Write copy that catches attention and sells your products
Your website text is what does all the heavy work of selling your product and attracting search engine traffic. It’s surprising, then, that many people leave the text until last when creating their site.
Here are three keys to writing website copy that engages readers and sells your products and services.
1. Every word counts – so keep text concise
People generally don’t want to read a lot of text online. When they come to your site they are usually just scanning for particular bits of information, and they have limited time. You have to grab the reader within the first few seconds of them landing on your page, otherwise they will click away. So all those staff CVs and company history you’ve got prominently displayed – have the courage to dump it, or at least put it where it doesn’t get in the way. People aren’t going to read all that stuff. All right, some people will, but most will skip away from it.
Think of when you are searching online for a product or service and you are going from one website to the next. Do you want to read all about their staff and their history? Do you want to wade through lines and lines of jargon-filled text explaining what they do? No. You want to see at a glance whether they are a right fit for you or not. You give them about 5 seconds to make that connection. If you have to search for basic information like product benefits and cost, you will click away.
2. Make an emotional connection with the reader
So that leaves us with a question – what are your clients looking for when they scan your site to see if you are right for them?
The answer has been tested again and again in marketing, and it goes like this: The decision to buy a product or service is an emotional one, not a logical one. Yes, they may scan a site for the technical details of the product, but the decision to buy is based on emotion and on how you make them feel.
So how do you make an emotional connection with your reader?
- Communicate the benefits of what you are selling. Tell them how they will feel once they have bought your product or service. Tell them which of their needs will be met. Are they going to feel happy, relieved, safe, assured or special?
- Make your copy engaging and address the reader directly. Use the word ‘you’ to address them. For example: “You’ll be surprised how much you can get back from the tax office if your returns are done right.”
- Keep your writing friendly. Imagine you are speaking to someone in front of you. Don’t hit them with jargon and technical terms … invite them in to your home and ask them how they are feeling. Then offer something nice.
3. Write about the client or customer rather than about yourself
We love to talk about what we can do and what our products are. But we forget that the client is not interested in us – they are interested in how their problem can be solved. So try writing your copy from the reader’s viewpoint, addressing them as you. A good way is to start with a question: “Don’t you hate filling in your taxes every year and wondering if you’ve done it right?” This elicits a subconscious yes from the client, enticing them to read more. Then talk about how much better they’re going to feel (emotion) when they’ve hired you to sort out their tax.
Writing good website copy is a bit of an art, but you don’t have to be an expert to do it. Just follow these guidelines:
- keep it as short as you can
- make an emotional connection
- focus on the customer, not on your business (i.e. see if you can cut out some of the ‘we’ and ‘our’ and replace them with ‘you’.)
And if you do only one of these, do the first one. And be friendly.
by Russel Brownlee