Principal Content Strategies for Top E-Commerce Sites

There are many techniques to transform your business site’s success. A simplest strategy is to create a schedule for news releases and adding new and fresh material to a site. Updated content encourages interaction between a company and the customer. A website can refresh its content by launching enticing strategies for users to interact with each other from the site. Here, we will go through some of the most effective strategies (acknowledged by almost all top business sites), which any business site must have, to keep it fresh and add more value.

Learn to be Persistent

It is better to own no website than to own a website with no fresh content. A high-traffic website, which gets around a million page views/week, needs many changes on its front page each week.

This is more significant if the products are ever-changing. If you sell just one product, it’s enough to ensure that the given information is latest and the user is comfortable to buy. If you release new versions, yes, update the site. Never change anything only for the sake of change itself.

A website, which does not offer visitors the information they’re searching — factual and latest up to the moment — cannot retain the client. Websites enriched with information, like Barnes & Noble, retain patrons’ loyalty not because they offer the lowest prices, but because they always have maximum knowledge and information on a product.

Public activity on its site increased when the featured article for an entire month is dispersed and published daily across the month. Users can wait one day for new article to come, but can they wait for an entire month.

Scheduling – Success Begins Here

Lot of work is done for the development of a website; therefore, it does not make sense if a website owner sits by and thinks his site will run forever without any more work. Change is a requirement of the web; therefore change should be a requirement of your website also. The level of changes depends upon the subject of a website.

Principal Content Strategies for Top E-Commerce Sites

Photo credit: RogueSun Media

Start by making a schedule for change. Humans live with their habits. If your visitor is aware that you add new content on Sunday, he is likely to visit your site each Sunday. Selecting a schedule depends on the nature of the content, e.g. a rugby website may require coordinating its schedule with major rugby events or games.

While developing a schedule, answer these questions:
Do you release a weekly newsletter/magazine? If yes, then fragment the featured articles and posts throughout the week.
Is your website associated with time-sensitive content? A website devoted to a Christmas may publish a lot of stuff in December only.
Do your visitors look for product details/news? Not all sites need updates every day. A cable manufacturing firm might just require updating once in a month.

Good and Fresh

Get the content. Look at what type of business you do. What do you sell or offer? Is your website for a manufacturer, construction industry, a medical firm, or a finance company? Every industry has specific instruments, items, and services. Analyze every product, instrument, and service by determining WHAT, WHY, WHERE, and HOW about them. When a client’s query is replied prior to his asking, the client’s trust with your services is enhanced.

FAQ

An excellent segment for any website is its ‘‘Frequently Asked Questions’’ – FAQ – segment. Contact different help desks/customer support centers for the very common queries by users. Make a list of the repeatedly asked inquiries and put them on your website. With the website’s expansion, segregate the FAQs for every service/product to enlarge the knowledge base.

Getting Great Content for Free

Why not to turn visitors into content contributors? Developing and producing fresh content is a long, time-consuming and costly task. As fresh stuff is essential, a website cannot depend upon itself only for producing content. Realizing this, famous websites utilize this strength to invite e-customers to contribute to a website.

Companies, like Amazon and eBay, allow their visitors to write about the available items. At Amazon, a buyer never needs to depend upon an expert critic’s analysis to evaluate any book. Amazon empowers original buyers to post their personal opinion to a critical review of a published book. The book reader is allowed to inform rest of the world about his personal liking and disliking.

Turning Selling Place into a Discussion Place

Creating online communities, which discuss and communicate with other, is a critical feature of the web. Communities can be created on any type of website. A successful strategy is to create a feature for the offered items to be not just a selling place but also a discussion place. If an offered item truly meets the desired level of the sales and marketing, the users’ feedback would be positive and boost the selling, whereas, if the users’ feedbacks are negative, the response will help in improving the item.

Online Chat Rooms and Bulletin Boards

Another technique, to invite visitors to have opinions, is through building online chat rooms and bulletin boards. Launching online chats, where company’s senior personalities and technology experts meet customers, assist in strengthening the company’s image. A buyer who finds that he will be able to meet and discuss personally to the company’s chief executive or manager is potential to be a regular and loyal customer.

