Gone are the days where it is merely enough to have a website to show that you are a forward thinking company. Appearing in the top results on Google is not enough either, even if you do put your phone number on the top of the page. With the internet becoming increasingly competitive for business acquisition, it is now essential that your website delivers key reasons why a potential customer should choose you over your rivals.
Key to the selection process is the writing on your site. All too often people claim to not read text off a screen or a phone, but this is not true. People will always read the first couple of lines. They almost cannot avoid it. Because if this pleases or interests them in the right way, then they may read a paragraph or even a page.
This means with the right kind of writing on your site, you can deliver your message and get your voice heard. In fact, this is becoming an increasingly important factor in getting someone to pick up the phone or fill in an enquiry form. So how does copy improve your website?
#1: Good selling starts with a direct message
Thanks to the internet, the human attention span has now been decreased to around 8 seconds, according to a scientific survey completed in 2013. You may have even noticed how certain adverts on sites like Facebook have simply ceased to register in your peripheral vision as your brain has learned to filter out their existence.
With so little time to engage your audience, your website must instantly spark some degree of interest in your customer. Obviously, if your site looks outdated or doesn’t load up properly, then the user will not even give it the time of day. If these two factors are a given then what next?
The user will always scan the headline on the page. It’s almost impossible not to simply read the first line of text. The words almost fall into the reader’s brain. If your site nails the right message for the customer then you’ll achieve their full attention, no question.
For instance, explaining how you solve a problem in a unique way with your service, or how your product does not suffer from the same limitations or side effects commonly associated with other makes and models will instantly connect and excite your audience.
It is vital to remember that the majority of people who view your site will not become customers. Don’t be disappointed. It’s the same with any kind of marketing collateral such as brochures and door to door salesman. The question is, how do you engage enough of a portion to make your site worthwhile?
Visitors are coming to your website because they are interested in your products or services. It’s therefore vital that you give them a reason to contact you. This is why the top section of the site, sometimes known as the hero section is so important.
If your visitor is going to read three lines before clicking on the back button on their browser or phone, what do you want those three lines to be? Expert copywriting ensures that you get your message across.
#2: Copy leads design – and user experience
Have you ever seen Mad Men? In this classic AMC show, we get to see the legendary copywriters of Madison Avenue create some of the greatest ads of all time.
Now it’s worth noticing that in this show, the writers have preserved the original advertising model. Each advert is created in principle by the writers, and the designers then create the visual symbols that narrate and enhance the message of the words.
So imagine your website is simply an online advertising brochure for your business. Why would you allow the technical structure of the site to dictate the design, which in turn simply leaves small spaces for the words?
After all, you wouldn’t necessarily allow the printer of a brochure to be the one to tell you how it should look. In fact, you’d allow the designer and the writer to have the biggest say in such a situation. Why should your website be any different?
Think how well put together a site could be if your key messages are backed up with the photography and layout to instantly engage the viewer. And then all the technical back end of the website needs to do is support the design and the copy – together with the forms and functionality to support modern methods of contact such as email.
For too long websites have been the domain of the technical experts. Now as we rapidly approach three decades of web use, it’s now the time for the creative and engaging side of online business to flourish. Let the message of your website lead the way.
Do not simply rely on having a website to generate business. Make sure that you are maximising the effort spent on generating traffic to produce meaningful introductions to your business.
#3: Create intrigue
Most websites these days are created like a kind of online brochure. However, whilst with printed materials there is a clear sequential format for the reader to follow, this is not the case with a website where potential customers are free to jump from page to page.
The challenge this creates is making sure that your potential customer gives your site their full attention and explores all the different sections and services offered by your business.
Often this lack of structure means that designers and developers create sites that are much like a buffet of information, where the viewer is supposed to pick through the information offered through services menus to find out why a business is right for them.
Alternatively, if copy is allowed to dictate the structure of a website, then the different pages, from services through to case studies and testimonials, can be sold to the customer as next steps.
Rather than being given a list of pages you can view, would you not rather be presented with the opportunity to “find out more about x” or “discover how a business beats a common challenge in the industry”.
Imagine your website is like a magazine. Think of how the front page is used to sell the other articles and features within the covers. Why can’t your website utilise a similar format? Instead of simply expecting your visitor to be excited about a services page, how about highlighting what exactly each service could offer them?
By creating intrigue in the services and products offered through your site, the visitor is more likely to open more pages, explore your site and see what differentiates your business from the competition.
And of course, by having a website structured in a manner that is led by the content and creative, you will already be standing out from the majority of websites that follow the same systemic structure, which is a vital quality of interest.
#4: Talk directly to your customer
Too many businesses think that their potential customer wants to know everything about their services and products. Often this isn’t the case. All most potential customers care about is actually what you can do for them.
What’s the difference that you could make to their life, what problem do you solve, or what amazing benefit or learning experience do you offer?
More often than not the offer from your company should be tied to an emotional benefit. After all, a swimming pool seller is not only selling a big pool of water, but also happy children, family days in the sun and the admiration of all your neighbours.
It’s these key emotional benefits that make customers interested in your product. You cannot simply rely on an audience to come to the right conclusions on their own, you have to be clear about what your company is really delivering.
If you have trouble working out how your business emotionally connects with its customers then you are not alone. In fact, this is the number one reason why most people struggle when coming up with web copy on their own.
Because you deal with the same customer over and over again the actual reasons why people use you might have even dropped into the background. You may even take what you do for granted and forgotten what part of your business puts a smile on people’s faces.
This is where a great copywriter can help. Coming in from an outside angle they can often appreciate the real value of your business with a fresh approach and see how you connect in an emotional manner with your customer.
Working on the basis that your headlines, content and calls to action should be engaging, they are in the perfect position to ensure that your words inspire the right kind of interest in your potential customer.
#5: Improve conversion
What’s better, a website that gets 1000 visitors and gives you 1 enquiry, or a website that gets 100 visitors and gives you 10 enquiries? In our opinion, it’s the second website, which has a conversion rate of 1 in 10 or 10% rather than the first website that has a conversion rate of 1 in 1000 or 0.1%.
Conversion rate is vital to the success of your website, and guess what? Copy is one of the key factors in increasing this massively important factor. With many website users only reading the headline on a website, getting the right message on top of your site can lead to a 500% increase in overall conversion.
Managing to get the right customer offer and putting in an effective call to action can boost conversion by 300%. Of course, this is not the only factor in getting a potential client to pick up the phone or fill in an enquiry form, but if you are not interesting your customer with the big sell, then there is little chance they will advance to the next step.
In many ways, good copy is like a set of instructions that tells your visitor what they need to do next in order to unlock your business’s offer. The wording needs to capture the next step in helping them discover the value of the business.
To aid conversion from your website, it is often not appropriate to sell the final outcome, but the value of your sales process. If the test drive sells the luxury car, then you only need tempt your customer into the front seat and the vehicle does the rest of the hard work.
For instance, if you are a hot tub supplier, you wouldn’t expect a potential customer to spend over £10K on purchasing a tub through your site, but it would be a good idea to tempt them into a showroom, where they are able to see and perhaps even try out some of the best models for themselves.
Good copy will always promote the next step. From free consultations, through to surveys and price matching quotes, it is vital to have some kind of value or solution to offer your potential customer through your website.
Great copywriting will simply sell this next step to boost conversion and generate the enquiry, rather than asserting that your customer wishes to go from zero to sold in the space of a few online pages.
Your next step
If you would like to know how GRIT can create a website for you that delivers your key sales messages in a succinct format, helping you win sales and business, call us now on 01603 670 586.