Business owners face a tricky, 2-part dilemma. Does the following apply to you?
You want to increase website traffic, audience engagement, qualified leads, and conversions....BUT...
...You don’t have the time to become an overnight copywriting expert.
To be clear, pro-level copywriting has nothing to do with your competence behind the keyboard.
Many skilled writers would be at a loss when it comes to writing website content, blog articles, and landing pages that turn heads and increase conversions.
So, we put together this epic guide to get your covered. Print this sucker out, laminate it, and study it while you’re in the shower. Or I guess you could bookmark it, too.
Rethink Your About page
You’ll notice that we did NOT start this list with the suggestion of a new home page. Specifically, a home page that automatically makes website traffic thirsty for more. We’ll show why your home page is one of the last steps later on in part 2 of this article.
When a prospect lands on your about page, you’ve achieved a small victory. Your future customer wants to learn more about your business. That’s quite a feat, and you don’t want to disappoint.
As you pen an about page, keep the following criteria in mind:
Show the reader what’s in it for them. Yes, an about page is a company biography, but the focus is more about your audience’s story and why you exist than your own humble beginnings.
On an about page, it’s perfectly acceptable to tell stories about yourself, but always remember to keep the audience as the main subject. It helps to discuss the genesis problem that led to the creation of your business.
Remind the audience why they visited your site. And start with the first headline, something other than “About Company X.” Instead try “You Came Here to Do XYZ.”
If you’re, by chance, familiar with The Art of Non-Conformity website, then you’ve seen this about page headline: “a home for unconventional people doing remarkable things.” That memorable statement reminds visitors why they’ve landed on the website and clicked for more information.
Rope them in. About pages need to generate new and qualified leads. Since they’ve taken another step by clicking deeper inside your website, you have a golden opportunity to establish a relationship. And one that lasts beyond a simple website visit.
It’s simple, really. Just ask them. Invite them to sign up for your newsletter, connect with you on social media, or access a seductive (ideally free) offer.
The no-cost offer pictured below appears at the bottom of the Bright Planning about page. You see, we’re not going to let website visitors go. They’ve come for help, and so we’re going to give it to them.
Create A Minimum of Three Studies
Successful small business websites include educational elements. Qualified leads land on your Home Page for two reasons:
They want to overcome struggle and/or experience a solution.
They want to learn how and why your business is the one to deliver on that promise.
Case studies allow you to answer that call. What’s more, case studies establish trust. We suggest placing a number of case studies on your website—pieces that illuminate your projects successes and tell your customers’ individual stories.
Use this checklist:
Identify the problem. Ex: A customer could not keep his dog quiet while he was at work. Neighbors complained of glass-shattering barking. The host of struggles included possible eviction, poisonous relationships, and having to move to an area where he didn’t want to live.
Express the goals. Ex: Calm the dog down. Lessen her anxiety so she takes naps and eats kibble instead of barking at every leaf that drifts down the sidewalk.
Illuminate the challenges. Ex: The dog was a sweetie, for sure. But that bark was the stuff of opera arias. The business had to set up a cause-and-effect system for the dog. It had to be effective, fast, sustainable, and above all, humane.
Detail the solution. Ex: The business set up three apparatuses. One that spritzes a harmless yet obnoxious spritz of water when the dog barks. Another that allows the owner web cam access from his office. And another machine that disperses treats when the dog remains quiet for an extended period.
Write a 2- to 4-Sentence Mission Statement
Do you REALLY know what your mission is?
Better yet, do you know how to succinctly and powerfully express that mission within a few breaths?
Yeah, that’s a bit hard. But a mission statement may be the difference between a lasting customer relationship and immediate nonchalance.
Here’s an example of a mission statement that falls flat:
We are the world’s premier firm of stellar product manufacturing and unparalleled customer service. We aim to please, no matter what your desires are.
OK, that sounds like a pretty good promise. At least, on the surface it does. But the content merely scratches the top and doesn’t speak to an audience in an individual, deep-diving way.
