I saw a post in a Facebook group recently that took all my self-control to not tell them they were doing it all wrong.
They were looking for a copywriter, hoping to launch their website this summer. The kicker? They hoped to launch at the end of July and they wanted someone available the month prior to their launch.
Let me tell you right now, if you’re doing ANYTHING before your copy when building a website (minus your structure), you’re doing it wrong.
It All Starts with the Copy
Your entire website revolves around the copy. The whole thing. Your design should flow around it and you should never be writing copy to “fit” a design.
Let’s think about this logically. When you browse the internet and are looking for a solution to a current problem, are you paying attention to the picture that company used? Really? Do you care how the website was built or whether it “looks cool”? Maybe a little, but that’s not what is going to sell you.
No, what converts an interested browser to a customer are the words on the page. Full stop.
The Copy Makes the Sell
Whether or not someone buys your product or service has usually nothing to do with how cool or how pretty your website is.
In fact, I’ve seen some objectively terrible websites perform great for their business owners. And that’s because even if the design is outdated or overly simplistic or even if it looks like everyone else’s website, it still has a message that connects with the prospective buyer. Even if it looks horrendous. As long as the copy and the message is clear, it can still work.
The copy, after all, is what they’re reading (even if they are just skimming it).
Writing Copy That Sells
If your website starts with the copy, how do you write good copy that actually converts?
A lot of it has to do with remembering that it’s not about you, but rather your buyer. What are their pain points? What are their problems and frustrations? What is getting in their way of running a successful business, taking up too much of their time, or feels overly complex? Highlight in your copy that you understand those problems, and then showcase how your services can solve those problems.
Sell the Benefits, Not the Features
No one really cares that I build WordPress websites that include 5 pages, legal policies, and a professional email. Those are the features of my services.
I know that my clients care about having a website that actually brings them leads, with just the right information to have someone make a purchase, pick up that phone, or send a contact request. I know that my clients want their online businesses to be protected but also provide trust back to their clients. So while yes, the features of the websites I build are important, the outcomes of the websites I build matter far more to the customers I’m selling to.
Look carefully through your website. Are you highlighting all of the features or the outcomes, the benefits of working with you? You want those outcomes to be clear, concise, and easy for them to apply to their own life and business.
Why Start Here?
If you’re building a new website, redoing yours, or just looking to make some tweaks, always start by taking a look at your copy. Your copy and messaging is what will actually get people to click that Buy button. It’s what is doing the selling for you, not the design, not the site’s speed, and not the platform.
It’s far easier to get your copy right and then design around that then it is to try and tweak your copy around a design that you “like.” After all, design is subjective. If your messaging is right with your target audience, you’ll be able to tell a whole lot faster.
If you want to work on improving your copy, you can read my 5 steps to improving your website copy.