Ultimately, the success of your Website will depend on the quality of your written content and it’s ability to turn visitors into clients. It is not easy and can take many attempts to try and get it right. To help you get started, below, are 9 key points that need to be considered when writing website content / copy, and help turn visitors into clients. Why work hard to attract visitors, only to see them leave your Website without bothering to take a proper look?
Many website owners write content for their website without giving it much thought. Typically, they start by telling the visitor who they are before moving on to a summary of their services. Throw in contact and testimonial pages, and they are done.
This approach fails to appreciate: on entering the website, in most cases, the visitor is not really interested in who they are at this stage; and secondly, simply listing and describing services, only tells them something they would expect to be available anyway.
A much better approach, is to address why the visitor has come to the Website. What issues have they got? Has the website identified their issues? For example, the visitor is unhappy with their existing Accountant and looking for a new one. But the site they are on doesn’t address the issues of “is it better the devil you know”. Not very helpful, really. Best try another website, they will be thinking.
When writing copywrite for your website, it is important to identify the type of people visiting your website. Most likely, these people will have different informational requirements and how they will interact with your website. For example;
- A Cleaning company specialises in both Domestic and Corporate markets. A Facility Manager visiting the website doesn’t care about the domestic services, they only want to see the pages relating to the Corporate services. Vice versa with Domestic visitors.
- A leisure company has both adults and children visiting their site in equal measure. What content can they include to appeal more to the children? Studies have shown that children are the instigators of many families visiting their Centre. Since it will be a whole day out, parents will want to know more about the facilities on offer.
- A talented individual is looking for a job on your Website.
- Other businesses may visit your Website to see if there is any synergy between the two companies, allowing for joint business ventures, perhaps.
- A business person is a bit fed up with their Accountant and has just had a bad meeting with them. Perhaps a change of Accountant is what they need? They arrived home late, hungry and stressed. Business is not good. They have finally got the kids of the computer. They Google Accountants in their area and are hoping they find a Website, identifying with their predicament and giving them reassurances ; “Changing Accountant is simple! Let us remove the stress and allow you to do what you do best; run your business.
- Don’t forget your existing customer base when designing and writing content for your Website. You want them to visit your website just as much as new visitors.
The above example, hopefully, explains the importance of treating your website visitors as real people with real emotions. Tap into peoples emotions and you immediately have empathy with them. Once you have empathy, you are well on the way to winning the order.
Write content as if they were in the same room and you were addressing them personally. Whatever you do, avoid business jargon at all costs i.e. “In todays fast moving business environment…”. The only people it impresses, are the people who write it. Give your content real meaning and avoid visitors “glossing” over your content.
As mentioned, above, the best way to gain empathy with visitors is to quickly address their informational requirements. However, the way you write and your choice of words can also have a big impact on creating positive first impressions. If you talk about we this and we that, it can give the impression of a business that is too focused on themselves. Surely, it is about the visitors requirements and what you can do for them. Therefore, when you talk about one of your services, always translate this into what it means to the visitor.
Using words, such as, understand, listen, appreciate and flexible throughout your website, can also have a subliminal effect on the reader and leave with them with a good feeling about your business.
Following on from the above, try and identify at least five high level sales messages and weave them into your written content throughout the whole website. These high level messages could be, flexibility, competitive, professional, quality, cutting edge.
Find ways of translating them into something more meaningful to the visitor. Doing so, will subliminally get your message over without the visitor even being aware.
For example, you could translate professional into, the level of staff training, adhering to certain standards, latest techniques, eye for detail, customer care, response times and so on.
One of the key selling objectives when someone visits your website, is to tell them why you believe your are different. Afterall, this is what your visitors will be asking themselves. Even if your points are not unique, identifying them with your products/services in the mind of your visitors, creates a minimum requirement checklist in their mind. As far as the visitor is concerned, you are now the benchmark they will use for further comparisons.
A good place to get your message over is in a Why Use Us page or bulleted lists.
Writing good copywrite is not easy and requires a lot of thought and patience. You will write a piece, wake up in the morning, read it over and think “why did I write that”. It is normal and demonstrates you are thinking about what your writing.
Following on from one of the above sections, viewing your content through the eyes of your visitors will lead to much better copywriting. Combine this with an honest review of your copywrite, and your “so what” statements will jump out of the page.
For example, “We offer a professional service..”. So what! doesn’t everyone claim that? “We have been in business for over 30 years..”. So what! What does that mean to me? “Customer service is very important to us..”. So what! If your website is anything to go by, it doesn’t appear to be the case. Where is the evidence?
There is nothing more frightening on a website than a page of written content that scrolls into infinity. Unless it is a research article or something similar, it is guaranteed to be ignored by the majority.
Therefore, when you have a lot to say on the one page, it is best to use a technique similar to the one you are looking at now. It has the initial benefit of a bulleted list, with the option for visitors to drill down into sections that take their interest. Hopefully, you will agree, it looks less frightening?
If you haven’t the skills, then your first objective is to try and get your message over in as few paragraphs as possible. Start by stripping out all the waffle, to allow visitors to see the wood from the trees. You don’t want your key selling points lost in a glutton of text? Where possible, include paragraph headers to give visitors an idea of what the content is about. It has the benefit of acting like a bulleted list, since, research has shown, people like to scan a document before reading it to see if anything takes their interest.
The paragraph you are reading is about as wide as you would want it to be. Again, much research has shown; people tend to be put off reading overly wide paragraphs.
Another technique, is to use the one we are using on this page. By highlighting various key phrases, it allows the reader to scan the page before committing to reading it.
An obvious point but one that is often overlooked. Ask customers what content they would like to see on your website? Newsletters or News Articles, for example. Ask them what they think are the important points (USPs) about your business? Are your service / product descriptions adequate? Is there a better way to display the information? Have you included too much information? Would it make them use your services / products if it was the first time they visited your website?