Customer Experience

Are the words on your website costing you customers?

Ben Keenan
Industry Expert

Ben Keenan is an integrated copywriter and creative director. He can be found talking, writing and teaching at thethoughtpolice.com.au

Ben Keenan
Industry Expert

Ben Keenan is an integrated copywriter and creative director. He can be found talking, writing and teaching at thethoughtpolice.com.au

To better understand if your website copy is effectively communicating, it’s worthwhile to consider what is going through the mind of the prospective customers who are reading it.

It’s been proven that when you find five dollars in the street, you feel like you’ve found five dollars, but when you lose five dollars, you feel like you’ve lost ten.

This is known in the world of behavioural economics, as loss aversion, and when it comes to decision making, we are more in fear of getting it wrong than we are getting things right.

So what has this got to do with effective website copywriting? Well, everything.

When you break it down, the internet is just a series of decisions. Click this, ignore that, trust this opinion, disagree with that opinion, share that thing because it’s funny/aligns to my values/makes me look smart.

So here’s an uncomfortable truth: when someone comes to your website for the first time, it’s likely they’re not coming cash in hand ready to buy. They are working out whether they can trust you or not.

So how do you invoke trust? 

A red desk chair in front of an office desk with laptop.

1. You introduce yourself

If you are a small business operator, you, your experience and your reputation is a really effective communication technique.

So instead of being the XYZ Company, introduce yourself as Angela Smith, founder of XYC Company.

Make sure your profile on LinkedIn is connected to your site if you are B2B business, and if you’re a B2C business, that you have a Facebook business page interconnected with the relevant people in your personal and professional networks. All will bolster your credibility and make people feel comfortable about getting in touch.

2. Put a face to your name

You should also show a shot of you and your employees. Don’t have a budget for a professional photographer? Don’t fret. There are other means of effective communication. Unless professional photography is your business, looking authentic is more important than looking slick.

3. Show off your work

Depending on your business, this could take many forms: from a folio of past works, demonstrating your product knowledge or testimonials written by past customers. It’s far more credible to have others talk up your experience and expertise than you to awkwardly do it yourself.

For this very reason, actively collect and ask for reviews on an external websites like Google or Yelp and link them from your site. Building up this kind of objective feedback will keep referrals coming.

Unless professional photography is your business, looking authentic is more important than looking slick.

- Ben Keenan

4. Talk about your why, not just your what

Yes, you can explain that you have twenty different services in bullet points, but why should I turn to you rather than your competition that offer the same thing?

This is what is known in marketing-speak as your Unique Selling Proposition. It’s the one thing you do better than anyone else.

So maybe you’ll save me money. You may offer bundled products, or have created some kind of efficiency that knocks out the middle-person meaning savings are passed on. If this is so, show me how much the same thing will cost me elsewhere, and make “Why pay more?” your headline, and your unique selling proposition becomes that you offer “more for less”.

Perhaps you’re more expensive. In that case you are offering premium packages, sourcing from the best suppliers, or offering a “bespoke” service. If this is so, show me the benefits of investing in higher quality, and make “Buy the very best” your headline and your unique selling proposition becomes the “the best money can buy”.

There are thousands of complicated and cumbersome things we’d rather not deal with on a daily basis. There are times when we might need a service in the dead of night. If this is you, then what you are selling me isn’t the service you offer, in these instances your unique selling proposition becomes “convenience”, “simplicity” or “responsiveness”.

5. Tell people exactly what you want them to do

This is what’s known as your “call to action”. All of your website copy should point to one consistent call to action that brings that website visitor one step closer to becoming a customer.

It could be a free consultation, signing up for an email newsletter that offers valuable free information, or an obligation free quote on a form that will help them better understand how you can help.

Remember, they’ve just met you. Ensure what you are offering is easy to say yes to, gives them something of immediate value, and lets them know you are here to help.

Pace that right and trust will be gained. And so will paying customers.

You don’t need to break the bank to offer a first class online experience

Read about why Customers Come First

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