May 26th, 2011
They aren’t full of spam (and I’m not talking about canned mystery meat). You don’t want to be friends with someone who is full of spam – or should I say, b…ologna – anymore than you’d want to waste your time on a spammy website. Business owners constantly ask themselves and the Universe, how can I get more customers to buy my products? And they should, of course. There are many ways of getting people to spend their hard-earned cash on a product; some are good and many are bad.
The point I’m trying to illustrate here is very, very simple. In my opinion, all you need to do to have a successful website (and in turn a successful business) is to be a good, honest person.
Perhaps I’m simplifying things a bit too much. After all, most things in life can’t be separated into a good/bad dichotomy or fit into a one or the other philosophy. But it is my genuine belief that the high road takes you to wondrous lands of glory. It’s a longer road that initially takes more work – but it pays off.
Okay, I’m not trying to be a cheesy motivational speaker. And you simply can’t just be a passively good human being and expect to yield results. But if you apply the general principles of integrity, honesty, substance, and trustworthiness that you follow in your personal life and your business to your website, success is in your future. If visitors can trust the appearance and content of your website, they are much more likely to move from shopper to buyer, in turn increasing conversion rates for you.
So, what do good people and good websites have in common?
1. They are full of substance. Please, don’t waste your time or anyone else’s by filling up cyberspace with useless content. Many people have the misunderstanding that they are so smooth and sly that using black hat SEO tactics won’t make them look bad to regular people or get them caught by Google. Think again, 007. It’s not going to work. Techniques like keyword stuffing and using hidden text exemplify desperation. It’s annoying, and it’s not pretty.
Instead, spend your time creating and implementing effective web copy that will not only inform your readers, but build a foundation of trust. The more informative, well-written copy you have on your site, the more opportunity you have to use keywords properly and naturally (I.e., not every other word). This, of course, includes your blog, which can be a great way to connect with customers and build credibility. This will help you to achieve organic results. As a good person will grow over time, your website should also evolve and be updated frequently.
2. They are honest. Not only should your web content be of substance, but it should be honest as well. Don’t boast that you have the lowest prices when in fact your competitor has the lowest prices. Don’t create a lot of wonderfully written, interesting content that doesn’t accurately describe your goods and services. This is a good way to turn someone who was once a buyer into someone who won’t come back again. Seems obvious, right?
Yes, but sales gimmicks are still far too common. It would be embarrassing for a customer to confront you or expose your fraudulence to others. There are plenty of ways you can fill up your site with honest content that puts your business in a positive light. So you don’t have the cheapest prices, but you do provide the most accommodations. Focus on that.
3. They are trustworthy and friendly. Are you ever intimidated by the facelessness of large corporations? Are you ever impressed by the welcoming attitude of your local mom n’ pop restaurant? Well, a website can be very similar to these. If your website is full of great information, that’s an awesome first step. But if your viewers don’t feel much of a connection, it’s more of a gamble as to whether or not they’ll become customers.
Use your website as a platform to make connections with people. Besides an “about us” page, you can create a page about your team – complete with pictures and all. Create a FAQ page that is actually helpful. Talk about awards you’ve won, post customer testimonials, et cetera. Allow your website to create a valuable impression of your business ethics.
The above guidelines may seem obvious enough. But still, there are many tempting spamelicious techniques out there being used. And maybe you’re not using any of them, but maybe you’re not optimizing your website either. Make sure you allow your website to take on all of the characteristics you’d expect to find in a good person or business owner. Use decency, kindness, and put your customers first.
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