Entries Tagged 'internet marketing' ↓

Why you should hire a copywriter to write your website copy

Hiring a website copywriterLet’s clear one thing up straight away, yes, I am a copywriter and of course I’m going to say you need someone like me to write your website copy for you.

But, as you read on, I hope you’ll begin to understand exactly why it’s essential you use a website copywriter to get the most out of your online marketing strategy.

OK, so you’ve just spent a small fortune on your website’s design. It looks really cool, but it’s full of Lorem Ipsum so you now have to start thinking about content. Your web designer is champing at the bit to push your site live, but you’re dragging your feet because you have no idea what to write.

That’s when the suggestion is made…”why don’t you hire a professional copywriter to create your text for you?”

So, to explore the possibility you start getting quotes and then nearly fall of your chair when they start talking in the thousands of pounds (by the way, this fictional website is quite big).

Finally, you decide the only thing for it is to go it alone and get one of your office juniors to write it for you. The problem is they have no experience in writing for the web.

When your website is finally published, absolutely nothing happens – next to no traffic, no leads, nada, zero, zilch.

Why you need a website copywriter

Once you’ve paid for your new website, why let it go to waste by filling it with sub-standard copy?

Good copywriting doesn’t come cheap, but because you will be paying for a professional writer’s experience and expertise, it will be worth it.

You will save yourself a lot of time and a lot of frustration because the copy will actually work.


Simply because a copywriter will be able to produce copy that is:

  • Written from a unique perspective (i.e. they can distance themselves from your company and put themselves in your customers’ shoes to make sure it offers the information they want to know)
  • Written for your customers
  • Benefits driven rather than all about your achievements as a company
  • Visible to the search engines
  • Compelling and persuades the reader to take action
  • Designed to sell not inform
  • Professional and reflective of your business and your brand
  • Simple and unambiguous

Above all, it will provide you with a great return on investment because it will draw targeted traffic to your website and convert those visitors into sales.

If you’re expecting to pay a few pounds per page, forget it.

Good copywriters have been honing their craft for years. They know what works and what doesn’t work. They understand how search works and how to get the most from a page of copy. They have invested a lot in the knowledge they possess.

If you want to portray an image of professionalism online make sure you hire the best people – designers, photographers and copywriters.

It’s your image at stake – think about it.

Can You Really Sell Anything Through Social Media?

Selling through social mediaOne of the main barriers preventing businesses from getting stuck into social media is that they don’t believe you can actually sell using it.

Other than the time issue, many people don’t utilise social media because… ‘Why do I want to know what someone had for lunch?’ Yes, people do talk about sandwich preference, but that is all part of building relationships and allowing people to get to know you.

And those that do dabble give up after just a week or two because they aren’t seeing results. Well, first off it takes time for your social media activities to bear fruit. And, if you’re just using Twitter or Facebook to bombard people with lame sales messages, you’re not going to have any success because you’re just turning people off you and your business in their droves.

You see, although it is possible to sell just about anything through social media, it’s not somewhere people hang out who are looking to buy a particular product. They are there to see what people are saying, or looking for information to a particular problem they have, or an expert to give them a helping hand.

How to get results

As more and more people become ‘comfortable’ with social media, they are increasingly turning to it to find out information. And that’s where you come in.

So, if you are going to make the most of this golden opportunity to reach out to a whole new marketplace, you need to have a strategy in place.

1. Test

The only way you are going to find the right approach is by testing.

Which method produces the most engagement?

Once you’ve discovered what works for you, stick to it, but continue to monitor your results.

2. Target

If you want to use social media you have to ensure you are targeting the right people. Use keywords within your tweets and updates and hash tags.

So, make sure you know who your audience is and what’s important to them.

3. Trust

People will only buy from you once they trust you.

How do you get them to trust you?

Giving away great information, engaging with them and making your content easy to share will help to build trust.

4. Engage

Social media isn’t a one way street. If you want people to like you and trust you, you have to engage with them. Ask them questions, post a poll on your Facebook page, do a question and answer session and ask for feedback.

