Website visitors are busy people. They skim search engines looking for specific information, typically in between checking other tasks off their never-ending to-do list. Because they’re so crunched for time, they tend to be laser-focused on exactly WHAT they want to know, not bothering to look into much else that doesn’t make it onto their radar screen. If they do happen to stumble across a website and make the choice to click through it, they are still searching for information that might be immediately helpful to them. It seems that the days of lazy Internet browsing are gone, as people are far more concerned with getting what they need and getting on with their lives already!
With that in mind, here’s the question of the day:
Is your website copy – a.k.a. the words on your website – working for you…or against you?
According to a Nielsen NetRatings report, the average time spent on websites is 43 seconds. Using that stat, I have a challenge for you: ask a friend or family member to browse your website for 43 seconds. (Bonus points if that person also falls into your target market, but don’t worry if they don’t.) Stand nearby (close enough that you can observe their reactions, but not so close that you’re breathing down their neck and distracting them), and stop them at the end of 43 seconds. (Best to use a timer or stopwatch to help you keep track of time.)
Here are a few things to watch for:
- What actions did they take during their 45-second stay?
- Did the headline on your home page compel them to scroll down to the rest of the copy on your site? Or did they quickly click away to another page on your site?
- Were they engaged by a group of benefit statements and then led to a specific call-to-action?
- At any point, did they seem confused and/or uncertain about what they should do next or where they should be looking?
- Did they aimlessly click through to different pages, not staying in any of them for very long?
- At the end of the “test,” can they tell you the nutshell version of what the heck you do or what you sell on your website?
If they seemed confused, ninja-clicked their way through page after page of your site, or had no clue at the end what you do, it’s quite possible (and highly likely) that your website copy is not clear or compelling enough to get website visitors to stick around long enough to join your mailing list, call you for a consult, or invest in your solutions.
Effective Web Copy is All About Connecting With Your Visitors in a Meaningful Way.
If folks coming to your website can’t make a connection between what you do and what they need, you’re toast.
If you’re a career coach, for example, and people who are stuck in a dead-end job can’t immediately see that YOU are the solution to what ails them, they’ll leave your website again, most likely never to return.
Because here’s the bottom line: People don’t buy products (or services, for that matter). They buy the results they’ll get from using products and services.
Think about it: you don’t buy shampoo just for the sake of buying shampoo; you buy it so you can have clean hair. You don’t buy movies so you can own another DVD to fill your entertainment center; you buy an experience that you can capture over and over again from the convenience of your own home.
People don’t buy luxury cars or brand-name clothing because they enjoy spending loads of money (in most cases :)); they invest in a certain status level that those items represent (and, of course, some of the other benefits those products offer).
It’s the same thing with services. Customers aren’t looking to hire a business coach just so they can say they have a business coach. They may not even know that they want (or need) a business coach. They just know that their business phone isn’t ringing, they’re broke, and they have no idea what to do.
It’s the job of your website copy to convince them that you’re the answer to their problems. You have to show them that through working with a coach (specifically, you), they can become successful or happy or (fill-in-the-blank with your own benefits).
If you fill your own website (especially your home page) with benefits, you’ll generate interest and excitement from the readers who matter most: your current and prospective customers.
Not sure HOW to write compelling copy for your website?
To discover how to get started writing compelling copy for your website’s home page, join us for next week’s no-cost teleseminar training, Your Irresistible Home Page: Discover 5 Steps to Writing Sizzling Home Page Copy that Converts Website Visitors into Hot Leads & Paying Clients! Click here to register now.