One of the most difficult jobs during any website build is creating effective web copy. Being able to engage & communicate effectively with an audience through the written word is an under-rated skill and very difficult to master. But, when you get it right, your visitor engagement levels will go through the roof!
An excellent tip given to me by a copywriting expert working in the UK was to vary your writing style, language and content based on the audience you're targetting. He suggested creating a persona on paper of the person you will be writing for. Try to make the persona as rounded and real as possible, so you know what makes him happy, what frustrates or angers him and, ultimately, what motivates him.
To build a picture of your customer persona, start with a few simple demographics like age, gender, eye and hair colour, and general body shape. Next, think about your persona's domestic & work situation: What does he do for a living? How much does he earn? Does he have kids? Where does he live? What type of house? What car does he drive?
Also, think about his hobbies & interests. What music does he listen to? Which books does he read? Which social media platforms does he use? What are his favourite websites and blogs? What films make him laugh?
Lastly, consider his fears and desires. What keeps him awake at night? What does he dream of achieving? And what is his thought process for making important buying decisions?
Eventually you should have a clear enough picture of the individual and especially the questions he will have about your services or products. This will give you a better chance of generating relevant and effective web copy and remove any “pain pints” and obstacles from the buying process.
Fine tune your marketing messages.
It's a no brainer. Potential customers come to your website to learn more about your products or services. Right?
Your customers care very little about the history of your company, the square footage of your factory, the MBA awarded to your Managing Director. They're only concern is what you can do for them. In other words, what problems you can solve and how this will improve their lives better.
When you know your buyer personas, you can tell them exactly how you can help them and solve their problems. When you’re writing, imagine that you are talking to your buyer persona. Choose the words he would use, use phrases or terminology he understands. Address him directly by using the words “you” and “your”.
When you speak in the same language as your buyer persona, he feels you are addressing him personally. Thus your message becomes stronger, your tone more engaging, and ultimately your copy more effective & persuasive.
Identify with and highlight the problem your buyer persona experiences.
Show you understand the emotions your customer feels. Is he afraid? Angry? Anxious? Frustrated? Fed up? Empathizing with your buyer persona makes him feel you understand and identify with him, which makes it more likely he’ll believe your message and the solution you're offering.
Having a clear buyer persona is particularly useful when crafting copy for a specific landing page aimed at a specific audience. For example, if you're a painter & decorator, you could have a targetted landing page aimed at a housewife frustrated by the fact that her husband hasn't got round to painting the interior walls. Your web copy should identify with this frustration and outline the benefits of hiring a professional to do the job – e.g. an experienced professional will work without distraction and get the job done quickly; a professional will offer advice on colour combinations, types of paint etc. which will remove the confusion and concern of making the wrong choices; ultimately it will prove value for money as the job will be done thoroughly with the right tools so no need to worry about repainting for a years to come.
Translate features of your services prducts into benefits she cares about, and into specific problems she wants to solve. Understand the fears your persona wants to overcome and refer to the desires you can fulfill.
Your aim is to know your customer as if you can read his or her mind. Understand how to sell to your persona and ultimately your website will generate more leads, more sales and more business.
SEO obsessed, rugby-loving Welshman living in Ireland since 2002. Freelance SEO and Wordpress web design consultant based in Killaloe, Co Clare.
Andrew Scherer says
Good post. Take a look at a personal Facebook or Twitter account, and you will notice one thing: people only care about themselves. I love the idea of a conversation with the buyer than spewing out a corporate message that relates to nobody. I think one thing that works great is when you do answer these questions, be sure to create and test a handful of landing pages. I’ve found that colors and even certain words can lose you a sale.
John Rowan says
Great post. That extra bit of care on your website can make all the difference.