How can a copywriter help your business? What are the tangible outcomes, besides copy that reads well? Whether it’s a website that’s not converting, tenders not winning, sales material that doesn’t sell or simply overly wordy documents, there is a variety of ways in which copywriting can help.
Improve website conversion rates
Websites don’t always simply ‘work’ as we want them to. Are you frustrated by a website that doesn’t convert visitors into sales? Do your PPC advertisements generate click throughs but not enquiries? Are your analytics showing that your hard won visitors are vanishing without a trace?
Content has a vital role to play in optimising website conversion rates. In fact, poor content is a certain path to poor conversion. Remember that customers visit websites because they want to accomplish something – they want to discover, research, or make a purchase. Good web content helps customers achieve these goals in an efficient way, because it is user-focussed, relevant to their needs and easy to follow. If web content is not user-focussed, it can result in lost opportunities.
The best websites feature content that is targeted to specific customers. If you understand what various types of customers want to achieve, their problems and their habits, you’ll be well placed to present the type of information they find relevant – therefore increasing your chances of selling your products or generating enquiries. This is important because it impacts your company’s bottom line.
One way we can create customer-focussed content is by using buyer personas – helping us learn about your customers’ goals, fears and values and tailoring the benefits of your solution to this information.
Other ways you can help your visitors include removing distractions and conflicting messages, ensuring clear and intuitive navigation, targeting your audience with relevant and benefits-focused content, creating compelling offers and using interesting and effective product descriptions.
Submit better tender responses and proposals
Next time you are responding to a tender consider the reviewer and how they will assess your response. While we all hope reviewers will read between the lines and see our solution for what it is, unfortunately this is not how the review process works.
Consider a two-horse race where your response is very similar in price and service level to your major competitor. How do you get ahead? Assuming you are compliant (ie meet all the conditions of the tender and have a conforming response), the following are aspects you need to consider:
- Are you the challenger or incumbent? Depending on your role you may need to justify your arguments in different ways
- Are you being client focused and selling benefits? It is harder to do, but selling the benefits of your solution, not just the features, can be a ticket to a winning tender. For example, do you have a low employee turnover? Don’t simply say this. Tell the reviewer that this guarantees your staff understand their role and procedures intimately, resulting in consistently safer work practices and higher quality outcomes.
- Are you providing evidence? Unsubstantiated claims (or ‘motherhood statements’) should never be made in a tender or bid. You’ll leave the reviewers unimpressed and cast a harsh light on the rest of your submission. In the above example, evidence would include your safety and quality records and procedures.
- Are you being honest? Reviewers can usually see through misleading statements and puffery and will mark these things harshly
- What is the client looking for? Are you addressing their needs or simply rehashing generic information about what you can do?
- Are you bettering your competitors’ offers? What can you do better than anyone else?
Improve search engine rankings
Content is not simply a tool to engage customers; it is also an effective way to improve your search engine rankings. SEO (search engine optimised) copywriting tells search engines such as Google what your site is all about. It makes use of keywords that are relevant to your business and uses them in content in a way that is highly visible to search engines. Well-written SEO content is one of the ways good websites achieve higher rankings on search engines.
Good SEO content is not stuffed with keywords to the detriment of readability; the rules of good copywriting are as relevant as ever. The beauty of good SEO writing is that it is appealing to humans as well as search engines. Neither necessarily wants the same thing, however good SEO content bridges the gap between a high Google ranking and a compelling read.
Ensure correct and readable documents
Large and technical documents – such as product disclosure statements – are often written by technical specialists or lawyers and can be bogged down by endless text, repetitive information and non-user friendly structure. These documents may be technically correct, but do not forget that they have a sales role to play as well.
It is possible to edit and improve writing to be more user-friendly and compelling, without losing meaning or intent. It might be a review of spelling and grammar or it may extend to consistency, sentence structure, structural editing, order and flow of information and tactics to improve communication of concepts and ideas (such as diagrams, page layout or case studies).
Align marketing material with your brand
It’s one thing to determine a new brand strategy or direction. It’s another thing entirely to extend this across your entire range of marketing communications. Too often we see companies implementing well thought out brand messages at the top level, with a heaving focus on key communications such as advertising and, perhaps, the website home page. But what is the point of this if your other marketing communications retain old, conflicting messages? For example your remaining web content, blogs, sales materials, tenders and bids, phone messages and so on. Inconsistent marketing creates confusion amongst customers and prospects and often becomes a barrier to a conversion or sale.