The Difference Between Writing Content for a Website and a Blog

Site Content and the Stage of the Buying Cycle

There are Two Types of Website Visitors at Different Stages in the Buying Cycle

Our friends at Orbit Media in Chicago posted an awesome Infographic that illustrates the difference between writing content for a website and a blog based on visitor intent and where they are in the buying cycle.

I alluded to this in a previous post, but it’s so good and so important that I wanted to share. (There is also another content lesson in their post that I will share later. (See Getting Traffic from Inbound Links below.)

There are 2 types of search terms; Questions or Informational and Answers or Transactional. This reflects buyer intent and how your content should be developed.

There are 2 types of content; blog posts or articles and product or services pages.

Leading to 2 types of visitor characteristics that you can evaluate in Google Analytics by comparing the percentage of new users, Bounce Rate, time on page, pages per visit, etc.

Resulting in success at the top and bottom of your sales funnel: Awareness and Action.

Most website owners fail to understand any of the audience characteristics of their visitors, and filtering between the two intents yields much better results and a higher website ROI.

Moreover, most web queries are “Informational” according to research done last year at Penn State. 80% of searches come from people looking for information, which suggests that blog content should be a big element of your content strategy. Continue reading

Call To Action Examples

Call To Action Definition

This is the 4th article of a 5-part series on creating successful website content. One of the most important elements of site content is a Call To Action (CTA), which is defined as ‘an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “click here,” “call now,” “subscribe to our newsletter,” “download our free guide” or “buy now”.‘ It’s usually part of a sales promotional message, but it might have other goals and may vary from page to page on your website.

I like to say that websites have a job. Each page of the website has a job, that supports the overall goals of the website. Sometimes the job of a page is to pre-frame content and link to the next page of the funnel.

To define Call To Action, depends on the job or mission of the website. A non-profit website might have a goal of getting people to donate or volunteer, for instance. Another objective might be to promote a cause or educate/raise awareness.

Call To Action Examples

The best CTAs are often graphical because they attract your eye and can appeal to your emotions. A well written article with a text link can also be effective and some savvy marketers and copywriters will incorporate both into their page.

One of the most common Calls To Action are email opt-ins. Getting someone on your email list is one of the top marketing tactics. Political candidates Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders have both done it effectively.

In Sanders case, there is no doubt about what he wants you to do when you land on his website.

email opt-in example

The less you ask for in an optin, the more conversions you are likely to receive. Some marketers only ask for an email address, but it’s common to also ask for a first or full name. The Sanders campaign is also interested in where you live by asking for your Zip Code.

He’s building an email list, but he’s using that to raise contributions and he’s doing it well because he’s outpacing Obama’s 2008 fundraising efforts, apparently.

Neil Kristianson from Beyond The Optin on Facebook, says this Call To Action example is powerful for 2 reasons…

1 – He’s looking straight at the optin form. Which in turn, forces you to look at the optin form. He’s subtly saying “give me your email.” Continue reading

Chunking Website Content

How to Chunk Website Content

website content bookChunking is a method of presenting information into small pieces or ‘chunks’ of information to make reading and understanding faster and easier. Learning how to chunk website content is especially useful for material presented on websites because readers tend to scan pages first before they decide to read the full page.

Humans have an attention span of about 5 seconds, so they usually make a decision whether to read a page within 5 to 8 seconds.

Information is conveyed more quickly, allowing readers to find what they need more efficiently.

Chunked content usually contains:

  1. A strong keyword-rich headline. (Bonus points if it also contains a benefit to reading the page.)
  2. A short introductory paragraph of only 2-3 sentences. (For SEO, you should use the Focus Keyword for the piece in the first paragraph)
  3. Bullet lists that convey information quickly. Benefits of your product or service work well. (Features tell, benefits sell.)
  4. Keyword-rich and benefit-rich sub-headlines.
  5. Short paragraphs that convey one idea per paragraph. (Even 1-sentence paragraphs)
  6. Graphics. They break up a page for easier reading, but graphics can convey emotions and ‘a picture is worth 1,000 words.’

Speaking of graphics, consider Pinnable graphics that people will curate using Pinterest. You may want to use the Pinterest plugin on your site. Infographics are also very popular and Pinnable!

The Bite, Snack & Meal Method

Leslie O’Flahavan came up with the concept of chunking content in a specific way around the turn of the century. She taught the method by describing site visitors as ‘nibblers’ or those ready to dive right in. The method was described in a 2001 article in Inc magazine. Continue reading