Tuesday, June 28, 2011

‘Wine and Dine’ Your Prospects to Convert Them

A recent article on conversions compared the process to trying to establish a relationship with someone. This metaphor is a clever way to look at converting potential clients, with the main point being that conversation should be the driving force throughout the process. There is no one point of conversion; instead, nurture your leads in multiple ways on their journey to becoming loyal customers.

Start With a Corny Pick-up Line

When trying to get someone’s attention in a bar, people often resort to using pick-up lines. They need to distinguish themselves somehow from the others and, while often cheesy, these lines usually get attention. The conversion equivalent, then, is crafting a creative, compelling headline that will make your site stand out from amongst the crowd on the SERPs. Try writing something that is a pun or a play on words—sure, it might make someone groan, but it WILL make them more apt to click on it!

Dazzle Them With Your Witty Conversational Skills

In the bar, once the woman falls for the man’s line, he now has to back it up by engaging in a riveting conversation that will keep the lady’s attention. At this point, body language comes into play, so there are a lot of things going on. What this means for conversions is that once you’ve lured someone onto your site with an irresistible headline, you have to keep the conversation going by delivering them the information you promised in the SERPs. Don’t just rely on text alone; much like body language enhances conversations, inserting appropriate images will make your text pack a punch. Just make sure that your content and images pertain to your initial headline and don’t go in a different direction than you indicated. Just like no lady likes to be led astray by a lounge lizard, don’t make your prospects feel duped by a bait and switch!

Don’t Beat Around the Bush

Once the bar guy gets to talk to the girl and things are going well, what should he do? If she seems interested, he should at some point directly ask her for her phone number and maybe a dinner out. If he doesn’t clearly make his intentions known, there could be a miscommunication and a missed opportunity for a real love connection. Similarly, once you have gotten a prospect to your page and you have offered them compelling, relevant content, it’s time to seal the deal by making it crystal clear what the next step is. Make sure your call to action, whether it is to buy a product or sign up for a newsletter, very apparent so there can be no doubt in the prospect’s mind what comes next. Keep the conversation going by providing step-by-step guidance so they don’t get confused and abandon your site.

Yes, the metaphor is kind of silly, but contains many useful parallels to how you should go about winning over leads--don’t rush the process and always be available and helpful. Your prospects will discover that they just can’t live without you!

For more ideas on how to gain conversions, check out FindYourSearch.com’s article over at Posterous.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Why No One is Noticing Your Content

We’ve all heard the adage over and over again that “content is king”. Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of response to something you created that you felt was really great? If so, read on to learn about the most common culprits that are involved when your content is ignored.

You Didn’t Promote It

One of the biggest reasons content falls flat is that no one reads it. It’s very much similar to the old proverb, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” In other words, you could have produced the most earth-shattering content in the world, but if you aren’t putting it in front of the right people, it’s destined to fail. Creating a great article or video is only half the battle—you need to research who your target audience is and network with them. Cultivate an open relationship and show them that you’re willing to reciprocate when it comes to sharing and commenting on content.

The Title is a Total Snore

There is a seemingly infinite amount of content out there, so in order to make yours stand out, you must craft an attention-getting, compelling headline that simply cannot be ignored. Even if the topic is not exactly exciting, you need to find a way to title your content in such a way that instantly signals to your audience that your material can’t be missed. Given how much stuff is available, people need a reason or interact with something and they look to the title for the reason. So, don’t shortchange yourself with generic, bland, unimaginative titles.

It’s All About YOU

The point of creating content is to interact with your audience so you can really get to know their needs and desires. Social media is not just another platform to use to blast your message out to the masses. Instead, your content needs to cater to the users—what’s in it for them and how will it help them to accomplish their goals? While you naturally want to broadcast your marketing, you have to do it in a way that doesn’t seem like advertising. This is where your creativity and imagination come into play; create something that has real value and adds something meaningful to the community and you will attract the attention you desire.

These are just a few reasons why your content isn’t going viral. Others include bad design/user interface, misusing social media tools and communities or targeting the wrong market. If your content isn’t performing well, take a step back and make sure you are doing everything you can to grab and keep the attention of a fickle audience without sounding like a commercial. It’s a delicate balance that can only be met through careful study and experimentation.

Putting eye-catching images and videos into long articles can break up blocks of texts and engage your readers. Check out FindYourSearch.com’s Flickr account for some inspirational images to use in your next blog.