Have you ever wondered why some websites just draw you in, make you long linger on their page, read the blogs, capture the elusive ‘know, like and trust’ holy grail and then compel you to buy their stuff? Actually, this is the extraordinary power of “words”. Words convince and convert so, more often than not, it’s the copy that will decide whether your business flies or flounders.
Would you like to be on the crest of a wave with masterful pieces of content? Let’s follow these killer website copywriting steps to always stay in the forefront.
Before diving into the specific ones, let’s have a look at the fundamentals of copywriting world.
Copywriting and Basic Concepts Of Copywriting
First of all, what exactly is copywriting? Copywriting is the art and science of writing copy – words used on web pages, ads, promotional materials, and so on – that promotes your product/service and convinces your potential customers to take purchasing action.
If you’ve been in the online world for a little while, you are most likely familiar with the saying that “Your website is your 24/7 salesperson.” In many ways, having a web copywriter is actually like hiring one salesman to reach all of your customers. Whereas a sales team contacts customers one at a time, an online copywriter will reach all of them – at once – through blog posts, email newsletters, social media pages, online ads, and a lot more. While designing, content marketing, SEO optimizing or growth hacking are all parts of a complete digital marketing plan, copywriting is the glue that ties them all together. Why? Simply put, the copy is what gives your design meaning and lays the foundation for your content marketing, SEO, and growth hacking. As a result, crafting a better copy enables you to convert more readers into customers. If you can leverage your web writing to tell a compelling story while convincing customers of the need for your product, there is no limit to the growth your business can experience.
Striking facts are that small businesses with well-written blogs get a whopping 126% more lead growth than ones without, more than half of the 18- to-49-year old get their news and information from the web, and people now see double the number of ads a day that they saw in 1984. These figures speak volume for the significance of copywriting.
But how in the world do you actually become a good copywriter? Let’s go explore!
#1 Thoroughly Understand Your Product/Service
The very first step in any copywriting project is fully understanding whatever product you’re selling. The good news is that as a business or blog owner, you already know your product/service inside and out. You know how your product or service works, what makes it unique, and what benefits and features will appeal to your targeted customers. All of this understanding offers a great starting point for writing copy. Instead of spending hours performing in-depth research, you just begin by writing down what you already know.
But the question is: how to capture all the details of your products and organize them into a persuasive piece of writing? Let’s follow these questions to craft an informative yet compelling description of your product or service.
How would you describe the product/service?
For this question, provide a simple, two to three sentence description of the product/service. Neither does it need to be super long or detailed nor it does need to be a fancy answer. Simply write down a short description as if you were describing the product/service to a customer in person.
Which specific factors differentiate it from others?
The goal here is to identify something unique or special about the product/service. What does this offer that others don’t? For instance: Is it made in the USA? Is it easy to install? Does it provide analytics that other sites don’t offer? Eventually, you’ll use this to identify a unique selling proposition (USP). Is there anything special about your product? Is there something that makes it stand out from the competition?
What big benefit does it provide?
Not only do you want to know how a product or service is unique, but you also know what benefit it does provide customers. Actually, several companies just stop at describing the product and don’t go on to conveying the benefit of using it.
To take an example, a company may talk about how they offer web analytics software but don’t tell customers which specific benefits they will gain from using this software. Rather, they should tell customers that the software helps them build a more profitable site, generate more leads, boost more revenue per customer, or accomplish something else along these lines. Remember that the focus should be on providing a benefit, not just describing the service.
What pain does it alleviate?
In general, individuals buy for one of two reasons or both — to increase their pleasure or to minimize pain. In the question above, we identified the benefit that would “increase the pleasure;” and in this question, we’ll identify which pain is minimized by using the product.
For instance, a car insurance company could use a headline like this: “Are You Paying Too Much for Your Car Insurance?” The ad would then go on to talk about how most customers pay more than they need for car insurance, and how company X can save them more money. Its purpose is first to focus on the pain, and then to talk about how this company alleviates that pain.
Another option is to focus the ad on the pleasure customers experience from saving money. It could use a headline like this: “How Will You Spend the Money You Save Using [Specific Car Insurance Company Name Here]?” Instead of focusing on the pain, it draws attention to the pleasure experienced by switching to a different insurer.
Whereas focusing on the pain eliminated is usually more effective than focusing on the pleasure provided, both approaches can be tested to evaluate their effectiveness.
What features are included and what are the benefits of each?
Whether your product or service has several or just a few features, list all of them with a short description of each. Additionally, be sure to list the benefit of each.
To be more specific, internet users, also your customers, usually care more about high-speed internet which helps them watch streaming videos without interruption than internet that provides 15 Mbps download speeds, although these actually present the same thing. The “15 Mbps” is a feature, in this case, and “streaming videos without interruption” is the benefit provided by the feature.
#2 Define Your Customers
Once you’ve understood your product/service inside and out, it’s time to move on another critical step – knowing who you’re selling to. How you sell whatever you’re selling is mostly determined by who you’re selling it to, what they want to buy, and what will convince them to make a purchase. It’s all about the customer, not your company.
After all, if you’re selling to stay-at-home moms, you’re going to write differently than if you’re targeting high-net-worth business executives, and if you’re selling to Fortune 500’s, you’re going to write differently than if you’re selling to small startups.
Why? It’s noteworthy that each group of customers has different hopes, fears, dreams, and expectations. Moms, for instance, have different priorities than business executives. Whereas saving money is more important for moms, saving time is more valuable to executives. Understandably, these differences influence the way you write and how you sell the product.
