“If it’s compelling and engaging enough, customers will consider paying for it. If we don’t deliver something that has value, we won’t expect value in return.” — Bobby Kotick
Almost without fail, clients want to make money online. Whether it’s selling a product or service or tugging on the heartstrings of a donor to contribute to a good cause, it’s ultimately all about bringing in money. And it’s the primary reason why we copywriters get hired.
But many novice copywriters tend to make a huge mistake when getting started on a project. It’s a mistake that would seem — on the surface — to run contrary to the opening paragraph above. And that mistake is, they focus first on how they’re going to ensure the client’s website makes money. They research what products they’re going to sell, and they consider what kinds of ads they’ll feature.
But isn’t that the whole idea?
Well, yes… but there’s only one problem with going by this approach — it puts the cart before the horse, so to speak. In other words, it actually hurts your chances of making any significant money because you’re not thinking about the single most critical component that any online endeavor requires: Creating great content and effective website copy.
The truth is, the quality of your content will ultimately determine the website or landing page’s degree of success or failure online.
Think about what we know: 99% of people who access the internet do so to find useful information. They have a purpose, or a reason, for being there. They are looking for how to do something or gain a better understanding of something. If they are in the market for a commodity, say, a new pair of shoes, they want to know why “this pair” is better than “that pair,” and if the quality of one justifies paying a higher price.
In other words, they want information. They want to learn something so they can make an informed decision.
Without effective website copy in the form of good quality content, prospects will not only come away without learning anything, they’ll likely never find your client’s website in the first place because the search engines won’t index it due to lack of optimization and authority. And for those people who do manage to find the site, they won’t stay for long — and certainly won’t make a purchase — if your content doesn’t have anything of value to offer.
So, what constitutes effective website copy? In almost all cases, good website content has the following four characteristics:
1) It stays on point and maintains a tone that resonates with the audience — Everything you write needs to pertain to the website’s overall purpose. If it’s to sell something, you must show the benefits of the product or service and highlight how it will improve the reader’s life. If it’s to raise funds, you must show a specific example of how the reader’s donation will help the plight of another person, animal, or the environment.
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