Entries from January 2009 ↓

Website Copywriting – 6 Steps to a Sticky Website

Let me ask you something. What do you look for in a website?

You probably want a website that is eye-catching, interesting and that is going to give you the answers you are looking for.

In that case, why do so many businesses tick the eye-catching box and then stop?

Website copywriting is the best way to get visitors and keep them.

But be warned writing great online content is not as easy as it would seem. Yes you can probably write, and yes you know your business better than anyone. But that is exactly why you should get a website copywriter in to write the content for you.

A website copywriter is trained to write to your reader. You may think that is easy; if it were, every website you came across would be like that, but very few are.

Here are 6 simple steps to help you create a sticky website:

1. Loads of white space

Break up your text into bite size chunks. Short paragraphs will make it appear easier on the eye and more readable.

2. Simple language

Keep your language simple. People will be put off by fancy words and long sentences. Don’t forget to use the magic words.

3. Benefits

Ask yourself what it is that your customer wants. Website copywriting is all about selling the benefits – What is it about your product that will make their life easier? Answer that in your first paragraph and you’ll have them hooked.

4. Titles and subtitles

Break down your text and give it headings. That way, your reader can see at a glance what your page is about.

5. Keywords

You would have done your keyword research but don’t over stuff your copy. Concentrate on 2 or 3 main keywords per page. Use them in the titles and then once or twice in the body text. Remember you are writing for your reader first and the search engines second.

6. Call to action

Once you have your reader don’t leave them wandering what to do next. Make your call to action as clear and simple as possible.

Take a look at your website. Could it be improved?

If you were honest, I bet it could. So please never make the mistake of thinking about the services of a website copywriter as an expense. Instead, think of it as an investment. Any money spent will be recouped many times over.

Become an Effective Copywriter: Lesson 6 – Creativity

Great Freelance Copywriting isn’t just about putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. It involves far more skill than that – in fact you could call it an art. There may not be any paint involved but words are intricately woven together into something powerful and compelling. There is no magic formula as it isn’t an exact science.

Before you can even start writing you have to have ideas. Whether you are writing a sales letter, brochure or webcopy, what you produce has to break through all the other sales messages out there, grab your reader’s attention and cling on to them until they have got out their credit card and bought your product.

It sounds so simple, but creativity can be elusive. Everyone has their own way of stimulating their creative flow and here are a few of mine:

  • Walking the dog
  • Going to the gym
  • Read a book, magazine or newspaper
  • Write down anything and everything that comes into your head
  • Read some websites
  • Imagine yourself as the buyer
  • Work somewhere else other than your usual place
  • Brainstorm keywords

What are your favourite ways of stimulating creativity? Do you use the same methods as me or do you have some far more interesting ways? Come on, don’t be shy share them with us.

Sally Ormond

Become an Effective Copywriter: Lesson 5 – Rapport

If your copywriting is going to be successful you must make a connection with your reader. To do that you have to build rapport – create an emotional bond by tuning into their very thoughts and desires.

Sound scary?

Just think about it for a second. You would have come across numerous sales people over the years. Of all the sales people you have bought from, where they caring, thoughtful, did they take an interest in you? Or were they stand-offish, self-centred and uncaring? I think I can guess what your answer is.

If you can show your reader that you understand their concerns and fears they are far more likely to buy from you.

But for this approach to work, you have to know what your reader is concerned about. For example, if you are selling toys or games you can tune into parental concerns.

A quick tip to build rapport immediately is to use three small but powerful words “As you know” when mentioning a fact about their job or interests such as:

Dear Mr James,

As you know it takes more than just a good grasp of English to become a great sales writer.’

Admittedly this method takes a bit of practice. To get a similar effect you can always adopt the easier option of flattering your reader. Let’s face it, everyone likes to be flattered and made to feel more important than they actually are. Show your reader how clever, important or beautiful they are and they’ll listen to you until the cows come home.

Sally Ormond