Web gurus around the world proclaim that “content is king” when it comes to websites. Sadly, the proclamation doesn’t meet with reality. Look at most websites (b to b in particular) and you quickly discover that content is crap, especially when it comes to website copywriting. Here are four good ways to get your content squarely onto the “king” side of the table where it belongs.
1. No one cares that you’re a “global leader”
Consider this opening sentence at one b-to-b website:
“Our products are used throughout the globe for an extremely wide variety of applications. Through constant innovation we stay ahead of the competition.”
You’ll find this one (or a variation of it) as the opener on millions of b-to-b websites. Well ho hum…It says nothing unique. Indeed, it is so not unique that it can apply to just about any company on earth that supplies a product in more than one country. So why would you open with a sentence like this, rather than a benefit you offer, or a problem that you can solve?
2. “I can do the website copywriting myself.”
The truth is, if you’re a fairly good writer and you can find the time, you might be able to do your own web copywriting—at least for the initial copy for your site. But as countless sites on the web with one or two 3-year-old press releases and an ancient blog entry from 2009 prove, you probably won’t have the time. Hiring someone who is good at website copywriting is cheap money, given that you’ll take a lot longer to do it and your time is probably worth more than someone who is an expert at website copywriting.
3. Website copywriting that favors features over benefits.
Consider for a moment these features: It’s quieter, it has automatic temperature control and sleek new styling: It’s got to be a new car, right? Actually, it’s a refrigerator.
Food stays cold so it doesn’t go bad in a refrigerator. A car gets you where you want to go. Both are benefits and they’re the main reason people buy them. If you’re selling abstract or esoteric web-based services, you’ll need to get the benefits across quickly and clearly lest your prospects bounce right off your site because they can’t get past the features to find out how you can help them.
4. “I can do my own SEO copy writing”
You’ll notice a few words highlighted in this copy. Frankly, they’re the keywords for search engine optimization that will get our website ranked higher on Google. While you can likely come up with some keywords that pertain to your company, good SEO copywriters don’t guess, they use analytics to find the best keywords and to determine keyword density. For example, I know that the keyword phrase “website copywriting services” got 5,400 searches on Google last month and that there are 1,330,000 web pages that have this keyword phrase, yielding a search/competition ratio of 0.00406. Compare that to the keyword phrase web site copywriting, which got only 2,900 search, but has 19,600,000 competing pages and a search/competition ratio of only 0.00015. That small change in wording makes for a drastically different result in your success at climbing search engines.