If you are a small business owner, then the chances are that your website is not getting as much traffic as you would like. This could be for any number of reasons, but it’s important to remember that there are strategies out there designed to help increase web traffic and boost sales. In this blog post I’m going to outline 10 strategies that might help improve your website performance and get people talking about what you do.
Content is King?
If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Content is king” then provocative content is the emperor.
What makes content provocative?
Another helpful word would be “interesting” or “tasty”.
Provocative content is content that is designed to illicit a response from the visitor.
It can be something as simple as an image or video that has a powerful message, or it can take the form of blog posts and articles.
Provocative content should be beneficial to your visitor.
If you are not providing a benefit, then what’s the point?
The first strategy is to provide visitors with information that they need and want about your business or industry. This could include facts, tips, insider secrets, how-to’s and more! Providing this type of useful information can make them feel like they are getting an exclusive offer just for being on your website. It will also help them understand why choosing you over another company might be their best option when making a purchase decision.
Use Provocative Headlines
You’ll want to try to phrase your titles in such a way that it grabs your reader’s interest.
You’ve probably heard this as “clickbait” but that’s when you don’t deliver on your headline’s promise and the visitor feels like they were tricked.
Think in terms of newspaper headlines. Write your content headline as if you were a newspaper writer.
(You remember newspapers, right? They’re those things you use to line the bottom of your birdcage!)
Don’t Bait and Switch
Don’t trick people, but put some tasty bait on the hook.
Here are some examples of provocative headlines that your visitors will find interesting.
For an insurance agent who sells homeowners insurance:
- How to make sure you never lose your Florida Homeowners Insurance
- Who has the cheapest Homeowners Insurance?
- Florida Homeowners Insurance Report: What you NEED to know…
For a personal injury attorney:
- Secrets From An Actual Motorcycle Crash Reconstruction Expert
- He Wins Every Time. Listen to Why an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can Give You A Fighting Chance in Court
- Top 4 Ways to Find a Proven Attorney Now
For a Pool Cleaning and Maintenance company:
- 4 Things You Should NEVER Put In A Swimming Pool
- How I Saved My Pool In Less Than 10 Minutes. I’ll Show You The Way.
- Top 4 Pool Cleaning Mistakes You’re Making (and How to Fix Them)
Here is a list of types of content that I would highly recommend for your small business website:
- A homepage with typical client results listed
- 1 or 2 short testimonials next to or below your Call to Action. You don’t need more than 2.
- Try not to use “stock” pages that are just templates with different text on them unless they’re articles. If it’s a landing page, try give every page a different look.
- Don’t keep using the same photo of yourself. Try to use photos of yourself interacting with clients or doing different things. Heck, show pictures of you with your dog.
How do you come up with provocative content? Here’s some ways that have helped me:
Read and Study
Read books and publications about subjects that will help your customers. If you can, use a highlighter or write notes in the books in the margins.
Educate yourself of topics that you need more information on. I like to read SEO reports by other marketers to see what their experience has been and I compare it with my own experiences. Maybe they’ve had success or failure with something that I’ve had a different take on?
The important thing is to be able to provide content that your visitors don’t already know because it will help them feel special for being “in the know” compared to others who might not have this knowledge.
When I’m writing blog posts or creating images for social media sites, I make sure that they stand out and offer some type of benefit such as an insider secret or how-to guide.
In addition, provocative content should include stories! Tell people why you started your company and share personal experiences with customers (both good and bad) to show that you are a human being just like them.
There are things that everyone believes that may not be true. This happens more than you might realize.
Have you ever heard people say that eating dark chocolate every day helps you lose weight? If you haven’t, there was a scientific study that was published in 2013 saying that dark chocolate prompts an insulin response in your body which causes the breakdown of sugar. The media picked it up and ran with it on the internet, on TV, and in print.
But did you know that it was all a hoax? That’s right, it was a part of a sting operation to expose how supposedly peer-reviewed scientific papers can easily be faked.
The most interesting part about this to me is that people still believe it!
Even after I explain to them that it was a hoax and show the guy who perpetrated the hoax and show them how and why he fooled everyone, people still believe it because everyone else believes it.
Tell a Story
If you can take a concept that you want to convey and deliver it through an effective story, it has more staying power with your audience. It might seem more personal or relatable.
It is also much easier to tell a story if you have pictures or video and it makes the whole experience richer for your visitors, knowing that they can see what’s going on in addition to reading about it.
Here are some good examples of stories:
- A customer service example where an employee goes out of their way to help someone without being asked; this builds loyalty with both the company and the visitor/customer.
- A success story–you want to share the triumphs that you’ve had in your business.
- An embarrassing moment or mistake from a company. This humanizes the company and builds trust with visitors.
The story is the follow-through to fulfill the promise of your provocative headline.
If you’re not yet convinced that the headlines matter as much (if not more) than your content, here are a few things to consider.
First, if readers don’t click on or read your articles, they won’t be able to enjoy how well-crafted it is anyway.
Second, great content will only go so far without an enticing headline – and when there’s competition for attention like in today’s media landscape where we have access to hundreds of thousands of articles at any given moment? It can make all the difference.
Finally, let’s say you’ve got some pretty good content but people aren’t reading it because they find it boring. That might mean that either your writing style needs work or maybe this particular topic isn’t relevant to your target audience.
Whatever you do, make sure that your content isn’t boring! I offer services tailored specifically for small business owners like yourself who want increased visibility in local markets – all without breaking the bank. Have any questions about how this might work? Let me know!