When it comes to B2B decision-making, your website is often the first point of call for prospective customers.
Whether they’re looking for information, hoping to solve a problem, or assessing their business needs, B2B buyers love web content. But they don’t want to struggle to find it.
Indeed, while business customers spend a lot of time online researching, the one thing they all have in common is that they want to find what they’re looking for in as little time as possible.
Successful web copywriting and content marketing, therefore, presents us marketers with a unique set of challenges. And, however tempting it may be to cut and paste the company brochure onto your website, to do so is to misunderstand the fundamental nature of web visitors – information hungry, impatient and sceptical of “marketing speak”.
Top tips on how to use web copy to make your website user-friendly
1. Establish who you are talking to
Before deciding what you want to say, it’s important that you know who you are talking to. The more you know about your prospective customers, the more targeted you can be with your web copy, and, the easier it will be to write with them in mind. However, even when you’ve identified your target audience, you may need to segment further. There are often many different people in the buying process, all of who demand different information. By segmenting your target audience into niche groups, you can create the necessary information and collateral to meet the needs of all your identified personas.
2. Talk in the language of ‘you’
As proud as you may be of your business, your visitors are only interested in what you can do for them. So, rather than talking about your company and what you do, turn this on its head and write in the language of ‘you’. Focus on their wants, their needs and how you can meet them. You will, of course, need to provide information about your business to let visitors know what you do, but keep the focus on how you can make them happier, less stressed, more profitable and more productive.
3. Find your brand voice
Use a conversational tone and add real personality to your business. This doesn’t mean you should forget all about spelling and grammar, but an honest, passionate and approachable tone of voice goes a long way towards building trust with your readers.
4. Think about what you want your website to do
Before you write one word of copy, decide exactly what you want your website to achieve. While you may have a variety of messages you wish to convey to the wider world, being everything to everybody rarely works. Decide what the single most important purpose of your website is, and create your copy to satisfy this purpose.
5. Show them what to do
Now you know what you want your audience to do, show them how to do it. Make sure you have strategically placed conversion points on each and every page and monitor your web traffic regularly to ensure you’re getting the best results possible.
6. Consider the user journey
No matter how beautiful your website is, or how clever your prose, if visitors can’t find what they want in a matter of seconds, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere. As well as making sure you use the right words, you also need to put them in the right place. Keep your navigation intuitive and simple and don’t sacrifice usability in favour of creativity.
7. Keep your website updated
If you want visitors to return to your site, you have to give them something to come back for. You simply can’t create a website and then forget all about it. At the very least, you should be writing regular blogs to keep your website fresh. Adding regular content will not only bring return visitors to your site, but also those elusive search engines.
8. Be credible
In the online world less is more. So, when you’re trying to convince the reader of your credentials be sure to avoid jargon and exaggeration. Rather than trying to impress the reader with your extensive vocabulary; get to the point and then stop. Nobody likes waffle.
9. Avoid sounding like an advertisement
Today, we are all exposed to hundreds, if not thousands of sales messages every day. Therefore, the last thing people want to read on your website is yet another ad. There is a time and a place for direct offers and promotions, but keep the sales messages to a minimum. Sell the benefits, and the customers will follow.
10. Leverage your connections
Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. Customer testimonials are invaluable when selling benefits and building credibility, and a few words from a satisfied client will have far more authority than anything you can say. In addition to customer testimonials, the customer case study is one of the most important pieces of marketing collateral you can use. While the testimonial lets visitors know how happy your current clients are, the case study tells them exactly why.
11. Make it emotional
It can be hard to find a human voice for a business. However, with research showing that empathy builds stronger brand connections, it’s crucial to elicit an emotional response.
12. Write for humans first
Forget everything you know about search engines and keywords (yes really!). Instead, focus on writing the robust, precise copy that your target audience wants. The biggest mistake you can make when writing for the web is to include so many SEO terms that your web copy becomes unreadable. Never forget who you are writing for and what you want them to know about you. You can always add a little of that SEO magic once you’re done.
A little bit about me…
A Glasgow based freelance copywriter and content marketer, I cut through the jargon to create engaging, intelligent, business relevant content that will resonate with your readers and appeal to those pesky search engines.
Whether you’re looking for a full research and writing service, support with the editing and re-purposing of existing copy or help to get your content in front of the right people, my writing services are tailored to your needs and resources.