Website content, or copy, is one of the most important elements of your site. Great copy can make or break a sale, so you have to get it right. (If only it was that simple!) We know writing compelling copy doesn’t come easily to everyone. So for those of you who are stuck on what to write on your website, this one’s for you.
These are the four golden rules of writing website content that sells.
Digestible content is king
The first golden rule to writing website content that sells is to break it down into bite-sized chunks, or digestible content. Digestible content isn’t about what’s on your dinner plate. It’s about how you structure the content on your website to look approachable. In other words, write so your visitors can quickly read, digest what you’re saying, and move on to the next step or topic without feeling overwhelmed by one long block of text.
We like to do this by grouping similar information into sections with different headings and backgrounds. Try to avoid talking about multiple services or products at once. Think of it as the difference between an entire school paper being written in one long paragraph or broken up by headings, paragraphs, and even pages. When you write for a website, it’s very similar to your papers. The dissection of information into visibly different sections gives the illusion of it being less overwhelming to read, even if it’s the same amount of content.
The less overwhelming your content looks, the more likely your visitors are to read it.
Be concise, not confusing
Have you ever tried to follow one of those disclaimers at the end of a radio or TV commercial for new cars? There’s always a quick-talking man or woman who manages to fit all the finer legal details into the span of a few seconds. Their ability to talk quickly may be impressive but at the end of the commercial, we’re left more overwhelmed by information overload than intrigued.
The same goes for your website.
The second golden rule to writing web content that sells is to be concise, not confusing. The more verbiage you use, the more someone has to dissect your copy to determine if they want to buy.
It’s fluff. It’s word overwhelm. It’s time-consuming. And the bottom line is – it’s work. Internet users do not like to do extra work, and they certainly don’t want to feel overwhelmed during the buying process. Fluffy content has no seat at the Internet sales table.
Remember the first golden rule to divide your content into digestible chunks? Well if you want to make more sales online, write less in those chunks. Be more to the point. Don’t say something in 20 words that you could say in 5.
To show we take our own advice, we’ll just leave it at that.
Your website’s not about you
It may seem strange that the website which represents your business isn’t about you, but hear me out for a minute! Who’s going to be shelling out money to buy the products or services you offer, us (the customer) or you (the website owner)?
We are. And not to be mean but we care more about ourselves than we care about you. So when we browse your site, paint us the picture of what our lives will be like with you in it. If you want to highlight your best features, let your customer testimonial do the talking.
Don’t worry! You still have your About page and plenty of other chances to show us who you are.
Be irresistible, not in your face
This one’s simple – we hate being sold to. A general rule about people is that we don’t like pushy sales situations. We like to imagine we’re making up our own minds about how to spend our money.
A great example of this in the real world is the car industry. Many of us associate car dealerships with salesmen and women who swoop in the moment we park, ready to sell us on the most expensive car on the lot. Does that always happen? No, but we still imagine it will because we knew someone who experienced that or we saw it in a movie.
Websites are no different.
When you start writing the content for your site, keep in mind that the point is to be irresistible, not in your face. Internet users are a cynical bunch. We expect company websites to try to sell us on their products and services. As soon as we see ego-boosting content, sales content, or popups interrupting our experience – we’re lost. So hit them in a way they don’t expect. Be irresistible. Talk about what they’re going through, make your customers the hero, or hit them with free knowledge bombs that leave them wanting more. (You can use the tips you learned in the previous rule to guide you!)
First impressions matter
Whether you choose to write your own copy or rely on a professional, don’t take your content lightly. Your website is your biggest marketing asset and often the first time someone is introduced to your company. First impressions matter, so make the words you choose to represent your brand leave an impression that sparks a sale.