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mistakes business owners make

Top 10 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Copywriting Themselves

As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. But avoiding inevitable mistakes business owners make when it comes to copywriting is essential. While writing for your business may seem like a small task and the least of your worries, it affects how people view you and your services.

Ask yourself… How many times have you come across something poorly written or executed, and you simply want to give up on the entire purchase? 

Whether you were looking at a menu at a restaurant or a website for a service you need, you likely didn’t stay long enough to see more. Every day, spelling mistakes, errors, funky layouts, and so much more cause readers to move on to a company’s competitors. If your business has old copy full of misinformation and mistakes, you could be losing out on revenue.

While it may not feel fair, people turn elsewhere because they don’t take businesses seriously when business owners make mistakes within their copywriting.

We’ve got the art of writing for websites, blogs, and numerous other assets down. But we realize not everyone knows what to avoid.

Read on for more information about mistakes business owners make when writing their own deliverables.

Too short on time to write for yourself? Give us a shout and get started right away.

Top 10 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Copywriting

Some of your most prized characteristics as a business owner can end up being your downfall when it comes to copywriting. Whether you’re a perfectionist or focused on being super-efficient, it may not be the best approach to take when writing. 

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true! 

We’ll walk you through each step and talk about the things that could get in the way of your writing.

1. Proofread Or Don’t Publish At All

We know we sound like a broken record, but it truly is important to proofread and pinpoint any errors you can find.

It helps to read your own text out loud and see if you can find any common mistakes business owners make along the way. Remember when we mentioned people judge your business based on the way it presents itself? According to RealBusiness, nearly three-quarters of web users pay attention to the quality of copy on a business’s website.

What To Look Out For:

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Flow
  • Incorrect use of capitalization
  • Punctuation
  • Sentence structure
  • Acronyms not easily recognized by your audience

While not everyone reads with thorough deliberation, people are still paying attention. Proofreading is especially important if you’re passing along information that requires it to be correct. This means, being one digit off on your contact number or a period mark shy of a complete email address could set your potential customers into a frenzy of confusion when trying to reach you.

Could they look it up elsewhere and find the correct information themselves? Sure. But they shouldn’t have to when they’re relying on you to give them the information they need. They may start to think that if you can’t be trusted to offer the right information, why should they trust you with their business? 

Don’t leave it up to your customers to decide whether your company can be trusted and proofread before hitting publish on your marketing assets. 

2. Bring The Focus Back To The Customer

Oftentimes, we notice that businesses get so excited about what they have to offer, that they forget why they’re in business in the first place. And with a whopping 63% of consumers (76% for B2B buyers) who expect your business to know their unique needs and expectations, there’s little room for error.

But it’s my business. So shouldn’t the writing be about me and my business? Isn’t that what my customers care about?

No, not really. This can be one of the toughest realizations business owners have to deal with, but it’s important to say. 

Your customers care about what you can do for them. Talking about yourself, your story, image, and even community involvement are going to be pretty useless in the long run if you don’t remember to think about your business as serving others.

Too much of you isn’t always a good thing. You’ll bury your customers and lose your initial goal.

If you’re reading your existing or drafted copy and start to think it’s looking a little saturated with your business and less about your customer, take a step back. This doesn’t mean you need to scrap everything you’ve written. You can use that information for newsletters, email updates, and other marketing materials. 

But if you know you need to pull the focus back towards the customer, try these few steps and ask:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Why do you do it?
  3. What’s the reason someone should care?
  4. Why again? (Yep, repeat the above step.)

It’s easy to lose focus when writing material for your business, but do what you can to bring it back to your customers.

Need help revising and reaching the main goal? We’re the team with the know-how to help.

3. Features Are Not Benefits

Like focusing too much on yourself, writing about the features of your business can cut into how it can benefit someone. 

For example, if you’re a brand new hospital opening in a busy neighborhood, you may be inclined to say things like:

  • Large Parking Lot
  • Plenty Of Staff
  • Daily Appointments Available
  • Fully Staffed Cafeteria
  • Innovative Machinery

All of these things don’t sound horrible. But they also don’t map out the genuine benefits to someone who may need to go to this hospital. All of these things are features rather than benefits.

A few ways these can transform into benefits include saying:

  • Easy Access And Private Parking Lot Off I-72
  • 2:1 Patient Ratio With Friendly Staff
  • Short Wait Times For All Appointments
  • Healthy And Affordable Food In A Fully Staffed Cafeteria
  • $80 Million In Updated And Innovative Machinery

With these examples, you’re giving your readers details about your features combined with benefits without bogging them down with too much information. Take a look at your writing and see if you can spruce up any of your features and transform them into benefits.

