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Do you trust people you’ve never met? Probably not. Trust has to be earned. If you’re using a website to sell your product or service, your words and pictures must do the job of conveying credibility. Visitors must feel a certain comfort level with you before they’ll buy from you or even take the intermediary step of contacting you.

Follow these guidelines that professional website copywriters use to create trust with their words:

1. Be reader-centered, not writer-centered.
From the second a visitor lands on your website, he’s thinking, “What’s in it for me?” Make sure your copy answers that question. Don’t ramble on about how great you are. Tell the customer what you can do for them. Use the word “you” instead of “we” or “I” as much as possible.

Ideally, your website should tell visitors what you've got, what it will do for them, and what they need to do next.

2. Be conversational.
Your copy should be friendly. It should connect with the visitor and make them feel like you understand their situation and want to help. A good copywriter chooses words that will help your client like you.

3. Use testimonials, favorable reviews or case studies.
Show the prospect that others in similar situations have liked your product and services. Testimonials and reviews are third-party endorsements that are instant trust builders.

Case studies allow you to tell the story of people who found a solution through your company. The specific details make the story interesting and persuasive.

4. Mention how long you’ve been in business.
If you’ve been around longer than your competition or even for just a couple years, be sure to include that fact in your copywriting. People want to know that a business they found on the internet isn’t fly-by-night. Your longevity, “in business since 2001,” is proof of your quality and a subtle indication of popularity.

5. Use photographs to back up your claims.
Pictures are every bit as important as copywriting on a website. Make sure your visuals complement your text. They should both convey the same message. Best of all, show your product in use. Seeing is believing.

6. Focus on the benefits, not the features.
The fact that your product or service has lots of cool features is important, but how do these features translate into direct benefits for your customer? Can your product save her time, enhance her home’s décor or help her lose weight?

7. Talk to the reader.
Write your message the way you would write to one person, not a mass audience. While many people will eventually read your copy, each person will read it individually. Effective sales copy makes the reader feel like you are talking directly to him.

8. Replace general words and phrases with specific descriptions.
Instead of making a statement like “Our product will save you a lot of money,” say “Our product will save you over $120 a month.” Instead of saying that the dress you’re selling will make you look thinner, say, “This dress will instantly make you look 15 pounds thinner.” Of course, make sure your statements are accurate and believable.

9. Include bulleted or numbered lists.
Breaking up big blocks of copy with short lists will make your copy easier to read and understand. Those bullets should serve to drive home some of your most important, trust-inducing points.

10. Avoid hype.
Don’t sensationalize or exaggerate your claims. Use upbeat, positive statements, but make sure they’re believable.

Does your website inspire trust? Is your copy effective in converting visitors into customers? Call Susan Greene, Florida website copywriter, to discuss what good copy can do for your business. Susan@SusanGreeneCopywriter.com or 407-578-5528.

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