Content is king. You want your website to have “good SEO” (search engine optimization) because it can be a strong source of new business, but there is no such thing as SEO without regularly updated content. You need substance, supported by words, articles and images.
As an agent, advisor or loan officer, you must create content for two primary reasons. First, you want your website to rank well in local search engine result pages so that people looking for the services you provide can actually find out about you; in the insurance industry, for example, 88 percent of consumers start their pre-purchase research online. Second, you want people who do land on your site to be interested and impressed enough to contact you (a new lead!) – and ultimately do business with you.
If you’re creating website content for the first time, or want to improve the effectiveness of your content, here are five easy tips to help you pique visitors’ interest and increase the leads you get from your site.
1. Get to the Point, Quickly
Did you know that, on average, a visitor will only read 20 percent of the content on your page? The web has conditioned all of us to scan content for the interesting bits, so keep your writing short and sweet. There’s no need to spend time writing something no one will read.
One exception to this rule is using the first sentence or paragraph as a creative, catchy “hook,” like a story or question. It’s a great way to draw readers in, as long as it’s relevant to the rest of the content on the page.
2. Embrace Short Paragraphs
In school, we learned that a paragraph has to have a minimum number of sentences. Not so in web writing. A huge block of text is overwhelming for today’s website visitor. Break it up into digestible paragraphs of around two to five sentences that say something meaningful.
3. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
It’s especially true on the web. If something you’re trying to describe can be more easily understood with a photo, graphic or video, then use them. People process visuals more quickly than text – that’s why infographics are so popular.
Visuals also are a great way to explain complex concepts to your prospects, like the benefits of compound interest. Use visuals on your website to educate visitors, develop thought leadership, and encourage them to contact you.
4. Show Some Personality
People still want to do business with people, so keep that in mind when you’re writing for the web. Go ahead, use “I” or “we” – you won’t get into trouble. Be professional and error-free, of course, but also have a little fun with your writing. A distinct voice and perspective differentiates you from your competitors in your local market.
5. Include SEO Keywords
This is unique to web writing. Sprinkling search terms and phrases into headlines and throughout your site helps boost its position on Google (and other search engines) when someone searches for that term or phrase.
If you sell life insurance in Atascadero, Calif., for example, then you want your site to come up when someone enters the search term ‘life insurance agent atascadero.’ Adding those words or entire phrase – in a natural way – to the content on your site is one way to help your site rank higher for that specific search.
Just like anything else, creating great content takes practice. So keep it simple, follow these guidelines, and you will be well on your way to creating content that turns your website visitors into leads and, ultimately, long-term customers.