It's not uncommon that you hear of people belittling copywriters, as though they serve no real purpose. Every educated person can write, so what's the use in having copywriters? You're just paying them to write, right? Yes, but they can write well for starters and they're trained in picking up on common inconsistencies and errors, unlike the average non-professional writer.
Many non-professional writers tend to go about writing their website content themselves, filling in the blank pages with spelling offenses and grammatical nightmares. While this is not ideal and certainly makes a trained writer want to run, hide and "unsee" everything they just laid eyes on, it's a reality that is highly prevalent on the web. With this in mind, it's imperative that all writers - professional and not-so-much - take note of some solid tips that will help in creating killer content for your site. So, how do we go about doing this?
Start By Researching Your Market
You want your web users to take a certain action when they visit your site. This could be any number of things, like signing up for your newsletter, making a purchase, filling out a contact form. You need to understand what it is that causes them to take action. How can you do this? Generally speaking you can look at your Google Analytics and try to gain an understanding of their behavior leading up to the point where they converted and completed a certain goal. Or... you could speak to them.
Set up a few questions in an email campaign, create a poll on Facebook or a pop-up on your website asking them if they want to participate in a 2 minute survey. You could even pick up the phone and call your web users if you have the necessary details and capacity to do so. What are you trying to gain from this?
- Basic demographic data - ask them their name, last name, age, gender, perhaps even their job description or employment status
- Why are they using your product - ask what problem your product solves for them
- Find out what's good about your product - ask them what features they love
- Find out what's less favorable about your product - ask them what features they are not really crazy about
- Get insight into your competitors - ask what other products they considered before buying yours
By getting answers in the words of your customers, you can also get a feel for the language they are comfortable with and the way in which they describe certain things. By adopting the lingo they use you can immediately speak to your customer base on their level. That briefly encompasses the importance of tone of voice - something that non-professional writers would probably never consider, but now you can. It's important that this tone of voice is carried through all communication on your website and that it doesn't change from page to page, Your customers want to feel that they're relating to the same person throughout their online experience within your domain.
Now you've got the background information, you understand how to approach your target market based on their feedback, so how do you position your content?
Define A Unique Selling Point
You need to create a way to stand out from the millions of other websites and businesses who are likely to be selling something similar to you. In this day and age, there are not very many unique ideas that are not crafted or inspired by another idea. In order to stand out against the crowd, you need to deliver a unique selling point to your customers that will have them coming back for more.
There are many things that could define this:
- Your pay-off line
- Your commitment to delivery
- Your service
- Free shipping or additional perks
Ask yourself the following questions and see if you can answer them in a concise and clean sentence: what is it and why do they want it? Obviously the "it" you're referring to is your product. Try and answer this question in your content. Find a way to communicate this to your customers in as few words as possible so that they can understand what you're offering them and why they would want to make use of it. Once you've nailed the direction, you might also want to look at the finer details.
Spellcheck Saves Sites
If you're not hiring a professional copywriter to write your web content, perhaps you can get one to proofread it for you. If you're not doing that either, make sure you use spellcheck and pay attention to the grammatical recommendations too. Some points to note that could help:
- Stick with one tense
- Speak in the same narrative all the way through your content, so if you're talking in the first person, stick with it
- Decide on whether or not to use contractions (don't, won't, you're) and stick with one choice throughout
Remember that the people reading your site will be humans (and search engine bots, but that's a conversation for another day) so you want to write in a way that they will understand. Don't try and get fancy at the expense of your customers and avoid any industry related jargon that they won't understand. It shouldn't be difficult or tedious to read and there should be a clear flow of content that leads customers to your call to action.
If you can make use of this framework to define your web content and write it in a way that your customers will appreciate, you'll be A for away towards creating killer conversions with your web content.
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