4. Look At The Big Idea

Your benefits, business plan, and everything in between includes great information. However, try to avoid getting distracted from the bigger picture. What is it that you want to accomplish? Stick to your end goal and ensure you have Call-To-Actions (CTAs) throughout your writing that match your goal.

Before writing, consider your big picture. Some examples of this could look like the following:

  • Are you looking for more social media followers? 
  • Do you want to inform people about who you and your business are?
  • Is there a product you’re pushing that you want people to buy?
  • Are you attempting to establish a voice?

Whatever your goal is, it should reflect in your writing. This leads us right into one of the next critical mistakes business owners make when copywriting.

5. You Forget One Or More Call-To-Actions

If your writing doesn’t include Call-To-Actions (CTAs), you’re missing out big time. According to Wordstream, “Emails with a single call-to-action increased clicks 371% and sales 1,617%.“

What Is A Call-To-Action?

A Call-To-Action, or CTA, is a button or clickable link that says “Buy Now” or “Call Us Today”. They’re buttons that inspire your reader to take action right away. Without them, you’re forcing your reader to search further to take action with extra steps. Customers want their experience to be as easy as possible. If you’re asking them to do it on their own, they may talk themselves into taking action later, compare by going elsewhere, and so on. You want them to have the option to make a decision right away after they’ve read your compelling copy.

6. Avoid Hitting Publish And Forgetting About It Altogether

Once you choose to publish your copy, you may think you’re good to go for many years into the future. This is just not true. You need to tap into engagement and get feedback from your audience to find out if there is room for improvement.

Don’t get us wrong, publishing your copy is a big step and is a huge cause for celebration. Especially if you have copy you’ve been working on for a long time, trust us, we’re toasting with you on finishing! But don’t forget to check back on it every so often and ensure the messaging, Call-To-Action, and everything else still rings true.

If you’ve changed your business model in a significant way, have new products available, or anything else that needs to be addressed, do so in your copy by updating it regularly. Revisit your copy if it’s been a while and you feel it may be outdated. Finally, double and triple-check to ensure everything looks good and is mobile friendly. 

7. Perfectionism Kills Potentially Great Copy

As a business owner, you’re probably a little bit obsessed with perfection. And there’s nothing wrong with that! When it comes to running your business, having a type-A tendency is a must. But when it comes to copywriting, it can be an absolute nightmare.

Why? Because when you keep writing, saving, going back to writing, and so on, expecting it to be perfect, you’ll never get it done! And you’ll have likely missed your window for getting your message out there at the right time.

We know it’s easier said than done, but let go a little and get your copy out there once you’ve hit all of the important aspects of your bigger picture.

8. Keep It Simple

You work within your industry, but chances are, most people reading your copy don’t. They may even know nothing about your business, who you are, or what you do. So it’s important to write as if you’re speaking to someone who knows little to nothing, which may mean cutting out complicated text or technical jargon.

We get it! You don’t want to have to feel as though you need to “dumb down” your copy because you believe your audience is smart. And that may be true! But for someone who is new to your business or may not be within the same industry you are, too much high-level text can be intimidating and throw someone off from reading what you have to say.

In addition, making the text too complicated can lead your audience to your competitors. Keep it simple and make it easy to follow.

9. You’re Keeping Your Copy Too Top-Secret

In other words, don’t be shy about your copy! Give it to a second pair of eyes to take a look at and make sure you’re moving in the right direction.

Similar to perfectionism, you may be hesitant to share your copy with others until it’s done. But additional members of your team can help identify errors and make suggestions.

Because they’re seeing your writing for the first time, they’ll be able to read it as a consumer and know if it’s sending the right message. Choose someone you trust for this task. Whether it’s a co-owner, manager, or someone else who has a little bit of writing experience. Trust select members of your team and let them help you.

Furthermore, be careful about sharing your copy with too many people. One or two opinions are helpful. Any more than that may begin to cloud your judgment and produce conflicting ideas or suggestions.

10. You Aren’t Really Proving Your Point

Here’s where your previous experience and past results come in handy. In other words, if you have a point to make, then prove it with facts and figures. This may mean you need to dig into your revenue files, ask your financial department, or search for information online. But it’s worth it if it’s impressive.

Are you attempting to convince someone to buy your start-up product? Let them know you’ve made over $5 million in sales in the past year.

