Copywriting is the single most valuable marketing tool on the planet. With the right words, you can sell anything. So creating website copy that converts well should be your number one goal.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done!
Quality website content doesn’t come around often, as a copywriter isn’t a writer in the traditional sense. Sure, their work is based on words, but the strategic planning involved can make or break the content’s ability to convert to sales.
A copywriter has to be able to:
- Create a profile that’s relevant to all readers.
- Research the market to understand what’s missing and where you fit in.
- Use all analysis to identify a problem and offer a solution.
- Make the reader desire the specific solutions.
- Put the reader’s mind at ease, preventing all possible rejections.
The Importance of How You Word Things
“Saying less is more” isn’t really true when it comes to writing. It’s just that the more you write, the more likely you are to turn people away. In fact, sometimes it’s the things that you don’t say that matter the most.
A reader will grab a fiction novel if they plan to read through an entire page. When people read website content, they read in an F-pattern.
It’s natural instinct to scan through content. It’s why many websites have a high and fast bounce rate: because readers look quickly to see if what they are reading can help them. They analyse it, to see if it’s relevant to them and their requirements.
But how are you supposed to catch their attention when they only read a few lines? Simple – address a problem that they have. Then, identify a way to solve it. Do these two things in a positive, interesting manner and you’ll have them hooked.
A salesperson starts and ends a sale with a smile – if they’re good at their job, then potential customer that he or she is talking to is smiling as well. If they weren’t, they would just lose interest and walk away.
The same applies with web content. If you’re not making the reader happy, you’re just pushing them away.
While “positive” content is subjective, it mainly means that dwelling on negatives is a no-no. Everything you say should be upbeat, non-analytic and easy to read. At the same time, it has to eliminate the possibility of negative responses.
At no time do you want a reader to say:
“Maybe I don’t really need this.”
“This sounds like every other product.”
“I don’t see what this can do for me.”
Writing Content That Speaks
A piece of writing that doesn’t “come to life” is the equivalent of a monotonous and lethargic salesperson. If they continue on this manner, then at some point they’ll get fired and a replacement will come along. The company will eventually find the right match – hopefully your website does too!
Breathing life into content isn’t easy. It plays into the psychological aspects of copy writing: if a page of website copy is going to embrace the reader, it’s because it captivates their attention.
How does a copywriter get a reader’s attention?
- Identify with one of the reader’s problems.
- Disclose a solution to that problem.
- Express how this solution benefits the reader.
- Display why their company is trustworthy and incomparable.
Website copy also needs to keep the reader engaged after grabbing their attention.
How does a copywriter keep the reader’s attention?
- Create excitement over your solution.
- Keep the writing short and simple.
- Use all capitals, bullet points, sub-headers, and images.
- Leave the reader wanting to act or learn more.
You may think that these two lists are interchangeable, but they’re not.
The idea is to get the reader’s attention while keeping information relevant to your product or service. Then, you want to keep their attention through attractive wording and visualisations. This prompts the reader to continue and learn more for themselves. Through your writing, they get to learn how you can solve their specific problem, why your solution is great and why they should trust you. More than that, they learn why they should choose to go with you, if someone else is more trusted or has a better price.
The AIDA Technique
AIDA – attention, interest, desire, action.
Most successful website copy consists of these four events taking place in the reader’s head.
First, their attention is hooked. Then, the copywriter capitalises on this, by building interest. Your solution for their problem should be portrayed as a godsend, at which point desire sets in. You now have the reader exactly where you want them, so it’s just a matter of closing the deal – action.
Creating a Call to Action That Actually Works
A lot of wonderful copy gets a full read-through and reaches the desire stage… then falls flat. This ending stage is called the ‘call-to-action’, which is momentous moment of prompting your customer to take the leap and purchase from you.
Finding the right call-to-action comes during the planning stage. The approach sets the tone for the entire copy and it’s usually based on what you want the reader to do.
For example, do you want the reader to sign up for your newsletter?
If you do, then you need to do something more than just writing energetic content. You need to set yourself apart from the crowd, become that guru with a personality or that company with a unique selling pitch that resonates, personally, with the reader.
Whatever it is, relevancy is king. As long as you stick to that principle, and you keep content simple, solve the reader’s problem and have a quality call-to-action – you’ll have great results with your website copy.