All of these activities will make you more accessible to them. And if you’re accessible, you’ll be seen as approachable – a business they would want to buy from.

5. Call to action

Of course, once you have their trust and engagement you have to ask them to do something – don’t assume they will automatically buy.

Direct them to your website, make them aware of your offers, or ask them to sign up for your newsletter. Whatever it is, make sure it’s clear.

So, can you really sell anything through social media?

Yes, you can if you get your approach right.

Over to you

What successes have you had with social media?

As a copywriter I’ve gained several new clients through Twitter – leave a comment below and share your experiences.

Is This Farewell to Print Marketing?

the end of print marketing?It’s been like a slow train coming – more and more marketing is being turned over to digital formats, whether that’s websites, emails, e-newsletters, QR codes, video or social media.

Although brochures and leaflets etc., still hold a valid place in your marketing armoury, you do begin to wonder how long that will remain so. After all, if we look at consumer behaviour, it would suggest they will soon become a dim and distant memory like the humble pound note or vinyl.

The consumer leads the way

That’s where it all started (well, in my world anyway) – with music. I started off buying tapes of my favourite bands or vinyl singles. They were the best as far as I was concerned; that was until the CD arrived.

It wasn’t long before I was seduced by those shiny discs and my vinyl and tapes were consigned to the history books (and our loft). I thought CDs were the pinnacle – nothing could surpass their sound quality. But a few years down the line and I was confronted by the iPod and digital music downloads.

So, you guessed it, eventually I converted to downloading my music.

The same is happening to books.

A staunch lover of an actual book, I have vowed never to go over to the digital side. I love the feel and smell of a book; the ability to thumb through pages. I don’t care how cluttered my house gets (I simply can’t part with my books), I love browsing through book shops and buying books.

But, the other day I really wanted to read. Not having a book to hand (one that I hadn’t previously read), unable to wait for Amazon to deliver one, and certainly unwilling to brave the pre-Christmas crush in town, I did the unthinkable.

I reached for my iPad and, yes that’s right, downloaded a book.

Expecting to hate the experience, I have to say it’s not a bad way to read. Granted, I don’t have the physical book to touch or smell, but I can use a digital book mark, turn the pages almost as I would in real life, and enjoy it

That illustrates how consumers are embracing new technology and paving the way for change simply by accepting it.

We’ve already seen more and more people engage in online shopping rather than hitting the High Street, online banking, video calling, and social media – so perhaps the era of print marketing is drawing to a close.

The online way

Perhaps now companies should be investing more into their online presence. With the search boom continuing, their budgets may well be more wisely spent on search engine optimisation, professional copywriters, mobile websites, video and social media.

It would certainly appear that the effectiveness of print adverts is dwindling. So is this the beginning of the end?

What do you think?

Do you think we’re coming to the end of the print advertising era?

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your views.

Customer Reassurance – Overcoming ‘What if…’ Syndrome

Encouraging online salesIf your business sells goods online, your ‘shopping experience’ must be exceptional.


Well, for many people, shopping online is still dabbling in the unknown. If they buy something from a High Street store, they can speak with staff, see the product, pay for it and take it away there and then.

But shopping online is a completely different experience:

•    There is no one to ask questions of immediately
•    The can see a picture of the product but not the real thing
•    They can’t touch the product
•    Although they can pay for it, they have to wait for it to be delivered

Effectively, they are giving a faceless company their hard earned cash for something they’ve not yet received.

It’s hardly surprising so many online transactions are never completed.

Don’t lose sales through ‘what if…’ syndrome

What do I mean?

•    What if I can’t get back to the webpage I want if I click this link?
•    What if I don’t like the product when it arrives?
•    What if the company goes bust?
•    What if they sell my details on to another company?

These are just a few of the ‘what ifs…’ that could be flying through your customers’ heads right now.

So how can you alleviate their fears?

How can you make them feel safe while shopping with you?

Give reassurance every step of the way

The key is to reassure them at every stage of the buying process – from the moment they land on your website, right through to their sale confirmation email.

