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Answer Me, These Questions 3, Ere the Conversions Ye See

October 16th, 2008 | | Information Architecture, SEO Copy Writing

SEO is about positioning your service or product with qualities or benefits that people would search for. Last week, I discussed how search engine optimization can improve your business and increase traffic to your website. While that is all fine and dandy, higher traffic to your site doesn’t always mean your SEO has been successful. Natural search efforts should also lead to conversions. To help illustrate my point, I’ll use Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

A typical company looking to expand business on the web

A typical company looking to expand business on the web and needing some online marketing advice

Nothing unsual about a company wanting to get some revenue generated through online portals, and optimizing your page to bring in the traffic is key, but be prepared to understand what the customer is looking for once they successfully get to your page.

STOP!

"STOP!" says a not-so-typical SEO consultant

The bottom line of every business activity is the return on investment (ROI), either in the long term or the short term, so to maximize your SEO efforts make sure your page answers the three essential questions that everyone asks.

Why ... do anything?

Why ... do anything?

Why Do Anything?

This is where you appeal to the potential client’s need for a solution to a problem, or perceived problem they may have.

You need a living will.
You want the thrill that only a speedboat can provide.
You want to save money on groceries.

What this does is also help you articulate the purpose of your business, cause and/or shady spam site. This question answers what you do and the fewer words you do it in, the more powerful it becomes. Anyone who uses vague words dilutes the message.

Why ... with you?

Why ... with you?

Why With You?

This question is one that is asked by the potential client so as to see why they should do business with you and not the other Google results they received when they found your site. Competition is alive and well in the SERPs!

“I see you emphathize with my need, but why should I do business with you?”

* We provide expert legal advice, in every state, for only $26 a month – no hidden cost, no long-term contracts
* We provide the largest selection of the best speedboats on the East Coast
* We harvest all coupons from all manufacturer’s and even other coupon sites and bring them to you on one page.

Answering this question will also expose if you really are competitve or if you need to redefine some business plans. Sadly, this is where a lot of people stop, thinking that only answering these first two questions will increase their conversions.

The third and final question is critical.

Sir Robin did well with the first 2 questions, but didn't do so well on the third ...

Why ... now?

Why ... now?

Why Now?

I asked one business owner once …

“… and then what do you want them to do now?”
“Just read the information.”
“Ok, let’s say they read it, and then they move on, would you consider that a success?”
“Oh no! I want them to call me.”
“Call when? Next week, after they peruse other competitors?”
“Call now.”
“Why would they call now? Why not tomorrow or next quarter?”
“…I need to sweeten the deal, don’t I?”

A “call-to-action” is the lingo phrase that marketers throw to try to get a reaction out of people. It’s this third part that separates the clicks from the click-nots. “Why should I call you, or fill out this form now?”

*Through the end of the month, we’ll waive the $10 setup fee
*First 2000 email responses get a free DVD player, while supplies last
*Sign-up now and you’ll receive the free download of ’10 Tips in Saving on-site at your grocer.

Even an offer of “FREE SHIPPING” isn’t as dramatic as the time element of “FREE SHIPPING between 10/2/08 and 10/05/07.”

Answering these three questions will help your marketing efforts do what they are suppose to do – bring in business. These questions can be applied to brochures, fliers, even business cards, but a website can quickly answer these questions and generate a solid lead for potential business. Vague-er websites with no clear call-to-action risk getting thrown into the gorge of eternal obscurity. (Red, blue… NO! Green! Ahhhhh….)

That blury thing? that's your site.

That blury thing? That's your site.

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