Or the art of giving your website a voice...
I have a tough assignment for you.
When you get home tonight kick off your shoes, flop on the couch, pick up the TV remote and start flicking.
How many channels did you skip before you found one that made you want to sink back against the cushions, call for a cup of tea, settle in and watch? Three or four maybe?
Web surfing is kind of like channel surfing; we click or flick around until we find what we’re looking for.
Of course, if you’re looking for something high-rating (but average and obvious) like reruns of Three and Half Men you won’t have to look too hard, but if you’re into smaller, independent, locally-grown TV shows you need to do a bit of searching.
The same goes for your website – unless your business makes one of the BRW Top 100 lists, people looking for your products probably need to click around a little to find you.
Now, to begin with, those “clickers” might not know that you exist; they might not know that you have the expertise and products they’re looking for or why they should be buying from you rather than your competitors…
but a well-written website should tell them!
But how can your website do that?
Put simply, your website needs to:
- use keywords to rank you high enough on Google so people can find you
- have great text content (or “copy” for those in the biz) so people stay with you and look around your site
- highlight your point of difference so visitors convert to sales
Now, you’ve probably heard the term Search Engine Optimisation or SEO – this is the answer to the question “How do I get to number one on Google?”
And while there are lots of ways to optimise your website on Google, the most immediately effective is by having great copy, using keywords relevant to your business.
What are keywords? Keywords are the terms people are using to search for your business. By using these words in your copy, you are helping Google connect you with your customers.
So, OK, let’s assume your keywords have been researched, used in your copy and your ranking has improved…unfortunately, that’s only half the battle in this highly competitive environment known as the World Wide Web.
The average person reads the introductory sentence in a list of Google searches with frightening speed, giving your website only a few seconds to make an impact; so this is where the great copy of your website should start to shine.
What is great copy? This is the voice of your website – it speaks to and engages the visitor, welcomes them to your business, creates interest in your product and gives them the information they’re looking for.
Your website’s great copy is a lot like a business meeting. When you go to meet a potential client you hold your head up, shake hands, look them in the eye and speak with integrity, making sure their focus is on your product…rather than what time tonight’s re-run of Three and a Half Men is on.
Finally - and vitally - your website should highlight the point of difference between your business, and that of your competitors.
What is your point of difference? Ask yourself why someone would buy your product over your competitor? What makes you stand out from the rest?
Establishing your point of difference can be a challenge, but once you’ve found it don’t hide it away. Your website is the perfect tool to explain to your customers what sets you apart from all the others.
So, there we have it in a nutshell…how to use words to improve your business online. Now all you need is ample time to conduct keyword research, some writing talent and an “outside-looking-in” perspective on your business to effectively give your website a voice.
Or you could ask yourself (or us) “What are the benefits of hiring a copywriter?”