I often get feedback from clients saying that they are amazed at how well I have “nailed” their web copywriting and that it speaks directly to the type of clients they are looking to attract. Whilst I am flattered by their feedback, the secret of effective web copywriting is much more mundane that you might think. Before I start to write the copy I take the time to get inside the head of their target reader. In this post I’d like to share how I do this.
Get a clear idea of who your target reader is.
I always ask my clients to describe their ideal customer. How old are they? What is their background? What is their job role? Where are they based geographically? Sometimes I get a first response that equates to “everyone who has a pulse“. When this happens I go back and ask them to be more specific.
It’s impossible to create good copy that appeals to everyone! The more targeted the web page, the better it performs.
What are their problems?
Once I know who the page is aimed at, I start to research what keeps these target readers awake at night. I ask myself the question “If I were in their shoes, what problems would I have, that the products or services on this website might solve.” Often I need to do some desk research to help with this phase. Groups and Forums are great places to start. For example, If the website is designed to appeal to accountants, I will view or even join accountancy groups on social media or professional sites and “eavesdrop” on the conversations, looking to gain an insight into their problems and challenges.
What’s stopping your target clients buying or signing up?
Whether your offering is new or has been on sale for a while, it is safe to assume that not as many people are buying or signing up as you would like. Clearly something is stopping potential customers buying or signing up. I need to understand what these barriers are so that I can write copy that will defuse them and increase your conversion rates. Often these barriers relate to the perceived risk of doing business with you. The higher your asking price, the greater the perceived risk. Again research plays a vital part at this stage. Sometimes I’ll even email or phone contacts who are potential customers for this product or service and question them as to what stops them buying one solution or another.
Despite having done all this, I am still not ready to start drafting great copy. There are just two more steps that must be completed. If you’d like to know whatthose additional web copywriting tips are, look out for part 2, or even better, subscribe and you’ll get it delivered to your inbox as soon as it goes live.