How good is your copy for your business?

I get asked to do a lot of reviews for people’s businesses. Most of them are just starting out however, some are well known online entrepreneurs.

Which I think is great. Sometimes we need the extra push. Sometimes we need someone to critique our work and to help revise it to present it better to our audience. That’s why I wrote this post, to help you write better copy and understand that words aren’t the only thing keeping your audience away.

So how do I know how good or bad my copy is?

I was on Craigslist the other day and I typed into the search box, trucks and clicked for sale by owner and this is what I got.

It doesn’t take a professional copywriter to realize there are some major issues here.

But for fun let’s take a look at this um…Personal ad… I mean truck ad. 😀

If you were buying a truck would you want someone’s ’online dating profile photo’ standing in front of the truck you were interested in buying?

Probably not, as a matter of fact I am willing to say 99.999999999% of you would say no.

SPOILER ALERT!

If you want to buy a truck, you want to see the truck (shocker, I know!). You don’t want a photo of some random guy in a suit in front of it.

As a Copywriter, I see this all the time.

Maybe it’s not as obvious as this Craigslist ad but it’s way to often that I see people getting in the way of their customers.

Here’s another example of how people get in the way of their customer.

Copywriting mistakes and things that are overlooked

Copywriting Bad Examples

At first glance, copy on this page appears to be decent.

The design compliments the copy and is easily readable. However, if you scroll down the page you’ll quickly learn that it’s misleading.

The biggest problem is that it doesn’t just help you organize your company’s images as it says in the opt-in. What it actually does is similar to Dropbox or Google drive in other words it’s a cloud storage service that specializes in organization of photos. Therefore you can put any file in the cloud, not just photos.

This may seem obvious but… some businesses don’t see the benefits of listing all the problems their business can solve for their customers.

So how does this impact your visitor?

Let’s say Sam is looking for a cloud storage service, he searches and finds this company’s website.

This page now has 1-3 seconds to keep Sam interested and to encourage him to take action, which in this case appears to be to get his email address.

But the first thing Sam see’s is… you guessed it, the opt-in which focuses on organizing company images.

Sam would naturally click the back button, because he doesn’t want to just organize his company photos, he wants a cloud storage service so he and his employees can access the company documents and share photos of the latest bachelor party!

Which means they just lost out on a sale.

Are you making the same copywriting mistakes?

Here are two copywriting questions you should ask before you click publish:

  • If a visitor comes to my site knowing nothing about me or my business, will they understand the message I am trying to get across?
  • Am I writing this for 100% of my audience?

Ever heard of bounce rate?

Yep its that weird word some mathematical dork came up with that means that it’s the percentage which a visitor leaves your site after visiting only one page.

Which tells Google, that this site isn’t satisfying its visitors and therefore your chances of reaching the top of Google are decreased. So having your customers understand what you are trying to get across within 1-3 seconds and keeping them on your page is very important.

So my second copywriting question is something we are going to have to dig a little deeper into.

Are you writing for 100% of your audience? You shouldn’t be and here’s why:

  • Not 100% of your traffic is going to be people who are interested in what you have to offer.

Think about how many times a day you hit the back button. Think about how many times you’ve ended up on a site that you thought was going to help you, but was completely something else?

This is because most of the time those websites are trying to focus their on pleasing every single one of their visitors. They bore you with things that are so general that they make you want to punch them in the face.

For example, how many times have you come acorss a realtor ad that says you can sell your home in less than 24 hours… or which finalcial firm you should invest in. I just want to shoot them. There copy is  so bland, boring, and unhelpful for people.

Here are a few examples of some people that know their customers well.

Pay attention to her tone and confidence. It’s perfect copy for her audience | TheUncagedLife.com

Take a look at Okdork’s copy on his homepage as well. It’s great.

Okay Max That’s Great and All But How Do I Know What Makes My Copy Great?

Start by asking yourself these copywriting questions:

  • What is the your primary goal?
  • Is it to convert more customers?
  • Or to change how people perceive your businesses service/products?

Here are some common goals that previous clients have used as copywriting goals in the past:

  • I want to increase my conversion rate with my current email subscribers.
  • I would like to increase email opt-ins on my homepage.
  • I would like you to re-write my sales page to help increase it’s conversion rate.

Understanding your copywriting goal makes it easier for you to focus on what you need to accomplish. Its like building a foundation of a house. You need it before you build on top of it, otherwise it won’t last very long.

Once you know your goal, you can then get more specific. Here are more questions you should ask yourself before you start your copywriting research on your business.

  • What are your three competitors?
  • What messaging are they using?
  • Subscribe to their email list, how is it different from yours?
    • Do you like their style?
    • What would you change?
    • What do you want to mimic?

Audience:

  • What is your ideal customer? How old are they, where are they in their life? Career? Income? Married? Divorced? Kids? Dogs? Cats? Athletic?
  • What research have you done on them? This is a question I normally ask my clients, but you can take advantage of this because you can write down sources you’ve used so that you can keep track of your research and refer back to it whenever you need it.
  • Do you have any customers currently that you can interview?
  • Can you send out a survey? I would only suggest this if you have a good sized audience (1000 or more subscribers).

Social Media / Reviews:

  • Are your competitors on social media, if so which ones?

If your competitors use social media, read as many tweets, shares and posts that their audience has made! Take special notice of the tone, language and feedback they give – its like looking inside a jar of goodies… its their copywriting hard at work!

If at all possible look at Udemy, search for a course on something similar and sort it by reviews. Look at all the reviews the course is getting and take note on how you can improve it. You can also use the course as an outline for a post in the future (make sure to credit Backlinko for that tip!).

Take a look at Amazon books. Search for a keyword related to your niche and sort it by reviews. Read every review for the books that are related to your niches (credit Copyhackers.com).

Check other websites like Yelp, Expedia, consumer reports for other reviews for the products you are selling.
After you can answer those questions backwards and forwards. Make sure to really look at how the visitor is going to be going through the site by hiring a few professionals. There are plenty of businesses that will do user testing for a small fee, but the amount of information is worth paying for.

Find a user testing site that has reasonable pricing to review the design of your site, the layout, copy, and overall organization of the site.

Once you’ve signed up and confirmed your email and payment methods you can request a user tester to review your website. Generally I recommend using the questions that are automatically generated for you. They are good and specific from the sites I have used.

Within a few hours or days you’ll have access to the video with the review. I suggest you take notes, download the video and really pay attention to what they are saying as they navigate through your website.

Why do you need to research reviews and social media?

I know its not the most ‘exciting’ thing to do but researching what other customers are saying about your competitors will give you an edge when you start writing your own copy. You can literally use their words for your copy, I like to think of your customers selling to themselves. They know what they want, so use the language they use it just makes sense.

Copy for most websites are awful. Literally they make me gag, pull my hair out and sometimes yell at the screen. Here is an example of copy that needed to be ‘reworked’ by one of my clients.

You can slide the bar left to right to see the before and after

Guess how I got that headline? Amazon reviews. I literally copied and pasted it and BAM, the headline is clear, concise and speaks to the visitor in their own language.

A little copywriting research can yeild some BIG RESULTS and big profits.