5 TOP TIPS TO WRITE HOT WEBSITE COPY
Listen up! Today I got a special treat for you.
As you probably know, aside from having a stunning website design, there’s another element that is VERY important to your website success. And that’s copywriting.
So for today’s post, I invited a very talented lady who’s an expert copywriter to share her wisdom with us.
Her name is Michele DeLima from Write Transformation and below she’s sharing her top 5 tips to write HOT website copy. And they’re really good!
So without further ado, Michele will take it away from here.
Michele: I get it! Writing copy for your website can be such a drag. Where to begin? What to say? What’s hot and compelling for your ideal clients, what’s not?
And the last thing you wanna do is waste time and energy going down the wrong path. Or writing something just to get the job done and meet a deadline (err…like getting copy to your beloved designer on time).
Did you know? When your ideal clients land on your website, you’ve only got 3 to 5 seconds to grab their attention. Yikes!
They need to IMMEDIATELY feel understood and appreciated, that they can get their questions answered or problem resolved. Or else… they’re outta there. Likely never to be seen again. And what a waste! You’ve just lost a potential lead and they’ve missed an opportunity to get your help.
What to do instead? If you want a website that converts, write copy that’s clear, concise and 100% focused on your ideal clients.
For sure, writing website copy is part art and part science. And, truth be told, there are a bunch of moving parts to make it sing out like an opera star and grab your ideal clients by the heart.
However, with my 5 top tips to write HOT website copy, you’re off to a rousing start.
Ready? Let’s go!
Tip 1. Switch Your Perspective
You know when someone you meet drones on and on about themselves and never lets you get a word in edgewise? “Ugh” right? It gets boring fast.
Same goes for your website copy. People lose interest when you only “talk” about yourself.
To make a warm connection that inspires engagement, shine your attention on your reader. Address them with “you” throughout your website. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what they’re thinking and feeling. This technique helps move you away from talking about yourself to focus on what matters most to your ideal clients.
For example, instead of being “me” or “we” centered:
Come to Blue Sands Spa
We’ve been in business for 30 years providing the best in spa treatments to our customers. We pride ourselves on our wonderful customer service and make sure each customer’s visit is special. In addition to our gorgeous nail stations and private massage rooms, our beautiful downtown location boasts friendly, caring staff who provide professional, pampering expertise.
Be thoughtful and “you” centric:
Pulled in a thousand directions?
Reconnect with the reposed, relaxed inner you! When you visit Skincare and Wellness on the Thames, you’re nurtured with natural, custom blended skincare products, exquisite aroma, and gentle massage. Enfolded in private comfort, your cares retreat. Clutter ebbs. Time slows. And as your skin is nourished to supple health, restful pleasure infuses your spirit, leaving you ready to face the world with calm vitality.
Tip 2. Focus on Benefits
What’s the quickest path to your ideal clients’ hearts? Benefits!
Benefits answer the questions “What’s in it for me?” and “Why should I care?” Benefits are the ultimate result of something that solves a problem, meets a need or fulfills someone’s dreams.
For example, what’s the benefit of having a food mixer? It’s more than just the big bowl or nifty color. It’s about making scrumptious pumpkin muffins, and feeling all giddy when you pull ’em out of the oven and your family makes happy yummy sounds as they screw off the tops and bite in.
Features are the details that describe an object or service and help people fine-tune their selection. Your job is to translate how features of your offerings benefit them and make their lives better.
Say you’re taking your family on vacation. Every day you plan to hit the beach, ride bikes, and eat ice cream ‘til you drop. Phew! You’re gonna be busy and need a hotel that has:
◦ Proximity to all activities…
◦ Big indoor pool…
◦ Large room…
◦ Friendly staff…
◦ Low price…
Drive less and have more precious time to play.
Recharge! Jump out of the heat & into cool water bliss.
No bumping elbows here. Spread out and relax.
Get the insider’s scoop to the yummiest meals in town.
Save money on your room and spend more on fun!
See how the benefits add depth and color to what’s offered? And by anticipating their ideal guests’ vacation needs and desires, this hotel offers compelling reasons to book a room.
Tip 3. Keep it real
Want your ideal clients to believe there’s a caring, warm-blooded person behind your virtual façade? Use your real voice when creating your website copy.
