Online customers are intelligent, sophisticated people
It is an obvious fact of life that businesses want (and need) to sell their products and services. Customers, however, want to have an informed choice over what they buy, so are frequently quite irritated when they are inundated with blatant advertising on websites they visit. This is so much the case that some enterprising software companies have developed apps that block unwanted pop-up adverts from appearing. Their right to market this app has been upheld in court cases in Germany, for instance, much to the chagrin of the online publishers who use such advertising – perhaps to excess.
With the huge potential of online marketing, it seems expedient for companies to provide more acceptable methods of advertising their business, so that customers have the information they need to decide which goods or services they want to buy, without being flooded with adverts all screaming “Buy, buy, buy!”
How to sell online without blatant advertising
Review your own website first
On 19 May 2015 Google introduced a new algorithm update that has been nicknamed the ‘Quality Update’. No-one’s yet been able to work out quite what impact this has had on SEO, but there’s speculation that this quality update rewards websites that have an attractive web design, interesting and, most importantly, informative content and detailed descriptions of their products or services. Visitors should find it easy to navigate around your site, to the specific aspects they want to view, without being distracted by those annoying adverts and Google actually penalise sites with excessive adverts, even if they’re Google Adwords.
Helping your website’s on-page SEO can be done by displaying short summaries of the major facets of your business on the landing page, which link to more detailed content on other pages when required.
Well-written, educational text, translated into more than one language if multilingual content marketing is needed, is the key to attracting new business. Careful analysis of the most appropriate keywords used in online searches ensures that these are used in a natural way on your website pages, without artificially “stuffing” them into every other sentence. Our article how to write website content provides more tips on this subject.
Too many websites concentrate on features, rather than the benefits, of different products and services. Customers want to be able to find out whether a particular tool is durable, or a dress can be worn immediately, even after it has been crammed into a suitcase. Obviously some features, especially with food products, where information about potential allergies is essential, have to be included, but additional information in the form of reviews and customer satisfaction comments can provide valuable insights which are welcomed by visitors to the site.
Blogs, with interesting snippets of information, FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) or the opportunity to contact your company with a specific query, are all ways which can enhance the appeal of your website without overt advertising.
Think about ongoing content marketing
Once you are satisfied that your website has the impact and ambience that you want, it is important that you ensure it reaches your potential customers and continues to attract new visitors. As with any form of marketing or advertising, this is not a single exercise, but an ongoing campaign. It is also important that the success of different methods of content marketing (for example articles on sites in the same niche as yours, press releases, blogs, infographics and social media entries) is monitored on a regular basis. The purpose of this ongoing marketing is to ensure that your website appears high on search engines, thus giving you the best chance of attracting new customers.