Making a bad choice between the content a company WANTS to put on its website and what it SHOULD put on its site can often mean lost sales. Web content professionals know the best results happen when a site provides the customer with clear, honest information that includes comparative analysis, pricing, and product demos.

Sometimes that means the sales department has to step aside and let the content producers tell the story. Hype has to be kept at bay. Lauren Carlson, CRM Market Analyst at recently wrote an article, “What Software Buyers Want From a Vendor’s Website”, that highlights the most important content a product-based website should include:

Lauren hits on many key points Online Content Producers agrees with:

  • Be Clear: Give a good overview of the product, give the reader as much information as possible to make a good buying decision. Use comparison charts that clearly point out features and benefits. It’s fine to provide brochures and other collateral material, but make them downloads. Don’t let them clutter the site message.
  • Put the Price Upfront: Don’t bury pricing. Hiding the price suggests that its too high or that its a bad value. Don’t be cagey or dodge what is one of the most important facts of your buyer’s information gathering process.  You may think forcing prospects to contact you for pricing gives you have a chance to  sell them. In fact, the opposite is true. Customers are more likely to move on to another site where they can find the information they want.
  • Demos Draw People In: Easy-access demos are a key to retaining visitors to your site. Be sure they work on all platforms and browsers – including the iPad and other mobile devices. One of my favorite demo sites is Visitors can quickly and easily test its website building tools. No sign up required, just click and start trying it out. I’ll bet their conversion rate is higher than similar sites that try to capture all my info before they’ll let me in to play. Clover knows their product is so good that I am very likely to buy once I see what it can do for me.
  • Provide Reviews: Let people see what customers say about the product. Online reviews make a large impact on buying decisions. If you are afraid of customer reviews, you likely have a problem that even the best site content can’t help.
  • Be Honest and Fair – Always: I added this one, but I am sure Lauren agrees with me. Don’t get carried away over-pitching or embellishing your products or disparaging a competitor. Not only is it wrong, and not nice, but with the transparency of the internet you will live to regret it.

The best test for any online content still is – “Is it clear?”