Be an Advisor

Sell, sell and sell; this is the only attracting force for all websites. Buyers, visiting your website, search for product or service details, which are fresh and current. Buyers look for a company’s website to get product details prior investing their money. This especially works for high-ticket products, like machinery, electronics, motorcycles, cars, and heavy-duty vehicles. By well-timed publishing of accurate and comprehensive information, websites guide the buyers to think before investment and give them full knowledge about a product prior stepping into the showroom. Nothing is more annoying and displeasing to a buyer than reaching a site, where there is an expired, useless and out-of-date product detail. To give a product the required profile and exposure, create a launch schedule, like as below:

  • Know the nature of the offered product/service.
  • Prepare press releases for the fresh product/service.
  • Exploit the content of the press release by placing them on the company’s website.
  • Develop a segment on the website for the fresh product/service.
  • Prepare a newsletter (send via an e-mail and link back to the website for complete details).

Edutainment

Delivering online education or training is an increasingly popular strategy being utilized to get visitors to a site again and again. There are products (particularly software and computer applications), which are complicated and need tutorials. Also, there are products (like books), which are not essentially complicated, but they always need detailed explanations.

Online tutorials and courses are an excellent medium to expand the client relationship to an advanced level. Through offering lessons, you are guiding your visitors towards becoming professional experts. Microsoft, I think, is the best example, which offers online tutorials and visual presentations for entire range of software and applications. If you want to educate yourself about any MS Office utility, just visit: office.microsoft.com/en-us/training.

The main objective of edutainment is to retain visitors at the site for more time, so they can be more likely to make purchases.

Develop and Promote Newsletters or E-zines

News and updates are delivered to recipients through an e-mail. Rich HTML may be utilized to design the newsletter, but it must be done professionally. Not every e-mail platform shows HTML with graphics or images by default, like MS Outlook, therefore your e-mail may have awkward look. You may select plain text, and though it is not as pleasing but it ensures that recipient will be able to read it. Try to give users an option to select either format.

A newsletter should be succinct. On average, your customers will get 20-100 e-mails every day. Most of the customers skim through the visible portion only. If there is any significant message, mention it at the top. The articles in a newsletter must be concise — 1-3 paragraphs. If the content is lengthy, then include a link directing to the complete featured article. Hot news (quotes or news release) must be placed as an article at the top. The following article must be associated with the original article, but cleverly connected. For instance, the primary article can be for a new car, and the next article can relate to the reduction of the fuel consumption for the new car. The third article can be one of any article series; like from series discussing car electronics, equipment, automotive tools and accessories.

Bonus: Secrets of Web Copy That Converts

Whether you’re planning a website for yourself, or for a client, one thing remains the same: Conversions are King. Many elements go into a page that successfully convinces a potential customer to take the plunge and buy what you’re selling. Large-scale images have been known to boost conversions, as do explanatory videos.

But the most important (and most commonly overlooked) piece of the puzzle is the written word.

Compelling web copy that actually convinces people to convert is a nuanced business, and shouldn’t be taken lightly, or treated as an afterthought. I’m going to share a few tricks you can keep up your sleeve when tasked with writing marketing copy for the web.

Take note, the following tips might make the difference between making a sale or taking a dive.

Tailor to Your Audience

The most important thing to remember when writing marketing copy for the web, is that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. You need to put yourself squarely in the mind of your target customer, and write with them in mind. Think of several key demographics:

  • How old are your target customers? This can be a range.
  • Does your product or service skew toward one gender more than the other?
  • Do they have kids?
  • How much money do they make?

This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but it is a good start. Whatever the product is, it will naturally lend itself to a certain type of customer. Make sure you know who that is.

campaignmonitor

Note how Campaign Monitor knows exactly who its audience is (marketing professionals who utilize email software.) They speak in a professional manner, while addressing their specific needs and concerns.

Tailor the tone

Knowing who your customer is will make it much easier to know how to speak to them. Speak the way they speak, and use the language they use. If your target demo are teenage males, you would use very different words than if you were marketing toward women in their sixties.

Afterwards, do a reality check and have someone in your target demo read it over for tone, to make sure it is on-target without being condescending or pandering.

Tailor the message

Once you have a good idea of who your target market is, put yourself in their shoes. What are their struggles? How would your product (or client’s product) change their lives for the better? Having this worked out up front will make the rest of your job much easier.

Put in in Reverse

Sometimes the easiest way to construct a superior converting web page is to reverse-engineer it. Start with this:

What is the purpose of the page? Do you want people to buy a product/service? Do you want them to sign up for a free trial, or e-blast?

Knowing the end goal makes it easier to work backwards, and write what is necessary to persuade your users to follow through and click your CTA. This isn’t only an additive process. You should also strip away any information that would distract from the goal.

Sell the Benefits, Not the Features

People generally operate on an emotional level, particularly when making purchases. This is why what your product does isn’t nearly as important as what it does for your customer. How does it benefit them?

