Many of my website design and development clients choose to take a “do-it-yourself” approach to writing their website text. To be honest, I don’t recommend this. Writing text that makes an emotional connection with your readers, convinces them that what you’re offering will improve their lives, and motivates them to take action is a lot harder than it looks! For best results there is a professional marketing writer that I highly recommend: Linda Coss, of Plumtree Marketing.
But if you really want to write your own website text, Linda has graciously provided the following expert tips:
1. Focus on the benefits – Your natural inclination is most likely to write about the features of your products or services. It’s black, made of heavy-duty plastic, etc. But to make an emotional connection with your readers, you really need to talk about the benefits that these features bring.
This is the “what’s in it for me” aspect of your offering. Why should the reader care that it’s black and made of heavy-duty plastic? Because this means that it goes with any décor and is virtually unbreakable.
2. Write from the reader’s point of view – The unfortunate reality is, nobody cares about you. All they really care about is how you can meet their needs. So set your ego aside and try to reduce the use of the words “we,” “us,” “our,” and “I.” Write sentences that talk about (or imply) “you” and “your” instead.
For example, instead of saying “we have over 30 years of experience,” try “experience the difference that 30 years of expertise brings.”
3. Give a compelling reason to buy – If you expect readers to “connect the dots” on their own you’re bound to be disappointed. Your text needs to clearly tell people why they should buy your product, and why they should buy it from you vs. buying from someone else or not buying anything at all.
4. Make it easy to read – If your text looks too difficult to read, most people won’t bother trying. In fact, most visitors to your website will just want to scan the text. Use formatting that makes it easy for them to do so. Avoid long, unbroken blocks of text and tiny fonts. Break things up with meaningful subheads and bullet points. Write things in such a way so that if a person just reads the text that’s in bold they’ll be able to get the gist of your message.
5. Put your bullet points in parallel format – Did you notice that all of the bullet points in this list start with a verb? Bullet points are most effective when all of the points in a given list start with the same type of word (such as verb, noun, adjective, etc.).
6. Include a call to action – What do you want your website visitors to do as a result of visiting your site? Give you a call? Place an order? Request your free white paper? Whatever action you want them to take, be sure to clearly ask them to do so. Once again, do not expect anyone to “connect the dots” and figure it out on their own!