What is copywriting, and why does it matter for your website?
In case you’re not familiar with the term, “copy” means the words you use to get your marketing message across. If you can improve the effectiveness of your copy, you’ll generate more leads and sales.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it is the words on your contractor website that get the visitor to take action. With better copywriting your website will have better conversion rates, keep people on your website longer (which helps SEO) and if it converts more, you advertising cost go down.
These are a few of the benefits of having better copywriting on your website. It is an often overlooked task in many digital marketing efforts by contractors.
Most web designers or creators are not copywriters, by any mean.
With that said, here are the 7 steps to improve the selling power of your copy…
Define Your Buyer Persona
Before you write a word of copy, get clear on who you are writing it for.
You might imagine all the homeowners in your marketing area, but I suggest you picture a single person who represents your target audience. We call this your avatar or buyer persona.
In your copy, you’ll want to try write as if you were speaking 1-to-1 with your prospect.
Keep your language conversational. Conversational language converts higher because it’s easier for your prospect to relate to.
(Note that conversational doesn’t necessarily mean totally casual — your language could be conversational, but professional).
Get Clear on the Results You Want.
Before you write a word of copy, think about what action you want your prospect to take when they read your copy.
What do you want your writing to make the reader do?
In other words, what is the call-to-action (CTA)?
Do you want your prospect to call you, sign up for your newsletter, get a FREE estimate or find out more information your contracting services?
Get clear on the CTA, and then keep your CTA foremost in your mind as you write the copy and structure the layout of the website page, email and even social media post).
Offer Something Your Prospect Wants
Your prospect won’t take action just because you want them to. Your prospect will act in their own best interest. Therefore, it’s important to focus on the result your prospect wants or needs.
In other words, you’ll want to communicate the results (benefits) of your service.
And in your copy, you’ll want to make an offer to your prospect, so you can provide that result. For example, if you’re a HVAC company, you might offer a free furnace inspection. Or you may offer a free HVAC Brand Efficiency report.
Your offer may come in the form of a guarantee or a special low price.
Grab Your Prospect’s Attention
Before you can describe the results, you can provide. To make your offer, you’ll need to grab your prospect’s attention. Without your prospect’s attention, you have no way to generate the lead or make the sale.
Your headline is what will grab your prospect’s attention.
In my experience, in your headline, it’s typically best to convey the one BIG benefit your prospect is most interested in. Save time, save money, enjoy life, have comfort, protect investment, are some of the best headline benefits to focus on. Knowing your buyer persona will help with the headline.
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Provide Proof That You’re Legitimate
One of the reasons that your prospect won’t contact you or do business with you is because they’re not confident that you can provide him with the results they’re looking for. Or, put another way, they’re afraid of being taken advantage of.
So, it’s important to provide proof that you’re legitimate and you have a track record of getting results.
Here are some different types of proof you can use in your copy:
- Testimonials and/or reviews from past clients, customers or patients
- Endorsements from peers in your industry
- Press mentions
Include a testimonial from a client or link to your Google, Yelp or Facebook reviews.
When Writing Copy, Keep it Skimmable
Some people will read all of your copy, but most people will skim it. Make it easy for your prospect to get the gist without having to read every word of your copy.
In practice, this means to break up your copy with sub-headlines, bold text and bullet points. Like I have done here.
Make the Call-to-Action Obvious
In Step 2, we focused on the call-to-action. We’re focusing on it again in this last step.
Once you’ve written your copy, you want to take another look at it and make sure the call-to-action is clear and obvious. Leave no doubt about what you want your prospects to do. You can think of this as improving the signage on a hiking path, you want to guide them.
On a landing page, this might mean moving the Contact Form so it’s at the top of the page instead of at the bottom, or adding more than 1 button on the page, or increasing the size of a button.
In an email, it might mean bolding a link or including more than 1 mention of the call-to-action, such as adding a second CTA in the PS.
Here’s What You Need to Do
Take a second look at your website, ads, emails, and other areas in your marketing where you’re using words to convince prospects and customers to do business with you.
And the next time you prepare a marketing campaign, ad, or email, review this checklist to make sure you’re hitting all 7 key areas.
Copy Writing Recap
- Exploit your service benefits. Know you are not the best. What does the buyer get for using you over the competition?
- Exploit your competition’s weaknesses. Read their reviews. Read reviews outside your marketing area. Those bad reviews are gold when it comes to writing good copy.
- Know your audience. You talk to people differently. You don’t talk to a, 25 years old the same as a, 65 years old.
- Communicate W.I.I.F.M. (What’s in It for Me?). They don’t care about you! They care about themselves. Tell them what is in it for them.
- Focus on “you,” not “we”. Your copy writing should focus on talking to that one person. If your buyer persona is a 50-60 years old homeowner. You want to talk in terms of last one “You” will ever need.
- Avoid T.M.I. (Too Much Information). You want to keep their interest, but you don’t want them to make a decision on their own. You want them to go deeper into finding out about you or doing business with you. Tell them some features, tell some benefits, but to get the whole story, they need to take an action.
- Include a call to action. Every message no matter if it is a webpage, email, etc. you need calls to action. The phone number is a basic call to action on your website. But you need to include more calls to action as the reader goes through your message. As you are reading it back to yourself, when you feel a peak in the writing, insert a call to action.