So last week I revealed to you the golden rule that makes your website more profitable overnight. Well the response I got from you guys was phenomenal… so I thought “give the people what they want.”
Which is why I’m going to lift the lid off the process we use when creating award winning copy for our Web123 websites. Follow this guide, and you’ll get a kick ass, high converting web copy, every single time!
So without further ado… here are my 15 steps for cooking delicious web copy that will convert like a dream!
1) THE GOLDEN RULE: Remember to focus on your customers and their benefits
Before I go any further, I want to remind you to always follow Web123 ‘Golden Rule’, and that is to focus on your customers and the benefits they will receive from your product.
Remember this isn’t about you (no matter how tempting it is to talk about your amazing company), it’s about THEM. Tell your customers how your product will resolve their problems and fulfill their dreams, and you’re already halfway to selling your prized product to them.
2) Plot your page’s story beforehand
Before I even put pen to paper (or rather, finger tips to keyboard), I first plot out the page of copy I’m about to create. I find it helps because:
- It helps you to structure what you’re going to write.
- You can plan out the “story” you’re going to tell your customers.
- You can make sure you answer any objections your customer might have.
Once you detail the skeleton of your post above, you will find it easy to effectively fill in the gaps. What’s more, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated, it can be as simple as this:
- Intro explaining the benefits of the product, and quick order link.
- Sales video about the product.
- More details on feature 1 of the product and how they benefit the customer.
- More details on feature 2 of the product and how they benefit the customer.
- More details on feature 3 of the product and how they benefit the customer.
- Testimonials from satisfied customers.
- Section on authority features (medical endorsements, media endorsements, certifications etc).
- Limited time only special offer or free trial.
- Details of any guarantees.
- Final inspirational blurb on why the customer needs this product.
- Big “order now” call to action.
The above is a massive over simplification, but it should give you a great idea on how to start creating your own page’s story. 🙂
3) Follow the ‘above the fold’ rule
What is “above the fold”?
It’s taken from old newspaper terminology to explain that the most important news should be on the top of the front page, so that it is still visible “above the fold” when the paper is tucked under your arm.
And the term is still true today! Your most important feature should be visible on the top of the website so that it is the first thing people see when people come to your website.
So what should you include “above the fold”?
An eye catching headline that relates the benefits of your product to your customer should be the main thing on your hit list. Tell visitors immediately about the benefits of buying your product or service. Get right to the point.
Others things to include can include special offers, key features that differentiate you from your competitors, authority features (see below) or imagery that quickly relates to your reader what your copy is trying to say.
Ultimately if you have to make your reader scroll down to see the good stuff, chances are, they won’t and instead will leave your website early.
4) Personalize your website by writing it in a warm, casual tone
I’ll admit this isn’t appropriate for EVERY website, but the “warm / casual” style is one that I prefer so I’m putting it in my guide.
After all, Web123 typically write for small business websites, and the “warm, casual tone” tends to go a long way to convincing customers to become a part of your family.
Perhaps a better rule would be to “write for your website how your customer would expect to be spoken to.” So if you’re writing for a website that offers legal advice, likely the customer would be more comfortable with authoritive and factual language.
Regardless of your style, you still need to focus on your customer’s benefits and how you can solve their problems.
5) Focus on a single action you want the reader to take
Resist the temptation to try and get your website visitor to take too many “actions.” When a visitor comes to your website, you want them to take one decisive action (which could be to “buy now” or “get in touch for a quote”).
If you try to make your customers take too many actions, then your core message will be lost in the shuffle.
In fact one word of advice from my premier copywriter is as follows…
Write down the action you want visitors to take. If you can’t describe that action in a couple of words (one brief sentence at the most) then you need to sharpen your focus.”
6) Keep your paragraphs short
Endless blocks of text aren’t fun to read, and they’re hard on the eyes. My general rule of thumb is that your paragraphs should contain no more than three or four sentences. Make sure you have enough white space around each paragraph, otherwise you’re going to bore your readers into leaving your site. And nobody wants that.
This makes reading your web copy easier and more pleasant on the eye, enabling you to pull the reader along to the very end.
In addition to this, an occasional paragraph with only one sentence helps to draw the visitor’s attention to your most important content.
7) Shorter words are better than long words
Now we’re not saying your customers aren’t the sharpest knife in the draw (in fact they’re probably pretty smart!) but at the same time, you don’t want them to have to go through your site with a Thesaurus.
As a result always be considerate of the words you use on your website and try to make your copy accessible to everyone by using easy to follow terms.
