As an entrepreneur or individual entrepreneur, you make many strategic decisions daily in an effort to create and maintain a successful business. Because your website plays such a key role in your success, you owe it to yourself to be sure your website offers the highest caliber written content possible.
Do you have what it takes to create clear, compelling, grammatically correct copy for your website, or should you be outsourcing this function to someone who does?
While it may be extremely tempting to write your website copy yourself, as a way of saving money and avoiding the work involved in locating a capable writer and negotiating a mutually agreeable price, this move could be unwise unless you yourself are as capable a writer as the one you’d commission to do the job for you.
Otherwise, your business could suffer as a result. The mere fact that it’s easier today than it’s ever been to publish one’s writing online is, unfortunately, not a sufficient reason to take the chance of harming your business with less-than-effective writing.
The internet contains so much mediocre to frightfully badly written content that you certainly wouldn’t want your website to be associated in any way with the sites that fit this category. The bottom line is that poorly written website copy destroys your credibility with your prospect and damages your ability to maintain a profitable business.
To write compelling website copy requires far more than the ability to string words together into a coherent sentence. Do you have what it takes? Answer these seven questions honestly to find out:
1. Do you understand the principles of copywriting?
Copywriting is a specialized writing discipline that follows a specific set of principles and writing techniques to achieve results. Professional copywriters understand these principles and know how to use the techniques that inspire website visitors to respond to your offers and appeals. If you lack copywriting experience or have never studied the principles of copywriting, producing your own website copy despite this lack may place you at a serious disadvantage in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
2. Do you possess the writing skill to create compelling copy?
Carefully crafted website copy helps the reader visualize the intangible, as well as the tangible, benefits of your product or service while building anticipation for the advantages your offering can provide to him or her. To accomplish this, your copy must be descriptive, immediate, and compelling. It must also be organized in such a way that the ideas are presented in the most logical and most effective order, using proper pacing, careful word choice, and skillful phrasing that allow the ideas to unfold and the writing to flow smoothly.
3. Is your writing persuasive?
To be successful, website copy must be convincing. It must be able to persuade your reader — to build trust while inspiring her to believe that your product, service, e-newsletter, or e-mail list signup offers so much value that her wisest move would be to purchase it immediately or opt into your list right now rather than passing on your offer or even waiting to take advantage of it later. Without practiced persuasive skills and techniques, this result can be difficult to achieve.
4. Do you know how to write an effective call to action?
No matter how compelling or otherwise well-written your copy, if you are unable to use the magic of words to motivate your reader to act, your website copy will fail to do its job. A call to action is synonymous with asking for the sale. Otherwise known as “closing the deal,” your call to action is crucial to the success of your landing page or other website copy. Specific principles govern the writing of effective calls to action just as they do all the other parts of your web page. If you don’t have a clear understanding of these principles, your web copy will likely fall short of achieving the goal you desire.
5. Are your spelling, punctuation, and grammatical skills up to par?
Proper grammar, correct spelling, and skillful language mechanics are a must if your web copy is to be taken seriously. One of the worst mistakes a businessperson can make is to publish web pages that are riddled with typos, bathed in poor English, and rife with spelling errors. These shortcomings can make your company appear unprofessional, incompetent, or worse still, untrustworthy. One of the most common ways people have learned to detect fraudulent e-mails, for example, is through the atrocious use of the normal conventions of language that they often contain. So, don’t place yourself on a par with these individuals, calling your credibility into question. If you need help in these areas of language, hire a professional writer — or, at the very least, a professional editor.
6. Do you have the time to do it right?
If you’re too busy running your business to find sufficient time to do your web copy justice, you owe it to yourself to hire someone who does. Short-changing yourself in this area is unfair to both you and your business. When you stretch yourself too thin by taking on an additional responsibility that you have too little time to successfully execute, not only do you work yourself excessively hard, but your company reaps unsatisfactory results despite your extra work — a real lose-lose.
7. Can you afford to take the chance?
If your copywriting skills are as yet untested, you’ll need to decide whether it would be worth your while to take the risk of potential failure. Can you afford the setback that ineffective website copy could create for your business? If you’ve already made a significant financial investment in your business and/or your website, why cut back in such a critical area. You’d be much better off bypassing the risk and hiring a professional copywriter.
As a business owner or individual entrepreneur, you make many strategic decisions every day in an effort to create and maintain a successful enterprise. Because your website plays such a key role in that success, you owe it to yourself to make sure your site features the highest caliber written content possible.
No matter what your line of business, publishing high-caliber website copy is one of the most effective strategies you can use to make your website do what it was designed to do: attract new prospects, retain current customers, and maximize conversions.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.