If you want your site visitors to read your pages and take action, then you need to replace your boring filler copy with strategic copywriting. The goal of every web page should be to get read. Once a page is read, the objective should be for the reader to take some kind of action. It seems quite obvious. Yet, take a random sample of web sites and pick pages inside of them and you'll quickly discover that getting read is not a priority for most pages.
Plan Your Visitor's Site Experience
You can guarantee readers, and action, if you plan for and include your target's wants and needs right at the start of your online marketing process. Visitors to your site are not browsing. They're not clicking to your site for entertainment either. For most businesses, visitors are at your site looking for information that solves their wants and needs. When you make it easy for them to find what they want, you have a greater chance of converting those visitors to customers.
Planning your visitor's experience is fairly straightforward. Understand their wants and needs and offer them answers and information in a simple, easy to understand sequence. Your sequence of steps invites them through a process that helps them solve their problem – and makes you a sale.
Strategic Copywriting Directs Your Visitor's Experience
Strategic copywriting involves more than writing the content of your site pages. It also involves your site architecture and planning how pages work together to create an information and/or sales funnel that ultimately leads to the action you want people to take.
It includes designing a logical system using navigation words and directions, and presenting relevant and interesting information that directs and persuades your visitor to do something you want.
Strategic copywriting involves creating web pages with content that is directly and specifically relevant to the viewer. It's information that:
- involves the viewer;
- invites them to become readers;
- asks them for small, easy positive steps;
- presents the fewest number of steps needed;
- and uses clear navigation; to
- direct readers to a destination page.
It's at the destination page where they must decide to do something or nothing – take action – a decision you've made as easy as you can for them.
Strategic online copywriting should be like a moving sidewalk that your prospect steps onto and is then carried to a destination both the prospect and you want. It should be invisible and never attract notice. It's writing that fulfills your business objective and moves your viewers closer to the actions you want them to take, like giving you their email or buying something.
Copywriting that is too clever, that makes a pun or otherwise attracts attention to itself breaks the smooth transition from viewer to reader to action taker.
Nudge Your Visitors Into Being Viewers
I think it's a huge challenge to get site visitors. There are millions of sites competing for those eyeballs. The good news is that not very many sites strategically and purposefully manage the visitors experience. Once you've get a visitor, you have only seconds to make them a viewer. Think of it this way. Your site is just like a physical store. How attractive and inviting is your site? What's your sign say,? Is it obvious what kind of store, or site, you have? Are your aisles clean and uncluttered, or jumbly and hard to follow?
Everyone reacts the same way when arriving at a new site. Every visitor absorbs the page view instantly and attempts to make sense of it. They:
- want to understand if the page is what they're looking for;
- want to see if they can read the page easily;
- immediately look for easy-to-use navigation;
- and decide if they're comfortable with the site – or if it looks like too much work.
You win your first click in about one tenth of a second. Whether it's clicking (scrolling) below the fold or checking the main navigation for useful content. If visitors can see immediately what they are looking for – or the promise of finding what they're looking for – they'll stick around for a few seconds more.
The next challenge is to present them with an easily understood navigation system that gets them where they want to go. Add headlines and subheads that point towards interesting content that promises to answer their questions – and you might get yourself a scanner.
A scanner skims over the page, reading the subheads to see where they lead. Your visitor hasn't committed to reading your page yet, because they need to find out if the site delivers what they're hoping for.
Get Your Viewer To Become A Page Scanner
Our job, as business owners, marketing managers and strategic planners is to provide enough information – instantly – so our visitor, who has just become a viewer, can make an immediate decision to scroll down our page or click on a link. Your name, branding, tagline, and main headline are all supported by design, logo and colours. This is a truism often overlooked. Keep in mind that design supports content, never ever the other way around.
Potential customers are not looking for the prettiest web site when they do a search and click a link. That real person who clicked onto your site is looking for specific information they want and need right now. The easier you make it for them to understand whether you have the information they want, the more they're going to like and trust you. That means they'll want to stick around for a bit and come back too.
Use Headlines And Subheads As Information Signposts
To get your viewer to take action and start scanning your page, you need to provide some markers. It's a bit like looking at a landscape. First you see the horizon which frames the house, which is beside the tree that's behind a fence across the road. You see it all then you focus on elements and parts.
On a web page, viewers are looking for familiar landmarks and signposts. Headlines and subheads are familiar to all our viewers from reading newspapers and magazines. Strategic copywriting uses headlines and subheads to draw the viewer in and invite them to scan the contents of the page by reading the subheads.
When subheads are written strategically, they provide an overview of the page contents and inform the scanner if this is what they're looking for.
Make A Scanner An Interested Reader
When you provide provocative, teaser style subheads on your site pages, you invite your viewer to scan the page and see immediately where the information leads. That's saving your viewer from wasting their time. They're going to like you for that because you're doing most of the hard work in helping them find what they want fast.
Your strategically written subheads should lead the reader through your page to a call to action. Depending on your sales funnel, that call to action could be to click a link, enter an email address, or add an item to a shopping cart. The important factor is to remember that strategically planned copywriting gets visitors involved, turns them into readers, and propels them into taking action.
Without readers, you would never make any sales from your site. If you want to increase your site conversions, no matter what the objective is, make your site a pleasurable, easy-to-understand destination for your visitors. Getting visitors to read your content is how you present your offer and move towards making a sale. Writing strategically is how you get those readers in the first place.