Would you like people to put a little more faith in your services? Let them know you have a 4.5-star rating on Google, Yelp, or any other review sites. 

It’s okay to brag about yourself a little to prove a point and convince others to trust in your business. Feature your highlights in places like main headlines, subheadings, or callouts. Keep in mind that these are likely the areas of your writing that they’ll read when scanning your text.


Want to improve your website copy? Download our free guide and start with your home page.

When Was The Last Time You Updated Your Home Page?

Answer these 6 questions and spruce up your home page in 15 minutes (or less).

transform features into benefits

Transform Features Into Customer Benefits In 3 Simple Steps

What is it about your business that offers value to your buyers or investors?

Are the customer benefits of your business special compared to competitors?

Chances are, you already know the answer to these questions. But you may not be getting the message across on all platforms in the best way possible. One of the best methods you can use is asking yourself these questions, then asking, “so what?” 

Then ask, “so what?” again.

Read on and look at how you can transform features into benefits in 3 simple steps.

Using The “So What” Effect To Transform Features Into Benefits

It may be clear to you why your business helps others. But, is it transparent for customers? Are the benefits readily apparent to someone who is seeing or hearing about your company for the first time?

Next, get in the minds of your customers and figure out why they should care about you. Ask yourself, “so what?” when it comes to what your business has to offer. You can get in the minds of your customers and figure out why they should care. It may sound harsh, but when it comes to people spending their money, they want to know that whatever they’re purchasing will solve a problem they already have.

Now that we’ve broken down the ‘so what effect,’ we can move onto the 3 things you can do to turn your business’ features into customer benefits.

1. Define Your Features And Omit Any Complications

When outlining your company’s features, it’s helpful to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. For example, instead of listing out everything you feel makes you unique, consider whether it may confuse your audience.

You want to avoid making your customers feel overwhelmed and confused at what you have to say. Define only the features that make your business stand out. 

Next, strip away anything that makes your message too cluttered. Clear up mixed messages by doing the following:

Cap Off Common Features

Can a common feature be a benefit?

Let’s go over features versus benefits for a quick second. A feature is something your business or product has or can offer. A benefit is the resulting feeling or outcome a customer experiences when they use your service. 

Now let’s place features and benefits into the perspective of a potential customer. If your business has something widely offered and can be found anywhere else, there is no use in listing these typical features. They won’t stand out or convince your customer to make a purchase.

Gain Attention With Distinct Branding And An Incredible Offer

Here’s your chance to rise above your competitors. Once you’ve defined what makes your business special and stripped away standard features, you have a moment to truly shine. With a unique brand voice and a more distinct message, you can count on customers remembering who you are and why they should choose you over the competition.

Delete Information That’s Too Detailed Or Complex

When looking at your company’s copy, your audience should easily understand what you have to offer without too many of the extras. Keep it simple. List features that benefit your consumers and not just you as a company. If it can’t offer value to your customers somehow, it probably shouldn’t show up at all.

2. Find Out Why It Matters (And What Makes It So Special)

Here’s where you need to break it down for customers with a straightforward explanation why your business is the better option.

It is essential to understand that you don’t need to bash or put down other businesses to come out on top. Spread the word about your business by showing off the positives in a way that keeps you on the high road. 

You can use customer testimonials to show off what you do best. Create marketing campaigns and videos that reflect your personality in a fun and informative way. You can also strategize email marketing or other outlets to answer some frequently asked questions (FAQ) and set the focus on your business as a solution.

Remember when we talked about asking yourself, “so what?”

Here’s your chance to use the answers you came up with and decide whether or not it adds value to your customer’s life. Does it solve their problem? If not, it may be time to rethink and adjust until you find an answer that works.

3. Redefine Your Message To Highlight Your Customer Benefits

Now, you’ve defined your features and figured out why they matter to your customer. From here, you have everything you need to construct copy built around transforming these same features into benefits.

It helps to have an experienced group of copywriters to research, plan, and write the content you need in your voice and tone. A good copywriter will begin with an audit on your assets and pinpoint what could use some sprucing up. They will equally make a note of content that works well and infuse it into new copy.

Your copy will quickly take on a clear and more refined meaning with a few revisions and edits.

Finally, you can pose a question to your audience that ties up your refreshed messaging in a neat package. Think along the lines of…

  • Could You Use Snore-Free Nights?
  • Does Your Credit Card Offer Cash Back?

An intriguing question will cause your audience to think of an issue they want to solve or consider an easier solution to a problem they didn’t realize they had.

