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Conversion is key

Everybody wants visitors to their site, but is that all that you really want?

Have you been bitten by the scenario where you have used Google or Facebook advertising, spent a lot of money, but few hung around your website, and even less bought the goods or services that you offer?


Clearly, if you are using your website as the primary or ancillary means of selling goods or services, you want visitors to more than just look. You want them to commit to purchasing. That is called conversion, where visitors transition from 'window shopping' to being paying customers.

Of course, even if you are not selling anything, you may want visitors to do more than just peruse. You may want them to commit to trusting what you write, so that they will read more in the current session, and into the future. It is mostly not enough for visitors to merely engage with your website, but take it seriously, as against using it for time-wasting.

Facilities like embedded videos and pictures may create interest, and are proving popular, but do they help build trust? If it is obvious that a site is using such devices merely because they are known to increase traffic, visitors may be entertained, but they will not trust the site, and so are not likely to continue visiting for the reasons the site owner wants.

Building trust requires a lot more effort than just adding interesting content. Every piece of content has to fit in with the narrative of the page and the overall one for the site. Before deciding to include anything, make sure it does this, and get rid of any existing irrelevant content.

Managing expectations

No matter how well you select your multimedia content, if your visitors' expectations do not match what they find upon arrival, they will also not trust your site. Therefore, it is important to manage those expectations.

The first step is to ensure that your marketing and advertising messages closely align to what you and your site offer. Bending the truth to deceptively squeese more interest will not help build trust.

With search engine results being extremely important for drawing traffic to your site, many turn to trying to manipulate their ranking by using specially-targeted content for search engine optimisation (SEO). However, the best long-term strategy is to provide lots of original, relevant content, from which the snippets shown in search engine listings will be drawn, thus ensuring that your visitors see what they will actually get to read, and thus set up their expectations to more closely match what you need them to be for them to trust you.

The next step is to make sure that the structure of your pages, and the whole site, are directed to your purpose. You are telling a story, so each piece of content has to help add to the coherance of the narrative. Anything else is a distraction. That does not mean that there cannot be related, but not critical, information, but ensure that it is not likely to distract, confuse or defocus the reader.

Always introduce non-verbal content, just to ensure that readers look at it from the perspective you want. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but each person will choose their own thousand words without some guidance.


While we base a lot of perceptions upon what we see, that is only part of what goes to building up our beliefs, and it is your visitors' beliefs about you that should be the core to your communication efforts.

While a picture may be useful for gaining your sites visitors' immediate attention, words will directly engage and modify their beliefs. Words will still carry the essential meaning of what you are about, as well as focus your readers' atttention upon what the pictures and videos they look at are for.

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