Writing copy for your website is torture.
Because you assume it would come to you naturally. This assumption is what becomes the death of you because when you sit down to write something- the screen remains blank.
You might know your business the best, know each and everything there is to know about it. However, when it comes down to writing something “real” you feel stuck, paralyzed with fear of actually putting something down.
And I’ll tell you why that is. You’re too close to the situation.
How do you fix this?
This is what this post is all about. All the techniques mentioned in this post are things we have tried ourselves when writing website copy. So, if you want actionable copywriting advice inspired by the pros, you better stick around.
As Joanna Wiebe of copyhackers puts it, “Don’t write copy. Swipe copy from your testimonials.”
Who else knows your business inside out?
So, instead of you writing copy for your website, an easier more optimized way to get your copy completed is to take what your customers have written about you and use that on your website.
Here’s an example that shows this principle at work.
Copyhackers created four variations for a homepage headline and subhead.
Here’s the control headline.
Here are the variations.
Can you guess which headline and accompanying sub-head gathered the most conversions?
Variation 4 won, with almost double the conversion rates of the original. And now the part you’ve been waiting for.
Variation 4 wasn’t a creation of the CopyHackers team- No. In fact, the words were taken from this customer testimonial.
See what I mean?
You don’t have to spend time huffing and puffing because you can’t seem to write down a word of website copy. Go through your customer testimonials, your support emails your social media profiles and your live chat transcripts and find a testimonial that rings true with you and has your Unique Value Proposition in it. A/b test it and see which variation wins.
How often do you see words like “revolutionary”, “Word Class” and “Cutting Edge” on websites?
Too many, I’m guessing.
Because writing clichés seems easy, instead of explaining why your auto-responder software is the best- why not just say “Word Class Auto-Responder”? It takes up less of your time and communicates to your visitor what you’re all about. Right?
What clichés actually do is cause friction on your website pages. Very few people fall for revolutionary and innovative types of words, words that get used so often they have lost all meaning.
When your visitors see these words on your website they aren’t impressed, they are in fact turned off. Because they know that behind all this fluff, superlatives and Gobbledygook rests nothing but an empty promise, you wouldn’t want that would you?
Who would sign up for your service if they think that?
According to Henneke of Enchanting Marketing, there are five warning signs you must look for to spot a clichéd phrase in your website copy.
1. The imagery of your phrase feels faded
2. Your phrase feels trendy
3. You’ve seen your phrase in Bullshit Bingo
4. You’ve not taken the time to think about which phrase to use
5. You sound like an MBA graduate trying to impress her peers
As soon as you spot one of these signs, erase that phrase. Start again. Phrase your website copy in such a way that it speaks to your visitors. Talk to them, not at them and you’re sure to get it right.
What good would all the copy in the world do you if the string of words on your CTA button suck?
The CTA button is a very important element on your website, screw that up, and you’re screwing up your chances for getting any conversions at all. Use technique number 2 when writing copy for your CTA button as well and avoid using generic words, like download and sign-up.
And if you just have to use them, try adding a personal touch to them. For example instead of writing “Download” for a page that’s selling a new marketing ebook- why not say, “Get Insightful Marketing Tips, Download the ebook.”
See what I mean?
Another great technique to decide what your button should say is to get into your visitor’s head and figure out what he wants. Wait, I’ll clarify this a little more- think of the phrase “I want…” and then write your CTA button copy as an extension of that phrase.
So, if your visitors are going to get more traffic as a result of your social media tool, your button should say “I Want More Traffic.”
The Manpacks CTA button is a good candidate for this example.
So, the visitor thinks, I want a Manpack, and this is exactly what the button says.
Another way to do this is to write your CTA button from your visitors’ perspective. This involves using the pronoun “Me” and it does wonders for your conversions.
This is what Quick Sprout does with their CTA.
And what My perfect Resume does too.
In fact this is what we do on our website too.
See, we practice what we preach.
Writing your website copy is hard, yes, but when you have the right techniques by your side, you won’t believe how easy it becomes to bang out version after version of it.
In fact, we created a total of 3 versions for our website copy and did so with ease using the techniques mentioned above. If you would like us to do the same for you, don’t hesitate to contact us.