If you were going to take a road trip from Los Angeles to Portland, what would you do? You would pull up a map on your phone, enter your destination, and then follow the directions for how to get there.
Web copy is like a map for your website. The destination is the desired action you want each customer to take—purchase, sign up for an email newsletter, schedule a consultation, etc.—and each snippet of copy is another road sign that will lead them there.
When you think of your web copy this way, it becomes clear why you should pay attention to it. Simply choosing a headline because you like the way it sounds or because it fits nicely next to a graphic is not wrong, but if you’re not intentional, it could hinder the effectiveness of your website.
Here are three reasons why the messaging on your website should be a priority:
Don’t Miss an Opportunity to Connect
Well written web copy includes a balance of messaging that both connects and sells. If you think about it, your website probably has a lot of sales copy, especially if you’re selling a product or service. Product descriptions, about us pages, and your homepage likely include copy that compels potential customers to choose you over the competition.
It’s the connecting part that sometimes gets overlooked. Connecting with your audience is equivalent to empathizing with your audience. It may be as simple as a headline that makes them feel seen, heard, and/or understood. Or a personal story that reveals more information about the company’s founders. It’s about building a relationship that will withstand the ups and downs of a customer’s buying journey.
Quickly Answer Clarifying Questions
- What are you selling?
- How much is it?
- How do I buy what you’re selling?
- Are you interesting?
- How do I learn more?
These are a few questions that your audience may have when they first land on your website. They should be able to find these answers with the least amount of effort possible. The kicker is that you don’t have a lot of time to answer them. Minutes, if not seconds.
Primarily, your web copy must be clear, concise, and helpful. Secondly, it should help naturally direct the eye to what you want the potential customer to read and in what order. A professional copywriter will know how to work with a designer to ensure the copy flows how it should.
A More Efficient Process
Be honest. If you had website-building superpowers, you’d probably start by choosing colors, fonts, and images. It’s a common misconception that the design comes first when creating a website. And sometimes it does, which usually ends up costing more time and money in the long run due to endless revisions.
Retrofitting the copy into a layout is backwards. When the copy comes first, it forces you to think strategically about your website and answer the tough questions before you even start.