Content such as blogs, leadership articles, campaign landing pages and FAQs are great for building brand awareness and authority and for driving traffic to a website.
But what happens if people don’t engage with your site when they visit it and simply click away?
Why do visitors leave your website?
There’s no point having an all singing all dancing website if people leave straight away. There’s a lot of competition out there, so if you want your visitor to become a customer, think about what would encourage you to buy something? What do you search for? What content do you like? What turns you off a company?
Your potential customers are just like you.
Here are 7 key areas to think about when writing your website copy that can help you to engage with your audience and turn visitors into not just customers but repeat customers.
1. The human touch – when you write copy for your website, always try to write like a human. People don’t want to read content that’s long-winded. They’re more likely to engage with copy that they can understand and relate to.
Think about what you’re trying to say. And then think about how to write that in a simple, conversational way. Forget about the buzzwords, technical jargon or corporate sales talk, visitors won’t understand what you’re talking about and will lose interest after the first sentence. OK, some may understand the industry terminology, but the majority of visitors won’t.
Most people visit a website because they want to find something that they need, will make their life easier or solve a problem. They want to have confidence in what you’re offering and to understand what their options are and how your solution will help them. But they don’t want to get bogged down in the finer details.
Authenticity is the key. If you speak to your audience in a genuine way, they can relate to what you’re saying, and importantly, will trust you, boosting your brand authority and increasing conversions.
2. Understand your audience – How can you engage properly with your audience if you don’t understand them? Many companies think they understand their target audience. They look at their website analytics, see what’s being said on social media, speak to their sales teams.
But they rarely actually speak to their customers and contacts to find out what they really want or need, what they like, how do they look for a solution and what influences their buying decisions.
Once you know the answer to these, you'll have a better understanding of your audience, what motivates them and what prevents them from making a purchase. And that’s when you can really start to provide value.
Understanding your audience allows you to address their pain points and write in an empathetic way. Showing you understand their problems and fears builds customer confidence and trust in your brand, products and services.
3. Benefits sell, not features – Features are nice, but they rarely make a sale. A feature is simply something your product has. It could be a rooftop guardrail that’s constructed from tube and fittings or exterior masonry paint that’s UV resistant and quick drying.
B2B customers rarely buy something just for the sake of it. They buy something because it solves a problem, helps them or adds value. If we look at the features of the rooftop guardrail and masonry paint examples, the benefits to the customer would be that tube and fittings save on installation time and costs for the guardrail. UV resistance prevents the paint’s colour from fading in the sun whilst quick drying means you can apply two coats in one day.
While people may want to know the features of a product or service, focussing on the benefits is a far more effective way to attract a potential customer. Once the customer has shown an interest, then you can talk about the features.
4. It’s not all about you – Your copy should focus on the customer not you or your company.
If you go out for dinner with someone and all they do is talk about themselves, you’re unlikely to have dinner with them again. Your website is exactly the same.
Your copy should focus on the customer not your company. You want to provide a positive customer experience so make it personal not a sales promotion. Visitors to your website don’t care about how fantastic you think your product is, that your management team has 30 years’ experience, or your staff are all professionals (of course they are, we wouldn’t expect them to be any Tom, Dick or Harrry!).
What people ARE interested in is how you can help them. So when writing your copy, forget about “we” or “our” and use “you” and “your” instead. You’ll find you get far better engagement as visitors will feel you’re talking directly to them and that the solution is all about them.
You could even apply this to your “About Us” page by changing the focus on to the customer. Yes, they probably do want to know a bit about your company, people, values etc, but you can still talk about why you do what you do and include the benefit(s) to the customer. If you can, include testimonials or brands you’ve worked with for social proof.
5. Think about your SEO – perhaps this should have been my first point because obviously a visitor needs to find you first for you to be able to convert them into a customer. But I think a lot of conversion problems stem from how you speak to your audience. Once you’ve cracked this, then you can think about your on-page SEO.
I recently wrote about effective SEO copywriting and how you should be written for people, not search engines. Including keywords in your copy and providing content that engages will build your authority and convince the reader to buy your product or service.
6. Page layout – you want to engage the reader and help them to understand quickly and easily what your page is about. Too much copy on a page will simply encourage them to go somewhere else. So keep it simple.
Draw the reader in with a headline that shows them the benefit of what you’re offering. Keep sentences and paragraphs short, and where possible break text up with subheadings and bullet points.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and that’s so true when it comes to website content. There are so many visual ways to show your potential customers how your product or service can help them. Photos, diagrams, infographics, animated gifs and videos are great ways to encourage engagement and conversions.
7. Social proof – I talked earlier about using testimonials or brand mentions in your “About Us” page. If you want to convert visitors into customers, then social proof is one of the most effective ways to persuade someone that you’re the right company to do business with.
We trust other people’s opinions so whenever you can, include a quote or case study from a customer on your product and service pages. Similarly, there’s safety in numbers. Including specific figures or statistics such as how many people have bought your product or how much money a company has saved will generate that “me too” feeling.
Project management tool monday.com uses both numbers and brands as part of their social proof. If it’s good enough for the likes of Coca-Cola and BBC Studios, it must be good enough for us too!
Social proof will show visitors how popular your product or service is, how it’s helped someone, build trust and improve your conversions.
Write your website copy for your customer
There’s no fail-safe solution to converting visitors into customers, but these simple tips can go a long way to helping improve visitor experience. Remember, it’s about humans talking to humans. So be natural. Have a conversation with your visitors, make them feel special, show them you understand their pain points and how you can help them.
They may not become a customer straight away, but if they leave your site with a positive feeling, they’ll come back and at some point, turn into a paying customer.
At the end of the day, if your copy appeals to the visitor, you’ve won half the battle.
Now, I wonder how you can produce copy that inspires your audience and doesn’t sound like a sales pitch!?
As a freelance copywriter I understand how to write website copy for customers. If you need help writing engaging copy for your website or want to talk about your web content, get in touch and let's have a chat.