Once you’ve got your customer base hooked, you will be more successful at reeling them in and closing the sale.

Compelling Copy Leads To Conversions

Here’s the truth… Your business could offer the top choice on the market in whatever industry you’re in. However, weak or vague writing across your website, print assets, email marketing efforts, and so on destroy your credibility and force customers to go elsewhere – resulting in diminished sales.

Make sure your message is well written, professional, and executed consistently. Use a copywriting team that knows about creating copy that converts potential customers into a loyal following.

Does your business need a bit of a marketing boost through concise copywriting? Contact us today to have a chat about what your business needs to define your brand messaging.

When Was The Last Time You Updated Your Home Page?

Answer these 6 questions and spruce up your home page in 15 minutes (or less).

Updating Your Website Copy to Increase Conversion

Updating Your Website Copy to Increase Conversion & Engagement (Even When Your Business Has Been Put on Hold) in 7 Simple Steps

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has impacted businesses all over the world. I talk to at least 5 business owners a day that have either had to put their business on hold, are overwhelmed with growth, or are somewhere in between. If you’re one of the companies in limbo, this blog is for YOU. Downtime can be discouraging. But, it’s so important to stay positive and keep the ball rolling! One way to do just that is by investing in your marketing. That’s why we put together this guide on updating your website copy to increase conversion and engagement (even when your business has been put on hold). 

What’s Website Copy? 

So, what’s website copy? Website copy is all the words on your site. But more than that, it’s what communicates to your audience what their need or problem is (if they didn’t know already), your solution, and why you’re the right decision for them. What does your customer need to hear to make a buying decision?

Now more than ever, a majority of the interactions clients have with your business will be through your website. Well-written website copy ensures your site is helpful for existing clients and makes a great first impression with new ones.

Why Update Your Website Copy?

A website should be 100% organic – that means it should change, evolve, and be updated as time goes on. A hard-coded website or one that is difficult to change in a moment’s notice is going to lock you into something that’s not working for you. 

So why update your website copy? 

We see lots of companies who put up a website home page and then never invest in their marketing again. After 10 years, it’s still the same home page. Their business has changed over that decade, but their website copy doesn’t reflect the changes. 

It’s stagnant. 

Keeping your website organic will encourage your clients to engage with your business more, and help convert those engagements into successful transactions.

How Website Copy Impacts Engagement & Conversion

How can updating your website copy impact engagement and conversion? Here are a couple of examples…

It Conveys Reliability

Suppose you used to offer a service that you no longer do. You’ll want to reflect those changes on your website. If clients who visit your site discover the information isn’t up-to-date, they’ll get the impression that your company is unreliable and engage with it less in the future. To encourage engagement, offer updated website copy.

It Makes It Easy For Clients To Find What The Need

Has your business started to offer new products or services since your last website update? As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind”. Your clients can’t buy your new services or products if they don’t know you’re offering them! Conversion rates will grow if you make it as easy as possible for your audience to find what they’re looking for and convince them your solution is the best.

If your business has had to slow down in the past month, take advantage of the downtime to rebuild engagement and increase conversion by updating your website copy. 

Determine If You’re Doing Minor Changes or A Massive Overhaul

Updating your website copy doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. You can make minor changes or get creative with a massive overhaul. 

Minor Changes

Even minor changes to your website copy can go a long way! 

Refine Your Headline Keywords

Are the keywords on your website specific enough to help your clients find what they need? Something as simple as re-phrasing your headlines to target your audience can help increase traffic – and eventually engagement and conversion rates.  

Make Small, Regular Updates

Are you keeping your clients in the loop about how current events impact their access to your business (especially in the midst of COVID-19)? Adding regular updates to your site will keep clients informed about how to continue to use your services or buy your products – in times of a pandemic or otherwise!

Massive Overhaul

When business is busy, marketing often slips by the wayside. If you haven’t had the chance to update your website copy, it’s not too late to get started on a massive overhaul! 

Does your website reflect your company’s values and brand? Does the copy highlight your current products and services? Can clients request them online? Is your website optimized for mobile viewing with easy-to-use navigation?

These are all places to look for opportunities to improve engagement and conversion. 

Updating Your Website Copy to Increase Conversion & Engagement in 6 Simple Steps

Whether you’re gearing up for major or minor updates to your website copy, it’s important to keep in mind both what to improve and how to improve it. Here are 6 simples steps to start updating your website copy to increase conversion and engagement.

