What separates average web copy from great web copy? What is it about one post that makes the internet go bananas while another gets passed over?
This isn’t a philosophical marketing question–it’s a question at the heart of your branding. After all, web copy is how you show the world who you are online and how you prove to your customers that you’re the perfect fit.
It’s about more than picking the right words. It’s about finding the right turn of phrase for success.
So, what does make great web copy? For one thing, a website copywriting service (and a few other ingredients too). Here’s a quick overview of what you need to write the content your site has been missing.
Benefits Over Features
Do you start your copy by talking about how great you are? If so, you’re selling features when you should be selling benefits, which means you’re starting out your copy at a critical disadvantage.
Features vs benefits sound like semantics. It’s actually about focus.
A feature is something your product has or is. A benefit is something your users will get from your product.
This is important because most companies believe that customers care about features when they actually care about benefits. Customers come to you because they want you to deliver a solution, not sell them another bell or whistle.
Picture an umbrella. A feature of the umbrella is that it’s made with unbreakable metal rods and water-retardant fabric. But you don’t buy an umbrella because of the fabric used to make it–you buy an umbrella because you want to stay dry when it rains, which is a benefit of the umbrella.
The same basic principle applies to your web copy.
Claims You Can Back Up
That said, if you’re going to talk about benefits, you have to make claims that you can back up.
Humans are social creatures. We don’t like being alone, even with our own opinions. We like to think that other people think and feel the same way we do–and we like to have our choices and experiences validated.
In marketing terms, this means that your products should show customers that they’re not alone in their interest. They should also show the customer that others find the product valuable.
In web copy terms, this means using research to back up your claims rather than writing blindly. Most businesses approach this as user research–after all, you want to target your content toward a certain customer.
A Shift in Perspective
All copywriting has an uphill task: breaking through the viewer’s current perspective to see things from a new angle. And while you might be tempted to tackle the problem head-on, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to hammer a point.
Sometimes, all you need is a different angle.
This is especially true of marketing. Americans are exposed to up to 4,000 ads per day–at a certain point, we stop engaging with everything and instead begin a screening process to only engage with content that matters to us.
One of the most powerful things that web copy can do is catch the reader off guard by taking a different approach. This breaks through the reader’s usual screening process and instead forces them to engage with the content with fresh eyes and see how the content resonates.
The key is to appeal to empathy by asking your viewer to put themselves in the experience, rather than asking them to care about something they don’t know about. Clarify the story behind why this matters, rather than tackling it head-on.
The Voice of the Customer
The voice of the customer is a similar exercise in empathy designed to prioritize what the customer wants in your copy.
It’s a technique borrowed from market research, focusing on customer wants and needs and prioritizing them hierarchically in terms of relative importance and current success with alternatives. Basically, you’re using the customers’ own language to describe their wants and needs in your copy.
It’s successful as a technique because it allows customers to easily see themselves in your copy, which means it’s easier for them to identify with your brand. That helps establish emotional connections, which do more than win customers–they help to create champions for your brand.
Brevity is the Soul of Wit
Much though you may be tempted to flex your Shakespearean muscles, keep the bard’s best wisdom in mind: brevity is the soul of wit.
Good web writing is direct. It uses only the necessary words to deliver the information customers want. It’s a combination of practice and persistence. For example, “in order to” can usually be replaced with “to”. Cut down verb phrases and vague nouns to lose additional clutter.
Last but not least, if you’re not confident in your copywriting abilities, it’s time to hire someone with the confidence and expertise to do it for you. It’s time to hire help.
The good news about copywriting is that it’s easily outsourced. The best copywriters are the ones who can mimic your style to the letter (with some flourishes and improvements, of course).
It’s you, but new and improved.
Think of it this way: you could spend months (or years) trying to improve your own copywriting skills, or you can immediately hire someone who already has all of those skills so that you can focus on what you do best. Copywriting, as in school and business, should be smarter, not harder.
A Better Website Copywriting Service
Your content is one of the best tools in your arsenal. You shouldn’t leave it up to chance, and you shouldn’t gamble on weak copywriting skills and hope for the best.
If you want the best for your business, it’s time to invest in the best. That’s where we come in.
We know what it takes to make great web copy, and we know that you need more than a cookie-cutter website copywriting service–you need a business partner. So let’s talk about making your business stronger. Click here to get in touch.