If you’re running a business, you’ve probably heard that your website is your digital storefront. Often, your website is the first step in the customer journey and the first point of contact a customer will have with you.
According to a report from Episerver, 92% of first-time website visitors aren’t there to make a purchase. They’re just looking around and trying to figure you out.
That’s why presenting a great website is one of the most important things you can do to win business.
But having a fancy website is about more than good design. It’s about great writing that connects with your target audience and helps them understand what you have to offer. To do that, you’ll need someone who understands how to talk to customers in a digital space.
That’s where a website copywriter comes in.
First impressions matter. That’s a maxim we’re taught from grade school, and it’s true whether we’re going on a date or considering whether or not to do business with a company for the very first time.
The customer journey you design deserves clean writing. It sounds like a simple process, but rooting out typos and making absolutely sure that your presentation is clear and to the point can take a lot of work.
A professional copywriter — especially one with a deep understanding of your business model and your industry — can help you smooth out key transition points and make sure that customers understand your offer, your ask, and what your company is all about.
There’s more to the customer experience than that, but clean writing is the bare minimum for making a great first impression and ultimately winning business. If your customers land on your website and find themselves stumbling over your text, it won’t be long before they head back to Google in search of greener pastures.
While clean writing is a huge part of an exceptional customer experience, it’s not the only thing that matters.
Making sure that your website text is presented in a professional and easy-to-read format falls — in part — to your website copywriter.
One thing that a lot of small business owners overlook is the value of skimmable text. People don’t read every word on websites. They skim. They glance at the headlines, decide if it’s something they’re interested in, give a cursory glance at the underlying text, and move on.
Perhaps more importantly, people skip over big blocks of text. It’s so prevalent that the Onion picked up on it nearly a decade ago.
An oft-cited 2008 study from the Nielsen Norman Group points out that users only read about 28% of words during an average visit and that 20% is more likely.
Part of your copywriter’s job is to make sure that the most important text targets your customer touchpoints and centers around the portions of the screen that they’re most likely to read.
Ironically, making sure your business offerings jump out isn’t enough. The rest of the text still has to be there. Consider this article, for example. You might skim the headlines before looking at the text, but you wouldn’t even skim if all that was listed on this page were headlines.
The content still has to be accurate; the words still have to be present on the page, even if it’s unlikely that customers will read them every time. Even if you consider it window dressing to the rest of the customer journey, the content you create has to be present, and it has to be relevant to your business operation.
Your website copywriter should understand and be able to present your business in a series of clear and logical objectives.
When I take on a new project, the lion’s share of my first few hours is spent getting to know the business. Sometimes, I do that through an interview. Other times, it’s all about careful note-taking.
I’ll often look at the business through different lenses and try to imagine myself as a customer shopping for the product or service a client offers. I’ll try to poke holes in the value offering as it’s displayed on the website and see where it might be a good idea to connect the dots in a different way.
An ideal part of the customer journey is a roadmap that’s clear and easy to follow. Not only does each objective on the list need to inform a customer; it also needs to do something for the reader.
Is an actionable point pushing them forward or helping to clarify their understanding? Is it asking them directly to take action, make a purchase, or provide information? And do these actions line up with the rest of the website and the rest of the writing that a business is using to create a value proposition?
Depending on the website and the offer being made, isolating and explaining those key touchpoints can be tricky. A professional copywriter can help you isolate those areas where a customer needs additional knowledge and can create value around those objectives.
One of the major points at the final stage of the customer journey is the call to action. This is the point on the page where you’re asking people to take action, sign up for your service, or buy your product.
Some pages have a ton of calls to action, inviting readers to sort themselves into more specific funnels or join for a free trial or entry-level subscription.
Your website copywriter can help you set up your copy as a lead-in to your call to action. They’ll partner with you to find out the purpose of your web page and help you create a structure or layout that pushes people to take action when they read the end of your offer.
That call to action may be different depending on the content of the web page.
For example: if you sell customizable, stuffed alligators through your website, maybe your home page isn’t actually about selling the alligator.
Maybe it’s about the customization.
So your call to action has less to do with selling the product and more to do with inviting readers to interact with a customization widget that helps them create a cute toy that sells itself.
As you build out each major point on your customer journey, your professional copywriter will help you isolate the purpose of the page and will write with that goal in mind.
Just as the customer journey doesn’t stop at the call to action, there’s always more for a website copywriter to do.
Typically, I make sure the website forms, the thank you pages, and web receipts are all reviewed for any typographical errors. I’ll also recommend opportunities for additional information.
Website writing, along with other types of business writing, is as much about understanding the business as it is about putting words on a page. Find a writer you connect with who is willing to dig a little deeper to understand how your business and your customer journey functions.
Even if they’re just explaining content on the surface level, someone who’s eager to understand the underpinnings of your operation can help your audience grasp your most valuable talking points quickly and easily.
Looking for a copywriter? I’d love to chat! Send me a message to get started.