How to Write Copy for a Website

I have always had a hard time writing.

Have you ever heard anyone say to focus on the things you are good at, instead of always trying to get better at the things you aren’t good at?

 

Well, in the entrepreneurial world I’d be surprised if you hadn’t… but if you haven’t, now you’ve heard it from me.

Everyone has weaknesses, but something you probably didn’t expect here is for me to give you advice on your website copy right after I tell you that one of my biggest weaknesses is writing.

 

Stay with me!

 

Everything about writing is not grammar or spelling.

 

A big part of writing is the structure and over arching concepts, and how to use it to connect people with what they are looking for, which is what I have mastered and what I want to share with you today.

So, even if I keep telling myself that one day I’ll work on learning how to write,  the truth is, it’s probably a skill I will never really master. In other words, I will keep improving on the overall concept, and keep surrounding myself with skillful writers for the rest.

 

Sooo, if you are a client of mine, don’t worry, you will most certainly keep getting emails along the lines of:

..as good ass that sounds, I think….or I’ll be happy to hope on a call with you… or I can’t remeber the last time I saw….

The giggles are on the house, you are welcome (and if typos are your pet peeve… sorry, I might not be your gal).

I'm not here to teach you Spelling or grammar.

I’m here to teach you structure and give you overall tips for copywriting that I know work. 

I have 4 rules for copy that have nothing to do with grammar or spelling that are vital for the success of any website.

Ready?

Number 01.

You must simplify to amplify. I know that people use this phrase a lot for different reasons, but when it comes to your website less really is more, so what I always tell clients is to follow the 3 R’s: Refine, Rinse and Repeat. When you think you’ve simplified enough, think again and simplify some more. The goal is to get your point across as directly as possible without losing your tone of voice.

(Side note: This does not apply in the same sense when you dive deeper into the website. i.e. on your blog.)

Number 02.

Be honest about your company size everywhere on your site. For example, if you are a one man show, don’t use the word “we”. Your website is there to let the viewer know who you are and to build trust so you can, at one point, exchange money for your service/product… and what kind of trust are you building if you are pretending to be something you are not?

On the other hand, if you are the show, but you have a team, you can use the words “my team and I”. Additionally, if you are a team or partners, “we” is appropriate.

Number 03.

What is the purpose of your website? (every website or page should have 1 main one). 

For example: Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to buy a specific service?  (HINT: I typically try to guide the viewer to a soft connection first, like a lead magnet or a discovery call – It’s nicer and less pushy)

Number 04.

Finally, structure.  When it comes to writing great copy you need to have the right structure to help the viewer find what they are looking for. Remember, we are not trying to force sell anything here; we are helping the right people find the right stuff for them.

On that note, the analogy I  like to use that helps people better understand how you want to structure  website copy is that of somebody asking for directions to a restaurant or a bathroom. 

Yup, something along the lines of: go down the hall way there, take a left and another left and then on the right you’ll find it.

You want to guide your user to their desired destination in sort of the same way….

Read here, scroll there, click the big button here, add your name and then BOOM they get what they are looking for!

I will use the home page as a sample of my ‘copy order of operations’, since that is one of the most if not the most important page on your site.

  • First section: Start with the benefit and answer the question (in the most succinct way possible): “how can life be if you use my service?" or in other words, what is the transformation you are offering.  (I also like to reinforce Number 01 to simplify, especially in the top section, as people tend to confuse the reader with too many menu options and social media buttons. There should not be too many things to choose from, and most certainly we don't want to send them off to a social platform when we finally got them in the door!)
  • Second section: You need to clearly define the problem by answering this question: “how would life be if you don’t have my help?" or in other words, where is your customer right now that landed them on your website in the first place.
  • Thrid Seciton: Let them know you understand them and what you know. In other words: "how can I help you get there". 
  • Fourth section: What are your services? Make sure they are laid out clearly
  • Then anything else below.  They have found their destination, the other stuff is extra goodness that they will enjoy (like a really cool mirror in the bathroom or a cool way the flusher works).
 
Now go look at your website to see if you are following these 4 rules! If you do, I will promise you are set up for success, leads and sales!
 
Do you have any questions?

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