If you’re a web copywriter or a website owner looking for ways to achieve online engagement with your audience, here is a recipe for writing a web copy that enthrals your visitors.
For a start, I want you to assume that you’re a film director. In that position your role is to think through all the elements of film production and bring them to life as a movie that entertains the viewers.
As a web copywriter, you’re creating a movie but a different kind of movie-an online content that engages your audience.
So, for the purposes of writing online content, instead of thinking of casting, script editing, shot composition etc like a film director, I will like you as a web copywriter to think of:
• What brings someone online?
• How does she find what brought her online?
• How does she behave online?
• What do you want her to do?
And bring them all to life as a web copy. You’re more likely to come out with a magnetic web page that keeps your audience engaged.
As a copywriter, whether you’re writing a web copy for online audience or sales copy for offline consumers, the key to crafting a great copy is to know who you’re writing for and the features of your medium of communication. And how it influences audience behaviour.
So, you can work out how to deliver what she is after.
The arrival of the internet is a game changer. With little start-up capital ordinary folks have transformed to successful entrepreneurs. With a website and well-written customer-focused web pages a small business can compete with even the big players.
But to leverage on the benefits of the internet depends on whether you can attract visitors to your website and retain them long enough to take positive actions that benefit your business.
Whether you want them to buy off the page, visit your shop or sign in to your mailing list; without attracting and retaining visitors, your website becomes another dead-on-arrival casualty on the internet. And your online business suffers.
Attracting and retaining visitors on your website may seem a difficult task if you don’t think through the elements mentioned above.
Let’s get started by considering:
What Brings A Person Online?
The internet is an online market place or what some people call information super highway. It follows therefore, that if someone is online he/she is looking for information. It could be information on product/service she wants to buy/hire or direction to where she wants to. Which of these are your offering her?
Action: Identify your product/service and how it is relevant to your prospect.
How Can She Find Your Product/Service Online?
From your experience shopping at large grocery stores, how do you locate what you want to buy? Groceries and general merchandise retailers like Tesco and Morrisons use display cards to direct shoppers to the locations of various items in store.
Unlike the grocery stores, search engine uses keywords or phrases to locate information on the internet. What keywords or phrases are related to your product/service.
Action: Plan your keywords using google keyword planner or any other keyword tool you fancy.
How Does Your Site Visitor Behave Online?
Jakob Nielsen a Danish web usability consultant summaries the behaviour of web visitors in this statement;
“On the average web page, users have time to read about most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely”. The implication is for online content writer to recognise that website visitors are in a hurry. They want information fast.
Action: Provide her with the information she needs immediately she lands on your page. Make it easy for her to find what she is after as quickly as possible.
It is the nature of human beings to follow the path of least resistance. These illustrations are typical of how most people naturally respond to situations.
Imagine a well-stocked grocery shop on the high street near you that opens 24 hours. It is well stocked because the shop owner knows what the customers want.
But instead of displaying the stock on the shelves to make it easy for a customer to walk in and pick what she wants, he chose to keep it locked in shop cupboards.
What do you think will happen when a customer walks in, looks around the shelves and couldn’t find what she is looking for? Yea. You’re right. She walks away and checks the next shop.
Yet the shop has what the customer is looking for. Except that the shop owner has made it difficult for her to see it by erecting a barrier.
In 2012, displaying tobacco products on shelves was banned in larger shops in England. And in April 2015, it was extended to small shops.
All tobacco products were required to be locked away in shop cupboards. The aim was to discourage young people from smoking cigarettes. It worked.
Prof David Hammond from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, who advised the UK Department of Health over the legal case brought by the tobacco companies, said that smoking patterns among young people aged 15 to 19 changed significantly after the bans took effect in Canada (theguardian, 5 April 2007).
Guide For Writing Hypnotic Web Copy
At this stage of your web copywriting, you already know what brings your target online, how she conducts her searches and her behaviour. But how do you translate that to a web copy that persuades her to take the action you desire?
In other word, given all you have learnt about your target, how do you use it to achieve your business objective when a visitor lands on your page?
The secret to writing a hypnotic web copy is to focus on one single message dedicated to achieving one single business goal. To do otherwise will dilute your message leaving your copy incoherent, diversionary and non-persuasive.
There are many sources that lead a visitor to your web page. Email, AdWords/Bing, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are some examples. Each of these pre-click links is not usually detailed. But can draw your visitor’s attention to click and land on your web page. A visitor usually lands on your web page with an expectation.
As soon as a visitor lands on your page, sustain her attention with a headline that reinforces her pre-click expectation by inspiring her to read further.
Remember she is in a hurry and doesn’t read but scans through the copy until she finds something that catches her fancy. You don’t want your web copy to share any similarity with the 2 analogies above.
Follow with more information about your product/service to reassure your visitor that she is at the right place. And had made the right click to land on your page. Present your value proposition clearly.
Don’t make it difficult for her to find what she is looking for by tucking the benefits of your product/service deep into your web copy. Else your visitor like the high street shop visitor simply clicks away from your web page and to your competitor’s.
Give your copy a sense of credibility by providing your visitor with proofs to support your benefit claims. As an example, if you are asking your visitor to buy your product, tell her what previous buyers said about your product.
And if you’re asking your visitor to hire your service, let her know how others have benefited from your service.
Furthermore, assure your visitor with a guarantee that her money can be fully refunded if she is not totally satisfied with your product.
Finally conclude your web copy with a call to action. Ask your visitor to take a single action that aligns to your business goal. This may include buying off your web page, enlisting to your email news letter or to download an app or calling a telephone number etc.
Whatever your call to action is, ensure it aligns with your business goal which is what your copy is meant to achieve.
I understand that not many business owners have the time to write web copy for their websites. They rather use their time to concentrate on building their businesses.
No time to write a compelling web copy? Get a pro for the task; use this form to hire a web copywriter.
Thanks for stopping bye. I hope you enjoyed reading this post. As always, comments and feedback are welcome.