Tried & True Copywriting Advice to Make Your Website Effective
There’s an art to copywriting a website–weaving keywords into the right places, persuading prospects to keep reading, and knowing when to ask for the sale. But most website copywriters will tell you creating an effective website is also a science with tested, proven concepts. And that science has to do with including certain critical elements.
Writing website copy is both an art and a science.
Keep these tips in mind when writing copy for your website:
Clearly state the benefits of your product. Tell the prospect what problem your product will solve or how your product will improve their life. In other words, what’s in it for them. Benefits hook the customer and are the reasons people buy. Think of buying a drill. Is it the drill you’re interested in or the holes you need it to make?
Make your website look and sound professional. If your website looks like it was designed by your high school-aged nephew, or if the writing contains grammatical errors and misspelled words, you’ll create doubt in the prospect’s mind about the professionalism of your company. If you lack the skills to design, write or code a website yourself, hire pros who know what they’re doing. They’ll get you online quickly and help you establish your company’s image.
Include useful content. If people come to your web site, they want information. Pictures are not enough. Provide as much detail as you can. Present it in an organized, easy-to-navigate format, and you’ll help your prospect get to know you AND trust you. You’ll also be positioning yourself as the authority on the subject matter, the go-to person for your industry, not to mention appealing to Google, which ranks highest those websites that are the best sources for information on whatever subject the searcher is seeking.
Use headlines and subheads. Headlines and subheads make your web pages easy to scan and entice the prospect to read the body copy below. They also break up big copy blocks so you’ll be able to say more without overwhelming the reader. Bonus tip: Include captions with any photos. Use them to convey important points. Captions get read almost as much as headlines, which is why photos in newspapers and magazines always have them. And Google reads them too, so they can potentially help with search engine ranking.
Keep your site updated. To enhance the likelihood of a new sale and also additional sales from existing customers, you’ll need to encourage prospects to return regularly to your web site. How do you keep them coming back? Continually update your site with new, useful information. List weekly specials, curate news articles or start a blog. Make your site an invaluable resource. Your customers will take notice, and so will Google when it ranks your site.
Capture the prospect’s name and e-mail address. Not every visitor will buy from you the first time they visit your web site. In fact, most won’t. One of the best ways to entice that prospect to revisit your web site and reconsider your product is to continue to market to him after he’s gone. To do that, you’ll need to get his name and e-mail address. So invite him to sign up for your blog or weekly sales flyer, enter a contest or request your special report. In time, with repeated “touches,” you’ll win him over.
Use customer testimonials. One of the best ways to persuade new customers that your product is every bit as good as you claim is to let them hear someone else say it. Testimonials give credence to your product’s benefits and can help allay any reservations the prospect has. Be sure to include customer names (and their companies, if relevant), so the customer knows the testimonials are real. Bonus points if their names are recognizable such as celebrities or individuals from well-known businesses. Testimonials don’t have to be written statements; videos can be even more impactful.
Ask for the sale. Once you’ve clearly laid out the benefits of your product and answered every possible objection, it’s time to ask for the sale. Give prospects that little nudge to take action. Tell them what they should do next. If you can get them to call, email, sign up, request information or make a purchase, your site is doing its job.
Make it easy for people to buy. Have you ever been in a store ready to make a purchase but you can’t find an open register or the lines are too long? Don’t make it hard for the customer to give you their money. Once you’ve motivated a prospect to buy your product, make it stupidly simple for them to order or call you. Shopping carts are frequently abandoned when the buying process gets too complex. Be sure your contact information is easy to find from any page and your tone encourages the prospect to go for it.
Upsell, upsell. Ever been in a shoe store, selected a pair of shoes and had the sales person say, “Let me show you a purse that matches those shoes perfectly.” Use the same technique on your website. When the prospect is ready to buy, offer something else that’s related to the initial purchase, and you could turn a little sale into a big profit win!
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