Make Your Website Copy Sing
by Sarah Warlick, writer and copy editor
Your website is one of the most important tools you have for communicating with potential clients. If you are a professional services provider, it’s also very likely to be the first place business prospects come into contact with you. The last thing you want to do is squander the opportunity to introduce yourself effectively or invite your virtual guests to come in and stay awhile.
Erika Napoletano describes three common and disastrous copywriting mistakes that waste your online real estate and create high bounce rates, in an article published online on the AMEX Open Forum. These mistakes will cost you dearly in terms of missed opportunities, so take a look and make sure that your site:
Introduces your firm clearly. Who are you? Pretend your firm is on a blind date and wants to create a positive but honest impression in as few words as possible. “We’re a fun, quirky and affordable accounting firm.” “We’re a super-smart technology firm that handles cloud computing and sells software to medical providers.” “We’re an expensive law firm for wealthy families, and we’ll stroke your ego every time we talk to you.” Now make the copy site visitors find within the first second expresses that clearly. The advantage in doing this is that you respect everyone’s time and catch the eye of those who will be your ideal clients. Why mince words? You know who you are and who you want to reach; go ahead and reveal your true identity.
Conveys your value. Visitors on your site could be doing laundry, eating pie or sleeping. What are you telling them that’s more valuable than their thousands of other options for that few minutes? Each page on your web site should deliver a message that’s easy to glean and true. “We’ll make you feel good about being rich and help you get richer.” “We’ll help you out of this legal mess without judging.” “We’ll save you tons of time and worry as you get that small business off the ground.” “We’ll guarantee your office is in full HIPAA compliance.” “We’ll educate you about financial planning and do your taxes.” Fluffy copy is rarely an effective tool. Honesty and respect always are. Make each page reveal something of actual value to readers and they’ll want to see what’s on the next one.
Guides readers to the next step. What is it you want your visitors to do with the information you’re giving them? Maximize the value of your site by guiding visitors to action. Make your contact information extremely easy to find (and that means with a phone number, email address and map, not just a contact form). Don’t stop there, either. Use calls to action that further engage readers so that they’ll come into even greater contact. Offer information or assistance for submitting an email address. Include some entertainment value or other inducement to ‘Like’ on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Offer a free trial, an introductory session or a demo that shows the real-life value of the services you’re selling. Above all, make these call-to-actions obvious and easy.
We often say that your website is your new front door. It’s prime real estate, so spend the time you need and get professional help if you can. Making it great is one of the best uses of your marketing dollar you can find, and without it, all the rest won’t be worth the investment it takes to do it.