Copywriting for websites.
What a broad topic.
Like, so broad it’s literally impossible to cover in one video.
Or in 100 videos, for that matter.
But sometimes, you don’t need to dive ultra-deep into copywriting to improve your website.
Sometimes, all you need are a few tiny ideas that’ll help you improve what you’ve already got, without doing an all-out rewrite.
So that’s what this video is.
In particular, I’ve chosen to feature three websites from traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, but the principles apply to everyone.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
Hi everyone, today we’re going to talk about a really broad topic, which is copywriting for websites.
It seems impossible to tackle in one video, and it is, but there are some main copywriting themes that are important to follow for your website, regardless of what kind of business you’re running from it.
To start with, let’s talk about the main purposes of your website… why you’ve got one in the first place.
For those of us who run online businesses, it’s obvious… it’s either our storefront, our public image to the world, or both.
But even entrepreneurs who run location-dependent brick and mortar stores still consider a website a necessity.
Why is that?
Because they know people are checking them out on Google.
We’ve become so accustomed to the internet and its powers of factual validation that we take to it the instant we hear of something new or want to explore something new.
The internet might be a way to get found via SEO (link to SEO video), but more importantly, it’s a way to validate yourself in front of your potential customers.
It’s purpose is to build trust, first and foremost… way before you sell anything.
It’s a place to show your potential customers… whether they’ll be buying from you in your shop or via PayPal… that your business is there, it’s legitimate, it has enough money for a decent site, and can be trusted.
So let’s look at some ways copywriting can help evoke this trust that leads to buying on a homepage.
I’ll show you three examples of more traditional offline businesses, and where it makes sense, some improvements that can be made.
This is my go-to coffee shop when I can’t stand sitting in my home office anymore.
I go there because it’s close to my downtown condo, there’s a good atmosphere for freelancers, and the wifi lasts for two hours—which is a nice constraint to make sure I sit down and actually get some work done.
(They’ve also got a parking lot which means I don’t have to fight tourists for street parking.)
But Asheville is a drink snob city – beer, coffee, tea, cocktails, kombucha, you name it – so why should I go to HighFive?
All they’re telling me is that their coffee is hand-crafted and that it’s “the tastiest coffee imaginable.”
Which is good reasoning, but it’s all wording I’d expect from a coffee shop, and therefore not compelling.
We can still leave the more educational information after the first sentence, and play with the opening line and first sentence to make this coffee shop compelling.
And to be compelling, we need to think about how the things they’re saying: hand-crafted goodness & tastiest coffee imaginable actually manifest themselves in real life.
-Like when someone makes a gift by hand instead of buying it from Target. It’s just SO much better.
tastiest coffee imaginable
-A bit of an eyebrow raise – the good kind – from the first sip.
Do you see how getting specific with those phrases suddenly makes High Five way more compelling than other coffee shops using the same, standard coffee shop jargon?
And before you get nervous about putting something like this this on your site, I just want to tell you, it is OKAY to be compelling.
In fact, your customers are craving it. And the instant you give it to them, they’re yours.
http://waterleafnaturopathic.com <- have visited here – this is where you go when you’re absolutely sick of traditional western medicine and just told to “not worry about it”
-so the hero image & text are decent.
-book an appointment: make a promise
Okay, the next site is for a naturopathic healthcare center I’ve visited.
I made an appointment here when I was fed up to my eyeballs with traditional medical doctors insisting I take the same prescriptions over and over again, even though they NEVER worked.
I knew I needed a different approach, so I sought one.
And I haven’t seen the market research for this type of business, but I’m assuming a majority of the customer segment is like me… especially since we’re obviously going to try to go for the kinds of things the health insurance we’re paying out of our nose for will actually cover.
I’m super glad to report my condition cleared up, and way sooner than I expected it to.
So here I want to talk about the call to action – specifically the call to book an appointment.
Now I know doctors—especially naturopathic doctors—have to abide by certain legal standards for what they claim and promise on their materials, so take this with a grain of salt.
