Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have virtually outlawed poorly written and spammy content on webpages. Search engines are looking for more relevant content, and they’re raising the bar on quality. While this might be a difficult hurdle to jump, it gives us another opportunity to write effective content that will not only be appealing to search engines, but to our audience as well.

Being online means that customers don’t get to hear your sales pitch in person—and they won’t give you the courtesy of sticking around to hear you finish if they don’t like what they hear. You have seconds to win over your audience with well-written content that tells them what they want to know, fast.  Here are a couple of ideas to help you write content that will get your foot in the door.


Be Specific and Relevant
Online readers have a short attention span. Pinpoint what it is that you do well, then highlight it as soon as possible. Use specific examples and power statements to communicate to your prospective customers why they should use your product, and include the most important and powerful information first.


Get Into the Customer’s Head
When reading content, everyone asks themselves the same question: “What’s in it for me?” Anytime you decide to develop your advertising or branding strategy, you’ve got to begin by thinking about your customers. Ask yourself, “How does what I sell impact my clients’ quality of life? Does it make it easier for them to sleep at night? Does it increase their enjoyment? Does it relax them? Does it thrill them?” Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, start creating content that amplifies or accentuates the experience that your customer will have with your product. Writing content this way will help to ensure that your content and your site immediately provides your prospective client with an idea of what’s in it for them if they buy or use your product, which will ultimately produce higher conversion and revenue for your online business.


Paint a Picture
Slogans, onsite photos, and graphics are a great way to paint a picture of your company and your product. Providing your customers with beautiful visual content right off the bat will positively influence your prospective customer and grab their attention. You can also use these images to create a visual representation of your company’s personality, reliability, or any other aspect of your business that you want to emphasize. Show off your product! If you sell front doors, show your customers beautiful photos of a new door being knocked on by neighbors holding cookies. The power of association is strong, and using pictures can draw on this power. You can also use your text content to paint pictures of situations in which a new front door can save your family from a break-in or make your home more warm and friendly.


Do Research
Did you know that 34% of attempted break-ins occur through entry doors? That’s more than any other entry point on the average home. If you sell front doors, using that kind of information to appeal to your customers’ sense of safety is powerful. The information on your home page has made them think about their own home and about their own chance of being burglarized. It makes them reconsider their safety. They may begin to think, “Wow, that’s crazy… Maybe I do need a safer front door.” Using relevant and compelling facts can grab your users’ attention and motivate your prospective customers to make a purchase.


Speak to the Benefits
Think about how you can emphasize the benefits of your product or service. What does the customer stand to lose by not buying your product? What do they stand to gain by calling you? While it’s important to provide relevant specifics about your product, you want the bulk of your content to talk about what makes your product great. If you’re selling front doors, don’t base the majority of your content on the ideal types of wood for front doors or the exact width and height of your doors. While some of your customers will be informed about how these specs translate into actual usability, most of your prospective customers won’t. All that these customers know is that they want a front door that looks good, is strong enough to last, and will protect their home. While it’s important to make the technical specs of your product available for the informed customer, you want most of your content to emphasize the benefits that your product can offer. A business selling front doors should have content that emphasizes that good front doors will protect the family from intruders, effectively insulate the home, and add curb appeal to your property; don’t bore your customers with technical details, as this will leave them unconvinced that your product is really the best option for them.


Share Positive Customer Experiences
Many people are looking for emotional satisfaction when they make a purchase. Whether it’s the relief of knowing that their drains won’t back up again, or the satisfaction and esteem that come with that new purse on their shoulder, shoppers want to come away from their purchases feeling satisfied and positive about their purchase. One of the best ways to initiate a positive shopping experience is to present situations in which past customers have had an excellent experience. Creating a positive bias toward your site or product will increase your customer’s satisfaction right from the get-go, and it will help to create customers who continue coming back.


Direct Users with a Call to Action
Sometimes, websites can be confusing, especially because there isn’t an employee or salesperson whom you can just ask for help. Once you get your customers interested in ordering or learning more about your product, it’s a good idea to use a call to action to direct them to the next step. Ending your content with “Call us today to get a free quote!” lets your users know that in order to get started, they need to make a call. You could also include links to different product pages on your site to help users navigate to the products they’re interested in seeing. Including these calls to action will help keep customers on your site, which will increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to make a sale.


Using these tips will help you to create content that grabs your customers’ attention and tips the scales in your favor. Getting to the point, creating content that emphasizes the benefits of your product, speaks to the customer’s needs, and provides clear direction will positively influence prospective customers so that they immediately feel confidence and security in making a purchase with your business.