No matter how great your website looks or how much time and effort you spend on SEO, what convinces customers to buy from you is the information your website contains. If your copy is poor, you’re not going to get new customers or make online sales. In this post, we’ll look at 10 things you need to do to make sure the writing on your website works for you.
1. Know the purpose of your content
Every piece of writing on your website has a purpose, e.g. to inform, persuade or instruct. When you are creating a page, therefore, you need to know what the purpose of that page is so that you can write it in the correct way.
The reason for this is that there are different writing techniques used for each purpose and it’s important to know which techniques to use. Persuasive writing, for example, uses devices such as rhetorical questions, triplets, emotional language, statistics and first-person pronouns. These all have an effect on the reader to make them agree with the opinion you are putting forward. This is why they are used so much in advertising.
To make sure your website content is doing its job, check the purpose of each page carefully and use the right techniques.
2. Write web content for your audience
What you write and how you write it has to engage your audience if you are going to sell products and services online. Before you can do this, you need to know who your audience is. The more you know about them, the better you can shape your writing to make it appeal to them.
Different audiences can affect all aspects of the copy, from things you actually discuss in the content to the style in which you put it across. This sometimes means website owners have to create separate content for different audiences. For example, imagine you were a hotel in Spain selling summer vacations. You would need a completely different content and style for family customers compared with that needed to attract young, single people.
3. Write for the situation
Besides knowing what kind of person you are writing for, you need to understand the context in which they are visiting you, as this will affect how you write for them. For example, if you are an emergency service, such as a locksmith, many people might be in a stressful situation when they land on your site. Writing in a tone that is sympathetic and caring is more likely to get you more customers than one that it overly professional and business-like.
4. Structure your writing for maximum effect
The order in which you write about things can have a massive impact on how well it converts. Landing pages, for example, have a traditional format that has been proved, time after time, to increase sales. The structural formula for a landing page is this:
- Discuss the problem the visitor needs a solution for. (E.g., Suffering from tired feet?)
- Explain the consequences of not solving the problem. (Left untreated, tired feet can cause all sorts of long term problems…)
- Tell them what the solution is. (New ABC Gel Insoles…)
- Highlight the features of that solution. (Perfect fit, soft cushioned, supportive insole…)
- Emphasise the benefits of the solution (increases comfort, reduces pain, tiredness noticeably less after 24 hours…)
- Provide a call to action so they can buy the solution (Refresh your feet now and get 25% off your first pair)
Putting the same information in any other order than the one given above will dramatically lower its impact.
5. Make it personal
One way to increase audience engagement is to address the readers when you write to them. Using personal pronouns, such as ‘you’ and ‘we’ can crease psychological bonds between the reader and the business and this can help bring the reader on board. Consider the differences between these two sentences.
Impersonal sentence: New ABC Gel Insoles are designed to increase comfort and reduce pain. Tiredness is noticeably less in 24 hours.
Personal Sentence: We’ve designed our new ABC Gel Insoles to give you increased comfort and reduce your pain. Your feet will feel noticeably less tied in just 24 hours.
By writing in this way, you are convincing readers that they, personally, will benefit it from the service that you are providing. In doing this, you are making your brand into one which is seen as customer friendly and worth paying for.
6. Dot the I’s and cross the T’s
From a technical perspective, English is a difficult language to write accurately. There are many areas where innocent mistakes can easily be made. Spelling and punctuation are the ones most people think of but there are also numerous grammar rules that, if not corrected, will make any business look unprofessional.
Badly written website copy not only looks unprofessional, it can also make your site look like a scamming website. When people see errors or read badly worded sentences on a website, they leave – and they take their money with them.
If you write your own website copy, it is important that you make sure your writing is technically accurate. And don’t rely on proofreading software, like Grammarly or the one built into MS Word: these often fail to spot errors or, even worse, falsely show errors which aren’t there. If in doubt, use a professional copywriter.
The writing on your website is the most powerful sales tool you have. If the quality of your copy is poor, your online business will under perform. Hopefully, the advice given here will help you look at your website content with a better understanding, helping you make changes that will improve audience engagement and increase conversion rates.