1. Build a Brand Voice Guide 

Updating your website copy doesn’t have to be time-consuming and you don’t have to be a gifted writer either! When you build a Brand Voice Guide, you’ll be able to let someone else do the heavy lifting for you. In your Brand Voice Guide, you’ll outline which emotions and tones writers should use to update and edit your website copy. That way, you can rest assured that everything on your website is aligned with your company’s brand. 

Creating a Brand Voice Guide streamlines the copywriting process and fosters familiarity with your brand to improve conversion and engagement. You’ll get more growth with less effort. Check out our blog for more on why having a brand voice is critical to business growth

2. Record Your Baseline Metrics

After building a brand voice guide to expedite the copywriting process, where do you start making improvements to your existing copy? You can evaluate where changes should be made by taking down your metrics. 

Are You Reaching Your Audience?

Your engagement metrics tell you how good your website is at reaching your audience. This includes how many visitors your website typically gets per month, how many of these are new visitors, and how long each visitor spends on each page. 

Do you have many visitors to your homepage but not nearly as many for your services page? This doesn’t necessarily mean that visitors don’t want to engage with your services – they might just have a hard time finding them! 

Take note of which pages of your website have low engagement metrics so you can create a strategy to improve them. 

How Often Are People Taking Action (Buying, Subscribing, or Enrolling)?

Your conversion metrics tell you how often a client takes an action that you recommend to them. How often are clients buying your products or services, scheduling a consultation, or signing up for your newsletter? You’ll know that your copy needs improvement if your website has a lot of visitors, but few are following through with these actions. 

Don’t worry – low conversion metrics don’t necessarily mean clients aren’t interested in what you’re offering. A lot of the time, it simply means you need to update your copy to better communicate to clients how they’ll benefit from your offers.

3. Save Existing Copy Into A Blank Document

Storage is cheap, but your time isn’t! Before you dive into making any changes to your website, be sure to save the existing copy into a blank document. While some of your content might be new, a lot of it can be updated from what was already there before. It’ll also show you where you’ve been and where you don’t want to go again.

4. Write Emotionally With Benefits Taking The Lead

Your company offers valuable services and goods. But how can you express this value to your clients? Keep your audience at the forefront by writing emotionally with benefits to your client taking the lead. 

If you ask Harvard Business Review, people find the most value in products and services that serve their functional and emotional needs. Companies that address these in their writing have greater customer loyalty and growth. 

What does your client need practically and emotionally when they seek out your business? Address these needs, and offer a solution in your copy.

5. Review It Thoroughly

Next, you need to review the copy thoroughly for grammar, syntax, flow, and clarity. At FocusCopy, we always have at least 2 sets of eyes on each piece of copy we send out. Usually, we have 3 sets of eyes – 2 sets that haven’t worked on the development side. 

Check out our proofreading tips that we use to review every single piece of copy.

6. Update the Live Page

Before you update the live page with your newly written and thoroughly reviewed copy, take a before photo. You can add extensions to your browser that take a full screen capture – taking a photo of the entire page without you having to merge multiple screenshots of it.

Once you have the before photo, reveal your fresh look to the world. If your remodeling included major changes, send out an email to existing customers to highlight what your exciting new site features make easier for them! 

7. Test & Continue to Refine Copy

Remember, great website copy is truly organic. Continue to take down your metrics, compare them with old metrics, and refine your copy accordingly. You can also take advantage of split testing of headlines or landing pages to see which keywords and images resonate the most with your audience. 

Your company may be experiencing downtime, but there’s always a place to move forward and grow with your online marketing.

Looking for some help getting started? We write copy that communicates how you (the company) transforms your customer’s lives. When a customer feels heard, they are much more likely to engage with your brand and ultimately convert. Learn more about FocusCopy’s copywriting services here.

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

During the holiday season, we are bombarded with advertisements, sales, and deals. It can be overwhelming and just plain annoying. This year, I received a staggering 238 emails about Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone. 

As a copywriter, I usually read every email to see what other companies are doing; however, this influx of emails beat me.  

All that being said, there’s a lot of noise. And you have to do something different if you want to stand out from the crowd. Cue today’s topic… You need to start building a unique selling proposition. 

First, what is a unique selling proposition?

What is a Unique Selling Proposition? 

A unique selling proposition or USP is a statement of what makes your business unique and ultimately valuable to your prospective customer or target audience. Essentially, it answers the questions… How are you better than your competition? Or Why should the customer choose you over your competition? 

This is the secret weapon that a lot of marketing strategies forget about or don’t spend enough time on. 

Think of building a unique selling proposition as laying the foundation for your entire business.

