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Questions to ask when writing or reviewing your website copy

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 | By Amanda Jesnoewski

The words on your website can be the difference between a website browser and a new customer. With more and more potential customers heading online to find and buy products, your website copy has never been more important.


To make your words count, here are seven questions to ask when you are writing or reviewing your website copy.


1. Does your copy appeal to your target audiences?


Are you writing for your target market or about you? Good copy is all about your target market; it addresses their frustrations, solves their problems, gives them the benefits and answers their question “what is in it for me”?


Once you have written your copy, read through it and count how many “yous” you have versus how many “wes”. You should be talking about your customer at least twice as many times as you are talking about your business.


2. Is there a benefit driven or emotionally appealing headline on each page?


Don’t underestimate the power of headlines. With five to 10 seconds to capture the attention of your target market, your headline will help you make an impact and connect with your reader, and if done correctly, encourage them to keep reading.


3. Are sub-headlines easily identifiable and do they guide readers through the page?


Most of your website readers aren’t readers at all, they are scanners. This means they will be scanning through parts of your copy to find what is relevant or of interest to them. Sub-headlines are great for drawing attention to certain parts of your copy and make it easier for scanners to find what they are looking for.


4. Is the critical content above the fold?


In sales copy your most hard-hitting, benefit-driven information needs to be first, with as much appearing above the fold (where your reader doesn’t have to scroll down) as possible. When your reader lands on your website they want to know “what’s in it for me?” Good copy will always give them the answer straight up.


5. Are testimonials or case studies used to prove the value?


To back up claims you make in your copy, include testimonials that demonstrate benefits and results you have generated for past and present customers. Remember, no-one sells your business better than a happy customer.


If you claim your products or services can boost sales or minimise expenses by a certain percentage within a particular timeframe, provide a testimonial or case study that proves your claim. You will add credibility and build trust with your readers if you do.


6. Is there a call to action on every page?


Are you creating a sense of urgency by giving a compelling reason to act now on every page? Your website should be an extension of your sales team and be converting readers into leads and buyers. To do this, each page needs to have a strong call to action.


When establishing your call to action, ask yourself "what do I want my reader to do once they have finished reading this page?"


7. Is there a way to capture your readers’ contact information?


Have you provided an irresistible offer that compels your reader to give up their contact information? In addition to wanting your reader to respond to your call to action, you also want to get their contact details. This way, you are in control of how regularly they hear about your business.


To do this, you need to offer them something of value. It could be a checklist, an eBook, a cheat sheet or a template of some sort. Whatever you choose, make sure it is easy to sign up for, if there is too much effort involved you may limit your sign-ups.