Whatever you are using your web copy for, the difference of a few words can often make the difference of hundreds of percent in response rates. I’ll leave you to do the maths.
There are often many things a professional copywriter is doing that you might miss by attempting to go it alone, so we have put together these top tips to help you avoid common mistakes:
1. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. To use the example of an accountant – if a prospect is looking at your site for a tax return service, they need someone to help them file their tax returns. You do not need to explain how a tax return works. It’s surprising how many people do this, probably because they are undergoing a self-affirmation exercise. What you should do is explain how your tax returns are the best in the market.
2. Stand out. Back in the 60’s, Rosser Reeves invented the concept of the Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and it is surprising how many companies seem to have missed this event. You simply have to establish your business’ USPs in order to illustrate how you stand apart from your competitors. If you don't know what makes you different then ask your clients, colleagues, or even friends – as long as they can give you an impartial and constructive opinion.
3. Lure the reader in. This is done first through the title of the article or web page, which should be relevant, yet catchy and compelling. After getting the reader interested, you must then sustain this interest with your first paragraph. Remember every reader is making a split-second decision over “what’s in it for me”, so give them something to take home – whether advice, an offer or a lasting impression.
4. Trim the fat. The best writing is clear, concise, and easy to read. It is easy to waffle in your first draft – which is fine, but it is an important process to re-read and trim off anything unnecessary. This will improve the flow of the writing, as well as focussing your content on the key points.
5. Use search engine keywords. Keywords are used by search engines to decide which sites are the most relevant for any given search term. It is extremely difficult to get to the top of search engines for most search terms nowadays, but nonetheless, not putting in keywords is will make you impossible to find. You can only really effectively target 3-5 keywords for each page of copy, otherwise you will dilute the message. Setting up an AdWords campaign before choosing your keywords will allow you to test the ones most relevant to buyers.
6. Don't fear the informal. You may think informal writing damages your professionalism, but actually it opens up your industry to the buyer, who is typically more layman than expert. It can also bring a bit of personality to the setup. People are happier buying from people than from carefully engineered, professional prose. So add a little personality into your writing, and don't fear using informal language.
7. Call to action. It’s always important to close with a call to action. This could be a link to your contact page or case studies, or could be a contact request. Whatever you choose as your call to action, always aim for the maximum possible response rate by clearly explaining what the reader should do next.
Hopefully this gives you a few tips to maximise the effectiveness of your web copy. If you would like some personalised advice or to find out about our copywriting services then please get in contact now. (That’s my call to action, in case you hadn’t noticed.)