How to make sure the words on your website work
It's tempting to focus on the bells and whistles of your website when you go to redesign it. You may spend hours deciding on colors and widgets, dreaming up animations and thinking about your buttons.
It's not that those things aren't important. The look of your website does make a first impression. However, many people ignore their website copy - the words on your website - and slap in a random paragraph here and there.
Your website copy is one of the most crucial components of your website.
It has to explain to the reader who you are, answer their questions and address their pain points. If a visitor to your site doesn't relate to your content, they will move on.
On the flip side, well-written website copy can increase conversions. It can convince someone on the fence to go ahead and buy.
So how do you make sure your copy is good?
Get an editor
Make sure that there are no grammar errors, spelling mistakes or awkward sentence structure. Bad grammar and spelling can erode your credibility.
If the reader doesn't trust you, they aren't going to buy from you.
Talk directly to the reader
The most powerful word in the English language is "you." People like to hear about themselves. They want to know what is in it for them. Your copy should not be one-sided. Involve them in the conversation.
Address their pain points
What are your target market's challenges? How does your product or service solve their problems? When you describe exactly the challenges they are facing, you become more relatable. You also become an avenue to a solution.
Overcome their objections
Every buyer is going to come with reasons why they shouldn't buy. Maybe your service is expensive. Maybe they don't have time for it. Maybe they have hired others before and didn't get the result they wanted. Think about all the reasons a potential wouldn't book you, and address them head on. Doing this from the outset removes their objections and increases the likelihood they will act.
Don't use jargon
Maybe your industry is full of acronyms or fancy words for simple ideas. Don't use them. An especially puzzling trend now is for people to give themselves vague titles to try to make themselves seem special or more official. Don't fall for this temptation. The most important thing is that people understand you. If you are a dentist, call yourself a dentist, not an Oral Health Strategist. If you use words that only people in your field understand, they won't relate. (As a side note, when people are looking for you, no one is going to be searching for anything but the most common title for what you are).
It's tempting to use big words to look smart. But studies have shown this is actually a turn off. People get bored and move on. Most people reading a website are skimming. They don't want to take the time to think too hard about what you are trying to say to them. So keep your website copy simple, direct and clear.
Make sure you are clear about who you are and what you do
My pet peeve is when I come to a website, and try as I might, I can't figure out what this business actually does. It's just a vague idea wrapped in hazy packaging. Most people don't have the patience to dig through your website and conjure up the actual meaning. Don't make them try. If they can't figure out what you do within seconds of arriving to your site, you aren't being clear enough.
You only have a few seconds to get them to decide if they are in the right place. Use that time wisely.
It can be overwhelming to know what to say on your website, especially if writing doesn't come naturally to you. If you need a little help in this department, I've made a tool to help you.
Download my copywriting checklist below to make sure your website copy is as strong as it possibly be. Your customers will thank you.