Keywords are still important but they only help get the potential customer to the Web site. No matter how many keywords you stuff into a headline or body text, if the copy is not compelling enough to get the reader to keep reading and act, the keywords that got them there are a waste of time.
Customers who take the time to read a web site are looking for one thing: “How does this product or service solve my problem and make my life easier.” Web copy needs to convince them that they’re in the right place.
UNDERSTANDING WEB COPY
Web site owners sometimes need help in understanding the value of what a good copywriter brings to the success of their Web site. Good copywriters are experts at distilling and communicating the client’s reason for being and selling their unique value to their customers. Not just any words will do that and not just any writer can find the right ones.
What differentiates a good copywriter from someone who just knows how to cobble sentences together? Knowing how to sell benefits in a compelling way, instead of listing features of a product.
A good copywriter is a detective first of all. They want to know who the audience is and what pain they experience…and therefore what benefits will relieve that pain. Doing this requires skill in knowing and asking the right questions.
Relieving pain is very much an emotional trigger. Pain often involves anxiety about solving a problem. You want a potential customer coming to your Web site to easily see why they’ve found a good solution to their problem.
I once wrote Web copy for a client whose software allows insurance companies to recover overpayments. My client is not the only one in this business, of course, but by talking to them, I came to understand that their unique value was their software’s capability.
Where most software would capture overpayments in the hundreds or thousands, this company’s software could capture overpayments as small as $25. This differentiated them from their competitors.
Another differentiation was that their auditors were healthcare and managed-care specialists with years of experience.
Writing the copy for their Web site, I was sure to place these benefits (and others) prominently. Potential customers could easily see how this company was going to make their job easier and more efficient.
The tagline I wrote for them, “Are you leaving money out there?” evoked an immediate emotional response in healthcare payers whose job depends on recovering big money through little overpayments. It immediately told the customer that my client understood their problem and had a solution for it.
This is only a small part of what copywriters do. It is about keywords but it’s also knowing that keywords are only part of the picture. It’s about knowing what evokes emotion in customers and writing compelling copy that gets them to act.