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Is Your Web Site Missing Something?
by Susan Londell, SML® Design, LLC

Let's face it, writing content for your web site is going to be one of the most difficult things to do. It may come naturally to some people, but for most, they will want to pull their hair out ... let's hope you don't.

First of all, did you know there is a professional called a copywriter who can help you tweak your text; or they can write it for you? A copywriter is the person who writes the words for advertisements you see in such places as; newspapers, magazines, flyers, billboards, TV/radio commercials, and yes, even on web sites. If you are interested in copywriting services, be sure to give us a call at (732) 560-1954 to discuss how this can benefit you.

Second, whether you are writing the text yourself or you are working with a copywriter, there will be many questions that need to be answered.

You'll need to sit down and ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your web site. Here are a few to help you get started.

  • Do you know what your target audience is seeking, or are you just assuming you know?

  • Will your site be directed to the “average Joe”, or will it be directed towards people in your trade?

  • Are you going to be offering your service or product in a specific location, or will it be offered world-wide?

  • Will your target audience be male or female? Will it be a specific age group?

  • How do you want to make your presentation? As a corporate site; informational; entertainment?

Sometimes people have a hard time figuring out the needs of their target audience. This is why I recommend asking a friend, spouse, or co-worker what they would be looking for if they came to your web site. Keep notes of what people are suggesting.

After you’ve written down your copy, test it on others to see what kind of feedback you receive. Once you've shown it to your immediate family or friends, pass it along to others. Sure, this testing phase may take some time to do, but later on it will be a big help when the actual copy is being written for your web site.

Your Sales Headlines - Did you know that your "Headline" can have a huge impact with your visitors? An effective headline will capture your visitors' attention and draw them into your sales copy.

Remember, that you'll only have 7 - 10 seconds to capture their attention, so your headline must make an impact.

Speaking of Headlines, have you ever been to a web site or received an advertisement that started off with a question? Ever wonder why? Asking questions stimulate our brains, and if done properly it brings out the curiosity in us. We want to know the answer a question and we'll keep reading until we find it.

Here are a few quick tips for writing a headline:

  • Ask a question that is just waiting to be answered

  • Create a headline that makes us curious

  • Be sure to address your visitors' problems

Web Site Elements - There are other important elements you will need to consider besides the text, such as the color of your text and web site design. Colors can have just as much of an impact with your visitors as the text. The first thing your visitors will see is the color/design of your web site. If the colors are overwhelming your visitors may leave to find a more suitable place to do business.

Keep your colors to a minimum; choose colors that do not clash. You'll need to consider what type of mood you will want to create, and make sure that your text is clearly visible. Don't forget to use a specific color to highlight important text, such as your call to action.

Here is a quick list of colors:

  • Red - Action, energy, strength, passion, fire, heat, power, attention-getting. Red is a good color for a call to action.

  • Blue - Confidence, travel, freedom, truth, professionalism, wealth and power. As well as, tranquility, dependable, acceptance, patience, understanding, cooperation, comfort, loyalty and security. Blue has been proven a good choice for links.

  • Green - Money, wealth, prosperity, calm, health, food, nature, hope, growth, freshness, soothing, sharing, and responsiveness. Want to sell something, think green.

  • Orange - Health and vitality, autumn, youthfulness, fire, steadfastness, courage, confidence, friendliness, cheerfulness, warmth, excitement and energy.

  • Yellow - Light, purity, understanding, caution, brightness, intelligence, joy, organization, spring.

  • Purple - Dignity, sophistication, creativity, spirituality and mystery.

  • Brown - Credibility, stability, home, the earth, wood, comfort and strength.

  • Black - Space, night, authority, dramatic, classy, committed serious, power, elegance, and sophistication.

  • White - Purity, peace, perfection, fresh, easy, cleanliness, goodness, and spirituality.

  • Grey - A conservative color, symbolizing security, maturity and reliability.

Remember, when choosing color elements, emotions trigger sales.

Photographs - Don't forget your photos. No matter what you are selling online, photos really are worth a 1000 words. Photographs turn your product from just an image into something real.

Be sure you take good quality photos; nothing will kill a sale faster than poor photos.

  • Make sure your photos are clearly visible, not too dark, and not too light, especially if you are taking photographs for an e-commerce site.

  • Don’t take your photos in a location where other objects appear in the picture, such as a coffee table with a coffee cup in the corner. If possible use the same background for all your photographs.

  • The best thing is to take all the photographs at the same time; that way you’ll know that the background and lighting will be consistent.

  • Better yet, hire a professional to take your photographs. In the long run it will be a huge benefit to you and your business.

Keep It Simple - Add bullets to your text, this will help keep things to the point. Be sure to use words like, "you", and " your", rather than "I", "we", and “our". By doing this one small thing will help your visitors visualize owning your product rather than just reading about it. If done correctly, instead of a visitor, you've just made them your customer.

Here are a few phrases you can use:

  • "You will receive ..."

  • "You will discover ..."

  • "Your (product) will be delivered in 3 days ..."

  • "You will learn ..."

When you write your copy tell a story, try to incorporate your photograph into your text copy. This is one of the most effective ways to develop a relationship with your customers. It makes you more human; it will also help create credibility, and it will make them feel comfortable doing business with you. They will not just see you as a sales person, but rather as a person who understands their needs and is willing to help with the problem they are trying to resolve. That is the sole reason they are coming to your site, to seek a solution to their problem.

Remember, that the customers you are doing business with are PEOPLE. Your customers have emotions, thoughts, and ambitions, even though you never see them in person. So remember to keep that in mind when gathering your information or writing your copy.

By establishing yourself as someone who cares about your customers, and someone who takes the time to help them with problems, you'll be truly unique. Your competitors most likely don’t go that extra mile; that means you'll be doing something that others won't, and people like that.

Don't forget - Let others proof-read your text. Feed back is a good thing, no matter if it is good feed back or poor feed back, learn from what people tell you. Don’t feel hurt or embarrassed if someone tells you something you don’t like. Use the information to improve your website.

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