. This is going to be a huge, huge undertaking. Do some research so you can appropriately attract your intended audience. You can use tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner, or Google itself to facilitate this research. After you figure out who your audience is make sure to provide some useful information to educate them, this will help ensure that they see you as a credible source and trust the information you are providing them.

Remember, it’s always better to teach, than to sell.

3. Be Creative and Engaging

Use power words, this will immediately draw your reader in. Engage your readers emotionally or emphasize the facts you’re providing. Look, everybody can write. Perhaps not well, but everybody can type at some speed. Even those who just started using a keyboard and learning the “home-row keys”. Write so that your reader can relate to it. Use humor, tell a story, have fun with this! This isn’t a college essay and shouldn’t be read like one. In fact, this is the place where you can truly express yourself and deliver some amazing information to your visitors that is entirely in your control!

4. Use headlines and sub-headlines:

Most readers on the web don’t read the entire article. They scan it. If your article isn’t bulleted out or too bulky to read, like a college essay, you’re likely to attract a visitor that will bounce. That sucks, nobody wants visitors who bounce (leave your site). Content development is about engaging your users. If you need, start picking up some books on copy, like The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy.  Having headlines breaks up the space on the page into organizational segments that are easy to scan. Headlines and sub-headlines are also very useful for SEO, but we’ll get into that one a bit later. For now, just focus on creating great content for your users that attract their eyes where you want them.

5. Keep it proficient and professional

The readers on your website are reading what you have to say because you are the expert on what you are talking about…at least I hope so. Because of this don’t make silly mistakes that take away from coming off as a professional intelligent individual.

  • Check your spelling and grammar
  • Don’t lie about your qualifications
  • Don’t provide facts unless you know they are correct

These factors can make or break your online reputation and because it’s a public forum, people will talk and they will notice. Be as genuine as you can and try to come off somewhat intelligent. If your goal is to be humorous, still try to put sentences together.

6. Drive Results

By leveraging the above strategies you can create long lasting relationships with the visitors on your website. Once your readers value the information you are providing they will come back for more. Visitor retention is huge and your visitors and commentators should be treated like gold. Because, well, they are. They’re not physically gold, but they certainly have the same value as gold. Always appreciate the feedback you get from your visitors pertaining to your articles. You won’t regret it.

7. Ask Questions

People love to be challenged, engaged and questioned. Especially in content development. If you are speaking to your audience, they should be listening. And I’m sure their brains are working and thinking. This would allow them to subconsciously participate in the conversation, simply by reading your content. Asking questions is a great way to get people more involved in you work, generate traffic and gain appreciation from your visitors. People love to be apart of the conversation. Let me say that again, people love to be apart of the conversation. So let them participate, heck, encourage it! It’s great to have a real conversation from real people.

So…What other methods of content development techniques do you use? What books can be recommended to someone who is just learning about copy?

Landing Page Best Practices

Learn the 7 Secrets to Landing Page Best Practices

Dear Business Owner and Partner,

You’re spending money on Google Adwords, hired an SEO firm, have content being developed and are investing in social media. You’re doing the “online thing” right. You finally feel like you are doing it right and have a solid understanding of the web. Your business is seemingly everywhere. You may be asking yourself some of those common questions that we hear all the time:

  • Why isn’t my phone ringing?
  • Why am I not getting leads?
  • Why is my bounce rate so high?

You think that you have it all figured out on the web, but in reality, you are struggling just like every small business out there. Something isn’t right. Perhaps it’s because the pages your visitors are landing on are not good landing pages. There are tons of elements that go into a solid landing page. First of all, the day of a single landing page is over. The entire site should resemble a landing page and optimize conversions. Your site should be a high-converting machine. It’s not quite that straight forward, however.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is simply that, a page that a user lands on to receive some sort of information. Each page on your site is essentially another landing page. A classic landing page has a singular focus and is designed to convert for a particular product or service. By convert, I mean persuade the user to take some sort of action on the web. This doesn’t have to be a monetary action. It can be simply an action that you want the user to take. This can be signing up for a form, a membership portal, or downloading an ebook. These are all forms of actions or conversions that exist on landing pages. This entire page is an example of a classic landing page.

The definition of a landing page is changing. I envision a site that every page is designed to persuade the user to convert. The entire goal is to get the user to opt into some sort of offer. Each page on your site should be optimized with this singular focus in mind. This isn’t to say that it is still not wise to have a landing page with a singular focus, you just should always be considering how you can help someone out by offering them a product or service. Every page on your site should be a landing page. As you browse this page, you will see certain elements that scream landing page. This particular page is called a long-form sales letter. It is very lengthy and that’s the purpose: provide a ton of information up front so that you are an authority or trusted source on the subject.

