You know what drives me nuts? Putting a lot of effort into something and then not getting much to show for it. I hate that, and I try to avoid it as much as possible. But sometimes it happens anyway.
And I know I’m not the only one. I often hear the stories of business owners who are frustrated that their marketing isn’t getting the kind of results they want, despite the investment they put in.
For example, take your website. You make a significant investment of resources into your website because it’s the place everyone goes to find out who you are and what you do. It’s your number one sales tool. Shouldn’t your website be bringing you a lot of clients? If it’s not, let’s fix that.
Check to see if any of these critical elements are missing from your website copy:
1. Benefits: what’s in it for them — Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in telling people what we do that we forget to talk about why that’s so valuable to our clients.
For example, I could tell you that I write website copy, blogs, social media posts, sales flyer copy, etc., etc., but maybe you don’t feel that you need any of those things. However, if I tell you that I can help you create content that makes your sales materials more effective at getting you customers, I bet you’ll perk up. You may not be ready to whip out your wallet just yet, but you’ll at least be open to hearing more about how I do that.
It’s a noisy world out there, and the first hurdle you face is simply having people stop to hear what you have to say. Clearly communicating your benefits gets the people who need you to listen up.
2. Your “why’ — What are your company’s values? What beliefs guide how you serve your clients? The answers to these questions are what will set you apart from your competition and draw in the kinds of customers that you most enjoy serving and who most appreciate what you do.
People buy with their hearts and then rationalize it with their minds. Is your website copy tapping into this powerful persuasive technique? If not, really take some time to explore this question to identify your authentic “why.” I recommend checking out Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk on this topic for inspiration.
3. A clear statement of what you do — Some people are well aware that they need to communicate the benefits of what they do and why they do it, and in the process something ironic can happen: They forget to say exactly what it is they do.
Have you ever been to a website where they tell you all about how they’re changing the world, touching lives, increasing sales for clients, making you more successful … but you’re not sure exactly how they do that or what their product or service is?
That happened to me recently. I couldn’t tell from their home page. Or their about page. Or anywhere on the site. Epic fail! But you’d be surprised how easily that can happen. You get caught up in one important aspect of what you’re writing and accidentally leave off something else that is also important. Use this blog post as a checklist so that doesn’t happen to you!
4. Call to action (CTA) — Speaking of important things people often forget to include, a call to action is what tells website visitors what to do next. Call this phone number. Sign up for a free consultation. Subscribe here. Click this link to find out what the next step is. Et cetera.
Remember that you’re not just imparting information; you want people to do something. Go through each major page of your website and check to see if it asks them to take an action. Even if you have a CTA in a sidebar, repeat the call to action in the body text because people often overlook what’s on the side of pages because that’s where ads typically appear.
5. Specific examples — Another mistake that I often see in website copy is talking in terms that are too broad and generalized. Instead, use specific, concrete examples that paint a picture in people’s minds of what you do and how you do it. This helps them imagine you doing it for them, which can make a huge difference.
Let’s say you have outstanding customer service. OK, great. But everyone says that. OK, sure, you really do have the best customer service compared to any of your competitors. Instead of insisting that your customer service is awesome, tell the story of a customer of yours and what precisely you did for them and how it impacted them. Talk about the specific results they got. Share how it made them feel, what a difference it made. Tell a story about the experience of working with you so that people who read it will want that experience for themselves.
How Your Website Looks Matters. What You Say Is Critical.
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the logistics of creating a website — what layout to use, getting the colors right, making sure there are no glitches, etc. — that the content ends up being an afterthought.
Even people who are really good at writing struggle to write their own marketing and sales copy. (For example, me.) It’s essential to have an outside perspective, someone who can see what you can’t see and help you clearly communicate what makes you unique in the marketplace. A professional copywriter can be invaluable in this regard.
If you’d like me to take a look at your website and show you exactly where you can improve the copy on your website so that it attracts more of the right kinds of customers for you, contact me at WriteSmithAZ.com.
Sara Korn is a freelance copywriter at WriteSmith, where she creates brand messaging copy and marketing content designed to help businesses stand out from the crowd and attract their ideal target audience. Contact her at www.writesmithaz.com.