Why Your Website Should Create Conversations
A website that offers only passive content to be consumed will see analytics showing its audience doesn’t stick around long. Visit durations will be short, and the number of pages consumed each visit will be low.
On the other hand, a website that encourages conversations and deeper engagement will see both of those metrics improve. But what exactly do we mean by conversations?
After all, setting aside the chat windows we sometimes see (mostly on B2C sites), the average website isn’t really about two people talking directly to one another. Fortunately, that’s not what we’re talking about. Instead, we’re talking about creating a web presence that encourages back and forth between two parties.
You publish content that your audience engages with. From that engagement, you learn more about what your audience is interested in, both individually and collectively. You then offer additional content that moves the dialog along, accomplishing two things along the way:
- Educating your audience and providing value to them
- Creating a relationship with your audience that encourages them to become clients
Here’s how you can make sure your site is creating that kind of conversation.
Point of View
Is the site written from your perspective or that of your prospects? Does it talk about “ours” rather than “theirs?” If so, your prospects are not going to feel that you understand their needs and are talking about their problems. Remember, prospects don’t care about your solutions, they care about their own issues and whether your solutions are a good fit for them.
Structure and Organization
That same perspective carries over into your site’s structure and organization. While it might make perfect sense to you for the sections of your site to mimic your firm’s organizational chart, your prospects won’t care. They want to know everything you have to say about what interests them, no matter how many different company divisions that information may span.
One great way to do this is to create site sections for key audience segments or buyer personas. Diving into their motivation and mindset will help you create sections that are organized to answer their questions and make them comfortable as they navigate their buyer’s journey.
Finally, your site has to create opportunities for increased engagement. This can be a tricky proposition in that too many websites try to increase engagement too early. (Meaning, they ask for the sale long before the prospect is ready to buy.)
Gain trust by encouraging actions that requiring less commitment. This is a better approach than going all-in right from the start. Not only is that more likely to match the prospect’s level of trust, but multiple small “asks” gives you the opportunity to showcase the value you offer and the ways you differ from your competition.
These three broad concepts will help you bridge the gap between initial prospect interest and that magic moment when a prospect will invite a salesperson into their buying process. Given how much farther into that process that elusive invitation now typically comes, conversational digital marketing is critical to your overall marketing success.
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")