How To Write Copy For Your Website: 4 Key Pillars
Knowing How To Write Copy Isn't Difficult
Knowing how to write copy — good copy — for your website is not rocket science, but not learning how to write copy may be the most overlooked factor as to why your desired audience doesn’t read what you write.
This cheat sheet is designed to help you write engaging copy for your online content. You should use it as the starting point for all the content you write in your online marketing. This cheat sheet is based on a very old marketing convention that outlines the 4 stages of any marketing communication: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
I’ll include an example in each section to show how this model can be applied. The examples I use are designed to appeal to an audience of Accountants and encourage them to join a mailing list, so you can easily replace that audience with your own. Let’s get started.
In order to motivate anyone to engage with you or your brand, whether that means buying a product, commenting on a blog post, liking you on Facebook, joining your email database, or registering for an event, you must first get their attention. This may sound obvious but it is the main reason most content gets no engagement.
The best way to get somebody’s attention is to talk to them about something that interests them, like a possible solution to their problem or a potential outcome they are seeking. Resist the urge to talk about yourself or your business in the headline or opening sentence of your content.
How To Write Copy Keywords and Headlines That Engage Search Engines & People
Use the following keywords and headline templates in your own content to get the attention of your audience and search engines:
- The 3 things every [insert target audience here] must know before…
- The [insert target audience here] field guide to…
- 10 questions to ask your…
- What [insert target audience here] need to know about…
- The 5 big mistakes [insert target audience here] make when…
- [Insert target audience here] industry insiders’ secrets to…
- 8 ways [insert target audience here] can get… right now
- Exclusive offer for [insert target audience here]
- What they don’t tell [insert target audience here]
- Startling news for [insert target audience here]
- Turbocharge your [insert target audience here] business/results
- The [insert target audience here] insiders advantage
- How you stack up against your competition
- The best-kept secret in the [insert target audience here] industry
- The worst kept secret in the [insert target audience here] industry
- The [insert target audience here]’s new best friend
- VIPs only
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. But, think about these concepts: promise, problem, big-picture outcome, results, roadblocks, rookie mistakes, success stories, secrets, tips, tricks, techniques, riveting, claim your…
The Accountant's Example (Attention)
What Accountants Need To Know About Social Media ROI
Once you have your audience’s attention, you have less than 4 seconds to convince them they are in the right place and should continue reading. It is your job to keep their interest long enough that they begin to desire whatever it is you are offering.
One of the best ways to keep somebody’s interest is to build rapport and show empathy. There is a very simple framework you can use to do this.
Tell a very brief story of when you had a similar struggle or problem to the one your reader has right now. Then tell a very brief story of how you discovered the solution to that problem and the success that you or someone else has had using that solution.
The Accountant's Example (Interest)
I know your clients are asking you how to measure their marketing ROI and while you may have some answers when it comes to social media you are left wanting. I know this because my clients, who are Accountants, tell me the same thing — like Paul for example, who is now helping his clients implement and measure social media marketing campaigns after reading my free eBook.
Now that you have attracted the attention of your reader and kept their attention long enough, your content must start to push their buttons and motivate them to desire what it is you are offering. It is at this moment that you need to educate them and position yourself as an expert at the same time.
The easiest way to do this is to make three very brief and powerful points. Draw on your knowledge and expertise to give them just enough but not too much. Why three?
We don’t know. Three just seems to be the magic number that people remember. If you give them too many ideas they won’t remember any of them and if you give them too few it won’t whet their appetite.
The Accountant's Example (Desire)
Here are the 3 things you need to know right now:
- Google Analytics is a free tool that must be installed on your clients website to track visitors, sign-ups and sales.
- Facebook ads allow you to measure the cost per click of each ad so you can calculate how much it is costing to drive each visitor to your website.
- When a visitor to your website joins your email database it counts as a lead acquisition. Therefore, it is quite simple to measure the cost per lead of any social media campaign.
Hopefully by now you will have given your reader enough information to make them want more. Your job now is to facilitate them acquiring the extra information they want. This is known as the “call-to-action.”
The call-to-action can be many things: a buy now button, an email subscription form, a Facebook like button, a Tweet button, a comment form under a video or blog post or a contact form on your website. Whatever form it takes, the call-to-action must be these things: clear, obvious, strong and simple. The job of the call to action is to entice your reader to do the one thing you want them to do.
The Accountant's Example (Action)
To learn more about measuring social media ROI for your clients and avoid being left behind download my free eBook now by entering your name and email address into the form below.
Is This Useful Information? Let Us Know
Hopefully, this cheat sheet on how to write copy will help you write more engaging content and generate more engagement with your online audience. Here is an in-depth article from Moz that goes even deeper.
We would love it if you shared your thoughts and/or results in the comments below. Or, just send us a comment to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you find this cheat sheet helpful, please share it with your friends. Here’s to great online content marketing!