This article was originally published on the Spectrum blog.
I don’t care what your business is.
I don’t care if you’re a carpenter or a mover or a painter or a limo driver. At the end of the day, service professionals are all trying to acquire more of the same old thing: quality leads.
I say I don’t care what you do for a living because, as a copywriter, my job is set in stone. Human psychology doesn’t waver, so copywriting strategies and tactics are able to transcend industries, markets and even cultures.
As a copywriter I follow the rules, which help me to create content that impacts consumers; takes them over the edge; influences them and, ultimately, gets the sale.
Sure, you want your website to tell people information. People need some facts before pulling the trigger on a purchase. But the difference between a website that sells rather than just communicates is buried in the nuances of its content: imagery, call-to-action and, of course, copy.
Keep the following 3 tips in mind every single time you set out to write, edit or request word content for your website. Doing so will help you start selling rather than simply telling:
#1: Never Forget Your Headline
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
- David Ogilvy
Ogilvy is a truly legendary figure in the copywriting world. Known as the “Father of Advertising,” he became famous for his seemingly innate ability to write persuasively. He also appreciated a well-sculpted headline.
But here’s the thing: you’re not David Ogilvy. You’re not even a copywriter. You’re a business owner who is trying to make the words on your website more effective. To do so, start simple and be concise – it’s a great start.
An Illinois moving company, for example, might sport the following headline on their Chicagoland services page: “Chicago Moving Company.”
Simple, huh? In fact, it seems like it’s almost too simple.
But that’s all it takes: a concise, accurate message that’s just about identical to what consumers might type into Google.
In addition to providing great SEO value, keyword-influenced headlines like “Chicago Moving Company” let the reader know that they’ve come to the right place. Remember: your goal is to drive eyeballs down the page. Appealing to your readers’ needs is one of the most efficient ways to do so.
#2: Clever Doesn’t Pay the Bills
“Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.”
- Charles Mingus
Every time you get cutesy with your words, you run the risk of confusing your readers/customers. Nobody wants to understand you more than they do. So give them what they want.
Don’t be clever (it’s confusing). Don’t be funny (there isn’t enough time). Stay on track.
Consumers arrive at your website because they need to accomplish something, not because they want to be entertained. So make sure your message is as straightforward as possible – this will keep your bounce rate (i.e., visitors who leave your website) under wraps.
#3: Research is Your Best Friend
“The best copywriters are the most tenacious researchers. Like miners, they dig, drill, dynamite, and chip until they have carloads of valuable ore. John Caples advised me once to gather seven times more interesting information than I could possibly use.
- Gary Bencivenga
The more you know about your target customer, the more dangerous you are.
But you’ll be surprised to know just how much you don’t know about the preferences of the clientele you’ve been dealing with all these years. The devil is in the details...
For example, your quote request button: would it get clicked more often if it were green instead of red; would it get clicked more often if it were on the right side of the screen instead of on the left; would it get clicked more often if the word “free” was somewhere in verbiage?
Knowing the answers to these questions can spell the difference between a sale and bounce many times over. That’s why every single Spectrum website is A/B tested for performance – and yours should be, too!
The more you know...