Today I’m talking about copywriting – specifically, what words to put on your website home page.
If you’re in business, the point of your website is to get customers to buy your product or service. The first step in doing that is by getting them to read your website. So you need to think very strategically about what words and layout to use on your website home page.
Show how you solve the customer’s problem
The simplest way to think strategically about what words to put on your website home page is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. It doesn’t matter how beautiful, intelligent or fancy your web page is, if it doesn’t solve the customer’s problem it hasn’t done its job.
Think about your own mindset when you look for something on the Internet. Normally when you go to a web site you have a question in mind. It might be “what’s the weather going to be on the weekend?” or “where can I buy a replacement part for my broken Cuisinart” or “I wonder if I could find a workshop on that topic” (these are all actual questions that I looked up on the Internet today).
Visitors to your website will also have very specific questions in mind
It might be “how can I get my teenager to listen to me” or “how do I get out of debt” or “where do I go next in my career”. You need to write copy that shows visitors to your website that you have the solution to their problem.
Listen to your market research
You need to do some market research. This can be as simple as talking with people to find out what problems they have that you can address in your business. Take lots of notes, and then pull out the specific types of problems that people talked about. And write your home page copy using the exact language they used to describe their problem.
Use the exact language your customers use
Note that I said “the exact language”. This means exactly what it says: the exact same language. This will probably be much more down-to-earth and colorful than what you would come up with on your own. That’s good. Down-to-earth and colorful will catch your potential customer’s attention amid all the flowery language and hyperbole on the Internet.
So if you’re a parenting coach and in your market research you found a trend of people saying “I don’t know what to do, my teenager is driving me crazy” – use those exact words on your website.
For instance, you might say “I provide workshops that give practical techniques to help people whose teenagers are driving them crazy”. This is much more effective than saying something flowery like “I empower parents to create loving relationships within their family”.
Short, succinct and specific
In short, your copy needs to follow what I call the “3-S” rule: it must be short, succinct and specific.
Hiring a copywriter can be a good investment
Copywriting is a learned skill, and some people have more flair for it than others. If you know that wordsmithing is not your thing, consider hiring a freelance copywriter. You can get excellent writers for very reasonable fees by posting your requirements on websites such as getafreelancer.com, guru.com and elance.com
And remember, writing about yourself is probably one of the most difficult writing tasks imaginable. EVERYONE finds it easier to write about someone else than to describe themselves. So if you find copywriting painful, don’t sweat it – do yourself a favor and hire a professional.