It takes a certain degree of skill to write web copy that sells. The window of opportunity is very limited. People tend to scan copy on the Internet faster than print ads. There’s also much more information available at any given time on the Internet. Consumers want to find what they need as quickly as possible. Hence, your job is to expedite this process for them. And the best way to accomplish this is by using certain key elements that are common in successful web copy.
-Identify your primary target audience. These are people who are most likely to purchase your products or services. Your target audience can be defined by certain demographic characteristics. For example, your primary customers may be from a specific age or income group. They may also hold common occupations or educational levels. Household size, ethnic background and geography are some other key demographic variables. Other factors that distinguish core customers include lifestyles, goals and buying behavior. For example, your target customers may be workout enthusiasts, people who want to lose weight or early adopters of new technology.
-Address your specific target audience with your ad copy. Use easy, understandable language that is common to them. Write in a conversational style. Use the word “you” frequently throughout your promotional pieces or ads.
-Start with a strong headline. Place the headline in larger and bold-type lettering for greater exposure. Include one of the primary benefits of your product or service in your heading. For example, “Learn to Read Twice as Fast in Just Two Weeks,” addresses a key benefit for people who want to increase their reading speed. Another highly effective technique in writing headlines is phrasing them like a question: Would You Like To Find More Dating Prospects Online?” or “Would You Like To Earn More From Your Investments This Year?
-Break your web copy into various sections or sub headings. Use sub headings that are relevant to your product or service, including product details, warranties or money-back guarantees as sub heads. Use plenty of white space to make your web copy readable. Use diagrams and illustrations to balance out your copy on the page. Relevant illustrations can also help draw people into your ad, similar to a strong headline.
-Mention all the key benefits of your product or service. Show how your offer differs from competitors’, whether it’s your quality, durability, customer service or convenience. It is essential that you stress benefits over features throughout most of your web copy. Your vacation package may include airfare, hotel and a free daily continental breakfast. But what you are really selling is relaxation and time away from the daily grind. Don’t just list the key benefits of your products with several examples. Write so people can envision themselves using your products or services: Appeal to people’s emotions. Say something like, “Imagine yourself lying on the white sands of our pristine beaches, basking in 80-degree temperatures while others back home are plowing snow from their driveways .”
-Intersperse several different versions of your keywords throughout your web copy. Work these keywords and phrases into your copy naturally. Don’t overdo the keywords or phrases or you’ll come across as amateur. Your goal is to not only sell your products or services but also to position yourself high enough in the search engines to drive traffic to your site.
-Use testimonials in your web copy or ads. Testimonials are positive statements from users. Testimonials can be written out or presented as a recording or video. Make it easy for people to use any audio or video testimonials. Insert arrows or buttons with the proper instructions. Place the testimonials toward the end of your copy so they don’t detract from the flow of our copy.
-Offer a free trial period. Create a separate sub heading for the free trial offer. Highlight the free trail offer with designs or special shading. Underline key points of your free trail offer. Set a specific time period for the free trial like “30 days.” Give people the option of returning the product or keeping it. But make sure your indicate how they will be billed if they keep the product. Use a money back guarantee in lieu of a free trial if you prefer, giving the buyer 30 or 60 days to return it if they aren’t satisfied. Trial offers and guarantees can dramatically increase sales.
-Use the AIDA principle throughout your web copy or ad. AIDA stands for attention, interest, desire and action, according to advertising expert, Dave Dolak. Attract readers with your headlines and sub headings, build their interest and desire through visualization. Prompt them to order with special deals or sales.
-Summarize all the key points of your offer at the end of your web copy or ad.
-Don’t overpromise. Just over-deliver.