Unique Selling Proposition vs Value Proposition

Before we go any further, let’s clear up a few things when it comes to the difference between a unique selling proposition vs value proposition. 

A value proposition describes what your company is offering, to whom you are offering it to, and how it solves your customer’s problem. For example, you can use the following framework to build your value proposition.

We sell [your product or service] to [your customer] to solve [their problem]. We solve this problem by [your solution with the big differentiators].

In comparison, a unique selling proposition is a statement that explains how your product or service uniquely solves your customer’s needs. It is a specific statement that can vary slightly between landing pages, offers, and promotions. It is meant to “move the masses” because it is uniquely better than the competition. 

Although the USP isn’t necessarily “copy”, we do use it as a framework to base our copy around. 

Components of a Unique Selling Proposition

Take your target audience, figure out their big problem, explain how you solve their problem, highlight the big benefits of your solution, and finally define your promise. You’ll want to combine all of that, rework it, and turn it into an easy-to-digest proposition.

You can use the following framework to build your USP. 

Our [company / product / service] is the only one that helps [your customer] solve [their specific problem] by [unique promise or benefit].

Where To Use Your Unique Selling Proposition

Before you start building a unique selling proposition (USP), it’s important to know where and when you can use the USP. Copywriters use USPs on each advertisement, promotion, or sales letter. In short, your USP is the reason why the customer needs to buy the product or service for a very specific benefit. It helps the copywriter keep focused on that benefit as they are writing the copy. 

Although the USP isn’t necessarily “copy”, we do use it as a framework to base our copy around. As a result, you will see a lot of USPs in the headlines or at least the first few lines of copy.

Examples of Well-Executed USPs

Here are a couple examples of well-executed USPs. 

TOMS Roasting Co. 

You thought they only sold shoes! TOMS has been a long standing, philanthropic company that believes in One for One®. Their roasting company is no exception. Their USP is that in return for your coffee purchase, they provide safe water. Can you name another company that is doing that? It’s unique and admirable. 

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Away Travel 

Away luggage creates suitcases and other travel products. This USP doesn’t directly talk about what they do in addition to creating these products – “building peace in areas of conflict around the world”. But they are unique in that they see travel as something greater.

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

ClickUp

“One app to replace them all.” It’s unique. It’s a huge selling point because if you’re anything like me, you are trying to simplify how you work – and consequently, the number of apps you use. 

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Steps to Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Building a unique selling proposition (USP) may not be easy. It needs to be strong enough to influence a large number of people, but specific enough to be consumed in one bite. It’s the framework for an entire piece of copy. In this blog, we’ve broken down the steps to help you get started. 

1. Who Is Your Target Audience?

This is always always always our number 1 question… Who is the customer or your target audience? If you don’t know that, then you need to figure it out. 

Remember, there is no business without a customer. It’s imperative that you do not skip this step. 

For a wellness coach, it could be a college student that is experiencing new pain and wants to find a solution. 

For a corporate event planner, it could be a real estate broker that sells luxury condos and wants to woo his clients. 

Whoever it is, know who that person is. It will not be everyone, and that’s totally okay. You can scale later. 

2. What Is Their Problem? 

Now that you know who they are, it’s time to assess what their big problem is. What is the one thing that they are missing or gripe about?

For example, a real estate brokerage firm targets first time homeowners. New home buyer’s big pain points are that they have no home buying experience and fear they may invest in a bad property. That fear is crippling, so they don’t buy at the right time or at all.

3. How Does Your Product / Service Solve Their Problem? 

Next, assess how your product or service solves that problem. In the same example above, a real estate brokerage firm could have a program specifically tailored to educating first time home buyers. 

What features and benefits help you solve that problem? 

4. How Are You Unique?

The key of a USP is the unique aspect. Your competition must not offer the same benefits as you because you’re… Unique! Why are you different? How are you special? These questions are helpful when defining your uniqueness.

5. Combine Those Answers In An Easy-To-Digest Sentence

You may be thinking… How am I going to combine all of this into one sentence? You’re killing me, Lauren. Okay, I get it. I said that too when I developed my first USP. But the big reason why you need an easy-to-digest sentence is because you want anyone in your company to immediately recite it without tripping over words. 

Employees Need to Memorize the USP

You also want your customers and prospective customers to buy-in quickly and even memorize it themselves. 

Customers Need to Memorize the USP

Think about it this way… Your customer isn’t that valuable to you unless they’ve bought from you two, three, four, or more times. Right? The more they buy from you, the more valuable they are to you because your customer acquisition costs are decreasing. 

