4 Elements Every Product or Service Page Must Have
Let’s get back to basics.
This week’s tactics and strategy article will be combined, as these 4 elements are that very important to both page design and overall website strategy.
Without these 4 elements, any web page will not grab the attention of your customers. Therefore, there’s a better chance that customers will leave after visiting only one page (they’ll “bounce” away from your website).
Why only 4 steps?
Customers, whether looking for a product or a service, are looking for 4 primary pieces of information on any given page. The four elements below work for either products or services:
- DESCRIPTION – Service: What do you do? / Product: What do you sell?
- BENEFIT – What is the benefit of this product/service to the customer?
- COMPARISON – Why is this product/service better than your competitors?
- PROOF – Prove it!
Clarifies information for your customer. Keeping the # of elements low on the page are better for your customers, because it’s easier for them to ‘sift’ through the information of an single web page. The argument is clearer, the jump to the next page is easier to make.
Gives you a basic structure to follow. It’s easier to develop your pages (and quickly check your existing pages) for relevant content if you can follow these four rules.
Helps you write. By using this system, you’ll find that information flows from your fingertips much easier. You have 4 goals, now, for each web page to achieve.
The 4 elements helps both humans and robots. Note that these 4 elements help both humans and search engine robots. That means that the content helps both search engine rankings and humans to follow what you’re selling.
Breakdown: The 4 Elements
1. What is your P/S?
Every product or service (P/S) must describe what you do or sell. This is what most websites achieve, though many don’t go much farther. In and of itself, describing your P/S is key. After all, if you don’t describe the scope of your product or service, customers can’t understand the direct benefit to them.
Describe. You must describe your product in detail. This helps in two fundamental ways: one, it helps robots spider your web pages in more detail; two, it helps customers know what your selling.
Elaborate. Don’t be afraid to put in as much detail as necessary. Use this logic: if it will help sell the product, leave it in. If it doesn’t , pull it out.
Bullet Points. Bullet points help a person’s eyes break down information. Therefore, when you can use bullet points, do so.
|What is your P/S?||Price, size, color, variety, how it fits into other products, short description, long description, great title, catchphrase that sums up the product, image, multiple images if you have them, in stock?, add to cart button, what it’s used for, how it combines with other products, “customers that bought this product also bought…,” audio description, video description, and more!||Type of service, who would use such a service, how it fits into other services, the nature of the service in action, video, audio, breakdown of service into sub-elements, milestones of service, how the service ‘rolls out’ for the customer, where you would use this service.|
2. What is the benefit to the customer?
Most websites do not clearly state the benefit to the customer. Basically, you have to phrase your content in terms of “What’s in it for me?”
Think like your customer – if you went to a webpage to buy something, and it didn’t tell you immediately why you should buy the P/S – would you leave? Or at the very least, create a greater chance of leaving?
Benefits in visual form. If you can phrase the benefit into a visual form, do so. There are many ways to do this; tables, comparison charts, images of satisfied customers using product with friends. Sometimes, all you have to do is take the primary benefit (the biggest benefit to the customer) and use an image for that.
Saves money. If your P/S saves people money, tell them! If you can back up big phrases like, “How would you like to save 37% on your heating bill over the next year?” – then use it!
Saves time. We’re all looking for efficiency in life. If your P/S can save the customer time, again, be specific, and phrase in language that everyone can understand, “Those 6 minutes you save each day can add up! That’s like getting an extra week of vacation per year!”
Save customer a headache. If you P/S makes life easier, less annoying, no waiting, state it. “Why spend time on X when you could be doing Y? Use this product and eliminate your problems forevermore.”
Pain. If something relieves pain, state it as well. This is one of the most powerful of benefits, since it directly relates to lifestyle and comfort. “Use this product and watch the pain melt away. Never have X problem again!”
Peace of mind. You know what we’re talking about: “Wouldn’t you rather know that your family is taken care of after you’re gone? For just 27 cents a day you can ensure your product is protected against X.”
Running around. Saving people time in the car or working is a great attraction. “Why drive back and forth when you can get product X delivered right to your door?”