In fact, shorter words are almost always more powerful than their longer synonyms. They sound truer, too.
So for example, don’t tell prospects how their lives will be improved by utilising your product. Let prospects see themselves using your product. Never finalise something – finishit or end it.
8) Use bullets points
Why are bullets so great?
- Bullets are the best way to guide the reader’s attention.
- Bullets also help you focus your writing.
- Bullets are the perfect format for absorbing information.
- Indenting bullets also helps to break the monotony of endless blocks of texts.
Simply put, bullets are a great way to refresh your reader as they read your text (especially if you have a lots of features or benefits to communicate) making it easier for customers to read your entire website right to the end.
9) Authority features
A great technique to use on your website is to show authority features on your website — these are small tidbits of evidence that show the legitimacy of your product.
It aims to prove that your product is of great value, high quality… and more importantly… effectively fulfill the benefits you are claiming to make about your product.
After all… if you’ve got it… then flaunt it! And below are just some of the authority features you can highlight on your website.
- Media endorsements / news items
- Medical endorsements
- Industry endorsements
- Customer reviews
- Reports, survey and statistics
- Secure payment symbols
Come on… be honest. How many times have YOU bought something because of a testimonial or because you saw a little accreditation on a website? I know I have… and frankly… most people have been convinced by authority features at some point in their life.
10) Use headers and make sure your copy is “scannable”
Think of how you read a website on the internet. Do you read every word from A to Z?
Often you won’t. In fact in most cases, people will often scan the web page from top to bottom, then go back and read what is of most interest to them.
You can structure your copy into neat paragraphs, use selective bolding and, most importantly, benefit focused headers and subheaders, to help guide your reader.
This way, your customers can easily absorb your overall message in a matter of seconds, then go on to easily find the information they are looking for, and ultimately, make it easier for them to decide to buy your product.
11) Use imagery intelligently!
Following on from the above paragraph, in addition to the use of headers, imagery can also be used to help guide people quickly through your websites.
When used correctly images can communicate an important key message to your customers. People scan your website for the relevant information they are looking for, and imagery can be a figurative (and in some cases literal) neon sign putting to the information they are looking for.
In addition, you can use ‘lifestyle’ imagery to help reflect the desired tone of your website. Is your website professional? Then feature some sharp dressed gentleman and show them that. Is your website aimed at young attractive couples? Again, splash them on your site, and your visitors will get the message!
12) Don’t overwhelm the reader with product information
Talk about features and advantages only in connection with the benefits they create for customers. You need to establish your expertise, but too much factual data in a sales letter will cause most visitors to leave.
Concentrate on telling visitors about the benefits and your product will sell itself.
Be warm and friendly, but don’t get carried away by a flood of emotion that will ring false in the minds of your readers. Being passionate about your product doesn’t mean you punctuate every sentence with an exclamation point.
13) Create a sense of URGENCY!
Your web page must tell visitors what they stand to gain by acting NOW. If you don’t give visitors a clear idea of why they need to buy now, you’ll lose them.
The trick is to motivate readers to want to change something. Limited time offers can create this sense of urgency, but a wiser strategy is to play to your customer’s vanity. For example, their problem won’t be solved until they “get in touch with our help department right now.”
14) Call to action
It is important to sell your customer on the next action-step in the sales process and concentrate on building rapport and trust. You can do this by creating a call to action that convinces potential customers to do something.
E.g. “Click here right now to buy” or “fill in this form today and will send you a quote in under 24 hours.”
Always seal the deal with links to where your customer can purchase your product, or to fill out the form you want them to fill out.
15) Double check your spelling and tone
Spelling and grammar mistakes create the impression that you’re unprofessional, or even worse, unprepared to offer a reliable solution. The best writers know they have to get some distance from what they’ve written before they review and edit.
When you finish your first draft, get a trusted colleague to give you feedback, it can be the key to writing more powerful copy for your website. Not only can they give you feedback on any grammatical / spelling errors you’ve made, but they can also give you their opinion on when you’ve got the tone of the copy right.
Does it sound professional / warm / informative / authoritive? There is nothing worse than spending all this time on your web copy only to get it wrong at the last hurdle!
Don’t have the time to get your sales copy right? Then let us know… we’re here to help!
Struggling to write effective sales copy for your website, or simply don’t have the time?
Then no problem, we have several talented web sales copywriters who are waiting to write amazing sales copy to convert your visitors into actual cold cash paying customers.
A small investment now into a talented copywriter can pay MASSIVE dividends in the long run.
Don’t put it to chance… make sure you get copy right first time. It’s way more affordable than you probably think!