There are elements that are more or less required on a landing page and these are considered the Landing Page Best Practices.

What are the Landing Page Best Practices?

So there isn’t any right or wrong way to build a landing page. Anything is qualified as a landing page. There is a clear distinction of just a landing page and high converting landing page. Let’s pick one apart.

Keep in mind, this is an example landing page and there are DOZENS of other styles. This particular one does not have an opt in form because it is designed to drive traffic to a particular portion on the bottom of the page. The goal of this page is to get clicks to the orange button on the bottom. You can swap the “video” with an opt-in form.

Before we begin to pick apart a landing page, I want to note how important this next portion is. Keep this in mind when you are building landing pages. Users eyes migrate in a “Z” pattern on a screen. Putting anything they want to take action with is usually recommended on the right hand side of the page. Your forms will convert 30%+ higher than normal when following the “Z” rule. Always put all opt in forms on the right hand side of the page. We are used to this and you will have a much higher probability of someone seeing this as opposed to somewhere else on the page.

Z-Pattern-LoDo-Web

Now that you understand the “Z” rule, it’s time to tackle the landing page itself. Let’s figure out the anatomy of a landing page. Below are the 7 Secrets to Landing Page Best Practices

LoDo-Web-Landing-Page-Best-Practices1. Logo Area

Because users eyes navigate in the “Z” pattern, a logo at the top left is a must. This helps establish an authority and immediately associates your potential customer with your company. This establishes the brand identity that you are seeking to create within your customers mind. Throughout the entire read of the landing page, the customer will be thinking about your company.

2.Click to Call Phone Number

A click to call phone number enables the user to call you with one click. This is essential to have especially for smart phones. What it does is it activates the app on the phone with your number inserted immediately. This allows you to dial the user right away, without having to copy and past the phone number manually. Placing the phone number makes it obvious what your goal is from the potential customer. Making it a click to call just makes it easier.

3. Clear Compelling Headline

All landing pages share something in common. As you noticed the title of this page is “Learn the 7 Secrets to Landing Page Best Practices”. This immediately tells you what this page is going to be about, without any distractions. This is very clear right from the start and sets up the expectation of what your page is going to be about. This is huge. If you don’t establish this right away, you will increase your bounce rate.

4. Video

Including a video here will allow your potential customers to quickly see who you are and adds a “human element” into the web presence. As mentioned earlier, this can be replaced with an opt in form. Placing the video here gives the impression that you are indeed a human and are just like the potential customer. You want to relate with them as much possible. The opt in form here, because of the “z” pattern, will naturally attract the eyes of the visitors. This increases your conversion rate.

5. Body with Image

First you need a headline for each one of your body sections. This headline needs to be compelling and talk about the benefits of the product first, and then the features. Benefits before features. An example of a benefit headline is Participants Lost 17 Pounds in this Clinical Study (16% Body Fat). This tells the potential customer how they can benefit from your product, before talking about the features. Each text block should go into the benefit briefly. The next major body headline should talk about the features of the product or service and go into more details about the product. Hence the features. Inside each block you may put an image to help break up the text. This helps engage the visitor with some visual “eye candy” to help breakup the boring page of text of a traditional landing page.

6. Testimonials Section

Testimonials can be text testimonials, before and after images, companies you’ve worked with or any other number of testimonials. These help increase your authority and show you that you are a big deal to work with. You often see all the publications you’ve been apart of or any large clients you’ve worked with. This further establishes your authority on the subject matter.

7. Clear Call To Action

Notice the call to action at the bottom of the page. It is a statement: Take Me To The Offer. This is arguably the most important portion of the entire landing page as it tells the potential customer what you want them to do. In this case we are taking them to an offer page, but it can easily be a form opt in, lead opt in, newsletter opt in, or additional links. Whatever it is you want the potential customer to do on your page is what you should be marketing. This is why it’s called a call to action.

By the way, did I mention the team at LoDo Web are experts at making high converting landing pages? In case you weren’t aware, you can contact us at any time to increase the conversions for your business. The above is just an example of a great landing page that can help you get some inspiration for your next advertising campaign.

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How To Upload Your Products to Google Shopping

Typically your Google shopping feed should be automatically integrated with your shopping cart, however you may want to make sure all your products are formatted the way they should look. Sometimes Google misses products, or the listings are incorrect and you need to take matters into your own hands. You know how things can get lost in translation at times. It is a good practice to learn how to use Google Merchant Data Feeds so that in case Google doesn’t index your products correctly, you have an alternative solution. Before we proceed, 

Google Shopping Merchant Center

however, we must first make sure the account is set up.

Read more