22 Apr 2015
A good advertisement or a website goes through a lot of strategies and conceptualization to make the product being advertised, sell. However, what is often overlooked is what’s written in there which is basically the copywriter’s job. Others dismiss the thought of hiring copywriters so quickly because they think so little about writing. The idea that is implanted in their heads is that, “Everyone can do it. Everyone can write.”, but that is the problem. What they fail to realize is that copywriting is a profession, and not just a hobby. This goes to everyone, even the ones being hired as copywriters.
Writing is fairly different from copywriting. Aside from the superior talent and hardcore research, copywriting involves a great deal of time, patience, passion and determination. A well-written copy will not only get the attention of the viewer, but it will also earn interest and promote trust. Attention is different from interest as because attention is immediate, but may be short-term. Attention is grabbed if for example the website has an enticing lay-out or a clever placement of call-to-action, but interest is achieved if there is depth in what’s written. Interest is earned if the copy informs and entertains; if the copy piques the curiosity of the consumer.
Good research will help you provide the necessary information for your website. This will also help you determine the right kind of tone that should be implemented in your writing. Aside from the provided information by your client, research more about the product, the competitors, the industry and their target market. There is no such thing as too much research. You need to study their competitors and view them through a customer’s eyes to understand what distinguishes your brand from your competitors and what certain aspects do you need to improve and focus on. It will also help to know your client’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats or also known as SWOT analysis in order to evaluateyour client’s main points and to know what is there to highlight and maximize.
2. Determine your Unique Selling Proposition
Without this, it will be like you’re just selling the same product as your competitors. The product needs to stand out and for this to work, you have to be aware of that unique feature that it possesses. To identify this, you must first define and understand what is the problem? What causes the frustrations of your customers? What are the common problems that they encounter in relation to the product? Then explain your product, its benefits and that unique feature that separates it from the other brands. This is where you’ll determine why the customers should choose your brand over your competitors. The key is to nail down its selling factor and put it on the spotlight.
3. Organized Sitemap is a Must
Sitemaps contain the whole structure of a website with the corresponding links of the major pages and its subsections. This is somewhat the counterpart of a table of contents in a book. It is vital and practical to have an organized sitemap for every website for the customers’ easier navigation. This will make it easier for the visitors to access what they are looking for, giving their website a higher chance of making their visitors come back for another visit. While some tend to disregard this issue, a good sitemap not only helps your customers through navigation around your website but it also adds good value.
4. Effective Landing Page Gets You Going
Landing pages are where your visitors will arrive upon searching for something in search engines such as Google, for example. These pages must not only be visually appealing, but should also be informative and straight-to-the-point when it comes to the topics being discussed. It has to have a concise but complete verbiage that will discuss to the visitors what they were looking for. Unlike other websites that include all of their services in one single page, it is highly recommended to organize the landing pages in a manner that will easily catch the attention and comprehension of your visitor. Texts in the landing page should be convincing enough to compel the visitors to choose that company amongst the rest of its competitors. The challenge is to convince the visitor to become a customer in one single page.
5. Ace that Attention-Grabbing Headline
Since the headline is the first thing that they will read in your website, the goal is to make it magnetic enough to make the viewer want to read further and stay longer in that page. Remember that a headline is only composed of one sentence so make sure that it’s straight to the point, but should also arouse curiosity.
6. It’s All About The Grammar
|Watch out for Grammar Nazis!
If a viewer notices something odd about your grammar, that will automatically alert them and label you as non-credible. Who would trust a brand that can’t even distinguish the difference between “your” and “you’re”, right? Be careful of wrong grammar and don’t forget to check your spelling. You’d be surprised at how much a brand loses in terms of sales with a simple spelling error.
|Active Voice As Much As Possible
In using the active voice, the subject does the action and is mentioned first, rather than it being acted upon. This makes it straightforward and more powerful. Passive voice is longer and dwells on other unnecessary words that can be taken out if active voice used. Plus it also weakens your message.
|Quantity Over Quality
Take out all the unnecessary words and avoid jargons that you’ve found on the thesaurus that even you don’t know the meaning of. Keep everything clean and concise.
7. Tell A Story
Story-telling engages your customers and can build trust and transparency in both parties. This can be used to communicate with your viewers so as to earn their trust and to build a relationship with them. Make it seem like you’re talking to them personally and make them relate to what you’re saying.
8. Take it Easy on the Keywords
You write a web copy for the customers’ satisfaction and comprehension and not mainly for the search engines. Albeit those key words are still essential, the search engine is always updating their algorithm so you’ll still always end up playing catch up. Instead, prioritize your purpose and what information you need to convey. For effective SEO, you have to talk to the experts, as because there are other techniques to get a higher ranking in search engines. Playing around with the keywords is not always appropriate as you may end up losing credibility in your website’s contents.
9. Make It Skimmable
Researchers say that 50% of the people stay at a website they stumble upon for approximately 8 seconds only. So if the website doesn’t do something to make them stay longer, then you’ve just lost your chance. Not everyone is fond of reading so make sure that your copy is brief and straight to the point. For it to be skimmable, all important information should be highlighted and visible. Another thing is that the lay-out of the copy, coordinated with the design, should be arranged in such a way that the viewer will understand the flow of the website and will easily take notice of the important details.
10. Think Like The Customer
To arouse a viewer’s interest and curiosity, you must become a mind-reader. Therefore, think like the customer! Adjust your tone according to the particular brand and the target market. Write like the consumer, only smarter. If you are the customer, then you would want to know all the vital information and you want your primary questions answered. Inthat case, make sure that all Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are answered.
The following tips mentioned just now are the key points that are sure to put you in the right path of copywriting, if done wisely. However, different clients and brands uphold different set of standards, so there is no certain formula for copywriting. What’s important is to practice and to revise until you get it. What we write and read can be very influential if only we know the right words to use and how to navigate around the aspect of word play.