Here’s how to sell more of your products or services with effective website copy
I recently tried to book an appointment with a physical therapist in my city. Even though this website had pretty photos and a nice design, the messaging did not match my expectations. After a confusing website experience, I bounced in frustration.
You can have beautiful photos and design, but if your words aren’t doing the work of selling, you’ve got to prioritize your messaging. Whether you own a service-based business or a product-based brand, having a strong messaging hierarchy on your website homepage will increase the chances of your website visitors taking action — whether that’s submitting an inquiry to work together or purchasing one of your offers.
Let’s dive into a sample messaging hierarchy to consider when writing your website homepage copy to ensure that your perfect-fit prospects take the action you want them to take and you can sell more of your services and products.
1. Start with a strong headline
Your headline should tell new website visitors who specifically you are for, what you do and how you help — in a very concise manner. This should address the conversation happening in their minds. This is the hardest one to get right and the most important, so make sure you spend lots of time on this and test your messaging.
Websites like Usability Hub will help you facilitate a five-second test to help you get feedback about the messaging above the fold. When you test your messaging, you’ll increase your chances of website visitors understanding what you do and how you help. If it’s clear to understand in five seconds or less, even people who aren’t familiar with what you do will clearly understand, and you’ll be well on your way to helping more of your visitors understand why they should work with you.
2. Tell us why we should believe you
Right after your headline, share your strongest testimonials and any other third-party proof from PR efforts. If you can add logos above the fold before people have to scroll, the better it will be. If you are still getting started with PR, you can include character references from colleagues who can vouch for your work. If you’re a service-based business, add logos of brands you’ve worked with or served.
Why are logos important to include above the fold? Heatmap recordings on website landing pages and sales pages show that 100% of people who land on a web page will see what’s above the fold. Once people have to scroll, the more important it will be to keep their attention, and the best way to keep new website visitors scrolling is to engage them with your strongest testimonials. Why should you have 1-2 of your strongest testimonials close to the top of your homepage? According to Robert Cialdini, author of Influence, social proof is one of six key elements of persuasion.
Unless you’re a doctor or a therapist (and sharing testimonials of patients would be unethical), add names and photos of real people you’ve worked with right underneath the proof logos to strengthen the social proof. When new website visitors see real names of real people plus photos, this tells the website visitors that you wouldn’t mind if they reached out to the people you’ve worked with in the past. This will keep the new website visitors engaged. Before you post a past customer’s testimonial, photo and name, get their consent, of course!
3. Shift a common misconception about your expertise
Is there an industry misconception you’ve got to shift before someone buys one of your offers? What are those industry misconceptions? Address the top sales objection right off the bat in your homepage copy in a concise way, followed by a compelling case for changing a skeptical prospect’s way of thinking.
4. Summarize the benefits of working with you
What is a customer’s life going to be like after they work with your business? What is that dream-state language that they use to describe what they really want? If you don’t know this off the top of your head, ask your customers what they really loved about working with you. Instead of talking about your product or service right away, outline a high-level overview of the most important or most common outcomes customers experience after working with you. This helps prospects to imagine their new life and how you’ll help eliminate their problems once they buy your product or service.
5. Claim how you are different — unapologetically
If you’ve ever watched an episode of Shark Tank, you know that business owners who have a strong unique value proposition are more likely to win a Shark’s investment. Similarly, upon reading your website, prospects need to understand immediately how your product or service is different from a competitor’s.
Can you summarize your process or your approach by describing an easy-to-remember system? Many websites make the mistake of burying their value propositions on a different page that nobody sees. Instead, bring your most compelling differentiators to the forefront and make them easy to remember.
6. Introduce yourself
At this point, your reader is ready to learn more about you with a brief bio. You’ve earned the right to talk about yourself. This isn’t where you start listing all of the certifications and degrees that you have in laundry-list style; your customer likely doesn’t really care. They only care about what’s in it for them and what they can get. Save all of your certifications for your LinkedIn profile. Your website homepage bio should read like having a conversation with your perfect-fit person. When you introduce yourself on your website homepage, don’t be afraid to include a sentence about an important value that you know would resonate with your favorite customers.
7. Show off a strong brand voice
If you’re engrained in academic speak, remember that your website isn’t for your professors. It’s for the people who are going to work with you. It’s possible to maintain your expert status and be playful or show off your personality at the same time. Simple, conversational language is better for the web — and conversions overall. Consider recording how you speak to pick up on the rhythm of your writing as well as the tones you use and how the tones shift based on whatever the topic of conversation is.
If you want your website visitors to believe that you are the perfect option for them, prioritize your messaging, your brand voice and your brand values. It’ll make it a lot easier for a prospect to want to work with you!