Five Tips for Creating Client-Friendly Webcopy

Use the 5 tips below to analyze, plan, and make some needed changes to your webcopy.

1. The “You” Message

Have a look at your webcopy now. How often do you refer to your prospective clients? How often do you talk about you? Consider the difference between these two messages:

Example 1

The benefits of working with an experienced freelance writer are many. First, I will make sure that your marketing material and blogs will be free from embarrassing, and potential costly, grammar and spelling errors. I will write a message designed to appeal
to your specific clients and readers because I have done my research.

The Tagxedo diagram below shows the frequency spread of the words in the above example with the larger words being the ones most repeated. Notice that there is no ‘you’ message in the diagram. I’ve certainly got the message across about me and my skills, but there’s no mention of the person that I want to hire me for those skills.

Example 2

The benefits of working with an experienced freelancer are many. First, your web pages, marketing material and blogs will be free from embarrassing, and potentially costly, grammar and spelling errors. Your message will be designed to appeal to your specific clients and readers by someone who has done her research.

The second example contains a lot more “you” message. The word “your” figures prominently in the diagram. In this example, the focus is on the reader of my website, not on me. I want my visitors to think about what I can do for them. My message is not about me; it’s about my potential clients.

The skills and expertise that you want to tell your clients about can be made clear to them without using “I” or “our company” at the beginning of every sentence. Take a sample of your landing page copy to the Tagxedo site. Adjust your settings so that common words are shown and set your frequency modifier for 3. Your most commonly used words will show up in the largest font. Which are they? You or I?

Using Tagxedo is also a great way to check whether you’ve included your SEO terms in your webcopy, too.

2. Give something away.

Your prospective customers have found your site; they’ve visited and looked around, and they’re interested in your giveaway. Clearly you’ve made a good impression. This is all good. They have options to share your page, or “like” you on Facebook or send a note to their followers on Twitter extolling your company’s virtues. Don’t spoil the experience by having them sign their life away to get your giveaway, or once they’ve received it, don’t pester them with daily promotional emails that just annoy them. Aggressive marketing can turn a positive customer experience into a negative one.

Your giveaway is a gesture of welcome and goodwill, a thanks-for-dropping-by and hope-you-visit-again kind of thing. You’re trying to build a relationship, not lure potential clients into an Internet version of a Venus flytrap that kills its victims by a slow death by marketing. Here’s a website that sums up some of the issues with automated marketing and also includes a link to a great webinar on the topic.

3. KISS – Keep It Short and Simple

Applying the KISS principle means that your writing is clear and that the information is laid out in a format that is easy to read on several different screens. Remember that a lot of people are reading your webcopy on a screen that is much smaller than the one on your desk. Consider how long your page takes to upload, how many photos and fancy fonts you really need, and how easy is it for your customer to find what they need? How many clicks are they away from committing to the sale?

Keeping it short and simple also means forgetting the techno-bafflegab, and as much as I love engineers, don’t ever let them write your webcopy. The average customer wants to know that your product is reliable, does the job, has a great service record, has good support, and that it’s fairly priced. Save the technical descriptions for the tab marked “Technical Stuff” and make your landing/selling page about the product and the customers and how much better their lives will be with it. Here’s a link with some great tips:

4. Know Your Ideal Client

Think about your ideal clients. Have a clear picture of them that includes their demographics as well as the way they like to buy and deal with other people. Think about the clients you like to deal with the most. What characteristics do they share? Are they mostly a certain age? Do they have similar interests? The more you know about your ideal clients, the better you can direct your webcopy to people just like them. If you speak their language, they will come.

Some people need a lot of facts before they make a decision to buy. Is there a place on the website where they can find that information? Some people want to buy from people that they feel a connection with. Do you have an “about page” that tells your clients about you and your sales staff in a way that connects with you as people? Some people want to buy from companies that work to reduce their environmental impact? Are there things that your company does that would fall into that category? Having those actions visible might be the tipping point for a sale against a company that makes other choices. This website has it all:

5. Show You’re a Pro

Invest the time and money it takes to make sure that your webcopy is perfect. There should be no spelling or grammar errors. Check your links regularly to make sure that they are still live. You want the visitors to your website to give you money in exchange for a service or product. Why should they trust you with their money, if you can’t bother to check your spelling? What other detail might you skip over, too–a detail that might cause them a problem or cost them more money. Here’s a link to an article that brings home how costly it can be
to have errors on your website.

Use these five tips to refresh your web copy and give it the client-appealing boost it needs—or, if doing this kind of work really isn’t your thing, ask me to do it!


About the Author: Heather Wright
heather wright

I write regularly for the Web and work closely with designers and wire frame developers to create the best image and clearest message for your product or service. I can work with your marketing department to create personae that will help you fine-tune your message and draw the ideal customer to your door. I am a happy generalist writing about topics ranging from Canadian law, to wind turbines, to cosmetic surgery, to slushies, to workplace harassment, so, whatever your speciality, I’m ready to join your team.

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