Marketing is like a relay race. Each team member represents a part of your marketing funnel, the baton is your potential client.
Stay with me.
The first runner in the race takes off with the baton, let’s say this is a Facebook ad. From there the baton is passed through the stages; from the ad to a landing page, from the landing page to an eBook, from the eBook to an email sequence.
And so the baton travels, picking up momentum until it reaches the final leg – the anchor leg. This is where getting it right is crucial.
The fastest runner in the team is reserved for the anchor leg – they have an important job to do. Either to make up lost ground, or keep the lead position.
Your website is the anchor leg of your marketing funnel and as such it should be the strongest part. Because if it’s not pulling its weight, all the effort that went into the marketing before it will be pointless. No trophy. No victory lap. No new clients.
So often I see business owners pouring hours, dollars and sanity into their marketing – networking, blogging, SEO-ing, letterbox dropping (yes, people still do that) – trying alllll the things to reach their audience. But all those leads eventually land on a website that can’t nail the sale and they sprint off quicker than you can say pass the baton.
There’s an array of possible conversion-killers to be found on a website – I’ve face-palmed at them all – not enough call to action buttons, information overload, stock images from the 90’s. But by FAR the biggest click-blocker (and incidentally the easiest thing to fix) is the copy.
It’s your words, people.
Because, let me guess, you wrote your web copy yourself? At the time it seemed business-savvy. After all no-one knows your business better than you. And Mrs McDonald said you were pretty good at English in school. And you just wanted something up quickly. I’ll invest in something better once I’m raking in the mula, you thought 3 years ago.
But now you’re ready to take your business places and really rank in the mula. So ‘refresh website’ has been fluctuating between the to-do list and the too-hard basket for months. Because where do you start?
You start here.
Here are four changes you can make today. In fact, are you at your computer? Then open your website admin right now, let’s do them as we go along.
Change what’s written on your click buttons.
Your buttons should be written in first person and answer the question in your reader’s head I want to…
Let’s say you’re a nutritional coach and you’ve written a 10 point ‘Get healthy for Summer’ checklist, which is available to download from your site. Your button should not say ‘Download the checklist’ it should say ‘Transform my habits’ or ‘Lose my COVID kilos’. See the difference? Both answer the question ‘I want to…”
Include ‘you’ or ‘your’ in every sentence.
Ideally every sentence should start with ‘you’ or ‘your’, but I’m a realist, sometimes that’ll read wrong.
The point is, speak directly to the reader, they need to feel included. It helps to picture ONE person as you write. Change your web copy to add as many ‘you’ and ‘yours’ as Mrs McDonald would comfortably allow. Oh and at least do this in your headline and I’ll be happy.
The big so what?
You probably have some preeeetty convincing arguments for why people should do business with you, but you haven’t painted the full picture in your reader’s mind.
Look at each paragraph where you explain what you do and then add a sentence at the end that answers the question so what? Why should they care? What’s in it for them? Don’t make them spend mental energy trying to work it out themselves. Spell. It. Out.
Yes, but what happens next?
People don’t like the unknown, it makes them twitchy.
If there’s supposedly one button in The White House that can set off a nuclear war, how do they know that the little button on your website isn’t going to start a chain of events they can’t control? That they’ll end up destroying mankind and decimating Earth as we know it? That’s why you need to tell your reader what’s going to happen after they click. You’ll get a phone call within 48 hours? Great. Look out for a welcome email? Perfect. Take 32 seconds to fill in your details on a quick form? Superb. Ease their decision-anxiety and they’ll be 107% more likely to click.
Can you see how small copy changes could make a humongous difference?
And this is the (copy) tip of the iceberg. This is what’ll turn your website from a conversion-killer to a killer-conversion machine. Great copy that turns leads into clients is so packed full of strategy, structure and consumer psychology, it’s about to burst.
Because without all that, words are just…words. And words won’t get that baton over the finish line. Words don’t sell, copy does.
To really drive my point home, here’s my adaptation of an eloquent quote by consumer-behaviour guru Stuart H Britt “Getting more website leads without great copy is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”
Are you all fired up? Pumped to keep going? Feeling a strong urge to go for a run? Well, my friend, there’s plenty more where those tips came from in my ‘Quick Copy Tips That’ll Supercharge Your Website’ eBook.
Elena Connolly is a Business Chicks Premium member and founder and copywriter extraordinaire at 23 Wise Words, where she works with business owners who want to avoid the marketing money-pit. Using a magic mega-mix of brand strategy, consumer psychology and conversion copywriting, she’ll turn your web copy from good to killer.