The Attention Economy and How To Profit From it – Best Online Writer
You have about 7 seconds in the Attention Economy to hook your visitor.
If web content is the king, provocative. motivating content-the kind that converts-is your ace in the hole. And you only have a few brief moments to grab your visitors in today’s Attention Economy of 2016.
Articles, speeches, books you’ve started (and may or may not have continued reading) – what do they all have in common? The initial exposure, the first impression of the print or web content, determines if you’ll continue on reading, listening or viewing. And you’ll do so rapidly.
Sex appeal is certainly a provocative writing example
I’ve started a number of books that didn’t get me past the first chapter. To mention a famous (or infamous?) recent book, primarily aimed at women and their repressed sexual desires, and told in graphic detail, is one such book. Though I suppose I can see the appeal to 30 or 40-something moms looking for an outlet to release a little energy(!), the book is so poorly written that someone like me, simply curious to what the hype was all about, didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at its rudimentary writing. If this book (Fifty Shades of Gray, of course) was about any other topic or fictional situation, my curiosity would have dropped to about zero after just a couple pages, it is so sorely lacking in substance and style of writing. It’s appeal to a certain segment of the market is clearly what explains its success.
So people determine quite rapidly if they want to spend more time reading, listening or viewing your content vs. going elsewhere. We are in the Attention Economy; the most important digital currency used these days. There are simply too many alternative options available, so if you plan on people spending time with you, you’d better be giving them something of high value in return.! (Thank you for reading thus far of course…it means I have succeeded at least tip now!
One fatal flaw of many SEOs, is they measure success by growth in website traffic, social shares and other top-level engagement metrics. Those are all great things to increase over time, but to quote a favorite film, Glengarry Glen Ross, getting the customer or client to Sign on the Line that is Dotted is the only thing that truly matters. This is where my previous experience in the advertising world really comes in handy – I write for SEO-value but also in a way that motivates readers to take additional action.
What makes great web content?
Well, providing something of true value in exchange for your visitor’s time is a key, as noted above. This can be in the form of white paper downloads, registration for e-newletters, tools they can use to help them run their business and evaluate future opportunities etc. are actually a good place to start. A/B testing of various landing pages will also help you distill what offering that you have which will increase these numbers. But tracking how much actual *business you generate from these engagements are really what matters. I’ll easily take 10 visitors a month that want to do business with me right now with 1,000 or more visitors that month!
You need to set the tone, or marketing voice of your brand too. Be edgy in some way, or unique enough that people want to share your website with others, a personal message on Facebook, or one sent via email or text is worth far more than any other advertising you could do. Be memorable in content and design, and you’ll hit your stride before long. (One of the things we do for clients upon the implementation of their web content and other freelance writing plans is determining what it the best way to create this voice/communications tone. Your homepage especially needs to grab attention – my typewriter and quill & pen are designed to do just that – it attracted you to find this article, if you entered via the homepage or looked at it after this article, so it is accomplishing its mission thus far!
Here are some of the best ways you can develop the type of provocative, entertaining or educational value that holds readers’ attention:
- Read and relevant publications and summarize your reading and document your ideas.
- Brainstorm. Engage a team of trusted advisors. Being a part of a powerful mastermind group and trusted advisors is a great way to improve your ideas and creativity.
- Focus on Self-Development. A proverb popular in Japan is:”I will become the master of something, then the creativity will come.”
- Question basic assumptions. This aren’t just your own assumptions, but also to those of your mentors, industry leaders and clients.
- Play Devil’s Advocate. Look at both the pros and cons. Clients hire Best Online Writer to assist in implementing their vision and concepts – not because we agree with them on every topic. Questioning basic views and premises to improve their business should be a goal. They hired you because they value your opinions, too!
- Craft a Story. Developing a narrative to convey a concept forces us to focus on creativity – good storytelling always has that effect.
- Interviewing Other People. This is a fantastic way of learning, gaining new ideas and leverage effective marketing while developing new audio and video content for your website; interviews are perfect to share via podcast or video on your website.
- Use Social Networks. When joining more sophisticated online communities, seeing what is being asked and discussed currently can give you the pulse of an industry or field quite quickly.
Among our own content “musts” for your website are a homepage that includes typical client results, at least one video testimonial, plus revolving text testimonials of dramatic and attractive value. Make sure your menus include case studies, client lists, white papers, biography, contact information, product and service offerings and video explanations of various offerings. Give every page a different look if you can; this process is still ongoing with bestonlinewriter, still a work in progress – though ultimately, all sites should be.
Building and reviewing many websites over the years, there are a few things I can definitely also add which will improve greatly your chances on generating real online revenue. These 3 elements need to be accomplished:
- Layout and Design. Your site should be professionally designed, attractive and engaging, and be easy to navigate in order to quickly gain the visitors’ attention and interest. Good use of images is important as well as the use of action shots of you with your clients.
- Web Content. You need to speak to your visitors’ interests and answer the question “What’s in this for me?” at all times, be it with their business or personal life. Strong content must be developed that revolves around products and services you offer, and must continually be evolving. This means posting with some defined regularity, a problem that most business owner have over time .
- Tactics and Strategy. Determine what the business should look like, how it should position itself online and what components are vital to making your business a success. Decide how you should reach and communicate with potential customers: will they purchase products, read articles, subscribe to newsletters, communicate through blogs and online communities? Again, tracking revenues is critical as you judge these items!
Without these 3, your website’s effectiveness is greatly diminished. A site that is well-designed with great content but has no defined strategy and tactics is like driving a great car without a map or GPS system. You won’t even know if you arrive at your destination, or have the knowledge you aren’t where you want to be but have no plan to address it. If you’ve got fantastic content and effective strategies and tactics, yet poor layout and design, and navigation, visitors will either close that window in their browsers or hit the Back button.
Also, maintain focus on those things that are most crucial for your online reputation and credibility. Use a service like Google Alerts to let you know how you’re being perceived and detected. If your positioning is for issues that are only peripheral to your real value, then change what you’re emphasizing. Remember the Attention Economy – the longer you can attract and keep the attention span of your visitors, the better!
Best Online Writer helps companies of all sizes and in a wide range of industries and fields. I’d love to talk with you more about how we can work together to accomplish your company goals online. Please contact me, and I will provide you a free SEO assessment of your current site without absolutely no sales pitch whatsoever (we don’t even need to discuss writing services if you’d simply like the report), showing your strong points that you want to accentuate, and your weaknesses, where addition content and other things could really help your SEO.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (314( 494-3494 and I can answer any questions you may have, and provide you with completely complimentary assessment of your current website!
Jim Haynes, Owner | Best Online Writer