Would you buy a $2,000 online video that shows you how to whiten your teeth within 24 hours and keep them sparkling for life?
You’d probably assume the seller was playing a fast one on you.
What if the website featured hundreds of verifiable testimonials from happy customers who attest to the instant results? I’m talking about the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, and a professor at Harvard Medical School.
Would you be more interested if the website had a stamp of authority from the United States Patent and Trademark Office?
To take you over the edge, they’ve sweetened the pot with a 7-day money-back guarantee (if you hate the video).
Now you’re compelled to purchase the video because they’ve taken away the risk, added safety signals and built trust with testimonials from people you admire.
But before we dive in, let’s explain the key terms.
Key terms you need to Understand
First of all, a copywriter is not the person who protects your work against theft. No, that’s copyright.
Copywriting is the process of writing content for promotional and advert purposes. On a deeper level, it aims to understand the values, motivators and belief system of a target customer to craft a personalized message that drives them to take action.
When you Google “Buy sweatshirt in Buffalo”. All the content you see on the search engine result page was written by a copywriter. Same as the content on a product page and every promotional text you’ve come across.
Examples of copywriting are promotional texts you see on billboards, emails, brochures, social media, catalogs, and websites.
What is Website Copywriting?
You’ve seen website copy on the homepage, about us page and service pages of your favorite brands.
Website copywriting is the process of writing online copy for marketing purposes. Great website content considers the prospect’s pain point, engages the reader with a solution and leads them to take action.
The difference between us (website copywriters) and everyone else, is that we write content that sells.
Basically, website copywriters specialize in creating content that sells an idea, product or service. The content can be divided into two broad categories: informational and advertorial.
- Blog posts
- Press releases
- Original research
- Email newsletters
- Social media posts
- About us pages
- FAQ pages
- Case studies
The goal of informational copy could be to:
- Inform your readers
- Position you as an authority
- Help you get found in Google and other search engines
- Lead the prospect further down the sales funnel
- Landing pages
- Sales copy
- Service Pages
- Ecommerce product descriptions
- Display ads
- Facebook ads
- Sponsored posts
- Search ads
Here, the goal is to persuade the reader to take action such as buying a product, downloading a material, watching a video, or filling a form.
“If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
To become an effective web copywriter, first, identify your audience, and get to know them.
Knowing your audience allows you to form an emotional connection, empathize with their pain, and offer a solution that resonates.
As an online copywriter, having a goal for every copy and building your content around that goal is the key to engaging your readers.
Different types of content have different goals. For example, if you were writing a case study, the goal would be to demonstrate that your product worked for a customer and it will work for others too. This goal guides what you say in the case study.
3. Always Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
Your headline is the most important element of your web copy. If you don’t get the reader’s attention, they won’t read your content.
To craft irresistible headlines, find a unique angle, something no one else has figured out.
4. Appeal to your readers’ emotions
People need to care about your product to buy into your message. Weaving emotions into your headlines gets them there.
Let’s assume you’re writing a copy for an NGO that tackles hunger. Instead of filling your copy with statistics of hungry people, pick a character, give your persona a name, tell her story.
Take a look at this copy for an NGO that provides support for vulnerable people. Alejandra is the central focus of this copy. They used images of her throughout the page to keep readers centered on one storyline, as against several people. Everyone can relate to her story.
Humans are emotional beings. Give them someone to connect with and they’ll be more likely to take action.
People are naturally skeptical. Your defenses are up against anyone who tries to sell to you.
The above image is taken from the Zenith Copy Homepage. I build trust by showing prospects and visitors some of the clients I’ve worked with.
To neutralize skepticism and penetrate walls they’ve put up, back up your claims with hard proof. Share testimonials, credible third-party reviews, social media comments, and case studies.
As a copywriter, your job is to communicate your client’s message. That’s going to be difficult if no one understands what you’re saying.
Write simple sentences. Remove jargon words.
What words do your audience use in conversations? Incorporate those words in your copy.
Don’t seek to impress. Rather seek to inform, persuade, and inspire action.
. Data from Omniconvert shows that 99% of visitors do not buy from the first visit. In most cases, people have to visit your site repeatedly to know your brand before making a purchase.
But it’s different for lead generation campaigns. Straight North studied over 350,000 site conversions and found that 84% of conversions happened during the first visit.
To get prospective customers to act now, you need to create a sense of urgency. You can create urgency by offering a discount for a limited time, selling limited copies of your product and using urgency in your CTA text like “download now”.
8. Use Strong Call to Action
In an ideal world, people take action when they land on your homepage. The action depends on how your content guides them through your website.
Write a benefit-oriented CTA text that drives click through rates. This article on writing engaging copy includes a subsection on how to write a persuasive CTA text.
- Where possible, use bullet points for scannability.
- Use short paragraphs to improve readability and break the monotony.
- Make your copy skimmable for scanners.
- Be ultra-specific with your message.
- Write for Humans and optimize for search engines.
1. Basecamp – Leveraging the Power of Imagination for Conversion
Creating a before and after pictures in the reader’s mind helps them envision the problem, side-by-side your solution.
Basecamp writes a subheadline that shows visitors the stressful side of project management before using their service. They counteract with a blissful image of organization when you demo their product.
Further down the page, Basecamp shares a ton of customer testimonials as proof of the effectiveness of their project management software.
2. WordPress.org– When Simplicity Wins
True to its brand, WordPress keep its copy simple and straight to the point. It’s a good example of direct messaging that describes who you are and what you do.
3. Google Ads – Action-Oriented and Positive Copy
There are two positives to take away from Google Ads’ landing page copy:
· Benefit-oriented words such as “drive website visits, get more phone calls and increase store visits.”
4. Appsumo – Powerful Value Proposition
Appsumo’s Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is one of the best you’ll find online. The headline reads like a conversation with a friend in a bar.
After listening to you talk about all the challenges you’re facing, they hold your hand and say, “You’re never paying full price for software again!”
You’re so excited, you want to get all the details ASAP.
5. Trello – An Effective Answer to “What’s In It For Me?”
What’s the major question visitors want you to answer when they land on your site?
“What’s in it for me?”
While many brands struggle to answer this question, the folks at Trello, got the perfect answer.
Their choice of words is highly targeted: “Organize, prioritize, fun, flexible, rewarding.” If you run a business with team members working on projects, Trello helps you stay organized. I’ve used their software for client projects and it works as advertised.
6. Udemy – Highlight Your Unique Selling Point
If you have a unique selling proposition, brag about it. Your USP is what sets you apart from your competitors and positions you as the business of choice.
Notice Udemy’s USP yet?
“The world’s largest selection of courses.” Now that’s hard to beat. You’re guaranteed to find a course (both paid and free) for any niche you work in.
Web copywriting is the process of writing content for the purpose of promoting a product or service. A web copywriter is a professional who creates online content.
The difference is web copywriting is a process while a web copywriter is a person or professional.
The rate you charge for your professional copywriting service largely depends on the type of project.
I don’t advise hourly or per word rates for ANY copywriting project because you’ll undercharge.
Have a base point and increase prices based on the client and complexity of the website project.
Newbies still building their portfolio usually charge from $100 per web page. Experienced copywriters charge between $300 to over $1,000 for a web page.
Look through the copywriter’s portfolio and read reviews from past clients they’ve worked with. Prioritize specialized copywriters who have experience writing for your specific niche. They’ll cost more but the results will be worth it. This article contains tips on setting website copywriting rates.
Your website is the first introduction many visitors have with your brand. Hiring the right website copywriter could be the difference in high sales volume or poor conversion rates. The content has to explain who you are and your value to your audience while driving conversion.