Many entrepreneurs feel the need to write in a buttoned-up “professional” manner. Though grammatically correct, the end result can sound stilted or a bit dull. Not so much fun to read.
But don’t you love reading something that make you smile, laugh, tear up, spit nails, groan? I do. You too, I bet. In other words, we all like a good read that rallies our emotions, makes us think and tell others “Hey, check this out!”
Well, you can do the same thing in your website copy, when you allow your natural voice to come through.
Try one of these techniques to unlock your natural writing style:
Pretend your ideal client is sitting with you. What would you actually ask and say? What would they say? Write down the conversation you imagine.
Imagine your ideal client is your best friend and write them a letter. Make it fun, thoughtful, concerned—whatever’s appropriate. In the letter, explain how your offering is going to make their life better and why they should care.
After you’ve composed your copy, read it aloud as if your ideal client is with you. Do you sound natural, interesting and approachable? Anything sounding off? Keep tweaking until what you say sounds smooth and like you.
Tip 4. Nix wishy washy words
Yep, we’ve all used them.
Words that seem to indicate strength but, in reality, are wishy washy and undermine the integrity of your message.
Comb through your website copy and tweak them out!
Here are four of pet peeves:
Will. “Will,” “can,” “should,” “might,” “has been”—these and other helping verbs are often unnecessary. Strike them to create a crisper message.
Weak: “You will rest better on the Super Dozer Mattress.”
Confident: “You rest better on the Super Dozer Mattress.”
Strive. “Strive,” “endeavor” and “attempt” conjure up images of trying to achieve a goal but always falling short.
Weak: “The Hollyhock Inn strives to make your wedding day a glorious, memorable occasion.”
Confident: “Your wedding day is a glorious, memorable occasion at the Hollyhock Inn!”
Unique. “Unique” is so often overused it’s practically meaningless. Be bold! Go to Thesaurus.com and muse over more descriptive, distinct ways to portray yourself and your offerings.
Weak: “Our unique butcher block will provide you with years of service.
Confident: “The Rock Maple Butcher Block’s tough, durable cutting surface ensures lasting beauty even with the roughest treatment.”
Clichés. Though an easy verbal shortcut when you’re explaining something, in print, clichés swamp your message with unneeded words.
Weak: “So tempting to use, though so junior league! Clichés easily roll off the tongue but when viewed in print, they look a bit tacky.
Confident: “Though tempting to use, clichés look tacky in print.”
Tip 5. Cut cut cut
Check out this word cutting magic:
Version 1 = 50 words
Where do I begin? There’s so very much to tell you about this subject. This may surprise you but if you wish to get your message across loud and clear you can cut an astounding variety of words and phrases to improve clarity and focus, and really heighten reader enjoyment.
Version 2 = 18 words
To make your message clear, cut words and phrases to improve clarity and focus, and heighten reader enjoyment.
Version 3 = 9 words
Cut words to improve clarity and heighten reader enjoyment.
Pretty neat, huh? By eliminating long-winded excess words you helps your readers:
Speed reading time.
Here’s your quick guide to successful editing. Red pen ready?
Review your website copy draft and cut every word that doesn’t reinforce your main point. Go for at least 30%. Do it again.
Read aloud. What’s long-winded? Make cuts. What makes you stumble? Cut or polish until smooth.
Find phrases you can replace with a single word; e.g., replace “in the first few seconds” with “within seconds” and save 3 words!
Make corrections, print and set aside. Then walk the dog, sleep, eat—whatever. But step away to refresh your perspective and editing powers.
Repeat steps 1 through 4 until satisfied and/or your deadline hits.
Rejoice! The time to complete these steps diminishes with each round.
Take action now.
Which is your favorite tip? How can you use it right now to create hotter website copy that converts?
Share in the comments below!
About Michele DeLima
Michele DeLima helps vision-driven entrepreneurs write hot website copy converts. Before creating The Copy Kitchen in 2010, she was a senior portfolio manager at top international banks, helping startups to Fortune 500 multinationals tell their story and secure the millions they needed to grow and thrive. Now her greatest joy is helping private and group clients claim and express their purpose, passion, and power through the written word. That way, they have more fun and success growing their business and making the uplifting impact they desire.