Wordsmithing Winning Websites in 3 Easy Steps
Why worry about the website?
Ah, another website blog. Do this, don't do that. Too much copy is crowded. Too little copy doesn't rank. Use pictures. Don't use pictures. Use videos. Videos slow load times. My end user probably isn't even doing research online, why should I bother?
Ah, the madness.
If you're like me, you know exactly what you like when you visit websites. But just because you know what YOU like, doesn't mean you know what everyone else likes. Nor does it mean that you can effectively communicate what you want in the style that you happen to gravitate towards. And despite what you might think, even the C-Suites of your biggest prospects are online. So what do you do? Where do you start?
At Action Ready Marketing, we like to stick to three basic rules when we're outlining our website projects. And we'll get into what those three rules (or "steps" as the title reads) in a second. But first, let's take a step back and think about the reason you have a website on the Internets.
There are basically 3 reasons why you have a website.
1- Sell. That's probably the biggest reason that a business or a person with a side hustle have a web presence. They want to sell something. And there's no shame in this either - we all gotta eat.
2- Educate. Maybe you're not 'selling' something, per se. Perhaps you're a cooking guru who genuinely loves sharing his craft with the totally anonymous world of the webs. You have a certain set of skills and you love sharing them with the world - not for a profit. This is all good too. Your website is your outlet, and we all have hobbies.
3- Entertain. Some may even say this is like education, but for this blog's purposes, I'll say they're different. Maybe you share funny videos, GIFs, or are curating a community. Awesome - connecting people is the spice of life!
If you're a business, you might think that you fall into maybe all three a little bit. Hey, you've got some funny YouTube videos linked to your page, you have instructional how-to's, you might even have a "Contact Us To Get Started" button! All three. But in reality, your website needs to be a sales vehicle. Something that you pay into and it's going to pay you back handsomely. So how do you do that? With these three easy to follow steps!
Writing Effective Website Copy in 3 Easy Steps
Step 1. Figure out why exactly people buy from YOU. Do you sell pancakes to hungry brunch-goers? Do you sell the best circuit board for integrated payment solutions for small to midsize retailers who have sales between $1mm and $3mm? No matter how granular you can get or how specialized you think you are, or how niche, you're selling something other than pancakes. Or circuit thingies. You're selling something more than that. Do you make homemade pancakes just like momma made back in the day, triggering nostalgia in your customers? Do your circuits inspire confidence because they're the most trustworthy in the industry? Whatever feeling your clients feel when they buy from YOU, that's what you're selling - no matter what you're selling.
Step 2. Ask a 9 year old what they think. So take all the greatness you just wrote down in Step 1. Make sure it's nice, neat, polished, and (what you think is) straight to the point. Then, find a kid. Maybe it's your nephew, or your little girl, or a friend's son... but hand them that piece of paper. Ask them to read it. When they're done, have them explain what it is your business does and why they should buy. Sure, it might be unrealistic for a 9 year old to understand ALL the complexities of modern business, but then again, that's exactly what your website's visitor wants from you. They want you to make business simple for them. They don't want to have to think. They don't want to have to guess. Just make it easy. Keep writing until it makes sense to a kid.
Step 3. Always ask for the close and make it obvious. What keeps most business websites from bringing in ROI? The fact that most don't give the user an opportunity to BUY! Even if you're pitching funny YouTube videos and How-To blogs, you always need to give the user an opportunity to buy. Strike while the iron is hot, as they say. As you're designing your site, be sure to include "Buy Now"-type buttons virtually everyone. Now, don't make it look like an infomercial, but you want to give the user the option to buy (or subscribe, or schedule a call, or get a demo, etc. etc.) exactly at the moment they want to buy.
Sound simple? It really is. But if you ever have any questions, we're always willing to answer them. Or if you read this and it sounded like way too much time and effort, that's cool too. We can help make it easy. Just hit us up here.
Do you have any suggestions to help make web copy more effective? We'd love to hear about it!