Entries Tagged 'website copywriting' ↓

Website Must-Haves

Website Must-havesIn the wonderful world of website marketing, there are a number of things you must have if you are to leave your readers fulfilled rather than frustrated.

As an avid online shopper and researcher, I’ve come across a number of websites over the years that have simply left me cold.

There’s nothing worse than landing on a site and having no idea what to do next; or finding a site that makes you go round and round in circles just to find the simplest of information.

So, I decided it was time to form a list of website must-haves. 

Below are 5 things that your website must have, but I am sure you can come up with many more, so please leave a comment below with your list of website must-haves.

Website Must-haves

1. Photo

Whether you’re a freelancer, sole trader, partnership or larger company, make sure you get some photos of you and your team on your website.

People like to know who they are dealing with, especially as they will be (more than likely) doing business with you remotely. It helps to add a personal touch and makes your company appear more approachable and accountable.

2. Contact details

The FAQ page on a website is very useful, but it shouldn’t replace the contact page.

It is so frustrating to click on a ‘contact us’ link only to be taken to a forum or FAQ page. Don’t make your readers jump through hoops just to get in touch with you. Make sure your phone number, email and postal address are plainly visible.

If you use a contact form, make sure you have staff monitoring the incoming enquiries. I’ve lost count of the number of companies I’ve wanted to contact, filled out the form and never heard from.

3. Benefits

If there’s one thing your readers want to know, it’s what are you going to do for them.

They don’t really care about you or your company; they just want to know that you can solve the problem they have.

Your website copy should be firmly focused on your reader, their needs and the solutions you can offer.

4. Clear navigation

 There’s nothing worse than being on a website and having no idea where to go next.

Make sure your navigation is very clear and that your users can move between pages easily.

5. Call to action

If your web pages don’t include a call to action, your reader will simply wander off and look at a competitor’s site that does tell them to ‘buy now’, ‘call now’ or ‘sign up now’.

You might think that any intelligent person would know that you want them to get in touch, but if you don’t spell it out, it’s unlikely to happen.

Over to you

So they are my 5 website must-haves – what are yours?

Let’s see how many we can come up – leave a comment below listing your top 5 must-haves.



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.

Copywriting – Intelligent Disobedience

You’ve finally done it.

It was a job that remained on your to-do list for months, but finally, you’ve completed your new website copy or brochure content.

Your copy is error free (well, as far you can see), reads superbly and most importantly, can now be crossed off your to-do list.

Once it’s been uploaded or your shiny brochures have been received back from the printers (smelling divine), you sit back and wait for your phone to start ringing and the deluge of emails to pour into your inbox.

Strange, nothing’s happening…

Dogs can teach you a lot about copywriting

These lovable rogues are my dogs – Jerry and Scooby.

As all dog owners will understand, they love to test my patience every time we go for a walk.

Jerry (the Springer Spaniel) is 11 now and slightly hard of hearing. Therefore, the commands he obeys are the ones he hears – and that’s not many.

Scooby (the Chocolate Labrador) on the other hand is only 5. He can hear and see me perfectly well, but that doesn’t mean he’ll always do as he’s told.

You see, Scooby has a condition known as ‘Intelligent Disobedience’. In other words, he’ll only do what I want him to do if there’s something in it for him.

The fields around us are littered with rather unpleasant dead rabbits (myxomatosis seems to be rife this year). There is nothing Scooby loves more than to find these rabbits and either play or attempt to eat them (dogs will be dogs).

If I tell him ‘no’ in a stern tone, his thought process goes something like this:

Hmmm, she wants me to put this rabbit down. But I found it so it’s mine. She’s not going to run across this ploughed field after me so, no, I’m not going to put it down.

A prime example of his Intelligent Disobedience – he’s thought about the command, decided there’s nothing it for him and therefore chooses to ignore me.

However, if I shout ‘no’ as I place my hand in my jacket pocket – the one he knows contains his favourite doggy treats – this is more likely to be his response:

I don’t want to put my rabbit down. Hang on, her hand’s in her pocket…hmmm, do I want a smelly rabbit or one of those delicious treats she buys me. No contest, goodbye rabbit – I’m coming mum!!

This time, even though Scooby didn’t really want to put his rabbit down he knew that if he did he would be rewarded with his favourite treat.

What on earth does this have to do with copywriting?

You are probably beginning to think I’ve finally lost it.

Bear with me, all will become clear.

Let’s go back to the copy we talked about at the start of this blog. Something’s wrong because it’s not converting readers into customers. Your readers are displaying their Intelligent Disobedience.

The most likely cause is that you haven’t written it for your reader. Everything you write must be aimed at your customers. It has to tell them what they want to know, not what you think they ought to know.

In a nutshell that means writing about the benefits of your product or service.

For example, if you were writing about a sofa and told your reader it comes in 6 colours, seats 3 people and has wooden casters, the most likely reaction would be ‘so what?’ That could relate to any sofa, you haven’t given them any good reasons to buy yours, therefore they have made the decision not to buy.

But if you told them:

  • It’s made of hand stitched fine Italian leather
  • It’s the latest design, so this is your chance to be the first to own such a luxurious piece of furniture
  • It will transform any room, creating an air of chic luxury
  • The same sofa is currently gracing no less than 3 movie star homes

Your reader is more likely to think ‘yes, I must have that sofa!’


Well, the first scenario simply tells them what the sofa is and doesn’t offer them anything in return for their investment.

