Making Your Website Resonate — 7 Tips for Irresistible Copy
Compelling copy can make the difference between a lackluster website and one that sizzles. Great websites can build your business around the clock by coaxing readers into action, from buying products to calling for a free consultation. Whatever new readers see and read is likely to be their first impression of you and your company or your organization. Here are seven tips that can help you create a powerful web presence.
1. Speak to your ideal prospects
Website copy casts a wide net, so don’t worry about trying to address every unique personality and situation. Imagine the general features of your ideal target audience and what you want to offer them. Become very clear on their aspirations and challenges, their burning issues and needs, and how you can be of service. That way your copy will be true to their value proposition, not yours. It’s also easier to be charming and persuasive when you are addressing someone you “know.”
2. Plan before you write
Begin by listing your products, features, and services. Then sketch out the benefits and advantages of each. How do you solve your target audience’s problems and pain points? How do you make their life easier or richer? Next, brainstorm the questions and objections your ideal prospects may have, because you’ll want to address each one directly or subtly. Bring your entire organization into the think tank at this stage. You may be surprised at the insights.
3. Figure out your brand voice
Once you know what you’re going to say and who you’re going to say it to, it’s time to think about how you’re going to say it. The “how” is your brand voice; it’s the verbal expression of your brand’s personality. Whether casual and funny, insightful and authoritative, or supportive and encouraging, your brand voice should give your audience some insight into who you are. And just as we trust people more when they’re consistently authentic, your audience will trust you more if your voice is consistent across all of your content. That consistency can be a challenge when you have a number of different people writing content, which is one reason many brands outsource to professionals who specialize in maintaining a brand voice.
4. Place key messages first
Landing-page visitors are like hummingbirds — they make lightning-fast decisions to stay or move on. Forget clever wordplay and vague teasers. Get down to business simply and seductively. Details come later, either on website subpages or by request. Copy should be brief and easily scanned, so make every word count. In addition, use compelling headers, subheads, lists, and bullets. Even product pages are best when tedious details and specs are tucked away in clickable links.
5. Honor your ideal prospects first, then SEO
Sacrifices to the god of Search Engine Optimization can result in copy crammed with redundancies and stripped of style or appeal. Yes, seducing Google is part of the big picture, and SEO keywords can result in a higher ranking on search engines. But SEO alone won’t keep people coming back. Start by determining the words your ideal prospects will be using to search for you or your products and services. Sprinkling that list of keywords into your copy will make it easy and organic to create quality content that is SEO-friendly.
6. Write polished prose and avoid jargon
Few things can destroy your credibility faster than a landing page or website with errors in spelling and/or grammar. Edit, proof, edit, proof — then repeat. Consider style guidelines and avoid industry jargon. Use words your readers already know and speak in a voice that is competent yet authentic, friendly, and engaging.
7. Compel your reader into action
The ultimate goal of a website is to convert readers into customers or clients as quickly as possible. Great web copy persuades them to take the next step — whatever that might be. Just make sure your readers know exactly what to do and how to do it. If you’re enticing readers to your website with free offers via email or social media, be sure the landing page is specific to that offer. Never make your readers hunt for anything.
Very few entrepreneurs, companies, or organizations want to tackle their own website copy. They know their business inside out. They can plan effectively, dream into the image of their ideal prospect, and create winning strategies. But when it comes to crafting the flair, wit, style and finely polished brevity of professional writing, they dread sitting for hours staring at a blinking cursor. Unless you have in-house talent or feel very confident about content creation, outsourcing is probably the easiest, quickest path to great web copy. Sign up for Prose Media’s platform today and get started with a free custom quote.