Entries Tagged 'website copywriting' ↓
May 13th, 2015 — copywriting tips, website copywriter, website copywriting
You have a set of values within your company.
Every employee is supposed to uphold those to provide a united front of customer excellence.
You’ve probably got an “Our Values” page or section on your website that outlines them, but are they reflected in the rest of your website copy?
What does your website tell your customers?
For a moment let’s imagine I’m a potential customer.
After browsing the web I found your website. I’ve had a quick peak at your About Page and read all about the values you hold dear. Great, you sound like my kind of company. Then I nip back to the Home Page – ah, something’s not right.
Your values told me that your customers always come first, how you bend over backwards for them and offer an unrivalled level of customer service. The problem is that your Home Page completely ignores my needs and talks about your company’s growth, the awards you’ve won, your passion for your industry and how long you’ve been in business.
Hang on a minute, what happened to being the company that puts its customers first?
You haven’t told me what you do or how it will benefit me – so I’m not the centre of your world at all, you are.
It’s mixed messages like this that will scare off potential customers.
Customers always come first
Your website isn’t your online portfolio from which you can shout about how amazing you are. It should be an outlet through which you can show me, as a potential new customer, how you will make my life easier, better or more productive.
It is there to attract new customers. If it just talks about you and your achievements it won’t convert visitors into customers.
Sure, you can talk about you achievements and awards to back up your services, but confine it to the About section. Your Home Page must be about your customers.
Make sure your Home Page:
- Clearly shows what you can do
- How your products or services benefit your customers
- Tells them how to get in touch
It must be all about your customers because that’s what they want to hear. There is no room for your ego on your Home Page.
September 24th, 2014 — copywriter, copywriting tips, marketing, website copywriting
If you’re looking for a new home, there’s no one better than Kirstie Allsopp to help you find it.
As a fan of Location, Location, Location I enjoy tuning in to watch Kirstie and Phil Spencer attempt to find the perfect homes for two couples.
The word ‘attempt’ is used because, week after week, the couples they help sorely tempt their patience.
Just in case you haven’t seen the programme (why on earth not?), Phil and Kirstie are each allocated a couple that, for various reasons, have been unsuccessful in their hunt for a new home.
At the outset each presenter is faced with the couple’s “wish list” – i.e. ideal location, size and type of property etc. Pretty much every week they run into the same issue – their budget is incompatible with what they’re looking for. But, undeterred, the couples are determined to get everything on their list.
Every now and then they’ll get people they just can’t help because they’re not prepared to look beyond their self-imposed blinkers, but those that are prepared to compromise usually come up trumps.
What does all of this have to do with copywriting?
Well, it’s a lot like the early stages of web copy (in fact all types of marketing content, but web copy is the biggest culprit).
Web copy beyond the blinkers
More often than not, when working with clients, they have a fairly set view on how they want their web copy.
It must be:
- Written to make them sound impressive
- Centred on the business
Nothing wrong with that?
Hmm, there’s plenty wrong with it.
This is where my inner Kirstie comes out.
When faced with a wish list like that one, it’s my job to explain how web copy should really work.
It should always be written for the person who’s going to read it – that means your customers.
Because it should be written for your customers, it must be relevant to them, outlining how your product or service is going to benefit them.
To do that it must be written in plain, simple language. It doesn’t matter if your target audience have doctorates or GCSEs, the language must be straightforward and instantly accessible. No big words, no complex sentences and no jargon.
The most important thing is that your website does what it’s supposed to do – drawn in visitors and convert them into customers.
If a client is willing to look beyond their preconceptions (which I would hope they would be willing to do otherwise what was the point in hiring a professional writer?) the results is a website that works like a dream.
If they adamant that, despite all the years’ experience I have, they are right and I am wrong, I simply can’t help them because it would be very unprofessional to write what they want knowing it won’t work.
Kirstie and Phil are property experts who understand their market and what it takes to find the ‘as near as humanly possible’ ideal home.
A copywriter understands marketing and, although not an expert in your business, knows how to write to draw people in and persuade them that yours is the company they should be dealing with.
So next time you engage a writer for a project, listen to what they have to say and try not to impose any of your preconceived ideas on them. By all means talk thinks through and say what you’re looking for and then trust in their judgement about what will work.
Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd
April 4th, 2014 — Call to Action, website copywriter, website copywriting
Your call to action is a small, but vital element of your website copywriting.
Without it your customers will wander off in search of another site that has a call to action to direct them as to what to do next.
The simplest form is “Buy”, usually superimposed on a big red button so it can’t be missed. But is that the most effective call to action?
It would appear not.
Dell’s call to action
The computer giant, Dell, boosted their sales by a whopping $25 million by simply changing their call to action.
What did they do?
Well, on their website they were using the fairly standard “Learn more” call to action after the sales copy for their computers.
