If you’re a copywriter, chances are your primary goal is to get people reading and enjoying your writing. Web , getting them to read is only half of the job. Copywriting for B2C or B2B purposes has an even more important job – it has to sell! In other words, your writing should be able to convince readers to take action, whether it’s filling in a form or buying something.
Writing copy that sells is challenging, but there are steps you can take to improve the chance of a conversion. This article shares six tips to help you make your web copy sell:
Define your objectives
As a copywriter, whether writing for websites or print media, without clearly defined goals – your writing might as well not even exist. There needs to be a clear purpose for what you’re doing. Since we’re talking about web copy that sells, we’ll assume that the end goal for your writing is to facilitate the conversion of some kind. Great! Now you know what the goal is, and it’s your job to work towards achieving that goal.
Research your readers
Who exactly are you writing your copy for? In most cases, web copy is written with a specific target audience in mind. Are your readers’ serious businessmen who demand corporate-style copy? Perhaps you’re writing for an ice-cream brand and your target audience is teenagers. By knowing the personality traits of your target audience members, you’ll know who you’re writing for and can say the things you know they’ll enjoy and hopefully engage with.
Research your topics
We’re on step three and we haven’t put pen to paper yet (or fingertips to keys). This should prove to you that copy development involves much more than just sitting down and writing. The next thing you need to do in preparation for writing web copy is to research your topic. Anyone can regurgitate information, but a lack of understanding of the topic WILL come through in your copy, and can really depreciate your entire piece of writing.
Nail the heading
We’re finally at the point of actually writing stuff! Start with your heading, and be sure to nail it. This should summarise your article in one sentence, and should ideally include words that invoke emotional responses in the reader. Some web copywriters might disagree, but your piece of writing’s heading is arguably the most important part. Try and keep your heading to less that 10 words, and remove any superfluous words you are able to. It should be short, sweet, and to the point.
Start off strong
If your heading has done its job, you’ve successfully captured the attention of your reader. Now, you need them to consume your piece to completion – where they should find a call to action (CTA) that will facilitate the conversion or sale. This starts with the first paragraph, and your first sentence should include something even more attention-grabbing than your heading. Sometimes a crazy fact is enough; other times leading with a bold, controversial statement could be the key.
So, you’ve written your copy and followed the above steps while doing so. Before you hit the PUBLISH button, you’ll need to do one more thing. Be sure to get your copy peer-reviewed. Remember, your readers aren’t copywriters or English graduates. By letting your colleagues read your article, you can deduce whether or not you’ve written it in an easy-to-understand manner. If there is confusion, you should reword those ambiguous parts.