Why your website needs great writing
Your website is the first impression many customers will have of your brand. The way it's written could make or break your sales efforts.
Your website introduces your brand to potential customers. It's the first point of contact a lot of them will have with you. Great design is a necessity for your website, but great copy is just as important. It creates a connection with your brand and compels people to take action.
Having professional, high-quality writing on your website makes a difference. A study by Global Lingo found 74% of people pay attention to spelling and grammar on websites, while 59% of people said they wouldn't use a company that had poor spelling and grammar on its site.
But crafting compelling website copy is more than just avoiding typos. It's about introducing yourself to potential customers, persuading them about your brand and motivating them to take action.
Whether or not you're a tech company, a well-written and designed website has the potential to be your number one source of sales. Here are some tips you should keep in mind about your website copy.
1. Communicate your proposition
Your website copy is an opportunity to tell your story to potential customers. The copy on your website should introduce visitors to what makes your brand unique.
This means crafting a written value proposition. A value proposition communicates to customers what sets your brand apart from your competitors and why they should use your specific product or service.
A well-written value proposition should be short and memorable. It should address your customers' needs and explain how your product or service addresses them in a way your competitors can't.
In order to produce a value proposition statement, you have to understand a few things. You have to know your target customer, and understand their needs, desires and pain points. You have to know your own product or service and how it addresses these needs. And you have to know your competitors' products and what makes your product different.
2. Talk about benefits
A tried-and-true rule of marketing is to talk about benefits, not features. Customers coming to your website are looking to solve a problem, and features don't address this problem. You should always keep in mind that your product or service is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
A good example of this is enterprise instant messaging service Slack. While Slack contains features such as the ability to create themed channels, share work documents and integrate with workflow tools like JIRA, its marketing doesn't focus on these features. Instead it focuses on benefits like cutting down on meetings and internal emails, and helping teams collaborate.
Your website copy should address the benefits of using your service and product. It should focus on how it solves the customer's problem or makes their life better or easier. Features accomplish this, but merely listing features doesn't communicate it.
3. Build your brand voice
Your brand should have its own unique voice. A post from the Content Marketing Institute challenges readers to think about whether a customer could read their content and identify their brand without seeing its logo. Brand voice helps you achieve this level of recognition.
Your brand voice reflects your values. It conveys your personality to customers. It also brings consistency to the way you communicate. Your brand voice should be evident in every piece of content you produce, starting with the copy on your website.
4. Be approachable
When you develop your brand voice, make sure you make your brand feel approachable and human. Your customers are looking for a connection. They're motivated by emotion. The copy on your website should form this connection.
Being approachable means that you need to avoid using jargon or technical terms. Keep in mind that you know your industry very well, but your customers might not. Speak to them in terms that are easy to understand.
While you want to remain professional, remember that your website copy should be written in natural language. It should be conversational. Imagine you're selling your product or service to one person, face-to-face. Your website copy should strike that tone.
5. Have clear calls to action
While you want to inform, engage and form a connection with your website's visitors, the purpose of your site is to sell your product or service. Make sure your copy includes clear calls to action to motivate your visitors to use your brand.
Your calls to action should direct your website's visitors to the response you want from them. They should be clear about what you want the reader to do, and what they'll get in return.
6. Make it scannable
The majority of readers skim content. Research shows that 55% of website visitors will read content for 15 seconds or less. You have 15 second to get your message across. That means your site's content needs to focus on eye-catching, attention-grabbing details.
While 80% of readers will read a headline, only 20% will read the body copy. Good web copy focuses on conveying messages through headlines and backing up assertions with body copy.
7. Hire a professional
Perhaps the most valuable decision you can make is to hire a professional writer for your website's copy. A professional writer can ensure your website's copy engages and informs your readers, while motivating them towards a purchasing decision.
Professional writing will help you create a website that conveys your brand's voice and values, as well as the unique value you offer to customers.