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TOP 5 IN REAL ESTATE NETWORK, March 2009-One of the easiest ways to increase online conversions is by adding customer-centric, benefit-oriented content to your site. Much of the content on the Web today is too focused on company matters-who the company is, what it offers, its strategy and so on. This is a mistake. Rather than describing your company, your content should focus on your customers.

Consider the following example. Both sentences explain the same concept. However, the customer-centric version speaks directly to visitors, while the company-centric one does not.

Company-centric: We structure our business to emphasize client relationships.
Customer-centric: Offering you the best client services in the industry, we provide customized solutions that’ll enable you to achieve bottom-line results and exceed your business goals.

While it’s necessary to include content on your site about the specific products and services you offer, it’s also critical to translate their attributes into benefits. This ensures that customers not only understand what you have to offer, but also how it benefits them.

Let’s say you’re selling cars and advertise that they feature “30 miles per gallon.” Although they may find this promo informative, customers may not see the benefit this offers them. Therefore, they’ll leave your site before completing conversions. It may resonate with customers more, however, if you also include a specific benefit, such as this one: “Spend less on gas and save more money with a gas-efficient vehicle.”

To ensure your site includes customer-centric, benefit-oriented content, follow these tips:

Audit your content. Images are nice, but content is what encourages customers to continue through the conversion path. Include enough of it so users understand the purpose of each page and where to go next.

Review and assess your content. Who’s the main focus of your content: you or your customers? While the content should describe your offers, it should do so in terms of the customer. Spin any “we” statements into “you” statements.

Describe the benefits. Explain more than what you offer; specify how your offers benefit your customers. Aim to include one benefit for every attribute. Once customers realize the benefits, they’re more likely to convert.

Update your content, online and offline. Start by updating content on the high-level pages of your site, and then apply changes to the lower-level pages. Then incorporate your customer-centric, benefit-oriented content into your offline marketing efforts.

While improved rankings and increased traffic are always nice, they have little impact on the bottom line if conversions don’t increase as well. If you’re aiming to increase conversions-and bridge the gap between site visitors and converting customers-start by adding customer-centric, benefit-oriented content to your site.

Alison Fields is a search marketing specialist at the Watertown, Mass-based search engine marketing services agency iProspect. Reach Alison at a.fields@iprospect.com.

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