How to Write Strong Web Copy that Sells
You’ve got the product or service, you know what it is you’re promoting, but do you know exactly how to make your message sing to encourage clients to buy from you? Keep reading to learn how to write strong web copy that sells to your perfect audience.
What to put on the homepage of your website (and subsequent pages) can be a bit of a head-scratcher for many business owners. The obvious stuff – highlighting the services you offer, your contact details and perhaps the prices you charge – comes easily. But if you really want to turn those clicks into conversions, you need to get your copy spot-on.
The homepage is the first thing your potential client will see when they click on your website. First impressions really count, so it’s vital you quickly get across your brand’s product or service and your business ethos. It’s a good idea to start with your values, purpose, vision and mission, so nail those first if you’re not sure on them.
A show-stopping headline
The first thing a website visitor will usually see is your headline. With your page design attuned to your branding, this should be a visually enticing, attention-grabbing short statement which pulls the reader in and makes them want to read on. This headline is your raison d’etre – it’s what you’re all about.
This example from a humanist wedding celebrant Katie the Celebrant unites branding with words to create a fun-loving vibe, telling the reader exactly what service the business offers. There’s a bit of wordplay going on too. Alliteration (using similar letters or same-sounding words like superstar ceremonies/shine) gives the headline a bouncy feeling to reflect the flavour of the business. This playful language also ties in well with the visuals.
When writing your own headline, think about your business product/service and the message you want to put across. How can your business help the reader? Use active verbs which are punchy, like striving, uniting or creating. These are strong and descriptive, really helping to get across meaning. Remember to keep it short and sweet – there should be no fluff, no filler; the headline tells it like it is.
Get the headline right, and people will keep reading, spending longer on your website and learning more about what you have to offer. You have such a short amount of time to catch the viewers attention which is why this part is so important when you’re trying to write web copy that sells. Which brings us to…
A quick follow up
The next section of text on your homepage should be a short paragraph following up what was detailed in the headline. A quick phrase which summarises what you offer, letting the reader know what they can expect from your business, and cementing whether they should keep on reading.
Design recruitment agency Natio gets it right here, with their brief tagline explaining what they do: matching great people with great opportunities. ‘Well, I’m a great person looking for a great job, so I’ll click through’, thinks the job-seeking reader.
Always remember to keep it simple. Using heavy terminology or ‘filler’ phrases with little meaning like “dynamically driven” are going to turn most people off pretty quickly. Because you only have a few seconds to grab the attention of the reader, the copy needs to be meaningful and clear. The headline and follow-up copy should provide the reader with an instant explanation of what you do. You can then follow this up with a little bit of magic.
What’s your magic
Time to impress the website visitor with your magic. What are the benefits of your product or service? What’s that special magic that only you can deliver? And why should they choose your business to deliver it? This is a brief chance to give a little bit of biographical info if you wish, but it’s more important to hop on the WHY of what you do, demonstrating the benefits you offer.
Print Play Learn does this beautifully on their site, explaining why the service was created, highlighting their expertise in the field, and showing what problem they help to solve. All in one short paragraph. It’s succinct, explanatory and to the point. Copy by the genius brand strategist and copywriter Saskia from Share The Joy Media.
A clever little language trick here is to use imperatives as an invitation – these are statements that the reader can’t really argue with once they see the benefits your business can deliver. Examples include:
- Join us on our journey…
- See how we can support you…
- You’ll save time and money by using our services…
- See the difference we can make…
- Print off our worksheets…
It’s not all about you
Pretty much every business website you visit will feature an ‘about us’ section of some sort, this is the place for people to learn more about you. Far from being a dry biographical list, this section of your website (which can be briefly summed up on your homepage if you wish, before being expanded on a separate page) offers another chance to sell your business based on your personality and offering. What’s your experience, what makes you stand out from the rest?
But your about page isn’t just about you. The trick is to turn it around to suit your target market – how does what you do benefit them? How can your experience and skills add value to their lives or business? Think carefully about language here. This is your chance to really show your stuff, shine, and sell what you’re offering.
Don’t forget the copy you really need to have on your site – from a business and legal standpoint. These also give them more options to continue their journey with your brand. That could be:
- Your opening hours.
- Your contact details (offering different ways to contact you, because not everyone wants to fill out a generic contact form).
- Links to your social channels so they can connect with you there, learn more about your business and buy into your story.
- A call to action – sign up to our newsletter, connect with me on LinkedIn, etc.
- A link to your blog – it helps people buy into your story and provides another opportunity for potential customers to learn more about your ethos and offering.
- Legal requirements – depending on your place of business, you may be legally required to include a physical address, ownership details, copyright information, privacy or data policy and terms and conditions on your homepage.
All of this may seem a lot, especially if you’re looking to create a clean design for your homepage. But remember, most of these elements are only one or two sentences long, while others can be hidden in menu tabs or design elements (like your social links).
The key takeaway is to keep things succinct and to the point – too much copy on your homepage and you risk turning potential customers off. Keep it short, sweet and impactful, reminding clients how you can solve their problems, write web copy that sells and watch those site traffic stats and conversions soar!