Hiring a web designer to build your new website is so exciting! There are many design and usability features in order to ensure your website works. However, design is only one piece of the puzzle, copywriting is the other. If you’re not in a position to outsource your copywriting to a professional, it’s time to find out how to write great copy.
The need for leads
With effective copywriting, you can sometimes turn web visitors into buyers immediately. But in most cases, your visitor will become a ‘lead’ first and take some sort of initial action, such as:
- Sign up to your newsletter
- Connect on social media
- Ask a question via phone or email
No matter what you want your potential customer to do, you first have to know who your prospect is in order to tailor your copy to their specific needs.
So the first step in writing great copy is to know who you are writing for.
Let’s talk about target market
Your target market is the segment (or segments) of people who you’re marketing your business to. For example, you might sell cruelty-free, natural skin products to girls aged 8 – 12. Or you may sell mobile henna hairdressing services to mothers within a certain geographic area.
It’s vital to know who your target market is because the needs of your target market will dictate the tone, feel and precise wording of your website copy. When you know exactly who you are writing for, your writing becomes:
- More specific
- More powerful
- More persuasive
- More likely to convert (because it actually makes a connection)
The minimum details you should know about your target markets:
- Age range
- Gender (or whether it’s evenly split)
- Income range
- Level of education
- What they do in their leisure time
- How they spend their money
- Their wants, needs, desires and fears
The last point is an important one. Have you researched whether your overall target market actually want, need, desire and are willing to pay the price you’ve set for your products or services? If not, no matter how great your website copy or web design, you may be pushing uphill to convert browsers into buyers.
By doing your homework in the preliminary stages you can save a lot of time, frustration and money later on. (If you’ve already reached ‘later on’, well, it’s definitely never too late to do the required homework J).
So, how do you find out all this information about your target market?
Ask them. Email them surveys. Read the magazines they read. Get to know them inside and out. Make their lives your business.
Shoot your target market
Once you know who your target market is, find a photograph of an individual who captures the essence of everyone in that target market. Then give that person a name. When writing your copy, imagine you’re writing to that particular person.
For example, a vegetarian home chef who targets business women in their 30’s might use the below snapshot. When writing their copy, they’ll imagine they’re writing specifically to Sally.
When you picture who you are writing for, you will write extremely targeted copy that will:
- Connect with your potential customers
- Press their buying buttons
- Press their ‘action’ buttons
Now that you know exactly who you’re writing for, let’s discover more ways to write effective copy.
The key elements that contribute to great, effective and persuasive website copy can be summed up with the following acronym:
- Create scanner-friendly and benefit-driven copy
- Open with an enticing headline and a concise introductory paragraph
- Nominate the U.S.A: (Unique selling point, Solutions to problems, Addressing of fears)
- V stands for the InVerted Pyramid: Put the most important information at the top of each page
- Establish and build trust
- Reduce resistance by making an offer
- Tell the browser what to do through a call to action
As you can see, the recipe for great copy contains many ingredients. Include all of them if you want your website to be a lead-generating tool.
What are your thoughts on the importance of great web copy?