Think of your website as an online shop. Even if you don’t sell physical products, you still want to attract visitors and convert them into enquiries or customers, just like you would with a physical store.
Now think of your copy as the sales assistant. It welcomes the customer, identifies what they need and shows them where in the ‘shop’ they can find what they want. The copy explains the benefits of the products or services and helps the customer decide which option is best for them. Then it takes them to the ‘checkout’ and closes the sale.
At least, that’s what good copy will do.
Ten tips for better website copy
Tell the reader they are in the right place
When a reader clicks on your website, they will decide within seconds whether you are offering what they need. If they can’t work out quickly whether they are in the right place, they’ll click off and you may never get them back. Get straight to the point and let readers know that you have what they want. Don’t overcomplicate what you do with fancy words and phrases.
Make it personal
Talk directly to your reader. Use “you” as much as possible to make your copy feel more personal.
Instead of; “we are excellent at customer service,” say, “you will benefit from excellent customer service.”
Instead of; “all our clients get a special welcome gift,” say, “you will receive our special welcome gift.”
Build a relationship
You wouldn’t walk into a sales pitch and try closing the sale straight away; you’d take the time to build rapport and earn the prospect’s trust. It should be the same with your copy. Show your reader that you understand them, explain the problems you can solve for them and demonstrate how you will do it.
Building trust is vital and establishing your credibility goes a long way towards doing this. There are numerous ways you can do this on your website:
- Use feedback, reviews, case studies, testimonials or survey results to show readers that you deliver
- Write informative blog posts to demonstrate your expertise
- Offer guarantees, free samples or trial periods to show how confident you are in your products or services
- Include accreditations, awards, recommendations, accolades or specialist certifications to prove competency
Focus on the benefits
People don’t just want to know what your product does, they want to know how it will benefit them or improve their life. As well as giving information about the features, explain what they mean for the customer.
“It has extra padding to provide greater comfort”
“The 12-megapixel camera ensures a high-quality picture”
“Made from lightweight material for easier transportation”
Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. What would they want to know about your company, products and services? What questions would they want you to answer? Give the reader all the information they need to feel confident investing in you.
Emotion has been used as a selling tool since sales began; a desire to belong, fear of missing out, vanity, greed, doubt, lust, curiosity, impatience, intrigue. Words such as ‘free’, ‘discount’, ‘exclusive’, ‘limited’, ‘easy’, ‘quick’,’ luxury’ and ‘unique’ all invoke emotions that inspire people to buy.
Reassure your reader
People will have doubts about buying from you, so you need to address these. Price may be one of the biggest deciding factors but if you can convince someone of the value you provide then the price won’t matter. Reassure your reader that they are getting value for money.
Nobody wants to make a bad decision. Offering a money-back guarantee, free trial or extended warranty makes the purchase less of a risk to the customer.
Highlight key information
You never know which page of your website a reader will start at or which pages they will visit. Make sure you repeat key information such as your unique selling point, special offers or the main benefits of what you provide on each relevant page.
Even if you only have a one-page website, the reader may only skim the copy; make sure the key points stand out.
Use bullet points, sub-headings or bold text to make it easy for your reader to identify important information.
Include a call to action
Every page should include at least one call to action; ‘buy now’, ‘add to basket’, ‘donate’, ‘sign-up’, ‘join now’, ‘register today’, ‘request a quote’. ‘contact us’. Whatever action you want the reader to take, make it clear to them what you want them to do next. Include clickable links, share buttons, booking forms or payment facilities. The easier you make it for the reader to take action, the more likely they are to take it.
One last thing…
Write in a tone that is suited to your business and use language your audience will understand. Always remember that your website copy is not written for you, it is written for your visitors.
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