“Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek…you’ve got to believe in the product.” – David Ogilvy
People who conduct business on the web focus a lot of their time and energy into search engine optimization and page rankings and rightly so. With millions of sites on the web you need to do all that you can to drive people to your Web site.
But once they get there it’s up to your copy to keep them there until they buy your product, hire your service, sign up for your newsletter or do whatever you want them to do.
Think of your copy as your sales person. If it’s not up to par, have the right pitch or doesn’t lead the customer towards making a purchase, then you’ll probably end up losing that person for good. Likewise, heavy-handed copy that tries to push the sale or pressure the customer will also result in that person looking elsewhere for what they want.
So what’s the best way to write compelling copy that presents your product or service in the best light, but doesn’t make the customer click away to another site?
Use simple language in your writing
Unless you’re site is geared specifically for tech-heads, you’ll want to be sure that virtually everyone who comes to your site can understand what you’re trying to say. You may be the smartest person on the planet, but your Web site isn’t the place to show off if you’re trying to sell.
People really don’t like reading from their computer screens so keep your copy as brief as possible. A good rule is to use 50% less words on your Web site than you would in print.
If you must use long copy, consider breaking it up into several pages. People don’t like to keep scrolling seemingly endless documents. Also, use short paragraphs. Remember the key is to make it easier for your visitor to read.
Don’t use fonts that are tough to read and don’t use a font size lower than 10 point for your body copy.
Always use a spell checker before you upload any of your pages. Read your text out loud or get someone else familiar with grammar and spelling to look it over. Spell checkers are great, but won’t catch your when you meant to say you’re.
Write to the point
Pretend everyone who visits your site is impatient and write your copy so that it gets to the point quickly. When you write your copy, act as if you’re speaking to one person and write to them. Use words like you and yours. Imagine you’ve got a great product and you’re telling your best friend about it.
Write with honesty
People are smart and they can smell a scam a mile away. Focus on the strengths of your product or service and what benefit it has to the consumer. Don’t use hype; just tell them the plain truth.
When people go to buy anything they want to know what it can do for them. Focus your copy on benefits. Ask, how can this make my customer’s life easier? Remember that features don’t sell a product – benefits do.
Your copy is more important than what you’re actually selling. It can make or break your sales, so it’s in your best interest to put a lot of time and attention to what your site says. If you don’t feel up to the challenge then hire a professional copywriter to do the job for you.
Don’t short change yourself or your sales with bad copy.