September 16, 2009
Today we have another guest article from SEO copywriter and trainer Karon Thackston. For those few of you who may not have heard of her, she's a long-time friend of High Rankings, plus she's authored 3 popular books, including the keyword optimization guide "Writing With Keywords." She and I will be hanging out together at SMX East in October as we're both on the speaking roster.
Without further ado, take it away, Karon! - Jill
Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO Consulting Agency.
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Why Should I Buy From YOU?
© 2009, All Rights Reserved
During a recent copywriting consulting call with a new client, we discussed her primary concern: having good traffic, but no sales. I've seen this a thousand times before. Usually, what I find is a site filled with content that is chock-full of keyphrases and sounds stupidly repetitive. The solution is easy: Write natural-sounding, persuasive SEO copy that entices customers to buy. But this client's site didn't fit the stereotype.
The home-page copy needed some work, but it wasn't awful. The category and sub-category pages had no copy at all that needed to be fixed. The product descriptions were canned (straight from the manufacturer). While that's definitely not the best way to go for several reasons, it's not a death sentence. But still, for a site – even a brand-new one – to have several hundred unique visitors a week and not one sale was frustrating.
We looked at some stats. Low bounce rate, high number of pages viewed per visit, acceptable length of time spent on the site. The rankings left something to be desired, but they'd come along soon enough with a few tweaks and some linking.
As we clicked our way through the site's pages, it became clear. This site suffered from a common curse among e-commerce resellers: lack of differentiation.
Why Should I Buy From You?
Generally speaking, most grocery stores carry nearly the same things. So how did you decide to shop at the one you frequent most? Chances are it was because of the store's location. Online, we don't have that advantage.
When e-commerce resellers carry the same exact items as hundreds or thousands of other sites, comparison shoppers have a difficult time deciding whom to buy from. Most often, it falls to price. Since my client wasn't branding her site to be the cheapest, she had lost the location and the price advantage.
After searching through dozens of websites offering the same products, the surfer had no way to answer their most burning question: Why should I buy from you?
Identifying Differentiation Points
As our tour continued, I asked questions – lots of questions – in an effort to help my client find ways she was different and/or better than her competition.
When our hour was up, we had identified several actionable steps for her to work on to differentiate her site from her competitors. Of course, they'll all need to be tested to see which works best to achieve her goals. But for now she's busy tweaking and tracking instead of scratching her head.
President, Marketing Words, Inc.
Author, Copywriting Course