Writing Successful Web Copy

September 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting

Writing copy for your website should be really simple and easy. After all, you’re the expert in your business, right?

The trouble is, you’re the expert in your business, which means you know way more than the average potential customer is going to want to know. Many business owners make the mistake of giving away too much information…or not enough. Either way, the result is the same – website visitors come, read a bit and leave, never to be seen again.

So how do you write successful web copy? Below are some of the guidelines I use when I write for clients.

Copy that doesn’t describe immediately – the death knell for websites is the line “Welcome to our website.” Really, thanks, but I was here for X and you don’t seem to offer that. <Cue the click away> Website copy must be scannable and offer value in the content. You have only seconds to make an impression, so hit them with your best stuff early and often.

WIIFM – No, I’m not cursing. That’s the acronym for “What’s in it for me?” the question your site visitors are asking as they scan your web pages. If you can&rs quo;t answer that fundamental question quickly, your visitors will be gone just as fast. So be sure to highlight the value your business brings to customers and how it helps them (read:  solves their problems). Real life examples are good bets. If you’re still not sure, see my post on features and benefits.

Saying it so they can hear it – You can write all kinds of pretty words, but if it’s not in the language of your potential customers, they will never read them. Get to know your customers through the way they talk and express themselves. Play with wording so that it reflects that expression and you’ll have a much easier time of getting them to stay on your site. This also includes the keywords they might use to seek out someone who offers what you do. By using familiar language, you’ll have an immediate impact on your potential cus tomers because they’ll feel as if you already know them.

Action! – Website visitors aren’t stupid, but they might not know what to do once they get to your site. So, after you’ve explained yourself, tell them what to do next. They won’t get mad at you for giving them a bit of direction. If you present a call to action, your potential customers are more likely to get what they want – and so are you. Don’t forget this critical step or you’ll lose people. And you rarely get a second chance to give them what they want.

These might seem like simple things, but combined, they create potent copy that converts. And that’s the whole point isn’t it?

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