Editor's Note: As part of Marketing Month, we're revisiting some of our best, and most importantly timeless, articles of marketing advice.

Your website is a billboard; it isn’t Shakespeare. You have a few precious seconds to sell someone on reading the topmost item on any one of your Web pages, which is supposed to sell him or her on reading other parts of your site.

In this increasingly fast-paced world, you have less time than ever to get your point across. Sure, your content has to be good, but it also has to be brief and compelling.

So, to make sure that the content on every page of your site gets read, give people the following things in your copy and I promise: you will get more customers.

Seeing the Benefit

First paragraph: Tell visitors to your website about your company, but in a way that explains why what your business does is good for them. In other words, don’t list your features without tying them to a real benefit for your reader. They don’t care why you’re good — unless it helps them in some way. For example, “We have been serving the XXX area since 1972.” That’s a confidence factor that no amount of advertising can achieve.

Second paragraph: Tell them exactly how you are going to do it and, again, write it in a way that indicates a benefit to them. For example: “Our process involves evaluating the project using a holistic approach that makes sure there’s minimal impact on the rest of your home.”

Third paragraph: Tell them what you want them to do next. This is the most overlooked aspect of website copy. Always give people a few options in this paragraph. It’s the old sales saw that if you offer someone one thing, they either buy it or they don’t. Offer them several options and they may buy one or two.

The same rule applies to “calls to action” in your copy. For example, I like to use: “To see a list of services, view our services page. To see some examples of our work, check out our gallery page. To read what some of our past clients have to say, read our testimonials page. And to contact us, you can call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx or submit your information through our contact form here.”

Finally, place the pages of your site in a logical flow to move readers through the sales funnel of your site. For example, I like to use the following navigation, only once right under the header: Home/About Us/Services/Our Process/Gallery/Testimonials/Contact Us/Blog.

Craft each page of your content with these objectives in mind and I promise you will get more work!

—Darren Slaughter runs a boutique website design and marketing shop that serves only contractors in the home improvement space. darrenslaughter.com

Related Articles:

Your Website as a Sales Tool

Social Circles: Ways to make social media part of your strategy to engage prospects and clients

Post Haste: Facebook posting tips

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