P/S Integrates into life. When a product easily and transparently integrates into a customer’s existing lifestyle, it’s a great benefit to have. “Just try them; you won’t even know you’re wearing it!” or “This product saves on space; it fits right into your the smallest of kitchen cabinets.” Products that clutter the house are annoying; if your product has a space-saving feature, highlight it.
3. How are you better than your competition?
You don’t have to make a direct comparison. You can make a statement that your competition cannot make. “We’ve been in business for 28 years. And that amount of experiences gives us X… very important for your overall satisfaction.”
Faster. “Our product is faster than other products. See the table below to show how much time you save vs. the leading brands.”
Cheaper. If you have a P/S that is less expensive, it’s a great way to get a customer’s attention. But beware; one of the biggest conclusions that a customer can make is that if your P/S is cheaper, it’s not as good. “Sure, we’re less expensive than leading brand X – and we’re of higher quality!” (followed by a quality comparison).
Better Quality. If you’re of higher quality than you competitors, then state it with visuals or a table comparison.
Be sure that if the cost is higher for your product, you clearly state the quality benefit. “Sure, we’re more expensive, but what does that mean to you over the next year? A savings of over $200 – not to mention the headache of buying our competitor’s brand 5 times over.” – so, in essence, you turn your more expensive product into a less expensive product – by comparison. When you have a more expensive P/S, there MUST be a quality vs. quantity comparison.
|Aspect||Our Brand||Brand X|
|Faster||6 minutes/day.||15 minutes/day|
|Less Expensive||$12.99||~ $20-$30|
|Quality||Lasts for 2000 flushes!||Only 500 flushes.|
Tables. Tables are a great way to make comparisons. What you want to achieve is a clear indicator that your P/S is the clear winner in the comparison. Put the element high up on the page, if you can. Make is stand out with different colors, bigger text, style elements (like italics). Don’ go overboard. Use A color or A style change, not all three (note that I am using red, bold, and italic, and that’s overkill.)
Proof is everything. If you can prove that you’re great at this P/S, do it above all else. Now, you might say that you’ve already ‘proven’ that your P/S is better, by making a comparison. But what we’re talking about here is a demonstration of value.
Testimonials. These are powerful and they show that your P/S is being used. Sure, you could make up testimonials, but if you can’t get testimonials from your customers, perhaps you’re not trying hard enough. Make sure that if you have a happy customer, you ask for a testimonial.
It doesn’t have to be long, just effective enough to help prove what you’re saying on the rest of the page. You can also break up testimonials. If a testimonial is for a particular product, then put it onto that page. If for a particular service, put it on the page of that service. Also make sure that you have a page devoted exclusively to testimonials as well (where all the testimonials are pooled together.)
Certificates and Accreditations. Certificates or accreditations that show you have done something or achieved a particular level of service or product quality are great. Seals of approval work just as well; if you got it, flaunt it!
Videos. Videos are becoming easier to record and upload to websites. We us the FlipCam – it’s great for those ‘on-the-fly’ videos and fits into your pocket. It also allows quick uploads to YouTube.com and other media bucket sites.
If you can show a video that demonstrates the product in action, excellent. If you can get a customer on camera that smiles and says, “Yes, this service helped me immensely,” you win!
Guarantees. If you can guarantee something, than do it. Make a logo for that guarantee if you can. This ensures that your customer feels like if they buy it, they can return it if the product doesn’t live up to it’s promises. This is also a great way to get feedback (although a painful one) about your product.
No proof? Use the FREE gift. Really, if you take enough time, any company can come up with great proof for their P/S. But, if you find that there is no proof to be made, consider the gift. The gift allows customer incentive to try the P/S, boosts its value.
The Free Gift concept is powerful, because everyone wants something for nothing. What gifts can you offer? First purchase 1/2 price? Free shipping on orders of $25? A Free set if Ginsu knives for ordering the primary set of blades? Be creative! Stand out amongst your competitors! Gift giving is an art – get into the habit.
Your feedback is appreciated!
Can you think of other things a web page should have? Any other selling techniques you have used? Write your comments below – they are appreciated!