As a small business owner you may find yourself either doing a lot of writing for the web or hiring others to write about your brand. Writing for the web is different than writing for print. People consume content on websites differently than how they read words on paper. To make your web copy work best for your business try these tips.
Hook them in
The best written copy in the world is worthless without readers! Lure your potential customers with a memorable and compelling headline. Think of your headline as a shop window; a well dressed shop window catches the eye, arouses curiosity and brings customers into the shop. Your headline should do the same. It should encapsulate what is in the copy that follows and compel your customers to want to learn more about your product and service.
Know who your target market is. And talk to them.
Exactly who are you trying to sell this to? Yes in a perfect world “everyone” might be a suitable answer, but in reality, who is most likely to spend their hard-earned money on your product? Is it women? Young, middle-aged or old women? Middle-aged women with kids? Middle-aged women with small kids? Middle-aged women with small kids with health issues? You get the idea. Once you’ve figured out exactly who you’re speaking to, speak to them in their own language. For example using high-tech terminology won’t sell software to computer illiterates. And using street slang is likely to sail over older people’s heads.
Sell the benefits rather than the features
Remember who you’re writing for. The customer. Not you. At all times, point put how the features of your product or service will benefit your customers. For example, the vehicle you are writing about might feature ‘four wheel drive’. Now, point out the benefits of that feature – safer motoring on slippery surfaces or the ability to go places that other vehicles can’t. In other words, sell the sizzle, not the steak!
What is unique about what you’re selling?
If you’ve done your branding homework, you’ll already have a unique selling point, a brilliant tagline all about it and a succinct and desirable positioning statement. If you haven’t had much experience with branding, the very first step is to discover your unique selling point, also known as a point of difference. Chances are there are several products out there that are similar to yours. So why should a customer spend their money with you? Is your product bigger, smaller, better, brighter, louder, tastier, greener than the others? And if so, how so? In your website copy (or ad copy) explain exactly what makes your product stand out from the rest and convince the customer that they need that benefit most. Ideally, you’ll then sum it all up in fewer than seven, memorable words – then you have a tagline too!
A Little About SEO Copywriting
Writing for the web adds a new level of complexity. You’ll need to research what people “type in to Google” when they’re searching for your product (keywords). You’ll then need to use these keywords in subheadings in your text and in the page title of each page. Online, people will consume your media differently than in print. You’ll need to use short, sharp sentences, short paragraphs broken up by headings, bullet points, infographics, video content – anything that makes it simple for your market to see what you do, how you do it and what’s in it for them.
Check your spelling and grammar
This sounds basic and boring, but it’s so very important. Poor spelling and grammar is distracting at best, taking the potential customer’s focus away from what you’re selling. It also makes you, the seller, seem untrustworthy and unprofessional. Once you’ve written your copy, do a spell and grammar check. Ask a friend or colleague to read over it. Better still ask several friends or colleagues to read over it. If you’re not terribly confident of your language skills it’s worth paying a professional for their services just to leave an optimum impression on potential customers and increase your chance of a sale.
Dana Flannery is a specialist in SEO Copywriting at www.talkaboutcreative.com.au. She comes from a 10 year background in broadcast copywriting and provides a broad selection of copywriting services. Click hereto find out more.