I’ve been involved in a couple of web site revisions lately and I thought it might be a good idea to share the process with those of you who are considering giving your web site copy a rewrite.
Step 1: Set Sales Conversion Goals. Your web site is the most efficient and cost effective lead generation tool you have. To make it a prospect magnet, you need to set some goals around how many leads you want to get annually, monthly, weekly and daily. This makes it SO MUCH EASIER to figure out how to tweak and rewrite your copy.
Step 2: Visualize your target audience. Create a list of USERS. Your users are the target audience that will be landing on the site. You will certainly have more than one profile, and you should list them all.
Step 3: What do you want your users to be able to do? Next you want to make a list of all the things you want each user category to be able to do. This will help you decide on exactly what information needs to be included and how much of that information is included.
Step 4: Pick the voice and personality of your site. The voice of your copy has to be a combination of your own authentic voice as well as a voice that resonates with your target audience. Even if your product or service is highly technical and your audience has PHd’s and sophisticated linguistic skills, it helps to write your front end content in a friendlier, more accessible tone because it makes it easier for that audience to pass your information on to other decision-makers who may NOT be that sophisticated.
Step 5: Interview your target audience. This is so easy and powerful, I’m shocked that I hadn’t thought of it sooner. Schedule and record interviews with your target audience. Ask them what’s important to them when they are thinking about the products and services that you provide. Have conversations around what frustrates them when they are looking for a product or service such as yours, where they go for information, what information they are looking for and what keywords they are searching on. All of this will help you create copy that’s in your target customers actual voice and words.
Step 6: Interview experts inside your organization. Take the same process as interviewing your customers and interview your internal experts. Only this time, have them answer and talk about the issues that your target customer brought up. Don’t forget to record these interviews as well.
Step 7: Transcribe the interviews. Now that you have all these recordings, get them transcribed. Transcription is not as expensive as you might think. And if your product isn’t very technical, consider using www.odesk.com to outsource the transcription services to. I’ve done this with tremendous success. Seeing your customers’ and your experts’ words in print will give you an idea of how to write the copy.
Step 8: Create a brain dump. Now that you’ve seen the transcription, you can start writing. If you don’t feel comfortable writing, then get yourself speech to text software like DragonSpeak and literally give a presentation to your audience. If you don’t like messing with technology, record yourself speaking each page and have THAT transcribed.
Step 9: ?Generate keywords. Because this is web copy, you’ll want to generate a series of keywords that you want to be known for and make sure that you’ve created a list. I like to focus on three to five keyword phrases per page with one being the overwhelming focus.
Step 10: Hire a copywriter. If you don’t feel comfortable writing copy – don’t. Get help. Hire a copywriter to get you started and you can always edit and make changes that turn the copy into more of your own voice.
Step 11 : Launch and test. Don’t try to make it perfect, focus on getting it uploaded and making sure that you are doing Google analytics and tracking your results. It’s so much easier to tweak than to study your copy death.