Sometimes, the job of writing copy takes a backseat to website design.
Maybe it’s because they’re often completed by a different set of professionals. Or maybe it’s because website design feels like the structure and copy more like the decoration, to be hung and placed only after the site is built.
But when it comes to the job of attracting visitors to your business and converting them to customers, copy is equally important as color schemes and button placement.
That’s why we believe the best websites have considered copy and design in equal measure. (It’s also why we offer both design and copywriting services in-house).
Here are five reasons why copy is as important as design and five tips you can apply to your own website copy.
Why website copy is as important as design
1. Copy Sells
Excellent design makes people look. It can divert precious attention from the thousand other things fighting for it.
But it can rarely sell.
At least not on it’s own. Copy will educate your audience. It will help them understand why they have the pain they do and tell them how you can fix it.
2. Copy filters your audience
It would be great if every person attracted by an image on your site was an ideal customer ready to buy.
Unfortunately, they are not.
When done right, website copy will quickly tell your visitors that this is the place for them. Or that it’s not.
In short, your copy qualifies website traffic so only the right people enter your sales funnel.
3. Copy converts
What do you want someone to do next? Set up a call? Read another article? Register for your webinar?
A call to action (CTA) directly invites your audience to take these steps.
It might just be the most important part of any webpage. And it’s driven by good copy.
4. Copy explains your unique value
The value you provide your customers is unique. You solve their problems faster, or cheaper, or in ways they’ve never even dreamed of.
Copy is what exposes your superpowers to the people that benefit from them the most.
5. Copy establishes your brand voice
Ever been to a website and just felt comfortable? Like, these are my people.
When it’s written with the reader in mind, website copy will establish your brand voice. And your ideal customer will become part of your community.
How to write website copy that converts
There are shelves of books and thousands of articles written on the topic of conversion copywriting. We can’t cover it all in one post.
But we can provide a five-point checklist. Run your copy through these action points and your site will be converting like crazy.
1. Be clear. Then be concise. Then be clever. And then you’ll be persuasive.
It’s easy to get caught up writing alliterative three-word phrases that sound really cool. But if your landing page copy is clever at the expense of clarity, people won’t know what you do and you’ll lose sales.
When reviewing your copy, remember these rules:
- Copy should be clear
- Copy should be concise as long as it’s still clear
- Copy should be clever but only if it’s still concise and clear
2. Increase conversions with a clear, safe call to action
Whether you’re selling paper towels or enterprise accounting software, your customers will go through a journey on your website.
Your CTAs are how you invite them to the next stage of that journey.
There are two things your customers need from those CTAs:
- They need to know exactly what will happen when they take action
- They need to know it’s safe to take the next step
Let’s say you sell that accounting software and you offer a free trial.
Your CTA copy could state ‘start your free trial now.’
But that’s not terribly specific nor does it satisfy the human requirement for safety.
Instead, you might try ‘start your 14-day trial now. No credit card needed.’
Now I know exactly what I’m getting and I feel safe taking the next step.
3. Make a strong first impression by answering these three questions immediately
Within a few seconds, a new visitor to your website should know:
- What you do
- Who you do it for
- What they’ll get
A very simple and effective way to do this on your landing page is with a statement like this:
We (what you do) for (who) so they (the emotional benefit)
Here’s an example:
We plan estates for high wealth investors so they know their families are cared for in any event.
4. To keep your reader’s attention, make it all about them
You’ve poured sweat and tears into creating a product that’s so much better than anything else on the market. You want to shout its features from the rooftops!
But there’s a harsh reality: your website visitors probably don’t care.
What they do care about is how all your hard work will make their lives better. If your copy tells them that, they’ll buy.
5. Become super relevant to your ideal customer by following the ‘rule of one’
In copywriting, the ‘rule of one’ means you focus on:
- One reader
- One idea
- One promise
- One offer
This narrow focus may feel a bit weird at first. Afterall, you want to sell to a lot of people. The choice here is to be very relevant to one specific audience, or irrelevant to them all.
If you have several diverse audiences, create landing pages and popups with copy that appeals to each.
Your website copy keeps the attention your design has attracted. It qualifies site visitors and converts them to customers. And it tells your audience that you understand their pain and have a solution for it.
Writing website copy is part art and part science and can take years to master. Even so, there are a few simple rules that will put you in front of most of your competitors.
Even better, schedule a call with us before you start your next website design, or redesign, project. Our in-house copywriters will help you turn vision to voice and concept to conversions. Whether we’re designing your website or not.