Copywriting for the web – to sell!
Why should you pay a copywriter to write your content when you can write it yourself?
Website design copywriting not only takes time (that you could use to be doing what you are really good at) but writing for the web is very different than writing for print media.
Writing for the web needs to satisfy many criteria that a good copywriter has studied and is able to put together.
A good copywriter not only understands that the layout has to catch the reader’s attention and keep it, but also that the content is actually a marketing document. It needs to convert readers into buyers.
How many websites have you come across that hope to sell their product or service with images and only a couple of sentences of text? Are these enough to convince you?
What you may not be aware of is the number of websites featuring on page one of Google, that make little additional sales. Even with some expensive SEO work, poor copywriting fails to convince visitors to actually buy their product or service.
Unless you are a large well known brand such as Nike or are targeting existing customers, you need to persuade your audience into buying from you. You need to sell yourself as being the right solution for your reader’s problem.
This is done through the layout of the content and the words used to convince your readers that you can fulfil their needs, and more.
I studied consumer behaviour as part of a Business Diploma but it is only now that I write marketing copy for the web, that I really get it.
Many websites hope to sell their product or service by talking about themselves. They talk about how long they have been in the industry, how professional they are and how great they are.
They should be telling the reader why they should buy from them rather than the other guys (who are also saying the same things about themselves!).
When I’m writing for a client, I spend a lot of time upfront, understanding their business. I want to know all about their product or service and who they are trying to attract.
There’s no point attracting readers who don’t fit your customer vision or aren’t going to end up buying from you.
Writing for the web is different than writing for print media. People skip read and look for headings and words that are meaningful to their search.
The layout needs to be:
- easy to read
- in plain English – no jargon
- interesting and appealing
- contain the questions the readers are asking
- contain answers to those questions
- deal with any doubts or hesitations
- have carefully placed calls to action
The reader needs to recognise themselves in what you have to say and feel like you understand their problem.
You only have the reader’s attention for a matter of seconds before they decide to either carry on reading or leave the page.
As well as satisfying what the reader is looking for, you need to satisfy the search engines.
Many modern websites have large banners taking up a third of the page and even worse sliding images. That means nothing to Google. These banners are usually accompanied by very little written content.
Good quality content is what matters to Google. Since its ‘Panda’ roll-out and subsequent refreshes, Google is looking for quality websites to rank higher.
It is also looking to penalise poor and duplicate content, and content with low engagement. In recent years Google has started to get very good at understanding the usefulness and relevance of web copywriting. Poor content no longer cuts it.
Professional copywriting is an investment
Copywriters need to have studied marketing and how consumers think and act. They need to predict how a potential customer thinks, and how to guide them from being unconvinced to wanting to purchase. They also need a good command of the English language and grammar.
Paying for a copywriter is an investment. A good copywriter should be converting your readers into buyers.
Your investment in copywriting will be returned through increased sales (conversions). Good copywriting will continue to convert visitors long after you have recouped your investment.
Spending thousands on a website doesn’t make sense unless you back it up with quality content writing. If you leave visitors to persuade themselves to buy, based purely on the look of your site, you will be very disappointed. Only people who have already decided to buy will become customers.
We can give you advice on a possible re-write of your existing content or a quote for new copywriting. Usually an investment in your key main pages is enough to get results.
We’d love to help.
Backbone Web Designs is located in Australia.