This article is about writing web copy, but what I am about to say holds true for brochures, case studies, reports, scripts, emails – in fact, every discipline within copywriting that you can think of.
You see, the biggest mistake most companies make is to write about themselves. Are you one of those?
Yes, it is your website. Yes, you’re writing about the stuff that you do. But you’re missing the most crucial point. YOU won’t be doing the buying.
Think about who your web copy is selling to
What is the point of your website?
To attract customers and to sell, right?
So, do you think writing about how great your company is will help you achieve that goal?
No. It won’t.
It’s time to put your ego away and picture a potential customer sat at their computer searching for your product or service. What are they looking for?
Writing for your readers
Let’s start at the beginning.
The home page is usually the primary landing page when someone visits your website. That means the copy it contains must hit the spot straight away.
You can forget about telling them how you’re passionate about what to do, do not start with ‘Welcome to [company name],’ and do not tell them how snazzy your offices are.
You must start by showing them why they should buy from you. That means identifying the main benefit that makes their life easier. Remember, we’re talking about benefits, not features.
Once you’ve identified that, it’s time to think about your style of writing. Many companies opt for the ‘if my content sounds grand and pompous with lots of multisyllabic words, my customers will think we’re incredibly good at what we do.’
Wrong. They’ll scratch their heads, sigh, and navigate to one of your competitors’ sites.
Think about who you’re selling to; the type of people they are. Then write in a voice and style that they will appreciate. Natural writing (a bit like this article) is always a winner. As you read, it sounds like a conversation. It’s not condescending and won’t alienate anyone because it’s inclusive.
Adopting this friendly, laid-back style will win you admirers, because it shows you understand your readers, know what they want, and that you are not afraid to stand up and show them what you can do for them.
The final word
Your website has one function, and that is to sell.
Many companies would argue that theirs is purely there to provide potential clients with information about what they do. Well, guess what? That is selling.
If they don’t get the answers they want from your website, they’ll go elsewhere. That’s why, regardless of what you think the purpose of your website is, its content must be written to address your reader.
Take a look at your web copy. What is it telling you? Would you buy from your company? Perhaps it’s time for a review?
Sally Ormond is a professional freelance website copywriter ready to help you transform your web copy – call her on +(0)1449 779605.