What sets apart great business websites from good ones? Upgrade these five things on your website copy and make your website 100 % better – in only a couple of hours.
Over half of entrepreneurs and business owners want to write their website copy themselves.
Only one out of four lean on someone else’s support, and only one out of ten outsource the process entirely.
This is what a LinkedIn survey I recently conducted among my network revealed.
However, the discussion that followed – in addition to the work I’ve done with my clients on their websites – has also shown that the task is not an easy one.
A 5-Step Roadmap to Great Website Writing
A website is a shop window, designed to lure potential clients into your world and guide them towards the next step on their purchase journey.
This requires not only a sharp pen, but also a clear understanding of the information a potential client needs every step of the way. What do they know about your business and how do they feel about it?
What do they need to know, feel, and understand before taking the next step?
Copywriting and strategy work with my clients on their website, as well as the Digital Presence Audits with businesses, have shown me the most common twists and turns where it’s easy to go wrong.
Here’s your road map to turning your website from good to great! Pick the parts that resonate the most and upgrade your website in an hour or two.
- Decide Who Your Website is Addressing
It can be hard for business owners and entrepreneurs – even for internal communications teams – to see the forest from the trees and approach the client journey from an outsider’s perspective. Since you know your business inside and out, there’s a risk of getting lost in all the details and losing sight of what is important and essential.
Many businesses have more than one target group. Businesses have several services or product lines; start-ups want to attract both users and investors; market places speak to sellers and buyers simultaneously.
Different audiences require different information and sometimes even a different tone of voice. This can get confusing very quickly, and the clients risk leaving, if they feel the site is not talking to them and addressing their needs.
That is why copywriting or a website review starts with mapping the target audience and their journey on the site. This can mean separating their paths early on and guiding different users in different parts of the site.
It can also mean focusing on one group and making their way around the site as seamless as possible. The other groups won’t be ignored, but they’ll need to put in more effort to find what they are looking for. Many SaaS companies do this by highlighting the “Free trial” or “Sign up” buttons to attract new users. In the meantime, experienced users need to work a little bit harder to find a “Sign in” button to get to their existing accounts.
- Set your CTAs straight
A related but separate question regarding the journey on the website is your calls-to-action, CTAs. These buttons and links guide the visitor to their next step on the site, towards a purchase, a download or a call booking, to give some examples.
This is another place where it’s easy to take a wrong turn and try to be everything for everyone by offering a variety of calls-to-action throughout the site. Like too much information, too many options risk overwhelming and confusing the reader.
What do people do, when they’re not sure of the next step? That’s right: usually nothing.
This risk can be easily averted by streamlining the CTAs so that they all guide to the same direction: towards learning more about the service or product, booking a trial or ordering a sample, among others.
- Replace “I” by “You”
Once the site structure is clarified, it’s time to focus on the language. The content itself is rarely an issue: companies are writing about the right things, not only services and products, but also their background story, values and mission.
However, many businesses tend to use the words “I” and “we” a lot when taking their clients through the site. This leaves the client in the shadow instead of bringing them to the center.
To turn the set-up around, the fix is simple: turning the “I” and “we” phrases into “you” sentences. Focusing on the needs and feelings of the client – and the results and benefits they can expect from working with a company or buying from them.
This makes a visitor feel included – like your business and solution is made for them, which it is!
- Polish your About Me section
When doing this language review on the website, there is one page that deserves more attention than all the other pages: the About Me or About Us section. This is the most visited page on a website and it’s a unique opportunity to connect and engage with your audience and share about your mutual values and mission.
On the About Me or About Us page it is often not adequate – nor necessary – to avoid the “I” and “We” sentences entirely. It is yours or your company’s story after all. Still, while you’re writing about yourself and your story, keep the focus on the client.
Ask yourself how your background story, values or experiences serve the client. What’s in it for them? How can your team’s mission and values make your clients’ lives and businesses better, easier or more meaningful?
This shift in focus turns the course from bragging about your accomplishments to showing how your unique path has shaped you to serve your clients better than anyone else.
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- Align your message with other channels
Good job, now your business website is all polished and almost ready to go!
One last check to do: ensure the links from the website towards the social channels and vice versa are updated and in order. This may sound obvious and overtly simple but you’d be surprised by how many outdated links I clicked on when conducting those audits…
Ensure as well that your social media profiles tell the same story as the website, including the target group focus, and turning the “I”s to “You”s. This guarantees a professional and seamless experience for your clients across channels.
When conducting Digital Presence Audits, I made an interesting observation about the relationship between websites and business profiles on socials… More about that in two weeks!
Next Step: Dive into Website Copywriting
Now there’s only one thing left to do: pick two or three points that resonate most with your website and get to work. If you have a functioning website to work on, you should be able to finish the upgrade in one or two hours. If you’re struggling with the About Me section, download the About Me Guide below – or schedule a call and we can talk about how I could help you update your website and bring more clients to your door.
This post is part of a 3-part article series “Learnings from Digital Audits”. In the series, I share my observations made through Digital Presence Audits. In the next part, we’ll look into easy tweaks on social media accounts.