We all know that websites are crucial parts of a business. They are the face of your brand. But do you know why your website isn’t converting well?
It could be because you aren’t using the right words to describe your products and services. It could be because you haven’t been able to clearly communicate your message. Or maybe you’re missing out on some key elements that would make your site stand out from the crowd.
Your target market uses the Internet to research, discover and purchase solutions in your business category. Without a strategically written website, it will become increasingly difficult to win the game of business – even if your business is mostly offline – because those who are Internet savvy will eat away your business.
Writing persuasive website copy for your business is difficult. It takes experience, practice and work of a skilled copywriter. Good copywriters are so expensive that many can’t afford.
However, there’s a surprising way to write effective copy for your business website. This method makes writing a lot easier, way more fun and isa lot less expensive – and you can implement it within a week.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- The goals of your business website
- The usual way of writing copy
- The interview-inspired copywriting method
- Conduct effective interviews (+ a kit)
Let’s dive in.
🎯 Your website has goals
Your website has goals that it has to actively pursue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
A well-designed website is the foundation of every digital marketing campaign. It has to be attractive, easy to navigate and engaging enough to keep users coming back for more. But, if you cannot convert visitors into leads and then into buyers, your website will never reach its full potential.
You basically have three levers to pull in order to get effective results from your website: UX, copy and UI . These three levers have to work together to achieve the goals of your business, which includes:
- Sell products or services
- Promote yourself or your brand
- Educate your audience about your product or service
- Provide information to your customers
- Give them an opportunity to contact you with questions
- Allow them to share their feedback
- Inform them about your new offers
- Offer them a chance to join your mailing list
…and so on
Ultimately, they all serve a single purpose: making your brand likeable and preferable to others.
In this post, let’s learn how to pull the copy lever as well as we can.
✍️ The usual way of writing copy
Writing on your own
You might think since it’s your product or service, it’s better you write your own website copy. There’s no denying that writing by yourself is the most common way of writing copy. However, it comes with its disadvantages.
If you’re not good at writing, then you won’t get any results. You may end up spending hours trying to come up with something that sounds convincing but ultimately doesn’t work. And when you finally find what works, it might take weeks or months before you see results.
The risks are that you might end up sounding too technical or salesy, which your target audience might not appreciate. You also risk losing potential clients because of poor quality content.
Outsourcing it to a copywriter
A professional copywriter will create the copy for you based on your requirements. He/she will use the information you provide and his/her expertise to come up with something unique, engaging and interesting.
Even though this is slightly better than the first method, it still carries its own risks. For instance, the copywriter might not understand your target audience deeply. The copy fails to press the emotional triggers of your audience and bring them closer to your business.
It also costs money upfront, plus ongoing expenses like editing, proofreading and revisions.
Your work closely with a copywriter
In this method, you try to pass on the understanding of the product and market to your copywriter, who then creates the copy.
This means you need to be very clear about what you want from your website copy. You should have a clear idea of what your business does, how it helps people and why they should buy from you.
Though this approach sounds reasonable, it is impossible to understand, reflect or portray your entire audience – in its varying depths, needs and desires – by just one person.
Is it really possible for anyone to express the needs, hopes, desires and challenges of each of their customers in their words? Frankly, I haven’t met a person who can do that.
“Is there a better alternative?” – I hear you asking.
🎤 The Interview-driven Website Copywriting Method
The Interview Method is inspired by the idea that most skillful and passionate salespeople are YOUR HAPPY CUSTOMERS. They know the most interesting, beneficial, and unusual, ways to use your offerings. They can describe better than you or your copywriter will ever be able to.
Their words instantly resonate with your target audience because they don’t come from boardrooms, brainstorming sessions, or marketing departments. Instead, they come straight from the heart and soul of your happy customers.
They aren’t constrained by time or budget. They feel free to speak their mind, tell their stories, and share their experiences. They articulate the most terrible pain points and how your offering helps them overcome those problems. And provide you with the most colourful, stunning, and moving turn of phrases.
If you’re looking for an easy way to write persuasive website copy, this is it! They throw the light on the dark corners of your business and help you find new ways to sell.
💼 How to conduct effective interviews (+ a kit)
Here’s how you can implement the Interview-driven Website Copywriting Method. You can execute this method by yourself or you can hire a copywriter to do it for you, which is what I recommend. You can then oversee the entire process and offer valuable feedback. When you’re the one executing this project, you will get too bogged down in details and miss out on important things.
Let’s review the process.
Step 1. Identify 5-7 customers for interviewing
Identify 5-7 customers who are highly successful with your offering(s). These customers would spend about 45 minutes over the coming week to talk to you or your copywriter.
Step 2: Schedule the interviews well in advance
Interviews could be done face-to-face, over the phone, via Zoom. I don’t recommend using email because you can’t observe their facial expressions and body language, which give clues to their true feelings.
It’s best to schedule these interviews at least 3 days before you actually start writing the content.
You’ll get more value if you interview these customers at different times during the day (morning, afternoon, evening). That way you’ll get a good mix of people who are open-minded, engaged, tired, hungry, etc.
Schedule a maximum of only 2 interviews per day.
Step 3: Prepare your interview questions
You could use the following questions:
- Go to the time of hiring us. What made you look for a solution like ours?
- What was the biggest challenge you faced when trying to solve this problem?
- How were you solving it before you worked with us?
- What was the scope of our involvement?
- Why that approach was not effective?
- How did we solve it?
- What were the results?
- What are some benefits you’ve realized since implementing our solution?
- What did you tell yourself or your team when you realized these benefits?
- What businesses can experience similar results?
- What was the most surprising element of our relationship?
Feel free to add your own questions. The aim is to elicit responses that will make potential customers go ‘Wow’, ‘that’s amazing’, ‘this is it!’, and so on.
Step 4: Conduct the interviews
Start off by asking the customer to introduce themselves. Then ask them to describe their experience with your product/service using the questions in the previous step. This part should take around 30-40 minutes. Follow up with additional questions until you have enough information to write on.
Record the entire interview. This is a crucial step. But seek their permission before recording.
Step 5: Transcribe the interviews
You will highlight phrases that convey value, novel use cases, surprise, and other ‘Aha’ moments – categorize them by themes as you go along. Download this spreadsheet to make this process easy.
Step 6: Incorporating your notes into your website copy
- Identify the most common theme or benefit from your interview research. This could be your potential value prop.
- Group other benefits and sort them by frequency. These could be used in the benefits / why us section.
- Assess whether other key phrases could be used as headlines of some pages.
- Incorporate entire sections as testimonials.
Now that you have key sections transmitted directly from the hearts and souls of your customers, you (or your copywriter) can go and draft the connecting parts with factual information and benefits of your offerings.
This copy, you might realize, has the biggest chance of connecting with your future customers and piercing into their hearts, and thereby tilt the odds in your favour.
In conclusion, writing persuasive website copy isn’t always easy. But if you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll have a much easier time crafting compelling content that will persuade readers to take action. And remember: the most reliable way to write persuasive website copy is to use an interview-driven approach. This means asking questions that will prompt your audience to share their own stories and experiences. By doing so, you’ll create content that resonates with your target audience and encourages them to act.