Your website’s writing is an integral part of your marketing strategy. Successful website writing is a powerful marketing tool, driving sales and converting website visitors into customers. All successful website writing has a defined role in your marketing funnel. But how do you write a website that does all of these things? What strategies should you use to write your website?
Know Where Your Website Fits into Your Marketing Funnel
The position of your website within your whole marketing funnel affects what your website writing (aka website copy) should do. For example, if your website is your customers’ first contact with your company, then your website copy should immediately explain what your company does and how this provides value to your customers.
You also need to consider what your goals for your website are. Your website copy should be built around your long-term marketing strategy. If you want to use your website as a point of first contact for your customers, then your copy needs to be written to fit this need. Ultimately, you need to make sure your writing fits into your strategy, which means writing with your customers in mind.
Write for Your Customers
In any other marketing campaign, you put your customers first. The same holds true in website writing.
Your website should give your customers the best possible experience. This means considering your customer’s needs, your writing’s tone, your website’s readability, and how to place your customer at the center of your writing.Tweet
1. What are your customers’ needs?
When a customer visits your website, what is he or she looking for? Perhaps your customer is searching for more information about your company. Maybe your customer is looking for a description of your products or services. Or maybe your marketing funnel is set up so that customers visiting your website are ready to buy your products.
Look at US Bank’s website. Obviously, majority of their website visitors need to (1) log into their account and (2) want to learn more about a variety of personal banking options and accounts. Secondarily, their website visitors may be interested in business banking or wealth management services.
Your website should give its visitors what they are searching for. Otherwise, your website visitors will find another company to do business with.
2. What tone should your writing have?
The tone of your writing should be appropriate for your target market. If you are selling accounting services, then a more professional tone is appropriate. However, if you are selling clothing, then your tone should likely be lively and excited.
Use Diction to Create Tone
Diction is what words you use in your writing. For example, there is a difference between the words “sell” and “vend.” The word “vend” sounds more sophisticated and even has different connotations than “sell.”
For a more a professional tone, use words with Latin roots and multi-syllabic words (longer words). You can also use more technical terminology, so long as your customers will understand those terms.
For a simpler or more excited tone, use shorter words, colloquiums, and words that are common in everyday speech.
Use Syntax to Complement Your Diction
Syntax is how the words and phrases within your sentences are structured. Syntax also includes the length of your sentences.
Longer sentences with more phrases and a variety of phrase types are appropriate for a formal tone. In somewhat of a contradiction, simple, short, and to-the-point sentences can also create a professional, direct tone.
Sentences with an easy-to-understand structure are perfect to create an upbeat and enthused tone.
For example, these two examples contain the same information but use different syntax:
Don’t see what you need? We offer custom products!
If you do not see a product that fits your needs, then please contact us and ask about custom products.
The first example is high-spirited while the second example is more subdued and formal.
3. Is your website easy to read?
Your customers should be able to understand your writing. A large part of readability is whether your tone matches your target market. However, no matter your chosen tone, there are some standard rules of readability.
Rule 1: Write Concise Sentences
Don’t waste your customers’ time with unnecessary words. Take the sentence below as an example. By eliminating redundancies and shortening unnecessarily long phrases, this sentence can be more concise.
Before: Our company began in the year 2012 when we were tired of those typical bouquets that always quickly dried up, died, and had to be thrown out into the garbage after only a short period of time.
After: We started our company in 2012 when we got tired of typical short-lived bouquets.
However, this sentence can be even easier to read by improving clarity.
Rule 2: Be Clear by Avoiding Ambiguous and Abstract Words
Using abstract terms in your writing can confuse your reader. Instead, use specific and concrete terms that your reader can picture in his or her head. You should also be sure to eliminate words that could have more than one meaning within the given context.
Before: We started our company in 2012 when we got tired of typical short-lived bouquets.
After: We started our company in 2012 after years of watching flower bouquets die quickly.
The second sentence does not have the abstract, ambiguous word “tired,” the second example also clarifies the company’s history, and it eliminates the odd term “short-lived.”
Another important aspect of clarity is to use terms that your customer will understand. Do not use technical words that your reader has not heard of—unless you define the term—since this will alienate your reader.
Rule 3: Create Simple Sentence Structures
Long, complex sentences can be really confusing to read. Always err on the side of simpler, direct sentences. Say what you mean. Sometimes it is best to split one sentence into two separate sentences.
Before: When you buy from us, we guarantee that your bouquet will last three weeks, and we offer a full refund if your flowers die early.
After: When you buy from us, we guarantee your bouquet will last three weeks. If your flowers die early, we will give you a full refund.
The second example is snappier, giving your reader a clear idea of your company’s guarantee, rather than leaving the reader to pick apart a long sentence.
4. Write Directly to Your Customer
This strategy is quite simple: Write like you are talking to your customer.
Nothing is more alienating than a website that uses the words “we” or “I” but never addresses the customer with the word “you.” When you directly address your customers, you show them that they are at the center of your business and that you are focused on giving them the best services or products.
Leave Your Customers with a Call to Action
Finally, every page on your website should somehow directly or indirectly take your customer to your online store or a way to contact you about your products or services. The writing on each page of your website should lead your customers toward the call to action (CTA). This way, when the customer gets to the CTA, clicking forward is the logical next step.
Mapping out your website into a mini-marketing funnel is the best way to create copy that supports your CTAs.
Create a diagram of where each of your webpages will link to. Each page acts as a stage in this mini-funnel where the final page should be a way for your customers to purchase a product or service from your company.
After you have your website funnel, you can create copy for each page that fills in the gaps between each CTA.
Put together, these strategies will create website writing that supports your marketing strategy and gives you a new marketing tool to leverage to grow your business.
Want to integrate your website writing into your marketing funnel? Focus on your business’s operations and hand the writing over to a professional with a free consultation with Jantz Writing Services.