An effective small business website uses its content as a fulcrum. Like a fulcrum, the words and images magnify the energy applied for a more impactful experience.

Fantastic!

But what does this mean?

For a small business website, effective content creates value for users and as a result, it creates value for the business.

Effective Website Content Has an Outside-in Point of View

Perspective is important. As we work with our Inn8ly customers, we often see inside-out content, content crafted from the perspective of the small business owner. It’s all about them, their product or service, with the expectation that users will figure out how this benefits them. Sorry, but this dog won’t hunt. Your visitors are there looking for solutions to their problems. They don’t want to tease it out of what you are saying. They want answers.

Useful website content has an outside-in perspective. Content should speak directly to the users’ problems, and demonstrate how your small business can help them. People buy benefits. They don’t buy features.

Inside-out content focuses on features and attributes. Outside-in content focuses on benefits, solutions to problems, and uses features and characteristics as the reason to believe the benefit claims.

The Point of the Fulcrum

Visitors to the website are in a hurry. They don’t want to think about what they should do. They want the next step to be clear. This is the idea behind the five-second rule; in five seconds or less a web page needs to assure the visitor that they are in the right place, give them a benefit-oriented reason to stay and make it clear what their next step is. Said another way, the sharper the fulcrum’s point is, the more effective it is.

Don’t stuff pages with content, guide visitors down a path that solves their problems. As they dig in, give them more information. Always keep the five-second rule in mind, but equally don’t disappoint, if they are telling you they are interested in by selecting a page, give them the information. Consider how the door-to-door salesman worked back in the day. He understood what he needed to do at each stage and tailored his pitch accordingly. An effective website does the same thing.

A Fulcrum Multiplies the Action

A fulcrum is used to accomplish something. You use it to lift a heavy object or cut a bolt with less energy. A website has a similar goal. Content should be structured to maximize the impact of what you are saying.

For example, a common mistake is to put the Call to Action at the end. Consider for a moment how an infomercial or a Direct Response TV spot is structured. The CTA, usually an 800#, isn’t just at the end of the commercial, you will see it prominently displayed throughout the advertising.

Why does the Direct Marketing industry do it this way?

They do it because they’ve learned that it’s essential to make it easy to buy. They’ve learned that responders have,  more often than not, already seen the spot. It’s a reminder. They make it easy to take action. Do the same thing in content. Make it clear what they should do next. Include a CTA early and often.

An Effective Small Business Website Uses Content as a Fulcrum

In summary, the key things to remember are:

  • Develop content from the perspective of your customers
  • Keep the fulcrum sharp, pivot into more content quickly
  • Drive to action, ask them to do something