Before you all start scrolling down to add a comment telling me the title of this post is grammatically incorrect – I know, it’s meant to be.
I want to talk about a common mistake in website copywriting, but first a short illustration.
It is the school summer holidays so I am trying to juggle work whilst entertaining my sons. When they’re not glued to Top Gear on Dave I can usually hear them bickering…
Son number 1: “How fast did you run the 100 metres?”
Son number 2: “About 12.3 seconds, how about you?”
Son number 1: “I did it in 11.9.”
This kind of ‘trying to get one over each other’ conversation continues for most of the day. The problem is it gets them absolutely nowhere
You are probably wondering what all of this has to do with website copy. Well, I’ve written blog posts in the past that show the importance of using the word you in your web copy. This is because it is one word that allows you to directly address your reader and connect with them which, let’s face it, is the whole point of your website in the first place.
The website and I
Sooner or later, within your web copy, you will have to talk about your company. Not excessively though. But how you go about this is crucial.
If you are a sole trader it is very tempting to use ‘I’ but don’t. Refer to your business as ‘we’ or ‘our’ which will effectively make your business sound larger than it is generating an image of experience, stability and expertise.
After doing some research for a client the other day, I came across a photographer’s website. Paragraph after paragraph he talked about:
Argh! How egotistical does that sound?
At no point did he address his reader; he never told them what he could do for them. Instead the entire site talked about how amazing he was, where he’d been and the people he’d worked with.
So what? A prospective customer is going to know why they should chose him over someone else? What makes him so special? And if he can’t convey what he’ll do for them through his website they’ll hit the back browser and be gone for good.
Using the second person (you) will help you build rapport with your reader. It will have the effect of you holding a conversation with them. After all that’s what copywriting is all about – it is a one way conversation designed to replace the more traditional two way dialogue.
Your website copywriting is crucial if you website is to attract readers and convert them into sales. If you are in any doubt find yourself a good freelance copywriter who will listen to you and work with you to produce copy that will sell you to your reader.