Writing Your Copy
The second part to your ‘8 Key Success Ingredients’ is writing the words on your website. The words on your website are called ‘the copy’. So what words are going to appear on your website? I want you to start by taking a step back and think about why you are writing anything at all and exactly who it is that you’re writing for. Just imagine that I arrive at your website, what is it that I want to read? What do I need to see in those words in order for me to be reassured that you’ve got a solution for my particular problem? Then write your message personally.
Remember, although we market to a group of people, we encounter each customer one to one, so that is how you should be writing the words on your website. Any copy must be written in plain English. Nobody is impressed by the fact that we know the buzz words within our Industry. Therefore, don’t use those words on your website, nor acronyms or abbreviations. Make it as easy as possible for visitors to understand what you can offer. Whilst you may use specific language every day, including it on your website can alienate visitors and that is certainly not what you want.
Let’s take an example; if my computer isn’t working, I don’t care about the technical details of what’s needed to fix it, I want to know how quickly a company can respond and if my valuable files can be saved. If I understood the technical stuff, I probably wouldn’t be looking for IT services in the first place. So, keep your copy in the layman’s terms and keep it all in plain English. While you’re writing, also try and build a picture in people’s minds. We all buy emotionally and then justify with logic and reason. Therefore, if you can paint a picture in my mind of what life would be like after you’ve solved the problem, then that’s going to help me to connect with you.
If you’re selling something that’s going to solve one of my pains and elevate it to pleasure, make sure you build a picture of that pain first and then what it would be like if you removed the pain for me.
So you have focused your attention on the needs of your website visitor as a priority, but you also need to think about Search Engines. When you’re writing the words on your website, Google and the other Search Engines will be looking for quality, authority and relevance to decide where to rank your website in the listings for particular searches. We will talk about Search Engine Optimisation in more detail later, but for now you should bear in mind the key phrases that people will be using to find the solutions that you offer. Ensure that a relevant key phrase for each page is included in the copy, so Search Engine Optimisation is woven through your words.
Let me give you another consideration for your copy. I don’t know whether you’ve met my friend A.I.D.A before. Now, A.I.D.A is really good at helping you structure your words to make them more appealing to people who come to your website. AIDA quite simply stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Those are the processes and the stages that our words must go through in order to help a visitor.
First of all is the headline; this really needs to grab your visitor’s attention. When we search on the Internet, there are lots of websites that could potentially solve our problem and therefore it’s easy to click away if we don’t immediately see that a website can help. In this time-starved generation you really need to grab the attention quickly with the headline. Make sure it’s prominent, so that people can immediately see that they’re on the right page for what they want.
The next step is to grab your visitor’s interest. If they’re going to read the rest of your words you need you may need to highlight key benefits of this product or service in a sub-heading. This will gain their attention and encourage them to read the rest of the text. So you’ve grabbed their attention and you’ve then generated interest. You can then use the rest of the copy to build the visitors desire for having your solution to the problem.
Finally, to round it off, you need to provide you visitors with an action. Therefore, at the end of this process you need an action for your visitors to follow, such as ‘Sign Up for our newsletter’ ‘Request a Brochure’ or ‘Request a free Quotation’. So let’s just recap on how A.I.D.A can really help us; grabbing Attention, generating Interest and Desire and then creating an Action.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re writing your words for your website, so to summarise;
- You need to write as if you are talking one to one with a customer
- Your copy (words) need to be personal
- These words must also be Search Engine friendly
- You need to paint a picture for your customers.
It can be helpful to have a look at other website’s to see what key phrases and text they have included, but do not copy their copy!
Another thing that you must avoid when writing your Copy is cramming in a lot of Key Phrases. This is a Black Hat technique, which will not help you because the search engines now pick up and discredit this technique. Most importantly, when a visitor comes to this website, your copy isn’t going to read naturally and it will put them off.