Silent website shame. I get it.
You’ve hacked your copy to hell and back. Or your whole team has had a go. And it shows.
You know you’re off the mark, you don’t know how to fix it and while you’d love to feel proud of your online presence, right now you’d rather hide your brand under a bushel than promote what you do, launch a new thing or point people anywhere near it.
You’re actually hoping your whole website will go unnoticed—but your business will thrive anyway.
Here’s the good news: Your web copy doesn’t have to be perfect. But with thoughtful positioning and some strategic techniques, you can hook people in, feel confident you’re saying it right (while staying real) and get your site building your bottom line and your reputation.
I know it’s ‘one more thing’ on the long list of to-do’s but if I had to pinpoint my success to a single investment, it would be my web copy. This has paid off no end in visibility, valuable connections and clients.
Here’s the naked truth on where to start:
1. Build it around your brand message. This is how you express what you stand for. What sets you apart. The single big idea that captures what makes you different or desirable. For Amazon, it’s a high-end buying experience. For Dove, it’s ‘real beauty.’
Treat your brand message as the underlying theme that connects all copy.
Before you write, brainstorm every page of your site through the lens of your brand message. (Better yet, invest in a brand messaging platform.) How would standing for real beauty like Dove affect the ideas and ‘proof points’ you choose to include on your Services page, for example? What would it mean for how you order and link these? How could you weave your brand language through all copy on your site—and what should you leave out altogether?
Too many brands say they stand for something—but we never see another reference to it beyond the strapline. Building your copy around your brand message makes for a coherent, consistent story about your business.
2. Get them hankering to hire you. Maybe you want to be seen as strategic and mature rather than hot-pants-hip. I hear you. Even if your brand doesn’t have blue hair, emotive copy is critical. It’s the hook that hooks people in and says you know their universe inside out—and most importantly, you can make it better. As humans, we’re hardwired to make decisions largely based on how things make us feel. So to connect and convert readers, your copy’s got to tap into that.
If you’re worried this means lots of over-the-top adjectives, don’t be. For some brands—especially those targeting Millennials and Generation Z—this is their zone, for sure. F-bombs, verbal high-fives and vocab that fair sizzles get their audience fired-up. But crafting copy with emotive appeal takes more than pithy prose.
Before writing, list the emotional needs of your people (not just the functional stuff they need your business to fix). Then frame those needs as powerful questions or bold statements that nail how your audience is feeling about their current reality and what’s tough about that. Or how they’d love business and life to be. Like this. Think: Precise, juicy.
Leading web pages with this copy not only builds rapport with your reader—it also creates urgency. Following this with your solution and how it solves their problems drives desire-to-hire.
3. Hit the have-to’s for each page. Hooking people in on different pages of your site isn’t random. Readers crave certain experiences and expect to see specific things, so knowing the boxes to tick saves you time and makes for more predictable conversions. (Without shortchanging creativity.)
A killer Home page captivates visitors with an enticing first impression and the precise value of what you offer. It’s a teaser that inspires them to explore and discover more. Keep it tight and light on the text.
Your About page should reveal your business and personal story and how it connects to your audience’s challenges, so they understand why you’re qualified to help them (and why you care) and trust that you can. Forget the professional bio. This is about boiling down the best of you (and your team), what you believe and why it’s relevant.
On your Work with Me/Services page, detail what you offer, and how it solves your reader’s pain. Talk about the transformation they can expect on the other side. Paint a compelling picture of how business and life will be different and infinitely better after working with you.
Plenty more goes into crafting web copy that has them lining up at your virtual door. It’s a deep discipline. If you want to stand tall but you’re struggling to trade up your ‘temp’ text, try these tips.
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