Going over my notes from Jennifer Thompson’s Web Site Wow I and II teleclasses and surfing the web, I realize content and the specific text you use is another important tool in creating an attention grabbing and user friendly site. Readers want information fast.
As mentioned in the previous article, you have less than a second to engage a reader. They don’t want to have to search through an article to determine if it will be useful to them – your title and first line or two needs to grab their attention or they’ll be gone.
This is where your elevator pitch comes in. You have 30 seconds or less to inform your reader why they should stay put and continue reading. With thousands upon thousands of sites offering products, services and information, you need to quickly grab the reader's interest. You need to inform them that your product, service or information is the one they must have.
Cliff Ennico (Entrepreneur.com, dated January 20, 2003) sums up the elevator pitch in one sentence, “It's the verbal equivalent of your business card, but it needs to say much, much more, and it needs to say it very quickly.”
I know this is true from personal experience. When I visit a site that is offering a product or service I’m looking for, if they don’t hook me within a few seconds, I’m gone. What I mean by ‘hook’ is I need to know within the fist few sentences that they are providing what I want or need. If the elevator pitch is effective, I’m hooked. So when thinking of an elevator pitch instead of applying the saying short and sweet, go for short and jammed packed.
Another effective tool to use to hold your readers' attention is to create powerful titles with a power packed first paragraph. Then use Read More buttons so your reader can view a number of posts at one time – these are called shorts. This allows the reader to skim over the titles and pick the ones they find the most interesting. If your site has the entire article visible the reader may not brother scrolling down to find other titles that are of interest. Always remember: readers want information fast.
Also, make sure your content is useful. This will keep your visitors coming back. You can also include an Email to Friend button on your site. Visitors who find your article or content helpful can share it with others with the click of a button.
In addition, it’s important to make sure the information you provide is current – you need to check for dead links. Do an online search for services or software that can do this.
My next article, How to Improve Your Website 3, will discuss Viral Marketing, Sale Buttons, 3D Images, and more.
See you in blog world,