Be more specific and down to earth. Like this:
Our company was born because farmers were crushed under the weight of industrial agriculture. We didn’t want to live in a world where entrepreneurship and safe food production had vanished, so we designed products and services that allow farmers to not only remain competitive, but triumphant. From vendor connections to cost-effective tools and resources, we serve farmers because they serve the world.
Excite Your Audience with Newsletters
An exciting newsletter? Wait, what?
Yes, newsletters provide a way to connect with your audience, and remind them of why they’re thinking of conducting business with you. Now this is not to say that many newsletters aren’t yawn-worthy forms of communication.
In fact, it could be that most newsletters out there embody that definition. That’s why they remain so invisible.
But you can turn the boring newsletter paradigm on its ear.
To make certain that email recipients actually read your newsletter—and to get them to take action—take the following steps.
Announce your new content. Yes, share your new blog article or case study. The Internet is a big place, and it’s not like many prospects are going to come hunting for fresh content. You have to let them know it’s there.
Make it educational. Don’t send out a newsletter simply to announce that you have a new product or service, or that you’re offering a limited-time discount. Make it roughly 10% promotional. For the rest of the content, offer relevant strategies and tools.
Offer subscriber-only goodies. Ex: in one of our recent newsletters, we offered an extended consultation. Thing is, the offer doesn’t exist on our website; we only gave it to newsletter subscribers. If you haven’t already, you can sign up for our newsletter here. Good stuff, we promise. And right now, you get a bonus guide.
Leverage Stellar Sales and Landing Pages
You can download any number of templates and cheat sheets that claim to give your landing pages a leg up. Really, many of these swipe files are not so bad at all. But instead of using a template to fill in the blanks, we suggest focusing on a few principles.
Before we get into those pillars, know that sales and landing pages are a surefire way to engage an audience outside of your website. You don’t have to worry with organic search results or competing in SEO with powerful firms who have millions in Google ad buys.
Try a little social media marketing to drive traffic to sales and landing pages.
In doing so, you’ll spark new relationships in a short time. Assuming, of course, that your sales page includes the following:
A zero-BS headline: make it 100% clear what your landing page is about, and what the product/service promises to do.
Try something like this:
See how specific that is? You know that there are 5 tools involved, and that you won’t have to spend a crap ton of investment dollars. If you made videos as part of your business, this landing page would be worth spending time with. No doubt.
Subheads and sections: We love reading more than sophistication or peace. And by “we,” I mean the lit geeks who work at Bright Planning. But truth be told, not everyone will spend an hour looking at piece of marketing.
To engage your reader, give their eyes a break. Section your landing page into bite-sized, digestible morsels of information. You’ll get the point across in a much clearer and more powerful way.
Bullet points are your best friend: If you want to get the point across quickly, then lists provide a powerful weapon. The technique gives your audience a helicopter view of benefits, features, and solutions, and/or pain points.
For best results, try the agitate-and-solve technique which balances struggle with solution.
Increase your social media presence with tools that show results in real-time, so that you never have to drain hours from your day collecting intelligent data.
Deliver value in every sentence: It bears repeating—every word you write must help the reader in some form or another. Even if it’s only to entertain them.
Boost your credibility: Use real and vivid examples of the accolades you’ve accomplished. It helps to let your customers do the talking in the form of testimonials.
Dominate the conversation with facts: Stats. Figures. Charts. Appealing to the logical section of the brain works wonders.
Case in point:
When in doubt, throw in a stat. Readers start paying attention once the bare facts are laid out in front of them.
Tap into the emotion: Human beings are not robotic automatons who buy something based on mathematical theories. Even if you work in the most high-tech field, your buyers purchase based in large part on emotional resonance.
Never forget that.
To up the emotional ante, include a little storytelling. Introduce the conflict, grind the pain, and show the glorious outcome.
We’re going to reveal the final 5 must-have copywriting projects in the next article.