Creating Website Copy that Converts
Website copywriting is more than just promotional text that is meant to sell a product or service.
It’s the tool that brands use to connect with their customers online and make an impact on the emotions they feel toward that product or service. Ultimately, great website copy guides users to convert, whether it’s to download a software demo or purchase a new product model.
Here’s an example — would you buy a new Apple Watch for its S4 64-bit dual-core processor, W3 wireless chip, Barometric altimeter, and LTPO OLED display? Probably not.
But would you buy an Apple Watch because it’s For a better you — fundamentally redesigned and re-engineered to help you stay even more active, healthy, and connected?
Apple’s website doesn’t communicate its flashy tech and specs as much as it does the feelings and benefits you experience as a customer. When it’s time for your company to overhaul its corporate website copy, consider the following tips for effective copywriting.
Focus on benefits, not features
Different types of purchases call for different types of marketing. Attracting customers online will require more information about features, but most products in the marketplace call for more information about the product or service benefits.
For example, on their website, Nike doesn’t sell you shoes or thermal t-shirts, or running shorts. Nike sells you the ability to run faster, jump higher, and be stronger. The product benefit they sell is physical and mental fitness. With Nike products, you will accomplish your fitness goals and you will push yourself to exceed them.
When thinking of your product benefits, go beyond the concrete and consider the emotions your customers may experience after purchasing what you have to offer. Do they feel a sense of security? Maybe it’s happiness or it improves their social status.
Save the technical for later in the sales funnel, when the customer is getting ready to make an online purchase. The first thing they see should hook them into wanting to learn more.
Tell a compelling story
A story is the best way to hook your audience into becoming advocates for your brand.
A great way to tell stories is by leveraging any data you’ve collected in the past and turning it into insights that your audience can connect with on the website. Understand why people use your product or service and create an even stronger connection for potential customers.
Some of the best storytelling on websites can be seen from brands like Patagonia. The outdoor clothing retailer makes it blatantly obvious what their positions and beliefs about the environment are. Additionally, they include personal stories from snowboarders, mountain climbers, hikers, fishers and more. These stories are never about the new Patagonia thermal pants, they’re about the journey the subject has gone through. They’re meant to inspire.
Once a customer is inspired, they’re more inclined to explore what else the website has to offer.
Write for a human audience
While data can enhance your storytelling ability, it can also be your downfall. Relying too much on data can create distance between you and your audience. More importantly, the data you provide may not actually solve any problems.
When writing web copy, you need to understand the needs and “pain points” of your customers. Where do they need help? Outline the problem and provide the solution with your product to increase website conversions.
Additionally, avoid using jargon that only your employees or industry professionals understand. There’s a good chance your readers will feel lost and simply ignore what you’re trying to say. Instead, use language that is easy to understand and quick to consume. Here are some quick tips to write clearly for your customers.
- Don’t use long words
- Know exactly who you’re talking to
- Write short sentences
- Define any unfamiliar words
Build trust with your users
People will oftentimes say that marketing is an investment. While the end goal may be to drive a conversion or sell your product, marketing (and copywriting as a part of that) take time to build proper connections with your audience. If you’re willing to be patient, good copywriting and marketing practices can lead to loyal customers that return again and again.
The best way to begin building this trust is to be honest with your audience. Don’t hide any important information and never over-promise on what you’re capable of. If your product isn’t a game-changer, don’t act like it is. Instead, define how it solves a problem for your audience and stick with that message.
Remember to use data to validate your arguments and support any claims — just be careful not to overdo it with a ton of stats.
Finally, be respectful. Make sure that you don’t patronize your customers or treat them like they don’t know something. Always give the customer the benefit of the doubt but be ready to provide support if they need it.
Writing web copy is one of the best ways to connect emotionally with your customers. Following these tips will set you on the right path to connecting with your audience.
- Focus on benefits, not features. How can customers emotionally connect with what you provide?
- Tell a compelling story. Stray away from the boring or analytical and provide real-world examples of people using your product. Again, connect with your customers on an emotional level.
- Write for a human audience. Prospects on your website aren’t robots scanning the page for buzz words. Provide clear and concise information that they could repeat out loud.
- Build trust with your users. Invest in the long-term of your website and marketing strategy. Be honest with your customers and validate your claims with valuable data. Always be respectful.