The relationship goal all companies want to reach is when your customers are advocating for you and eventually promoting your product or service. This is GOLD. Your customer, when they reach this stage, are your free promoters. PLUS their network are more likely to buy from your company because they trust that person. 

That’s why it has to be digestible and memorable.

Conclusion Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Every company has a unique selling proposition – whether they have defined it yet or not. If you need help building your unique selling proposition, we just released a 1-hour Brainstorm Session that includes an entire action plan based on our conversation. And it’s completely customizable. Take advantage of this offer here.

Improve Every Web Page

10 Ways to Improve Every Web Page

Your website is your best sales page. It’s what gets people to click to another page, even purchase something directly from your site. People either do one of two things to find what they’re looking for – get referrals or go to Google. If you do not answer their question when they find you through search engines (or social media, advertising, etc.), then they have millions of other results to go to. Our goal is for your prospect to never leave and to take the next step in the customer value journey.

Before we get into 10 ways to improve every web page, I do want to put this little caveat here… If you are just starting your website, the most important thing for you right now is to get the website up and running so it informs your prospective customers. It will not be perfect; if you make it perfect, it’d never get published. Take these tips and know it’s going to be an ever-evolving process of improvement. Get that mud up on the wall.

If you already have a website and want to improve it to result in higher conversions, you’re in the right place.

10 Ways to Improve Every Web Page

As you go through your website, here are 10 ways to improve every web page:

  1. Make it easy to understand (readability)
  2. Write clear and captivating headlines
  3. Have effective call to actions (CTAs)
  4. Include images and videos
  5. Make site mobile responsive
  6. Make it skimmable
  7. Benefit, Benefits, Benefits
  8. Center your site on the customer
  9. Check your readability (passive vs active)
  10. Use the right keywords

So let’s get into how to put these 10 items into action.

1. Make The Copy Easy to Understand 

There’s a reason why our mission is to bring clarity and focus to all business communications. Frequently, writers and companies alike get wrapped up in pretty language that looks and sounds good, but it isn’t always clear and to the point. The copy is full of verbose language that may paint the picture clearer, but the picture was clear without all those words. 

The goal here is to make the copy easy to understand in as few words as possible. In other words, get to the point.

Now for those that are raising their hands… What about SEO? They want you to have a certain number of words on each page. You’re exactly right. Include additional sections to the page; however, don’t just add words for the sake of adding words. Each word must have a purpose.

2. Write Clear and Captivating Headlines

In addition to making the copy easy to understand, check to make sure your headlines are both clear and captivating. Some good questions to ask yourself when assessing headlines include:

  • Can I identify the problem immediately from the headline?
  • Does it make me want to read more about that section?
  • Could to be clearer or more captivating?
  • Does the headline set expectations of what that section will include?

3. Use Effective Call to Actions

Another thing to look at is if your site has effective call to actions (CTAs). For example, you want people to inquire your services through your contact page – simple right. When your customer gets to that page, it’s a blank canvas. If they are anything like me, they probably don’t even know what to put in the message. Help them out. 

Instead of saying “Contact Us” on the button, you can spice it up by providing an action or something unique:

  • Send Us Your Availability
  • What’s your biggest question about ______?
  • Ask Your Big Question
  • We’re Waiting
  • Invest in Yourself

One of the great things about CTAs is that you can test them over and over and over again. Here a few tips if you want to take a stab at it yourself: 

  • Convey value
  • Keep it short (the description above is where the detail is)
  • Command, don’t demand
  • Urgency 
  • Specificity (they want to know exactly what’s going to happen)

Examples of Call to Actions

Here’s an example of how we used the first example on our own site. Speaking of this CTA, I want to connect with you and grab coffee if you’re in Houston or enjoy a cup of coffee virtually. Send us your availability to talk and if you’re in Houston, TX.

Ways to Improve Every Web Page

Your call to actions need to fit your voice and brand. Dare to be a little adventurous. It does not hurt to be a little different; in fact, a little attention may do you some good. Here are some of my favorite CTAs that I’ve seen recently.

Ways to Improve Every Web Page
Hannah Brencher Creative

“Pour the Coffee” – love it! It’s completely different from the usual “buy” or “get started”. It’s a command to take action, hinting at scarcity as coffee gets cold, and it’s short.

“Ask Your Question” is a great variation for “submit” or “contact”. In addition, it is paired with their FAQs. Short and to the point. Plus, there’s a promise of value because what comes after a question? An answer.

