The purpose of web copy is to communicate your company’s sales message; in other words, your goal is to sell your products and services. It should not be confused with web content which is all about educating and informing the reader. A combination of the two is what you need in order to increase your profit margin. Great web content lures in the readers while awesome web copy makes them proponents of your brand and eager to make purchases.
Regardless of your niche, competition will be fierce. It is hard to find up to date statistics regarding the number of websites on the Internet but back in May 2012, there were almost 680 million websites and the rate of growth over the last few years suggests that there are probably more than 1 billion websites today and there may be 2 billion in 2015!
This is because the number of websites online seems to double every 2 years or so and you can view an interesting graph relating to the growth of the Internet from 1995-2012 here. You are competing for a person’s time and you have innumerable rivals; luckily, I have a few handy tips to help you create copywriting that sells!
Avoid Blatant Advertising
I know you are actually advertising and the customer knows you are advertising but you can’t be blatant about it! There are all sorts of estimates relating to the number of adverts we are exposed to ranging from 1,500 a day from an often-cited 1957 study to as many as 20,000 per day according to data gathered by Yankelrich Research. The latter is certainly an exaggeration but when television, billboards, the Internet, radio and every other advertising medium is taken into account, the former amount may not be so preposterous. Of course, we only notice a small fraction of these but nonetheless, society has developed a way to block out commercial messages.
Websites that deliberately make their content look overtly commercial are making a major error. Your goal should be to provide high quality information that your target audience is searching for. Your web copy should sound like it belongs in a newspaper as a feature NOT in the classified section! The Internet is not QVC on acid, it is ‘the information superhighway’ so instead of obvious sales pitches, make sure your content is informative and slide the advertising message in discreetly. This means using headlines such as:
Losing 40 pounds of weight can increase your life expectancy by 7 years.
How new footwear technology can shave 15 seconds off your mile.
In example A, you are selling a fat loss product and in example B, you are selling running shoes. Notice how each headline looks like it belongs in a newspaper. Instead of saying ‘buy this now’, you are saying ‘look at what this product can do for you’. This makes a HUGE difference to your sales.
Stun Them Into Action
Building web traffic is very important but if your prospects are not ‘wowed’ by what you have to offer, they will quickly go elsewhere. Remember, there are probably 1 billion or so websites online and while some are dead sites and plenty of others are garbage, you still have a formidable amount of competition to deal with.
I have found that former clients that treated their website as little more than an online brochure saw little or no progress. Things changed for the better once I persuaded them to change tactics. As in the last point, the headline is incredibly important because you want visitors to act immediately. If they leave your website, it’s likely that they won’t come back. Your headlines need to inject emotion, promote a sense of urgency and have a touch of drama to boot.
Get Their Email!
If your website doesn’t generate a response amongst visitors, it is nothing more than an expensive mistake. As you can see in [my previous article] about conversion rates, the majority of people that visit your website will never return. This is why you must have an opt-in mechanism and capturing their email address is the ideal course of action. Being asked for an email address is less threatening than being asked for your credit card number after all. With this information, you can launch an [email marketing campaign] to establish trust and build a relationship.
On the Internet, people buy things from companies they trust. They like businesses that provide good information, are easy to do business with and are never overly aggressive when it comes to marketing their products. Moreover, customers trust companies that take the time to develop a good relationship, always deliver on promises and make the effort to provide top notch customer service.
The tips outlined above are not rocket science and can be adhered to by anyone with common sense. With a little patience, your business can improve its profit margin by writing web copy in the right manner.
Is your company guilty of ignoring web copy basics or have you got the process down to a fine art?
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