The Fundamentals of Great Web Writing

Writing great web copy is a craft, but it can be done

Writing great web copy is a craft, but it can be done

Want to get the attention of someone visiting your website? Then you have seven seconds.

Yep, that’s it. According to Tribute Media the average website visitor decides whether they want to stay on a website within seven seconds of arriving on a page.

And when you only have seven seconds to capture your buyer’s attention, you need to hit them with something powerful if you want them to take action. That’s why effective web copy is essential.

But writing great web copy is a tricky proposition. People’s ever shortening attention spans coupled with their tendency to scan webpages rather that actually read them makes crafting great web copy an art form. But it is achievable. Here’s how:

Stay in a ‘buyer-centric’ mindset.

When writing about our own businesses or organisations, the natural inclination is to talk about ourselves. How great and trusted and responsive we are. The thing is, people visiting our websites don’t necessarily care about us. Their primary concern is about themselves. They want to know how you’re going to make their lives easier, and they want to know quickly.

The solution? Stop writing about you and start writing about them. First, articulate their problem, then talk about how your business can solve it.

Here’s a fictional example of a company trying to sell their revolutionary shoe insert, the HappyHeel, to a busy professional battling chronic foot inflammation. Let’s take a look at a standard example:

Our soft-sole technology has been scientifically proven to support the heel and surrounding foot tendons, offering relief to the ankle and calf. Perfect for casual and professional wear, the HappyHeel can reduce foot pain by up to 70%.

Yawn. How about this instead:

It’s been a long day. Meetings. Presentations. Running around after the kids. You’re dead on your feet, and you have to do it all again tomorrow. But your feet are blazing and you’re not sure can do it.

We’re here to tell you that you can, with the HappyHeel.

Jab with the problem and right hook with the solution.

Tip: Aim to write as much as possible in the second person (you, your, you are). By doing so, your copy will naturally focus on the audience. The notable exception to this rule would be your ‘About’ page where it’s ok to talk more about yourself and your business.

Sell benefits, not features.

When most businesses write web copy, they focus on the features of their product or service. How many times have we seen examples like these?

  • Our oven heats to 400 degrees in less than 5 minutes.
  • We have 50 hours of online tutorials available.
  • We build the best email marketing strategies.

They’re all great features, but features alone don’t compel your audience to take action. That’s what benefits are for.

When you write web copy, don’t tell your buyers what your product or service does. Instead, show them how it’s going to make their lives easier. Let’s take another look at the examples above, but this time focusing on benefits:

  • Great dinners cooked faster than ever.
  • A learning program with unprecedented versatility and variety.
  • Effective and efficient email marketing solutions, made with precision.

The emphasis is placed on the benefit of your feature, not the feature itself. With this subtle change your visitors are coaxed further into your website, and along the sales funnel.

Address every objection.

Buyers, across every industry, will have a natural objection or barrier stopping them from buying your product or signing up for your service. It’s part of doing business. The role of your website is to help them overcome those barriers, and subtly answer any objections they might be secretly harbouring. Let’s take a look at some common scenarios:

Objection: Are they worried your product is too expensive?

Solution: Show them how another one of your customers saved the purchase price in a short time after buying, or used the extra time your product gave them to finish a long neglected project.

Objection: Do they think your product is unnecessary, and can do it themselves?

Solution: Again, sell the benefits and how it will make their lives easier, and how the finished product would be far superior to anything your prospective customer could do themselves.

Objection: Are they questioning your skills or capabilities?

Solution: Show them testimonials from other customers who have loved your services.

Give your buyers every reason to buy what you’re offering, and help them justify their purchase in every relevant way. If you don’t, your competitor is just a Google listing away.

Another great strategy is to develop a content marketing plan that will allow your business to build relationships with customers over time, and through carefully crafted and planned content, allay any concerns or barriers.

Need Great Web Copy?

Need some help producing web copy that grabs your readers’ attention? Contact Ink Copywriting for help.

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