Can Your B2B Web Content Outperform those Tiny Recycling Codes?

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DECEMBER 2015

Plastic RecyclingPlastic packaging makers don’t really want me to recycle.

How do I know? Because the recycling codes stamped into plastic packaging are tiny, hard to find and often impossible to read.

I end up throwing away lots of packages I could probably recycle, because I either can’t find the little triangle, or I can’t read the number inside it. (No age jokes, please!) If the manufacturers actually wanted me to recycle their packaging, wouldn’t they make the codes big, obvious and readable?

Wouldn’t they make it easy?

They would—but they don’t. They make it hard. Ergo, they must not want me to recycle.

 

WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR WEBSITE VISITORS TO DO?

If you have a business-to-business website, you must want your visitors to do something, right?

Do you make it easy, or hard?

Maybe you have a specific call to action. You want them to click through to a product page, or request more content, or book a reservation, or sign up for something.

Maybe it’s less specific, but no less important—you want them to understand your company’s culture, or learn about a new offering, or laugh at something you think they’ll enjoy. Maybe you just want them to think you’re awesome.

But whatever it is you want them to do, the easier you make it, the more likely they are to do it.

 

SKIMMABILITY MAKES IT EASY TO STAY

The first thing you should want visitors to do is not leave.

iStock_000056093198_350pxDuh, right? But how often do you visit web pages that actually make it hard for you to stay? They’re jam-packed with big blocks of unbroken text and paragraphs that go on for days.

And you’re outa there.

People decide to stay or leave in the first few seconds. Make it easy for them to decide to stay. Make your text skimmable, with:

  • Subheads that give them an outline of what the page is about
  • Bullet points that flesh out the outline
  • Visuals that demonstrate your ideas, and
  • Plenty of white space, so the page doesn’t look like a philosophy textbook

Of course, skimmable content can still make it hard for visitors for stick around if it’s unfocused, predictable or dull. Keep it conversational, focused on your visitors’ needs and relentlessly fascinating, and you’ll make it easy for them to get all the way to your call-to-action.

 

OPTIMIZATION MAKES IT EASY TO ACT

There’s a lot of science (and not a little art) to optimizing webpages—taking advantage of how people read, react and behave to make it easy for them to do what you want them to do.

wwwsearchsign_up_nowemail_phone_passwordget_startedyes_nocancel

I’m no optimization expert, but some tips I picked up from a recent conference include:

  • Tell visitors they’re in the right place. If they’re searching for cloud storage solutions, make sure your header says “Cloud Storage Solutions.”
  • Don’t distract them with motion, sound or splashy graphics. Those rotating slideshows that were all the rage a couple of years ago? They’re conversion-killers.
  • Limit their choices. If you’re packaging your offerings, don’t display more than three—and make sure the one you want to promote stands out over the others.
  • Give them motivational buttons. Your call-to-action button should be big, colorful and action-oriented, with verbs like get, request, learn, order and download. Not to mention now!

Making it easy for visitors is, naturally, hard. (There are whole companies dedicated to website optimization.) But the easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to do what you want them to do.

It’s that, or the trash. Just ask the packaging companies.

Jeff Segal

Jeff Segal

Senior Copywriter

Senior Copywriter Jeff Segal writes blogs and social content for several SN clients, while crusading tirelessly against the words provide, quality, strive and utilize.

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