Posted: Thu 16th May 2013
Persuasive and readable copy on your websiteÂ can make the process of creating trust and making sales so much easier. Lola Bailey, author of The Small Business Guide to Online Marketing, offers her quick tips to make your online content sparkle.
Good marketing copy is instantly recognisable - it heads off questions, doubts and concerns that readers may have about a product or service,Â writes Lola (left). If your Â marketing copy is good, it should speak clearly and directly to your Â target market with Â benefits and intricacies that will ramp-up your credibility quotient. Here are some questions worth asking to see if you are on the right track:
1. Do you "we" all over your content? When you write "we", the reader hears "you" - as in you, the seller. I came across a site recently that had a ratio of 4:1 for usage of "we" to "you". Â If you want to find out how customer- focused your website content is, there's a nifty tool (the 'Me-Meter') courtesy of the Search Engine AcedemyÂ that helps you assess the degree to which you focus on customers rather than yourself: 2. Do you use testimonials as a means of increasing your credibility? Not sure how to get them? Here are three Â good ways to get testimonials for your site:
Feedback requests - Each time you deliver a product or service, ask for feedback! You could even provide a fax-back survey for customers to fill out. Email is fine, too for this. Naturally, pick the best quotes and get permission to use them on your website.
Solicited commentsÂ -Â Ask longstanding customers why they like doing business with you, and then ask them if you can quote them on your site.
Unsolicited comments - When you get a particularly complimentary email, ask whether you can quote the comments with attribution. The same applies to fulsome praises you get on the phone. All you have to do is say, "Do you mind if I quote you on that on my website?" Only the hardest of hearts will say no.
"What's yourÂ tone of voiceÂ like? Do you come across as formal, bureaucratic, cold or corporate?"
3. What's your tone of voice like? Do you come across as formal, bureaucratic, cold or corporate? Hopefully, none of these terms apply to your content. The 'character' of the internet leans towards the informal, the friendly. Here are ten great examples of websites that really "speak" Â to an audience. 4. Are the descriptions of the products you sell understandable to those who don't know much about your industry? Are the descriptions engaging, and do they offer clear benefits? 5. Have you done your utmost to avoid jargon that many people in your target audience will not understand? Similarly, do you provide explanations of terms that are industry-specific to increase understanding?
"Have you done your utmost toÂ avoid jargonÂ that many people in your target audience will not understand?"
6. If your site has a few target audiences, have you devised means of appealing to each of these groups? 7. Is it easy for readers to work out quickly from your site what sets you apart from your competitors? 8. In your copy, have you anticipated and headed off questions and concerns readers may have about your services or products? Keep these questions in mind while you're writing the copy for your website pages, blogs and product descriptions and you should find that your content not only feels more professional, but becomes clearer, sharper and more reassuring to readers. And when website visitors trust what you're saying, they're far more likely to buy.
Get The Small Business Guide to Online Marketing for Â£5
Lola Bailey's _Small Business Guide to Online MarketingÂ _ is a step-by-step guide to growing your business online. From developing great content to reaching customers with social media, you'll find out how to use the internet to maximise the potential of your business. It's available as both an ebook and a print book for just Â£5. Click on the link below to find our more and buy your copy. [product id="56640"] Photo credits: Pink Sherbet PhotographyÂ (main), Â Faramarz HashemiÂ (tie),Â Gavin LlewellynÂ (jargon wordcloud)Â via Compfight cc