The only issue was that the people reading their website were already going to buy a computer, so the term “Learn more” wasn’t relevant to them.
However, what they did want to know was which computer it was they should be buying.
Bearing this in mind, Dell changed their call to action to “Help me choose”.
By switching to those three little words, Dell was using a call to action that actually gave their customers want they wanted – help in choosing the right computer for their needs.
What you can learn from Dell
Rather than using the standard call to action you always use, think about where your customers are in the buying process at the time they are reading your copy.
How far through the decision making process are they?
Are they still thinking about whether they need your product and want to “Learn more”?
Do they know they want your product, but are unsure of which model so they need a “Help me choose”?
Perhaps they have already made up their minds and are ready to “Buy now”.
Before you write a bog standard call to action, think carefully about the needs of your customers and choose your words carefully.
If your copy helps and supports them in their decision they are more likely to buy from you.
Author: Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd, one of the UK’s leading copywriting services agencies.
March 14th, 2014 — Content marketing, marketing, website copywriting
High street retailers have a major advantage over their online competitors; their customers can see, feel and touch their products and talk to someone about them there and then.
In the world of Internet retail, there are no roaming sales people to have a chat with and no product displays that you can interact with to get a feel for what you’re buying.
That’s why it’s important you get the right balance of content on your website to give your potential customers all the information they need to buy.
4 basic types of content
Some people react better to text, others to images, some videos and then there’s those that love to read reviews. That’s why your website’s content must be a mixture of all of them.
Your product information copywriting is going to be the main information source for your customers.
It must primarily focus on the benefits the product offers, but also provide everything they need to know about it: size, colours, functionality etc.
A great way to do this is using a mixture of detailed information, high quality photos and customer reviews.
The humble frequently asked questions page is a gold mine of information for your customer. List every question your customer service team is asked to make sure you provide a comprehensive range of questions and answers – even the really tough questions.
How to guides
A bit of educational content will add extra depth to your website. The best way to create ‘how to’ guides is by using video. Short explainer videos can get lots of information across in a very short space of time. You could also opt for a series of images showing step-by-step instructions.
Ratings and reviews
I’m sure you’re fed up with hearing this rather hackneyed phrase, but people really do buy from people.
Customer ratings and reviews give your customers an unbiased view of the product, helping them decide whether it is right for them.
If you have all these elements and wrap them up in a way that is entertaining, informative and shareable, your business will go far.
Well, if your content is useful and people share it with their friends, they are doing your marketing for you, or friendvertising.
Take a look at your website and see what content you’re offering. Are you ticking all the boxes or are you missing some?
Perhaps there’s another form of content I’ve not thought of that you use to great effect? If so, leave a comment below and tell me what it is. I’d love to hear from you.
Author: Sally Ormond, copywriter at Briar Copywriting Ltd, cyclist, Pinot Grigio fan and very partial to Rowntree’s Pick’n Mix
February 24th, 2014 — marketing, website copywriter, website copywriting
Last month I wrote a blog about the rise of friendvertising using the video from Dove to illustrate how big brands are using the power of social media to get you to do their advertising for them by sharing their content.
Watch the video now and then I’m going to ask you something.
Moving, isn’t it?
It’s incredible how these women see one thing and yet the artist sees something completely different.
And that’s what got me thinking.
You’ve been working in your business for many years, you know it inside out, but are you seeing the same thing as your customers?
How do they perceive you?
Getting your message out loud and clear
The video shows how easy it is to be caught up in your own world and be blind to what it is other people are seeing.
Take a good look at your business. Not how it’s run (although that will have an effect on how you are perceived), but how it is marketed to the world.
Let’s start with your website.
Does it look OK?
How about your brochures, business cards, leaflets, newsletters and emails, do they look OK too?
I bet they tell your customers all about your business, your products and your services.
They tell them how long you’ve been in business, that you’re an expert in your field and that you’re passionate about what you do.
So what do you think that tells your customers?
That you’re innovative, have their interests at heart, will do everything you can to help them?
All that tells your customers is that you love your company.
The power of you
You is a short word, but one that packs a powerful punch.
Making sure your website copywriting (and all your marketing materials) is written in the second person will create an entirely different perception.
Instead of being told “We have many years experience in the development of software solutions”, which will send your potential customers to sleep, you will excite them by saying “We’ll create software systems that work the way you want them to, saving you time and money.”
Straight away they can see the benefit in what you do because, rather than telling them what you do, you are telling them what you can do for them.
You are showing them you are a company that cares about its customers. Suddenly, them emphasis is on them and not on you.
It’s a far more powerful message.
Everything you write must be about your customer.
Every message must highlight the benefits you will bring to their lives or their business.
Every word must show them that you care about them and that’s the whole reason you’re in business.