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Turning Browsers into Buyers: Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Website Copy That Works Harder Than Your Morning Coffee

by | Aug 12, 2023 | Copywriting | 0 comments

How to write the right words on your conversion-focused homepage.

This is a more in-depth resource on writing your homepage copy. It’s not the template type. It’s not the short-cut, easy route. This is the proper, most effective way that needs your time and energy investment. For those serious about writing their own copy that makes their ideal customer say, “I want THIS!” 

First things first, make sure you are clear about 3 things in your business:

  • Positioning
  • Audience
  • USP Unique Selling Point

It is best to have your [brand strategy] in place to make writing ANY copy easy peasy!

Now, let’s get to it.

Step 1

RESEARCH

 

Writing website copy is not a creative endeavor.  We don’t conjure words to sound pretty. The job is not to write but to sell. On this particular page, the Homepage, we are selling the click. For them to navigate further on the website, and not bounce off. 

The message we put out there is not our message, it’s from our customers. Yes, you read that right, not from us but from our customers.

As they scroll the page we want them to feel understood, and tell themselves I’m in the right place. And that’s what we’ll do.

So we research our customers beyond their demographics, we have to know them like we know our spouse. (Like when your spouse isn’t saying a word, but you still get what he is NOT saying. –That level of understanding your customer)

This is an essential step, as we want to mirror our audience, we want to join the conversation happening in their heads when they look at our page. We want them to say ‘That’s exactly how I feel!’

So how do we go about this research?

Customer Interviews

Take a look at your customer feedback, and moving forward start conducting customer interviews.

Questions to ask: 

  • What was their life like before they find you?
  • What options were they considering?
  • Why did they decide to go with your offer, how did it change their life? 
  • How are they NOW after working with you?

 

Listen on social media

Join groups your audience are in, familiarize yourself with how they think, and speak. Or read comments on direct or indirect competitors and see their reactions.

If you don’t have a lot of customers yet to interview, you can uncover problems unmet by your competition or aspects they love about the service or product by looking at reviews of your competitors. 

Then we move on to competitive research, what are we looking for?

We won’t look to copy and plagiarize. We want to know what people expect to see because across the industry they see it. What messages are being repeated across the industry, being overused, we want to avoid that.

We don’t want our message to sound like everybody else and make white noise in our target audience’s ears. 

We want to find a message gap.

Something we have that they don’t, or maybe they also have but chose not to frame the messaging around it.

 Example: Ditch the 9-5. Escape the 9-5 life, and break free from the cubicle.

 Maybe a few years ago it has an impact, it was effective but then it slowly became overused and lost its value when people hear it.

 For example in fitness, everybody is talking about how in 15 minutes a day you’ll see results you’d be like this or without giving up your cravings you’ll lose X pounds in Y days. But what about people who need to improve their lifestyle? Like they want to be more flexible and more active and improve their strength,  match their kid’s energy, and enjoy with them. That angle or perspective could be a gap, especially if you see that in your customer interview or social media eavesdropping, you know that message has to be in your copy.

 

So all of these messages we compile in a document, and we go back to it later.

Step 2

WRITE

 

Here we brainstorm, write fearlessly, and edit later, mercilessly.

So write fragments of thoughts, words, phrases, or anything from the data you gathered earlier. 

In your customer research, the more it comes up, the more it matters to your audience.

At this stage, remember to write for people first, bots second. 

Remember that your reader is a human we need to convince them to scroll through. And as Bushra Azhar from Persuasion Revolution likes to say, humans are lazy, greedy bastards. So be mindful of your I’s and focus on you’s

 

For example, INSTEAD OF:  “I will help you find your dream home.”

REWRITE IT AS: “You will find the dream home you’d want to spend the rest of your life in.”

Now we go to different sections of your Homepage and figure out what to put where.

  • HERO SECTION

 

Your Hero section must draw them in. 

MAKE IT CLEAR. KEEP IT SIMPLE. 

MAKE THEM SAY, in their heads “I’M IN THE RIGHT PLACE!”

Your hero section could lead to your IC’s (ideal customer)  aspiration or problems as your headline, but make sure to be clear about what the whole site is about. The most common headlines in the hero section are the brands’ USP

  •  PROOF BAR

Not always logos of clients you worked with. It’s a section where we prove a claim. It can be your credentials, a testimonial from customers or results you’ve delivered.  

You can also have more than 1 proof bar. Just always remember that it follows to prove a claim.

 

  • AGITATION SECTION

Here be very descriptive. Paint a picture with your words. This will second the motion of your Hero section so you led by your USP or aspiration, continue describing your IC’s dream state. What their life could look like with your solution? If you led with a pain point on your hero section, this is where you twist the knife. 

 

  • SOLUTION

 

Address the concerns in their heads

“Why should I care?” Frame your statements as to the value of your offer.

“Why you, not them?” Your USP. What’s makes you stand out from your competitors? Shout it to the rooftops!

“Why do they need the change?”

 

In this section, answer your IC’s anxieties. If we don’t answer their doubts and fears, they’ll answer it themselves and we might not like their answer.

 

  • FEATURE SUMMARY

It is always helpful for skimmers and scanners to have a neat list of what your solution offers.

A FAQ’s section could also be put in this section.

Step 3

EDIT AND SWEEP

As I mentioned above, EDIT MERCILESSLY!

Remember the acronym A.B.C Accurate. Brief. Concise. Let this be our golden rule in writing. Like in design- Less, is more.

What to look out for:

  1. Typo errors
  2. Clarity
  3. Tone mirroring
  4. Keywords
  5. Conversational even with the keywords in there

Ideally, this means you’ll sweep your piece 5 times. So first sweep it for any typos, then sweep again this time looking for clarity. Then, so on and so forth. Focus on 1 item per sweep.

PRO TIP: When you sweep for keywords, you’d want to consult your SEO person, if there are any.

Typically go for keywords with purchase intent, rather than informational. A combination of short-tail and long-tail keywords is a good idea too.

The fifth sweep is making sure your copy doesn’t sound robotic even with the keywords.

Remember to treat any copy like a breathing, living thing. It evolves based on results and data gathered. Based on the information you’ll later discover. So test your copy, and update when necessary. Be open to change as your customer, offer, and your overall industry landscape changes.

Homepage Copywriting Mini Course

This blog post is a summarized version. I had the honor of being a guest speaker at a friend’s program to talk about this in more detail. The recording was around 20 mins. If you want real-life examples of sections and points mentioned here, or if you are one to watch than to read, sign up and get the link to the recording here:

It’s a must-watch if you want to write copy that resonates with your clients.
Copyright © 2024 Rio Perez Design Studio

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