Everyone can write. However not everyone can actually write good copy for a website. Writing a letter and writing the copy for a website is not the same. Also just the prospect of having to write a marketing piece for a website or a catalogue can make people’s minds go blank.
Many of my clients ask me if I can write the text for their websites. And everytime I am super sorry to say that I don’t. My first language is not English and many of my native English clients can probably write better than me.
However more importantly I am not a copywriter. (I am not so sure I could write the copy for my clients in German to be honest.)
Copywriting is a skill and a profession and how to write good copy for a website that converts visitors into buyers takes time to learn. I am not saying that you can’t learn it and do it yourself, I just want to be honest that there are big differences out there when I look at websites.
That is the reason why I have partnered up with a copywriter www.marcellamoohan.com and if my clients are interested in fantastic copy that really speaks to their customers I will work with her.
DIY: How to write copy that converts for your website
However many of my clients are just starting out and don’t have a big budget. I’ve learned some tips and tricks for copywriting along the way of designing websites and I also took a course called “copywriting for creatives” to write my own website copy. Therefore I’ve decided to write down a few rules and some important points to follow and consider when writing copy for your website.
Let me start by explaining what copywriting actually is. According to Wikipedia “Copywriting is the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. The product, called copy, is written content that aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade a person or group to take a particular action.”
So the copy for a website shall basically lead your visitors to make a decision, either to buy from you or to contact you.
Rules how to write copy that converts
1. Your customer is the focus, not you!
There are many websites out there that are focused on the person or the product behind the business and why she or he is the best person to buy from. However you should be focusing on your customer really.
Know your customers problems and answer their questions and concerns with your copy. Speak to their heart. Good copy really speaks to your customers.
Many people say that you should have one person in mind when you write copy for your website and actually any marketing material or a blog post. And actually that is what I do as well also for my blog posts. It helps very much to stay focused, use the right words and address the right problem.
So go and find out what the biggest problem of your customer is and then you can address that on your homepage and again on your services page and your about page.
“The secret to a meaningful, profitable business is putting the spotlight on your customers, not on you.” Marie Forleo
The headline grab people’s attention. A good headline sells immediately.
8 out of 10 people only read the headlines of the copy on the website. Only 2 out of 10 read the whole content. Therefore you need good headlines that are to the point and address your customers directly. Don’t write “I’ve been teaching postnatal yoga for 10 years.” but do write “Want to get your body back after your pregnancy?”
3. Main body text
Once you are grabbed your customer’s attention you need to address their problem again, basically really push the buttons so your customer says “yes, that’s exactly how I am feeling”. You are creating a desire for your product or service.
Now you can tell your customers why you are the right person to help them and to buy from.
4. Create trust
When you are telling your customers that you are the right person to buy from you don’t want to sound salesy and cheesy but you want to convince them. A good way of doing that is to showcase testimonials, show magazines, TV shows or anything else that you or your products have been featured in, explain about you and your personal background and knowledge and this is also about great design, photographs and branding. Overall remember to keep it simple and elegant to build trust.
Once you have followed the above steps you need to guide your visitor to the next step with a call to action (CTA). Every webpage needs to end with a call to action. Where do you want your visitor to go next. This might differ for every page. It can be a BUY button, or a CONTACT button, or your want to lead your customers to your portfolio show what you are done so far. However never leave your visitor hanging not know what to do. Don’t assume they know where to go next. Help them by deciding for them.
5. The best friend test
When you are finished either read the copy out loud and listen what it sounds like or even better get a friend or your partner to read the text out loud. It always sounds different when you hear the text read out loud and you will spot mistakes or things that don’t sound right much more easily.
6. Less is more
I once heard the saying: “spend words like you would spend your money.”
When it comes to design in general less is always more. And this applies also to the copy of your website Be concise and to the point. Less words will probably say just as much as a long description and it will create a bigger impact.
Also use paragraphs. Usually three sentences are enough for one paragraph. As people scan the content of a website you want to make that as easy as possible by using headlines, bullet points and short paragraphs.
You can follow these rules for all your pages and actually most of your marketing copy.
As I said in my eyes great copywriting is a unique skill and I am sure I did not cover all points but these will give you a good starting point. Later on in your business you can tweak your copy or even give it to a professional copywriter.
Let me know if you have any questions!
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