Can you say benefits? Who doesn’t want to save time and grow? A call to action is a great place to put another benefit, especially if the prior copy is feature focused.

In this call to action, DigitalMarketer gives the problem (“suck at marketing“) then provides the solution (“Become an Insider for FREE”). For someone who sucks at marketing and wants to get better, this is going to be a no-brainer to click and at least learn more.

American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI) is obviously great at writing effective call to actions – they invented copywriting. Both call to actions on this one section are different and also generate a little curiosity. My eyes immediately went to the CTAs. “You’ll love this.” Well, what’s “this”? So I went back and read about how the writer’s life just got easier.

Hey! Are you in our Insider’s List? I send a weekly email with our latest blog, copywriting tips, and things happening in the digital space… And it’s completely free to join! Click here to get on the inside.

4. Add Images & Videos

Always tie in images and/or video that connect the copy to a visual aid. Although you can get away with zero images, video, or even color when you have incredible copy, most companies need the visual aids to add to the copy. It can add depth and variety to your website copy.

Don’t be afraid of color, photos of people, or even animation.

5. Mobile Responsive

If you’re reading this on your phone or tablet, then you’re part of the 45% of my traffic that uses mobile devices. Depending on your business, it may be less or more. However, if you assume that 50% of your traffic is mobile, that means your site needs to be mobile responsive. Have you ever navigated a site that wasn’t responsive? It’s a nightmare.

Take a look at the two screenshots below of how different our homepage looks on tablet and phone. While we’ve worked hard to ensure that all pages are mobile responsive, some page builders do not make it obvious or easy to manipulate. Work with your web developer to make sure it looks good on desktop, tablet, and mobile.

6. Is It Skimmable?

Time is the one valuable asset people have that they will never get back. There’s no re-earning time – unless you’re a time traveller. If so, do share! As a result, we’ve become master skimmers. 

Read through each page on your website and try to skim it. If you have issues skimming and understanding what’s going on, then it’s most likely not skimmable. Add is headlines, break up long paragraphs into smaller sections, and change up the typography (size, alignment, font, and color). A reader should should be able to get the gist by just reading the headlines.

7. Benefit, Benefits, Benefits

While people do use logic (i.e. features) to back their decision, people want to know how working with your company is going to benefit them. It’s all about benefits, benefits, benefits. Surround the features with benefits or turn them into a mixture of benefits and features.

Take a look at Apple’s learn more page for the new MacBook Pro. You see the features of the storage, core processor size, memory, sound system, etc. You also see “power through intensive workloads” and “dramatic sound and super clean recordings”. If you work in graphics, video, or audio, these are HUGE benefits. 

If you’re having problems finding the benefits, we ask the question “so what?”.

For example, take a look at the new iPhone 11 Pro with their triple camera system… So what about that camera system? They could say to a parent or grandparent that they can use the iPhone 11 Pro to capture every family moment just as you saw it and treasure those moments forever. Instant benefit that doesn’t talk about the camera system and it’s emotional.

8. Customer Centricity

Another thing to check on is if your site is customer centered. I once had a conversation with a company that wanted to redo their website to position it for investors to invest. Because their goal was focused on the investment not the customer, they lost sight of this one fact… By changing the copy to be investor centric, they risked losing all their customers. 

I might add they were an e-commerce business. Yikes. 

If your company’s website is directed to anyone other than your customer, then it’s not a working asset. No customers = no sales = no company.

9. Passivity vs Active Language

This has been a hot topic in the FocusCopy team this week especially. Why? Because people continue to write passively. Remember those boring textbooks in college? Yep. The author almost exclusively wrote in a passive voice because it’s supposed to be informational. 

I’d like to argue that anything can be both informational and active. It’s also a lot easier to read. Get me? Read this blog if you want to check more readability tests you can use to measure passive vs active language.

10. Right Keywords

Finally, you need to think about your website’s SEO. As a former SEO specialist, I totally understand the need to have long-tail keywords (i.e. best lawyer for trial in houston tx). BUT when we are talking about your main pages (home, about, services, etc.), you need to select the right keywords that do not sound so stuffy and unnatural. 

People can sniff that out so easily now. Remember… People do business with people they like, know and trust. Sound like a human while adhering to SEO guidelines.

Improve Your Website’s Copy With FocusCopy

If you need help improving your website’s copy, we are standing by to convert your prospects into your buyers and to build your company’s brand. The first step… Fill out this form and be sure to send us your availability so we can schedule a call to discuss your specific needs. 

Any other suggestions? Comment below.