When your ideal client reads your website, do they know you’re talking to them? Do the words on the page reveal their story in a way that jolts them to action?
When I’m writing anything, whether it’s an article like this one, copy for my homepage, an email to a client, or any business writing, I focus entirely on the business owner who’ll be reading what I’m writing. I do this because I want to inspire them to action. I want them to feel supported and equipped to take the next logical step toward building a business that serves themselves, their employees, customers, and community.
Writing copy for your website can be a frustrating and overwhelming task when you’re not used to writing marketing copy in general. I know I’ve spent plenty of hours staring at a blank screen or typing out words for my homepage that I end up erasing because they’re boring.
And yet, you know your business and customers’ needs better than anyone on the planet, so you’re the best person to know if the copy you wrote on your website speaks to your prospects.
If you’re in the process of updating the content on your website and feel stuck because you don’t know if the copy will convert, you can overcome the writer’s block with one trick.
The dirty little secret is to take the perspective of the reader when you’re writing and forget about how you think about your business.
When the reader is the only person that matters, you can simplify your writing process and let the words come to you straight from the horse’s mouth.
To conduct informational interviews with existing or prospective clients, download this planning tool called Test My Idea to organize your interviewees and questions. By listening to the language they use in the interviews, you can let them write the copy for your website.
Here are five sections on your website that you can improve by listening carefully to everything your prospects and clients say:
The Homepage Header
The homepage has one goal and your job is to figure out what that is. Some examples of a homepage goal include:
- Building a relationship with a new prospect
- Building an email list
- Selling a book
- Selling a product
- Vending a subscription
- Selling an online course
As you can see, there are many specific outcomes you could be aiming to achieve. The most successful homepages will aim to achieve only one goal at a time. That gives you the laser focus you need to figure out the homepage header.
If you get only one opportunity to let your visitor know they’re in the right place, it is going to be with the Homepage Header. A great example of this is CentSai’s header line “Take the Fear Out of Finance.” If you have any anxieties or need for knowledge when it comes to all things personal finance, you know you’re in the right place when you read their homepage header.
What words do your prospects and clients routinely use that you can figure out how to include in your homepage header?
The Homepage Content
The Homepage content needs to support the main goal of the site and the homepage header. The words and images you choose to describe your products and services on the homepage will resonate if they come directly from those you’re selling to.
Expert copywriter Joanna Wiebe explains that, “instead of writing your message, steal it. Steal it directly from your prospects.” She explains her hack on how to get customer feedback when you don’t have anyone to ask by employing her “Review Mining” strategy. Click here for Joanna’s post explaining the details.
If you’re already in conversation with clients every day, start paying attention to how they describe their problems. This language is exactly what you want to use on your homepage. This is how you simplify your writing by letting the client’s perspective drive the process and the words used.
The Navigation Bar
Be intentional about what you include on your Navigation Bar. For example, if you occasionally speak at conferences, but speaking is not a service you sell as a part of your strategic plan, don’t have a link to speaking on your main navigation. Put that on a secondary menu somewhere else that people will find if that’s what they’re looking for.
Keep the navigation bar clean and simple and limit it to four links if you can.
The links you include in the copy you write for your website should be designed to take your prospect further along their journey as they come to the realization that your solution solves their problem.
For many websites, the About Page is the second most visited page after the homepage. The visitor is looking to learn your story and prove your credibility.
When writing your about page, you should write in the first person. People want to hear directly from you, not necessarily someone else talking about you. You can share your own path to arriving at the solution you’re selling that makes you uniquely qualified to provide it.
Your story can also include your big why and any aha moments that led you to where you are.
If you have a founding team, you can show everyone’s photo and have a short paragraph for each person. Asking your team members to share something interesting about themselves and why they love the company can make reading the about page engaging for the visitor. They will want to meet you all.
Testimonials can also be included on both the homepage and the about page, right in the path where the visitor will already be reading. You never need a separate testimonials page; sprinkle them throughout the site.
The Call to Action
The Call to Action is always a button at the top right hand corner of the website. There can be buttons and links in other places that take you there as well; but this is prime real estate on a website as this is where the eyes naturally navigate.
When you figure out the primary goal of the homepage, you’ll want to make sure this button is in alignment with that goal.
Furthermore, you don’t want to put links at the top of the page that could distract your visitor from the ones you really want them to click on most. This includes social icons. Of course we all want more Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube followers. However, unless that is your primary goal (which it may be for some), put the social icons in the footer and reserve the header links to higher converting actions.
If you’re ready to improve your website by shifting to your ideal client’s perspective, you can do this. Simply read the priority sections of your website after speaking to any customer or prospect a couple of times a week. Evaluate the copy to determine if you need to update the language to reflect and mirror what your customers and prospects say when they talk about your products and services. If you listen to them, they will write the copy for your website for you.
Belinda DiGiambattista is a serial entrepreneur, business coach, and outsourced financial controller and can be found at www.belindadi.com.