Keep People from Getting Lost with Better Website Copy
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
Does Your Website Copy Lead People to Take the Actions You Want Them to Take?
Have you ever gotten lost in the woods? Probably one of the first things you think when you’re lost is, “Why don’t they mark these trails better?” quickly followed by, “I wish I had a map.”
I’ve been exploring the nature preserves in my area for the past few months. So far there are three types of maps or guides at the preserves.
The first map is not to scale, but it shows the general way the trails take, gives a vague idea of distances, and marks geological features like lakes and streams.
It’s barely detailed enough to give me assurance that I’m not going to get completely lost with three kids in tow. But we might be taking a longer hike than I planned.
The second kind are really specific maps. They give you an idea of the topography, use icons to mark trails by their difficulty, and have a scale on the bottom to let you measure distances.
They are awesome because they give me relevant information to make an informed decision.
And then some access points have no information about the trails whatsoever…It’s just a trail marked by a blaze of paint on a tree trunk.
...And I still thought it was a good idea to take three kids under three with me to explore it...
Which of these nature preserves do you think I enjoyed the most?
Website copy is a map of trails with clear guideposts for your visitors to follow. Does your website copy lead your visitors to take the actions you want them to? Or do they get lost in a forest of pointless information and unclear CTAs?
What Is Website Copy?
Website copy is the words on your website that lead visitors through their customer journey. You have the power to craft the type of journey you want your customer to take through your website copywriting.
Do you want it to be a long and epic quest? Or a short and sweet stroll?
Good website copy speaks to where your customer is at in their customer journey and leads them toward the action you want them to take. Here are the 3 basic stages your visitor might be in when they visit your website.
Awareness ➜ They are interested, mainly looking for information
Consideration ➜ They have a desire to purchase, but also some reservations
Decision➜ Ready to take action
Different visitors to your website may be at different stages of the customer journey. They might be looking for more information. Or they might be ready to buy. The website copywriter’s job is to speak to your visitors and direct them down the path that speaks to their level of desire.
Move visitors through this journey by...
➜ capturing their interest,
➜ peaking curiosity,
➜ intensifying their desire,
➜ and calling them to act.
Clear Website Copywriting Captures Visitors’ Interests
A simple, easy-to-navigate website with clear website copy leads your visitors on an enjoyable customer journey. (It also keeps them on your page for longer which is good for SEO purposes¹.)
First, answer their immediate questions like:
Am I looking in the right place?
Is this company right for me?
Do they support my values?
When you answer those immediate questions with information that is relevant to them, you affirm that they are in the right place.
Think about a trail head. There's, typically, a sign with the trail’s name so that you know you’re in the right place to start your hike.
That’s what the first look at your website should do for your visitors. Simply state your company and what your company does for them front and center on your website. You want it to be one of the first things visitors see.
Stimulate Curiosity through Emotional Language in your Website Copy
An interested visitor is likely looking for more information. They are more likely to take small actions that require no commitment like clicking on “Learn More” links.
Connect with interested visitors emotionally through your brand’s tone and values. Then answer their questions.
You don’t need a preachy diatribe on a soapbox. Just use the words and phrases that your ideal customer uses. The use of shared terminology stimulates that emotional connection.
Now keep them curious by answering questions about your product. Start talking about the benefits of your company or product, then give the identifying features that make them unique.
By this time, your visitor’s curiosity is changing. You’ve quenched the need for answers and connected emotionally with language and benefits. Now you need to intensify their desire!
Grow Desire through Website Copywriters’ Secret Weapon
Here’s the make or break point. Your visitor is at the point of Consideration. They stand upon the edge of a cliff set to take a leap of faith. But they’re not ready yet.
What can you do to make them take that final step to purchase?
It’s time to answer the doubts and objections flowing through their head right now.
I mean think about it. When you’re repelling down a cliffside do you just hitch up your harness, clip on your carabiners and go?
