Every website copywriter faces a trap – Search Enginitis. Writing web copy with technology makes sense, but writing web copy for people makes the sale.
Here are two ways to connect with people across broadband and create web copy that sells. Your website looks great: solid words, easy navigation, graphics just so, and maybe even a bit of flash with some multimedia. But customers are not buying. The Technology Trap You wonder if it’s the web copy itself. How can that be? You remembered the two key mantras of powerful web copy – “write for the search engines” and “write for the medium.” Your web copy used appropriate keywords to help search engines find you and traffic is up. Surely, customers enjoy reading your content because your web copy is laid out with the internet in mind using: short sentences brief paragraphs bullets Customers might be reading your words, but they still are not buying your product.
Chances are your web copy has been optimized for technology not people. Even on the internet, selling is still about connecting to people. Selling on the internet means writing web copy for people not technology.
So how do you press the flesh across broadband? Start where brick and mortar relationships do – trust. Why not become the trusted provider in your marketspace? Your web copy can use words to raise your credibility in at least 25 different ways. Here are two ways to craft web copy for people not technology: write the way customers speak replace your pitch with a theme. Write Web Copy for People not Technology Step 1: Write the way people speak. People instinctively trust strangers who speak like them. If you find this article useful, how would you tell someone? Are you really going to say, “I read an unusually amazing web copy article that fundamentally increased my sagging sales”? Not likely.
Weak web copy, not everyday people, uses too many modifiers. “Amazing,” “fundamentally,” and “sagging” weaken trust. How’s your site for modifiers? Give your web copy the finger test.
You might not want fingerprints on your screen, so I suggest printing a copy of your homepage content. put your baby finger on the first modifier you can find. put your ring finger on the next adjective or adverb. repeat until you run out of modifiers or fingers. If your page is a handful, you’ve got too many modifiers and your web copy is hype heavy, not trustworthy. In addition to giving readers web copy that matches how they speak, it helps to give them time to get to know you. Write Web Copy for People not Technology Step 2: Replace your pitch with a theme. Customers need time before they trust.
They will get used to your site in tiny steps, so hold off selling; buy some time with thematic web copy. Have a theme for your site, introducing your offer only after your customer feels comfortable. Themes are a subtle form of repetition because they continually reinforce a single concept. Repeated exposure to an idea usually makes it familiar and safe. Remember the first time you used instant messaging or the family car – not so scary now. Let’s say your site sells dental floss.
Here’s how your web copy might handle it. Instead of listing the benefits of DentaThread, you could tie the presentation together under the central idea “Some people have nothing to smile about.” The opening section could point out how the discomfort of Gingivitis wipes the grin off a person’s face. Another segment of the web copy would show how ugly cavities make someone too self- conscious to smile. Yet another piece would reveal how the high cost of root canal causes an individual to frown.
In this way, the web copy offers three versions of one idea to help the site grow on the visitor: one idea, three versions. Does your homepage have a theme? How many chances does your web copy give visitors to get comfortable with you? In this article, I tried to use the two key elements a good web copywriter uses to write for people not technology: the language of my readers a central idea, trust Did it work? Did my web copy help? If yes, I guess I proved my point. If no, I have 23 more ideas to go.