Yes, I know, they will get the sofa – but’s that all.

In the second scenario, you are not only selling a sofa, you’re also selling a life style. Basically, it’s telling your reader that not only will they get the sofa, they’ll also own the latest design, a piece of furniture that will create an air of luxurious chic in their home, in fact a movie star life style!

An extreme example I grant you, but it serves as an illustration of how selling the benefits of your product will make your reader decided to buy.

Over to you

If you want to avoid Intelligent Disobedience in your customers, always make sure your copy sells the benefits of your products or services.

That means concentrating on what your product/service will do for your customer. Whether it’s aesthetic like the above example or more tangible (i.e. saving them money etc.), your customers will want to know what’s in it for them if they buy from you.

How do you sell the benefits of your product/service? Have you come up with any innovative techniques that really work? If so, leave a comment below and share them with us.

Copywriting for the Mobile World

The whole world is going mobile – well, it seems like it.

According to Ofcom, 27% of UK adults and 47% of teenagers own a smartphone.  So it’s hardly surprising so many companies are looking to the mobile market and tailoring their online marketing accordingly.

You could be forgiven for thinking that users will simply browse your website through their handset so there’s no need for additional investment in a mobile website. But that’s not what a recent study would suggest.

The study by the marketing technology provider Unica (link to PDF), suggests that according to their research:

  • 33% of companies are already using mobile messaging, applications and websites as part of their marketing strategy
  • 24% plan to use these tactics within 12 months
  • 13% plan to use them in more than the next 12 months
  • 20% had no plans
  • 10% didn’t know

The need for mobile websites is created because of the way mobile users use their smartphones.

 Creating powerful mobile website copy

 I, as a copywriter, know all too well that readers can get very easily distracted. So the copy has to be succinct, precise and easy to understand.

The problems are that mobile users are even more distracted than PC browsers. They will be interrupted by phone calls, texts, and push notifications. So your information has to be fast and easily absorbed.

They are probably surfing for research, for specific information or to compare products. But whatever their reason, they will need information quickly.

Because of the small screen size they’ll be viewing your content on, your copy has to be:

  •  Tightly focused
  • Short
  • Easy to understand

Although all copy should have these traits, you have more leeway on a normal website. Your mobile copy must concentrate on the goal of that page and strip everything else out. A short paragraph on your computer screen may cause a mobile user to scroll for eternity to reach the information they need.

Writing mobile more copy is more akin to Twitter or texting. You have to get your message across quickly and in as few words as possible. Of course, you must never forget to include your call to action.

More and more people are browsing the web through their mobile devices so it’s imperative your marketing strategy takes this into account.

Over to you

Do you already have a mobile website? Are you thinking about investing in one soon?

Whatever your experience of mobile browsing, leave a comment below and share it with us.


Has Your Call to Action Gone AWOL?

CTA AWOLCreating eye-catching, interesting and relevant copy is not easy.

Whether you write your own in-house, or you hire in a professional copywriter, your copy has to address your reader directly and really sell the benefits of your product or service.

Let’s assume for a moment that you’ve got some stonking copy written. Your website looks amazing and has all the latest social gadgets and gizmos. Your brochures look slick and really grab attention. Even your emails are pretty snazzy.

But you’ve got a problem.

Despite all that, your conversions are really low. Your phone isn’t ringing and rather than your inbox being full of leads, it’s full of junk mail from companies trying to sell you Viagra.

What’s gone wrong?

Your CTA is AWOL

The most probable cause is your Call to Action (CTA), or rather lack of one.

There is an argument that states that your customers are intelligent and will therefore know what you want them to do.

Granted, they are most probably intelligent, but that doesn’t mean they will make contact with you. If you want that to happen, you have to tell them that’s what you want them to do.

A clear, commanding and effective Call to Action is the crowning glory of your copy.

1. Relevant

The first thing to remember is that your CTA must be relevant to your business.

If you want them to sign up for a newsletter, tell them and provide a link so they can do it easily. If you want them to call you, tell them and give them your phone number.

2. Commanding and clear

Don’t make them hunt round your copy for your CTA because they won’t bother. Make sure it stands out and is commanding.

Adding a line such as “It would be really nice, if it’s not too much bother, to hear from you. So if you have time, we’d be grateful if you could perhaps call us at a time that’s convenient to you” is not going to inspire them to pick up the phone.

“Call us on xxxxx”, “register now by clicking here”, “Email us today on xxxx@xxxxx for more information”.

Be commanding and tell them exactly what you want them to do.

3. Make it part of your copy

Your CTA doesn’t have to be left to the end of your web page, brochure or email. You can dot them liberally throughout the text. But make sure they fit the context.

If you randomly add one halfway through a text section it’s going to jar and leave your reader confused. Make sure the content immediately before your CTA leads up to it so it’s a natural progression.

4. Make it visible

You can make your CTA stand out by placing it in bold text and having it as a paragraph on its own. As I mentioned above, don’t feel as though you have to wait until the end before adding it.

If the content allows, add them in several locations so they are always visible to your reader. That way, as soon as they’ve decided they want to make contact, they can without having to hunt round for your details.

The best Calls to Action are:

  • Clear
  • Simple
  • Commanding

Be bold and tell your reader what you want them to do.

Over to you

Take a look at your marketing materials.

Do they all have clear CTAs? If not amend them quickly. If you don’t have a CTA, you’re unlikely to get great conversions.