But instead of what they have written here [read it out loud], I’m still going to suggest making a promise and attaching it to your call to action… and I’ll write one I think would pass any sort of “test” the imposing authorities would put on a business like this. (But again, remember this is just a suggestion & I don’t know all the rules.)
Do you see how the promise of “uncover the real cause of your symptoms & an effective, sustainable treatment plan” speaks EXACTLY to the pain points patients like me are experiencing?
All I can say to this call to action now is YES, PLEEEEEASE!
As soon as I walked into this shop during my first visit to Asheville, I felt like I’d been transported back to Kathmandu.
The feel of the store and seeing the authentic products on display nearly took my breath away.
Even though I didn’t buy anything because I already have plenty of these items myself from my years of travel in the region, I could help but walk around the store, touch the fabrics, pick up the familiar desktop buddha statues, and get sucked back into memory lane.
Sure, there’s a few retail store owners who are just in business for making money, but most people don’t get into retail just for that.
Retail is a shit ton of work, so there’s usually a strong passion tying the owner to the products they sell.
And when I walked into this store, the atmosphere there made that very apparent.
So if you’ve got a website for your shop that sells physical products, I’m assuming you’re passionate about what you sell.
And I’m going to tell you that you need to use your website to bring people into your store… which means you need to have a strong call to action for them to come into the store, and you need to make sure it’s repeated over and over again so people get the picture.
Design aside, I wanted to use this site as an example, because this is one of the most common mistakes I see from independently-owned brick-and-mortar retail business websites.
[scroll down to first paragraph]
Here they’re telling you that they’ve got a downtown shop, some of the products they sell, and that the work with a reputable supplier in Nepal.
Nothing about actually coming in to look at or buy said products.
[scroll down to 2nd paragraph]
Here they get a little more into the specifics of their products—talking about statues and artwork—but still no call to action to come in and look at the statues and artwork to buy them.
[scroll down to 3rd paragraph]
Then they talk about furniture and rugs.
Then about singing bowls.
Then about jewelry.
FINALLY they talk about their shop. They give the location and operating hours, but they don’t actually tell people to come in!
Now, I know this isn’t something so easy for people to take action on like in e-commerce when all you have to do is move your finger a little bit to click a button.
But study after study has shown that when you do take the efforts to actually tell people exactly what you want them to do, they WILL do it. (Or, at least, they’ll be way more likely to.)
[scroll up to normal paragraphs]
So what would it hurt to add a colorful, visible, call to action after each of these paragraphs telling site visitors to come into the shop to see the products they’re talking about in person?
If you have any amount of regular traffic to your site, it could actually end up doing you a lot of good.
[cut back to me]
So to wrap up this video on copywriting for websites, I want you to remember these three main takeaways:
- Take traditional industry jargon and get really specific with it to make site visitors feel compelled to come in to your location and check you out.
- Don’t be afraid to make a promise to get people to take action. (Just make sure it’s one you can actually deliver on.)
- Have multiple calls to action on your site. Don’t be afraid to tell your site visitors what you want them to do with the information you’re giving them.
Take these 3 things, implement them on your site, and your business will start to pick up. I promise.
If you liked this video, there’s plenty more where it came from.
If you’re watching on my blog, you can click the title at the top of my screen to get to my YouTube channel, where you’ll see all my past videos and subscribe to get in on the future ones.
I’ve also pasted a link below to my ebook that has five easy-to-implement copywriting tips that’ll help you decrease your bounce rates and increase your conversions and profits for any page on your website. You’ll be able to read through it in 20 minutes, and it’s definitely worth the download.
Wow, Chelsea. I loved the video. The way you put yourself in the shoes of a coffee drinker and mentioned the eyebrow raise? Fantastic.
I’ll be sharing this video for sure.
It’s those kind of things I can’t help but geek out over. (And I LOVE how it makes such a difference, don’t you?)
So glad you enjoyed it. Cheers!