How To Write Copy For Your Website Homepage That Will Atract Clients

Click on the image to read the script from the movie "The Hucksters"

"The Hucksters" is Quite Possibly the Best Book Ever Written on Advertising and Copywriting. Then again, "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This!" is Pretty Darn Good Too.

Copywriting is for more than just ad agency wonks. Even if you’re a small business owner managing all aspects of your online presence—as well as the rest of your physical business—it doesn’t mean there aren’t core principles that can maximize the value of every writing effort. One significant difference between website copyrighting and all other writing is that Web copywriting has an end goal of conversion, whether it’s signing up for your email list or purchasing your product. This means that every word you choose should guide visitors towards that goal.

This is especially true for your homepage, which serves as a kind of lobby for your business. Right away, you need to put the copy in front of your visitors that will keep them on your page and get them from the headline to your introduction, then further and further into your site. Importantly, despite what television may depict, intuition has always had a limited role in writing great Web copy and, with the bundle of metrics accessible to modern webmasters, its role has almost entirely disappeared. Here are some concrete steps to improve your Web copywriting today:

Know who your client is and speak to them in a voice that resonates

I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.
— David Ogilvy

Anyone who comes to your website almost certainly comes with specific intentions and specific expectations. No one randomly bounces around the Web or casually types URLs into a browser. Most of your Web visitors probably arrived through a search click-through. That click-through, and the keywords used to get it is your first clue for great copywriting. The expectations of your client are wrapped up in those keywords. That means that if a visitor were searching for “Alaska cruise companies,” the headline of your website should explicitly note your status as an Alaska cruise company. Meeting the expectations of your visitors they moment they appear on your homepage is critical to avoiding the bounce.

And how do you predict the keywords they’re using? Keyword research. Keyword research is essential so that you can design pages to meet expectations. Beyond keyword research, it also helps to understand your competition. How are they marketing their products? Are they a luxury carrier or a discount cruiser? This is one of the few intuitive aspects of the process—deciphering your unique angle that might affect, say, whether you retain a more formal or casual tone.

Specifically, a headline should be as clear and concise as possible. The goal is to get visitors to read a two- or three-sentence introduction to your company below the headline, so choose something intriguing for the headline, not just a bland “Welcome to Our Website.”

Make Your Writing Personal

Increasingly, clients want to connect on a personal level with a company. You have an opportunity to start building that relationship as soon as they get to your homepage. Your copy should seek to tap into their emotions and connect intimately with a client. This could mean a casual tone in some cases, or a more conventional explanation of various aspects of your product or service. While quoting technical jargon may make you seem knowledgeable, it’s going to keep your lay clients at a distance.

Accept that Readers will Skim Your Blog Articles

You may labor for hours over your copy, but it’s still unlikely that any visitor will read it all. This is where the formatting of your text comes into play. Take the key phrases from your introduction that will encourage clients to stay and highlight them with bold text or italics. Consider using a single contrasting color to make the most important parts of your pitch pop and inch your visitors closer to conversion.


About Michael Conway and Means-of-Production

My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition. Contact me for a free-of-charge consultation and marketing review. It takes about 40 minutes and you'll be provided a list of actionable improvements designed to solve your specific marketing problems. 

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