Web sites are so commonplace today that they require very little, if any, explanation. Most people will know what you mean when if you say you're copywriting for a dot-com. This is incredible given the fact that Web sites were completely unknown to most people just a couple of decades ago. Yet, at any given time today, millions of people are visiting Web sites to buy things, book vacations, download information, request information, read, research, and even watch videos.
A company without an effective Web site is at a serious competitive disadvantage. In fact, the first thing that business buyers often do when they want to learn more about a product or service is look on the Internet. Consumers do the same thing. Need some knitting supplies? Just type in what you're looking for into a search engine. In all likelihood there is a Web site, perhaps several, that will cater to your needs.
Writing for the Computer Screen
Capturing and holding reader attention on a Web page or site is much more difficult than it is in print communications. That's because it's so easy to click away from a Web page. So your toughest job is to make the copy current, relevant, informative, and interesting.
There are many types of pages you may be asked to write for a commercial Web site. These include:
Front page. This is the first page a visitor sees when he or she visits the site.
Product or service page. This is the page or section that describes the products or services in detail.
Transaction page. This is the page or section where a visitor can place an order or request more information.
Company page. This is the page or section that provides information on the company. It often includes historical information, management biographies, company news, and more. This is the online equivalent of a corporate brochure. (See Chapter 15.)
Other pages. There may be several other pages and sections of a commercial Web site used to convey needed information, such as technical specifications, store locations, customer service information, and FAQs.
Contact us. As the name implies, this is the page visitors' click to when they need phone numbers, addresses, and other contact information on the company.
Rolling Out the Welcome Mat
The front page is by far the most important on a commercial Web site. If it doesn't gain attention and motivate visitors to click around, explore, shop, download — whatever the objective is — then the whole site fails.
Perhaps the biggest mistake that writers make on a home page is focusing too much on the company and its products and not enough on the customer. Here is an example of the front page of a commercial Web site that is very effective, simply because it is so customer focused.
Imagine a future of certainty and success
Working exclusively with past clients and referrals!
Welcome to Morris Real Estate Marketing Group
Specialists in Referral & Repeat Marketing
We understand the challenges you face:
Mass advertising costs are increasing, while their effectiveness is decreasing.
Geographic farming is unpredictable, competitive, and also very expensive.
Cold calling is tough to do, and does little to elevate your professional stature.
New privacy guidelines and Do-Not-Call legislation are making things even more difficult.
Trying to beat the stampede to potential new listings is humiliating and unproductive.
Too many of the leads you're getting end up being a complete waste of time.
You want more referrals and repeat business, but don't know exactly what to do to make that happen.
Producing and distributing your own marketing materials is a time-consuming hassle.
You want to do the “little things” to build client loyalty and referrals, but you just don't have the time.
You feel guilty about losing contact with past clients and you don't know how to rekindle the relationship.
Marketing-related activities are robbing you of valuable time.
You have to work hard to get sales — too hard — and wonder if that will ever change.
There must be a better way. And there is.
At Morris Real Estate Marketing Group, we help build your business in the same way lawyers, accountants, doctors, and other successful professionals build theirs — through referrals and repeat clients.
Want to substantially increase your referral and repeat business?
Explore this site to learn more. And, if you have any questions, contact us anytime.
Another often neglected section of a commercial Web site is the Contact Us page. When a prospect clicks to the contact page, that's the online equivalent of someone in a retail store trying to find a salesperson. She has a question, needs information, or wants to buy. So make your copy more motivating than simply displaying a phone number and address.
Here's an example of an effective contact page:
Now that you're interested in making the commitment to growing your referral and repeat business, contact us for a no-cost, no-obligation initial phone meeting:
Call us at 1-905-XXX-XXXX, or
Submit the online form below and we will call you.
Our aim in the initial phone meeting is to learn more about your business development goals and assess how we may be able to help.
Ready to get started? Contact us today!
Web Site Writing Essentials
Here are some additional tips for writing an effective commercial Web site.
Focus on the objectives. What is the Web page trying to do? Generate leads? Handle customer service? Provide information? Sell a product? Whatever the objective is, focus your copy on achieving it.
Use lots of headers. Great headlines and subheads are the real secret to success in writing for the Web.
Use short paragraphs. No more than five or six lines each. It's difficult to read large chunks of copy on screen.
It's also important to keep things current on a Web page. Information ages fast on the Net. If you're using a 1997 statistic to prove a product claim, even if that statistic is still relevant, try to replace it with something more up-to-date. The Internet is evolving so quickly that users tend not to trust information that is even just a couple of years old.