Effective Website Copywriting consists of executing the following five steps properly: Research, Outline, Draft, Revise and Test
Before starting to write, you need to figure out:
- why people will buy your product or service;
- how they buy it;
- what they will use it for;
- what matters to them.
Unless you know the answers to these questions, you will not be able to write effective copy.
Gauge your Competition
Be aware of your competition and how they advertise and sell their product. If you are selling something that already exists, choosing to be like the others will not make you stand out. To make an impact, you must present your product as unique.
Ask your Customers
Ask some of your recent customers the following questions:
- Who are you? What do you do?
- What does our product help you do?
- How did you compare our product with others?
- What alternatives did you consider?
- What made you choose our product?
- What doubts did you have before the purchase?
- What information would have helped you to make your decision faster?
- How would you recommend our product to someone you know?
Take note of the wording your clients use so you can match your writing to what’s on their minds.
Take a few minutes to make a road map for your project.
Your Value Proposition
No matter what kind of business you are running, you need to explain to clients why they should buy from you.
Here is a simple formula to start with:
- Headline: The benefit you are offering in one sentence. Grab your audience’s attention.
- Sub-headline or short paragraph: Specific explanation or what you offer, for whom and why it’s useful.
- Bullet points: List your key benefits or features.
How much should you write?
Most people don’t read, they just skim. However, some people do read everything, and those are your target group because they are the most interested in your product or service. Give your interested readers as much useful information as possible. By giving them complete information, your readers will have everything they need to make their decision.
Your Goal: Conversion
This means that you want your reader to act after they have read your copy. It can be making an online purchase, a phone call or filling out a form.
In order to make a sale or move someone to act, you need to identify their problem or need and they need to acknowledge it before you start to sell them anything. Your strongest argument is the one that eliminates their biggest problem.
Next, you have to prove your claims. Show evidence based on data, comparisons, testimonials and case studies.
Grab attention by using visuals. Contrasting visuals are especially convincing, like Before/After comparisons. Some other tips:
- Avoid Jargon: Using fancy words doesn’t make you sound smarter; it turns everybody off from reading your information. Talk to your clients like a real human. If you wouldn’t use these words talking to a customer in person, don’t use them at all.
- Be Specific: Specific statements are more believable than vague ones.
- Make it about your reader: If your writing is about you (your products, your company) and not about your clients (their problem, their life), it won’t be effective. Instead of staying “we specialize in XYZ”, tell your clients what you can do for them.
Give your copy to someone else (peers, ideal customers, other marketers) to revise and ask them for feedback like:
- Were any questions left unanswered?
- Is anything unclear?
- What would make this offer better and more credible?
If you are not a professional writer, it’s also a good idea to have a professional editor revise the text. Typos and grammatical errors will hurt your credibility.
Use website statistics to analyze whether or not your copy is effective. You can also perform some A/B Testing by having two types of text with one major difference (headline, length, etc.) and see which is most effective with your readers.
- 5 Rules For Writing Great Interface Copy by John Zeratsky from GV.