How to Write Website Copy – 10 Tips
Posted on: July 1, 2014 by: DedePerkins
The first questions
The first questions you need to answer before writing your website copy are: “Who will visit my site and why?” Figure this out, and you’ll be on the right track to writing actionable website copy that will hook your visitors and hopefully, convert them into customers.
I often tell clients who have difficulty answering these questions to imagine that their website is a bricks and mortar business. Customers who walk in the door do so for a reason. Some want to get a feel for the place. Others want to talk with an expert, find the answer to a question, or get product information. A few have money in their wallets and are ready to buy.
If you’re the floor salesperson, do you speak to each person the same way? Do you hand out a company history and expect the visitor to read it? Do you talk about yourself before asking how you can help? Probably not.
Yet this is exactly what many websites do. They’re set up as online brochures rather than online sales professionals. This, of course, makes it difficult to convert visitors into customers.
There’s a better way
How do you set up your website to interact with visitors – window shoppers and ready buyers alike?
You figure out what each type of person is looking for and you give it to them. You work to develop the relationship, but on the visitor’s terms, not your own. If you give your visitors what they want, in all likelihood, you’ll get what you want – dedicated customers who will tell family, friends, and colleagues about you. That means setting up multiple pages with focused copy on each page.
Consider how to attract prospects in all phases of the buying cycle and create links and pages for each one. Give visitors places to admire, scan and click. Here are ten basic tips:
1. Use visuals with titles and captions to show how the product or service will make them more beautiful, more efficient, more profitable.
2. Link photos to product pages that link to order or contact pages.
3. If you’re selling online, make it easy to order by offering friendly, easy-to-navigate order forms.
4. Include links to both product brochures and a company history for those who are still collecting information.
5. If you’ve received awards or have been favorably reviewed, include a press page where you list accomplishments and notable events or even better, highlight the best reviews in graphic elements on home and other primary pages.
6. Explain what sets you apart from your competition. Do you have the best customer service, a terrific guarantee, the most value, or the greatest selection? Whatever it is, make sure that message comes across again and again.
7. Definitely include testimonials if you have them. If you don’t have them, figure out how to get at least a few.
8. Offer an email sign-up for customers at all stages of the buying cycle to receive additional information, special offers, or bonuses. They’ll get a premium, and you’ll get email addresses so you can keep in touch.
9. Depending on your industry, you may consider running polls, contests, and giveaways to engage visitors and draw them into the buying cycle.
10. If you’re inclined, use a blog to update your website with industry and company-wide news. Add a widget so prospects can follow your updates in the manner they choose.
To summarize, put yourself in your potential clients’ shoes and write website copy that is true to your brand message, answers their questions, delivers value, and hopefully, makes them feel that you understand their concerns and have a solution that they need or want.
Dede Perkins has over 25 years of writing, branding and marketing experience with businesses and non-profit organizations.