NO! You check every knot. You screw down, so you don’t screw up. You make sure your belayer is ready. You even have your belayer check the equipment. You want to be sure that when you go over that cliff you’re not going to regret it.
Your customers are no different. Ease their fears by overcoming their objections.
Overcoming objections is such a powerful way to let your customers know that you’ve got their backs. Some objections may be irrational or uninformed, so simply inform them. For every valid objection, there is a benefit that you should remind your customer of, and here’s where testimonials are crucial.
Testimonials are the quadruple threat of copywriting. They can…
empathize with your customers fears through a third party,
provide social proof that your product or service does what you claim,
and build your credibility.
The last part of overcoming objections is click triggers. These are usually practical concerns that might hold the customer back. They want to buy, but they want assurance that if they’re not satisfied they can get some kind of recompense.
Do you offer a money-back guarantee?
Do you offer no hassle returns?
Do you offer free shipping?
Is there support staff available?
Now is the time to say so! You want your customer to feel good about buying with nothing holding them back.
Simply, Directly Ask
The visitor came to your website for information. Their curiosity grew with relevant information, and then changed into desire as they actually considered buying your product or service. You’ve answered their doubts and fears.
Finally, it’s time to ask them to act.
If the next step you want them to take is BUY NOW. Then you better have a button that says BUY NOW.
But there are other CTAs (Call-to-Action). Invite them to...
Opt-in to an email challenge
Join your newsletter
Connect on social media
Refer a friend
And the list goes on. But whatever action you want them to take, state it as clearly and directly as possible. There should be no confusion as to the next steps you should take.
Even After the Sale Copywriting Matters
Congratulations! You have a new client. They just helped you move a little closer to your business goals, so be sure to thank them.
The job gets easier from here because people are more likely to buy from the same company again then to go elsewhere². That is...as long as you deliver on your promises.
First they came to you. Now you can play a proactive role in the relationship. Stay connected with them through email, and think about adding a referral program as a way to thank your loyal customers and get new ones.
Now if that whole journey felt like a trek up to the summit of Mt. Everest, then bookmark this blog and take a break before I blow your mind.
If that felt more like a nice nature walk with your dog, then keep reading.
What If I Told You...
Your website copy needs to go through this journey multiple times and in multiple ways in order to speak to people at different stages of awareness.
Your home page copy in particular, needs to speak to people at all levels of awareness and direct them down the route that best fits their needs.
You don’t have just one “journey” happening on one webpage. You have many! That’s why it’s important to have clear paths and CTAs. And be careful not to let your website get cluttered. Your visitor should always know where you want them to go next.
Let’s go back to my little anecdote about nature preserves. It wasn’t just a random intro. It has a point.
Do You Have Clear Blazes in Your Website Copy?
Which trail do you think I enjoyed the best?
It wasn’t the trail with the super detailed map because – let’s face it – the three kids were not gonna give me time to synthesize all that information to make the most informed decision.
I get a minute to make sure we aren’t biting off more than we can chew and that’s it.
And it's no different on your website. You have 12 seconds to get and keep your visitor's attention before they leave your webpage.
It wasn’t the preserve with the generic map. That preserve has a plethora of trails going all over the place. The only reason we don’t get lost is because it’s not that big. I can always hear the street to orient myself.
Both of those were great hikes, and we will go back. But the one that I actually like best is the one that had no map up front at all. It has the name of the place and the blazed trees.
What this preserve has that the others don’t is clearly marked and maintained trails. Not only is the trail itself clear, but there are three colors of blazes that mark each trail. You can stand at one blazed tree and see the next blaze.
Website copy does not need to be wordy or complex even though it should be long enough to rank on Google. Whatever path you set out for your visitors, make sure it’s clearly marked, and they will enjoy the journey.
And if you don't have the time or energy to do your own website copy, schedule a call with me. It'll only take 15 minutes to see if we're a good fit for each other, and it's completely free.
But if you're interested in getting more traffic with a precise-SEO driven content strategy, you can read about that here>>.