“5 Reasons Why Your Website Content Sucks!” by Marshall Adler
Before we get started, if you missed round one… start the journey here.
I promise I’m not trying to make a name for myself as being the “why you suck” enforcer. I just get so rowdy and opinionated when I see poor content.
I also think it’s important to know why your content sucks and what are some ways you can improve what you currently have to increase conversions from existing site traffic. Mind you, these are what I originate from my experience.
I tried to avoid “conversion” marketing for the longest time, however, I’ve come to realize that majority of my clients continue to renew with my firm every year because of their conversions from the traffic they receive and rarely do they renew because of their page-one placements.
Why? Because it’s nice to see your company show up page one for a competitive search term but that means nothing if you’re not converting the visitors who visit or land on a specific page of your website.
Everything you do on the web to promote yourself or your company should be with the mindset of “How can I quickly get the other person to take action?”.
That being said, your content is the most important piece of the puzzle.
If you write boring content, you get treated like a boring history professor
and you get the deuces while I zone out for a stretch and cat nap.
That’s right Mr. Professor, the answer to B is “Be quiet. I’m trying to sleep.”
Sorry for that rant. Think about it like this…
When was the last time you purchased something online and you did it all just by looking at pictures? You read no words and no content helped influence your decision to buy? Anyone?
Let’s just agree that most people, if you’re like me, need to read a little about the features and benefits of something before any transaction occurs unless you already buy the thing in question and you are a return buyer already “sold” on it.
So, your words and what you say (and I know some of you want to correct my grammar and pick at my poor ability to impress your perfectionist mindset) is the most important piece of marketing and promoting yourself online.
Articles, press releases, websites, landing pages, blogs and even YouTube videos with optimized descriptions all need great content to convert visitors.
Now let’s focus on you. If your content is amazing already and you’re doing very well with your online efforts then you really don’t need this data, however if you’re wondering why traffic has slowed or your rankings have dropped or your conversions are few and far between, these 5 reasons why your content sucks should be taken quite seriously:
- Your content sucks because you don’t know AIADA.Almost everyone has heard of A.I.D.A when it comes to writing copy for websites and landing pages. The same principles hold true for any piece of promotional content you publish to the general public.
In order to “pre-sell” your products and services, you must follow AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). “But wait, you have another A there.”
That’s very observant. The other “A” is “action”.
That’s right. When you write your content you should be flowing like this; attention, interest, call to action, desire, call to action.
[If you want me to review your content on any web page just send me an email with the page URL (1 max) and I will be happy to send you my personal feedback as to how it could be improved for better conversions.]
- Your content sucks because you don’t use H1 and H2 tags correctly.You know what a headline is right? Well online in blogs, landing pages, websites, articles and press releases you have the ability to insert headlines called H1 and H2 tags. H1 is the largest font and then it reduces and so on.
On any given piece of content, you publish there should only be one H1 tag at the very top of the page before the main body content. It should ideally have your best keyword phrase in there to give Google a sense of what you want to rank for on that particular page.
I’ve often seen websites use multiple H1 tags. It just looks tacky and shouldn’t be done. H2 tags can be used for all sub-headlines throughout.
Also, your H1 should be more of a question or benefit-statement and your H2 tags should always give a “lead into” another piece of content like:
And just when you thought you were good at writing content…
- Your content sucks because you talk all about yourself with “we” talk.How many people can relate to reading content on someone’s website and all you see is “We this…” “We that…”?? Let me just tell you that nobody cares about you.
People only care about themselves. Nobody wants to know how many years you’ve been in business, that’s not what gets the buyer to punch in their credit card numbers on an order form.
IF you want real conversions from your content you need to get into “selling the sizzle and not the steak”. Don’t promote your company so much, only
give a little bit of information about you and your firm and spend the rest of the time talking about what’s in it for them. Give bullet points as benefits and really spend time on AIADA per above.
In fact, I was browsing the web the other day looking at mortgage brokers and how they all suck at talking about benefits and majority of sites (no offense if you’re a mortgage broker reading this, we can help you) are just content pools of “we” with nothing really for the reader to take with them.
Then I found this one site where they don’t spend a lot of time on “we” and I wanted to highlight their content because they understand how to apply what I’m trying to convey… a little “we” at first and then great beneficial information throughout and at the very end a small claim of “we”. In SEO (search engine optimization) we call this the “sandwich effect”.
“10 Things We Wish First Time Homebuyers Knew
1.) You can get your closing costs paid
2.) There are grant programs available to help you get into your first home
3.) Having no credit is just as bad as having poor credit
4.) You need to have access to some money down (unless you’re doing a VA loan)
5.) You can borrow against your 401K
6.) You can receive gifts from family for your down payment
7.) Job jumping can make it difficult to get a mortgage
8.) Your family (or parents) can help you by co-signing on your loan
9.) Picking the right realtor can make all the difference
10.) Working with a lender you trust is vital – it’s not just about the rate, it’s about your whole financial situation.
The Newman Team isn’t just here for your loan transaction (though we’re here for that too) – we’re here to support you as your lender for life.”
(I included their link because their website has great content throughout. Remember I said that some sites have great blogs and poor pages thus making them fail at local blogging? Well these guys “get it” so use their site as a resource and a comparison to what you’re trying to accomplish.)
- Your content sucks because you use varying fonts and cool colors.This is the one that drives Ol’ Marshy up the wall and into a state of frantic laughter with occasional migraines. I cannot stand when I’m auditing a website or even going in to optimize a website and I see that the Client or their previous web design person thought it was cool to have multi-color content and words and varying sizes of fonts.
This is not your personal playground where what you do is “cute” to the general public. You make one mistake like showing multiple colors and confusing fonts and sizes and you instantly devalue your brand and your reputation and majority of consumers will not buy from you if they feel that you don’t take their time seriously.
Give people easy to read content. (George, Arial, Verdana, Times etc) should be the font and if you have a white background then just use the black font. It’s the easiest on the eyes and people read 20% slower online than they do offline so make it easy with lots of white space and short sentences.
(Yes I know my content here is not short. Take my advice or not. I have a lot to say and little time to get it all out. However, if you read my website you can see that every sentence or paragraph is no more than 2-3 sentences.)
- Your content sucks because you don’t promote it accurately.What do you do when you publish an article? Do you have a specific procedure you currently follow to promote your finished and published web pages and articles and blog posts or do you just publish and go on with your life thinking that Google and other engines will pick you up and drive traffic?
Stop thinking someone is going to do it for you. If you’re playing the “Google ranking game” you need to be the one to go and promote your content.
So, I recommend if you want your published piece to be well received in the eyes of Google and other major search engines and you want faster indexing than the standard 2-4 week wait that everyone else experiences, here’s what you do:
- Manually submit your finished URL to Google, Yahoo and Bing and 40 other major engines and directories by using this free tool.
- Manually submit ALL URLs one by one into the box at Index Kings and let the window ping and run in real time in your browser to 2000 submissions per URL and then close the window.
- Then go to Google and research “buy social bookmark links” and do your own due diligence and find and pay for these types of backlinks.
This process alone will speed up your indexing within 5-7 business days and you will get more exposure in Google-owned directories and portals that refer broadly targeted traffic.
I hope this information is helpful to anyone who wants to improve their site content and published articles and blogs to increase conversions and actions.