So, what should you do to “picture” your ideal customer as well as get to know them well?
First, put yourself in their shoes. This should be relatively easy if you are selling a product that solves a problem you once had. However, if you are not – a common problem among freelance copywriters, what you should do is to gain more and more knowledge about the issue.
This is exactly where customer surveys are a lifesaver. Instead of having to guess what your customers are looking for, just ask them directly. This will allow you to gain deep insights into what your audience is looking for whenever you are writing your copy.
In case you’re still struggling with how to understand your customers, these questions may help:
- Who currently buys your product/service?
- Who would you like to buy your product/service?
- What does a typical customer look like?
- What do customers love about your product/service?
#3 Craft Attention-grabbing Headlines
Headlines can make or break your copy. No matter whether you are writing for online ads, a website redesign, Facebook posts, or landing pages, headlines are what convince readers to click on your article and give your copy a fighting chance.
Wanna know the secrets behind a compelling headline? Great! Let’s follow these below tips:
Your headlines should be unique
The advertising world is full of copycats and people who thrive on plagiarizing other people’s content. Don’t be one of them! If you want to stand out from the crowd and effectively promote your products/services, you need to have original and attention-captivating headlines.
Your headlines should be extremely specific
As soon as your audience reads your headline, they should know exactly what they will receive from your product or service. It’s, by all means, advisable to steer clear of generic or ambiguous phrases, and describe what your potential customers will get very specifically.
Your headlines should convey a sense of urgency
Try to convince your audiences that they will lose something valuable if they don’t take immediate advantage of your product or service.
Are they missing out on potential social opportunities? Are they left behind their competitors and gradually losing their clients? Capitalize on human fears of missing out, and your headlines will help your copy convert like crazy.
#4 Deliver Convincing Pieces of Content
No matter how well-written your copy is, these words make no sense if they fail to influence your customers’ attention and ultimately persuade them to take purchasing action.
Below are some simple yet super-powerful tactics to create a copy that actually converts:
a. Have A Crystal Clear UVP (Unique Value Proposition):
Nielsen’s findings revealed that web users often leave Web pages in 10 to 20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people’s attention for much longer. Additionally, to gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds.
To win your audiences’ attention in these few precious moments, the most powerful way is to write down your UVP and keep it shorts, sweet and clear – try to condense the essence of your product/service down to just a few words. Rather than getting too complex to convey a dilute and confusing message, you’d better keep things simple!
b. Separate Pertinent Information
Do you ever feel like our attention spans are getting shorter? Unfortunately, it’s not just your imagination. New research has revealed that human beings are, indeed, flakier than ever before! And your audiences are definitely not an exception!
To hold their attention, let’s break your content down into bullet points or concise little sections. No matter how simple this idea seems to be, this is crucial to present your features in an easy-to-absorb and intuitive way.
c. Tell A Story
Storytelling is amazingly powerful, which possibly draws readers in and directly engages them. And the honesty and transparency involved in storytelling are amongst the top ways you can build your credibility and authority even in your web copywriting.
Also, one of the reasons storytelling works is because it usually appeals to emotion. If you can make a visitor feel excited that they found you or desperate for your solutions, you can draw them further into your site, give them what they’re looking for, and even keep them coming back for more.
d. Craft a Compelling Call-to-Action (CTA)
All the epic content in the world is useless if it doesn’t convert visitors into qualified leads and customers. Writing powerful calls to action that guide prospects through the sales funnel is always more than essential.
The most commonly used call-to-action kit includes Bottom-of-Post CTAs, Sidebar CTAs, and Form Button CTAs. Should you begin to craft one, here are some specific elements that are worth your attention:
- Button style
- Button color
e. Make It Skimmable
The fact is that online readers don’t read word for word. Instead, they scan to find what they’re looking for faster. With this in mind, organizing your copy content in a way that is easy to skim and navigate will please your audiences, drawing them in and making them long linger on our page.
To this end, there remain some handy formatting techniques that draw the reader’s eye down the page:
- Write short paragraphs with lots of white space around them
- Use several headings and subheadings
- Create bulleted and numbered lists
- Format text with bold, italic, underlining, or distinct colors
- Include images, video, and other media and captions for each
- Vary sentence and paragraph length
f. Align Buyer Persona and Buying Cycle
You may be wondering: “Why are we bothering to do that?”. There is a good reason for it.
In fact, when you properly align content, calls-to-action, emotional triggers, and other elements with the appropriate buyer persona and a specific stage of the buying cycle, prospects are much more likely to “digest” the content and perform the desired action. That kind of perfectly matched content is highly personalized, specific, and effective.
g. Include Social Proof
Last but not least, incorporating social proof into your copy is actually the icing on the cake. The most popular yet persuasive type of social proof seems to customers’ testimonials. Several businesses, typically the healthcare industry, back up their claims with inviting testimonials of old clients. Not only do these words prove their points but they also establish credibility to their potential customers.
Besides testimonials, you should utilize these things for a more persuasive copy:
- Media logos
- Subscriber counts
- Social connections (the number of your followers)
- Clients you’ve worked with
The Bottom Lines:
Good copywriting takes time to get right, but it’s not an impossible feat. Let’s tap into those proven copywriting formulas to keep your readers glued to your content and drive them to perform your desired actions!
Besides compelling pieces of content on your site, your online presence is what you should pay the most attention to. Should you need any help with a dedicated team to get your business well exposed to the digital world, don’t hesitate to get an online presence manager.
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