Lead by addressing the benefits, while using the features as reinforcing points.

instapaper

Take a look at the example instapaper. Notice how their copy says virtually nothing about the features that make it up, but rather focuses on the fact that their users can use it to “Save Anything. Read Anywhere.” Boom. Benefits.

Quash Objections

When selling a product, service or idea online, it isn’t enough just to sing its praises, and how your customers will benefit. Every visitor has a nagging little voice in the back of their mind, telling them reasons not to follow through. A very important part of persuasive copy is to anticipate those objections, address them, and spin them around into a positive.

You’ll want to either put yourself into your target customer’s mindset and anticipate what those objections might be, or an even better route is to put together a small focus group. Pick out five or six people you know who fit into the target demo, and ask them what would stop them if faced with buying/signing up, etc.

Once you have identified the most common objections, be sure to succinctly address them in the copy, and offer a reason why they shouldn’t be worried about them.

Circle is an app that allows users to pay for things using Bitcoin. Their website does a great job of anticipating several key concerns potential users might have, such as: does it cost money to use? Is it safe? How long does it take? It starts with those concerns, and masterfully turns them around into benefits.

Keep it Web-Friendly

Writing for the web is a very specific skill, since people tend to skim a website more than they actually read it. The best practice is to make all text easily skimmable for maximum absorption. You’ll want to make good use of the following elements:

Short paragraphs

Web paragraphs are generally shorter and sweeter than printed ones. Smaller, bite-sized chunks of text keep readers more engaged, and in marketing copy, you don’t want to use too many of them. Never use seven words when four will do, and always keep the content on-point and the words simple.

Headers

Nothing makes web copy more scannable than descriptive headers and subheaders that explain the paragraph text. Headers allow people to quickly pick out the information that is most important to them in a short amount of time. And when it comes to hooking customers on your website, time isn’t on your side.

Lists

When calling out benefits and features, nothing works quite as well as a bulleted list. Large walls of text can overwhelm visitors, making them give up completely. Bullet points are the ultimate in skimmable reading, and the extra whitespace can make your potential customers feel less pressure and more trust in the site.

Create a Compelling CTA

After you have your readers on the hook, what action do you want them to take? Whatever it is, it should be clearly defined as a CTA.

Being so short, you wouldn’t think that CTA copy would make much of a difference either way, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The language you use for your CTA makes a direct impact on the decision making process of your viewers, which in turn impacts the conversion rate.

Convey Value

One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to writing CTAs is using language that emphasizes the user is giving something up, or being inconvenienced in some way. A better approach is to emphasize what they are gaining.

So “Order the Program Today” would become “Get the Program Today.”

Notice the small, but mighty difference. Order implies that the customer has to fill out a form, and possibly pull out their credit card, while Get implies nothing, other than they were going to receive something wonderful.

And never, under any circumstance, use the word Buy in a CTA.

Make it Relevant

When writing a compelling CTA, you should try to make it as relevant to the actual action as possible. This is something that I really dislike about Facebook ads. Their pre-made CTAs offer little in the way of specificity, leaving users wondering where that little button is going to lead them.

For example, “Get it Now” would become “Get the E-book Now.”

The word Get conveys value, but the generic nature of the first example is a sticking point. Being super direct as to what they will get specifically has been shown to improve conversions.

dyson

Look at the clever CTA dyson uses on its site. “Own it first” works because it gives an obvious benefit, and it even works as a bit of an ego stroke for the buyer. It turns parting with your hard earned money into a privilege.

Final Thoughts

A webpage that converts requires a lot of planning, as well as trial and error. It’s not enough just to have an eye-pleasing visual design. The words you choose to use can have an incredible impact on the outcome, so don’t take the job lightly, and never make the mistake of treating the copy as an afterthought.

Writing for the web can be a challenge. Add to that the pressure of writing copy designed to sell… now that is a skill you can take right to the bank.

E-commerce is a high-profile feature of the World Wide Web. It radically changes the merchandising. Your website requires updates in two core areas; fresh content and the up-to-date technology. You can boost your sales by setting up a consistent schedule for updating the content as well as giving opportunity to the visitors to contribute content. As an alternative, e-zines are an effective strategy to remain in contact with the visitors and develop community.

The above mentioned strategies are implemented to expand the size of knowledge base on a website. Successful websites are equipped with a slew of techniques, which are utilized to make users repeatedly visit the website.

Which strategy has been the most successful in increasing your business? Have a say.

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