News Flash! Research tells us time and time again that 80% of internet users scan web copy, rather than reading it word for word.
Furthermore, When people lay eyes on your website, they know you are trying to sell them something. Whether they’re aware of it or not, they are already asking themselves What’s in it for me, or Will this make my life better or simpler?
Your task then becomes more than developing a user-friendly visually attractive website. The web copy must work as quickly as possible to give the reader the impression that yes-something is in this for them, and yes, the product or service will somehow enhance their lives.
When done properly, this will enable you to rank highly with the search engines, generate more traffic and sell more products or services.
By far, the best and quickest way to rank highly among search engines like Google and Bing, is through good, compelling, “scannable” content. Google prides itself on the importance of ranking high quality sites. Great content is a major factor in distinguishing the high ranking sites from the others. Sure, the design, color scheme and ease of use of the website are important, but great content is critical for high rankings. In fact, without meaningful content, your website isn’t worth much to the search engines or your audience.
Use the guidelines below to develop effective copy that sells.
8 Tips for Crafting Compelling Website Copy
- Place the most important messages at the top.
- List benefits instead of features.
- Discuss only one idea per sentence.
- Write short sentences (7 to 15 words) and short paragraphs (3 to 5 sentences).
- Tell engaging stories that illustrate the power of your product or service.
- Address the website to your customer or prospect. Write from the you viewpoint as much as possible instead of we, us or I.
- Use bullet points, a lot of white space and under 250 words per page.
- Say what you do in the very first sentence or as a headline or tagline.
Search Engine Optimization (SE0 101)
Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes it easy for prospects to find your site.
Lay the foundation for proper SEO with these steps:
- Write the title (60 characters) and description (160 characters) of the site. An example of a title would be: Quality Printing Overnight.
- A description might be: Overnight Prints is a full services operation that designs and prints high quality brochures, flyers, postcards etc., for businesses and individuals. (Note: If you want to see what a competitor is using, right click to the right of their home page, then click on view source. Amongst all of the gibberish look for their title and description.)
- Use as many keywords, title and description meta tags as you can.
After you have done this, you can post the images and content on a Do It Yourself website ( Google free or low cost business websites) or contact a web designer and get your internet presence.
- Remember to keep the readers point of view in mind when you write. (What’s in it for them). They are not interested in hearing about you. They want to know what you can do for them.
- The easiest way to ensure that your content will resonate with your audience is to do some simple market research.
- Learn more about your prospects. For example, where do they live, how old are they? What are their hobbies? Why should they choose you? If you take the time to conduct surveys, focus groups, user testing, etc. your web copy will show it. And you’ll have an edge on the competition.
- Remember to strategically advertise and promote your new site with well designed postcard announcements. For best results, coordinate your print and website content to stay consistent with your brand.
- Finally, a good promotional idea is to put your website link on your print material. Offer a coupon, a free report or free product if the reader goes to your website.
Courtney’s Action Items
- Do a Google search on your industry. Look at 4 or 5 sites. Don’t spend more than 30 seconds looking at each site.
- Bookmark the two that capture your attention.
- Pay close attention to any words, images or color schemes that caught your interest.
- Don’t copy-but use as inspiration for your web content.