Today’s blog post is by Jen Havice, a website copywriter who specializes in creating content with personality that's made for conversions.
Website copy. It can create trust, provide value and be the difference between making a sale and losing a prospect.
Unfortunately, too many small businesses treat their websites and the copy on them as afterthoughts.
Why? It usually comes down to time and resources. Understandable, but I’m here to tell you that it’s time for the excuses to end.
In Ian’s post about the 5 Crippling Beliefs That Keep Consultants and Coaches in the Poor House, he talks about the fact that it’s not enough to simply get your name out there. You’ve got to be creating messages that resonate with your potential clients and set you apart from all the others in your niche.
Your website is the most important place to be doing just that (at least as far as your online presence is concerned.) Consider it your home base. Unlike your profiles on various social networks, your website remains land you own, a place where you control what gets seen and when.
Driving people to your site should be one of your top online marketing priorities – right after getting your messaging ducks in a row.
Not sure how? While writing compelling website copy isn’t the easiest of exercises, it’s also not rocket science. Here are a few guidelines to get you well on your way to creating more effective copy.
Copy Tip #1: Develop a spot on value proposition
When prospects visit your site, they immediately should be able to understand where they are and why they landed there.
One of the biggest mistakes I see consultants and coaches doing on their sites is not having a headline that conveys the core value they provide along with what differentiates them from the pack. Basically, you want your prospects and customers to know that they have come to the right place and you’re the business to serve them the best.
You do that by creating a value proposition or statement that tells your visitors what you do, why they need you and who you or your services work best for – all while being succinct and memorable.
For example, take Racheal Cook’s home page headline and sub-headline on her The Yogipreneur website.
She coaches entrepreneurs in setting up their own businesses. What differentiates her is the fact that she focuses on people in the yoga industry. Her benefit is her approach. From her value proposition, all of those things are apparent.
The benefit of a good value proposition = reduced bounce rates, less frustrated visitors, more conversions.
Copy Tip #2: Have a conversation with your customers
Before you can develop website copy that addresses your prospects’ needs and wants, you need to know who those people are and what kind of verbiage resonates with them.
Make sure you do a certain amount of research to find out what your key messaging should be. Conduct online surveys, phone interviews and even look at reviews of products and services similar to yours at places like Amazon or review sites.
Pull out the words and phrases most used. Then, integrate them into your messaging in a way that will make your customers feel as though you are talking with them not at them.
Let’s say you’re a tech consultant. Your clients are in non-tech related industries. Filling your copy with jargon your customers aren’t familiar with only creates a larger divide between you and them.
Instead, make your copy easy to understand and in terms that will strike a chord with your visitors.
Check out how the company, Unbounce handles this issue.
They address the problem they seek to solve, creating landing pages easily without IT help, and they do it in a way their non-tech customer base can easily relate to.
Just because you keep your copy clear and relatively jargon free doesn’t mean it’s lacking intelligence. Simple and understandable trumps vague and clever every time.
Copy Tip #3: Create definitive calls to action
One of the top reasons small business owners come to me to assess their websites and the copy on them is because they’re not converting in the ways they want them to. It’s all well and good to drive traffic to your site but if you’re not getting people to sign into your email list, click on your services page or fill out your contact form, you may have won the battle but you’ve lost the war.
There’s a tremendous amount of science and testing behind how people make decisions and how that relates to websites. In a fantastic post by Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers on The Copyblogger website, she goes into great detail about the psychology behind creating calls to action and button copy that convert (I highly recommend you read it.)
Suffice it to say, your calls to action need to be clear and instructive. Calls to action are not a place to imply. Direct people to where you want them to go, tell them what you want them to do and make it clear where you’re sending them.
Generally, people don’t like ambiguity or to have to work while navigating a website. Tell them exactly what they’ll get if they opt in to your newsletter. Don’t make them fill out 10 different fields in a contact form.
Chances are you’ll have much better success with getting visitors to do what you’d like them to do.
Spend some time figuring out what your goals are with respect to your calls to action, then prioritize. If directing people to your email opt in takes precedence, place it front and center.
Give these guidelines some thought…
These are just a few of the things to keep in mind while optimizing your website copy. Yet, they are three of the most important.
Are you ready to rethink your website copy? Let us know your thoughts.
Jen Havice is a website copywriter who specializes in creating content with personality that's made for conversions. If you're interested in more tips from Jen you can get her free mini course to help you write copy that inspires your visitors to take action and turns clicks into customers by clicking here.