1. Testimonials

An old one, but a good one. Showing real customer testimonials on your website will help reassure your customers. If they can see other people were satisfied with your products and service, they are more likely to buy.

If you don’t have any, get some. Ask past customers to rate your service.

2. Privacy policy

People are, quite rightly, concerned about the possibility of their details being passed on to third parties.

Reassure them this won’t happen by telling them and providing a prominent link to your privacy policy.

3. Simple ordering

If you want someone to buy from you, your ordering process must be simple. And I don’t just mean so you can understand it.

People of all IT abilities are going to be potential customers, so when you design your ordering process, get your Aunt or other member of the family (non-tech savvy) to do a dry run for you. This ‘test drive’ will help you iron out any ambiguities.

4. Reputable payment

People don’t like to input their sensitive information online, such as bank details and card numbers. Give reassurance by only using reputable payment partners.

5. Guarantee

Everyone loves a guarantee, especially the ‘100% of your money back, no questions asked’ type. It shows your commitment to your customers and your faith in your products.

6. Let them know where you are

There’s nothing more off putting than seeing a website without an address.

If you are genuine, surely there’s no reason to hide your postal address.

7. Click points

All over your website there’ll be various ‘click’ points for navigation. Do a full review of them (call in your Aunt again) and make sure they are all clear. If not, add a line of text to explain what your customer needs to do.

8. Awards

If you have won awards for customer service or for your products, display them on your website. Sight of those will provide an extra layer of confidence for your customers, making them more likely to buy.

There you go, 8 very simple ways you can avoid the ‘what if…’ syndrome.

Over to you

Can you think of anymore? If so, leave a comment below.

How to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rate

Does your website work?

Do you get regular traffic?

Are you getting regular leads from your website?

When, at a networking event, I asked those three questions to a businessman and website owner, this was his response:

“I don’t have an ecommerce website, so that doesn’t apply to me. I have a website because everyone expects me to have one. It’s not as if businesses like mine sell through their website – that’s impossible.”

Unfortunately, thinking like that, he’s never likely to sell through his website. And if he isn’t getting any leads from it that would suggest his website is poorly built and poorly written.

An easy-to-use structure and well-written site will boost your conversion rate (assuming your SEO strategy is targeting the correct keywords). But there is another factor that is often ignored – the speed at which your website loads.

A slow loading website could lose you 7% of your potential conversions

According to a recent post on Bryan Eisenberg’s blog, a 1 second delay in your download speed could result in:

  • 7% fewer conversions
  • 11% fewer page views
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction

There are several factors that can affect your load speed, for example image size, social media buttons or the size of your website.

The optimum download time is under two seconds (this will help improve your rankings significantly). So how do you get your site to load faster?

  1. Check your speed

If you don’t monitor your speed, you won’t know how well you are performing. Use tools such as Google Analytics to help you with this. Bryan also suggests a couple of his favourite tools: The Web Page Speed Report, Yahoo’s YSlow plugin, Google’s Page Speed plug-in, Loads In and WebPagetest.

There are others available but this will get you started.

Remember for every button and image you add to your website, you’ll be increasing the time it takes for your website to load.

  1. Coding

This one is for your web designer to look at for you. The coding of your site (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) can also have an effect on download speeds, so it’s best to chat to your designer about what can be done to tweak it.

  1. Images

Images and graphics look great on websites. They can be used to illustrate your products or they can make your text more impactful. But the more you use, the higher your load time.

Condensing your images, using the right format for the right task and reducing the overall number will help.

Why you need to know this

If you have a website, you would have invested heavily in it. Therefore, why would you not expect to see a return on that investment?

A website isn’t an online brochure. It is a powerful sales tool. Available 24/7, it offers potential customers a means to get to understand your company and what you can do for them.

Every businesses website should sell. It should bring in leads – in essence, it should be your 24 hour sales team.

If you’re not getting leads from your site ask yourself why not? Review the structure, content, load time, keywords and analytics.

A business with a website that isn’t performing is like a High Street store that keeps its door locked all the time.

Review your website today and make sure it’s working for you.