You are not alone if you don’t like selling yourself
Let’s get that right out of the way. And let me promise that I do not believe in smarmy sales tactics. I hope you will read these simple writing tips to improve your landing page and think to yourself, yeah, that’s just good writing.
Tips 1-4 pretty much apply to all website writing including your blogs, or even your emails. Tip 5 is for landing pages (and sales pages only).
1. Get straight to the point
It’s super easy to get distracted sounding nice, trying to connect with your audience, telling a story of how you got where you are today, but you only have a few seconds to catch a reader’s attention, and the first thing they want to know is ‘Am I in the right place?’. For example, which do your find easier to understand:
I’m so glad you are here today. It’s my absolute pleasure to share this journey with you as you start your new business.
Beth Baldwin – Copywriter
Honest Clear Words
That’s not to say your personal story doesn’t have a place. Indeed, it’s vital for connection. It just belongs under an appropriate heading further down the page.
2. Write in the first person
When you read an article, you will be instinctively drawn in by the word ‘you’ because it feels like the author is speaking to you personally, fostering a connection. Naturally, you want your customers to feel the same way.
That means yes to words like I or We, but no to words like <Business name> or Clients/Customers.
Some people will tell you that only the Queen can use the royal ‘we’, but I believe you can get away with it. You probably do have a team, even if they are contractors. In many cases, accountants, copywriters, and virtual assistants are all part of your business team in their own way. This can be a gentle way of avoiding sounding like it’s ‘just’ you if you feel the need.
3. Use excellent headings
Headings are important for SEO and audience experience. Write for both simultaneously by using clear and relevant words to draw in your audience, compelling them to read further.
Your Heading 1 – a technical term for the main heading on your webpage – should focus on your primary keyword which is usually your service or product. For example:
Lucy Liu – Naturopath
Clear, simple, and to the point. Below that you will use multiple Heading 2 formats, for example:
- Natural solutions for IBS, Anxiety and more (You would be sure to put your specialities in the heading, then list some of the other categories you can help with underneath)
- Reasons naturopathic treatments work (This is countering a likely roadblock some of your clients may experience – doubt about the effectiveness of alternative medicine).
- Lucy Liu, Canberra Naturopath since 1985 (This is where your story goes, just a teaser and a link for further information on your about page)
Often you might have some further subheadings (Heading 3’s) that talk more about the conditions you can help, one for each reason naturopathy works, and maybe even your key points in your biographic section. Talk to your website developer about how this might look for you.
4. Use active voice
Confession time. For years in the public service, I would get feedback that I needed to write in active voice. Unfortunately, it just didn’t come naturally for me. Eventually, I subscribed to the Grammarly app Which points out where I have used passive voice and recommends an active voice alternative. It has revolutionised my writing. Now I understand how active voice makes my sentences clearer and often more concise.
Grammatically, it’s about whether the subject receives the actions of the verb (passive) or does the action of the verb.
Eeek, remember that bit where I said I struggled – can’t believe I just gave a grammar lesson! Let’s look at some examples again:
Passive: The ice cream was eaten by the children.
Active: The children ate the ice cream.
Grammarly has a great article on passive voice, including some instances where passive allows you to be more polite and where Jane Austin uses it well. Check it out here for more nuance.
5. Emphasise the benefits of your product or service
When it comes to web copy, you should always focus on the benefits of your service or product, not just its features or facts. Your clients want to solve a problem, not necessarily buy a product specifically like yours. For example, if you are selling jewellery:
The finishing touch for any outfit
Gifts she will love
And please, don’t run the tired old tripe of invoking fear in your clients, reminding them of what is wrong with them so you can solve it. They know what is wrong, what they want is a solution, so write your benefits in such a way they can easily connect the dots for themselves.
For Further Inspiration of websites that use these tips well, have a look at:
I love this example as it is full of beautiful images, short easy to follow headings with links to further information elsewhere. The keyword ‘jewellery’ is peppered throughout with secondary key words thrown in carefully. Benefits are highlighted as ‘gifts for her, or you’ and product is clear.
When I read this page I feel the author is talking directly to me, excellent use of first person writing. Lots of words broken into lots of easily scanned sections and benefits that highlight how loving my wardrobe can help me embrace the shape I have. It also has an easy to read clear list of services available.
As always, I am available to help write your landing page for you if you would rather spend your time working in your own genius zone… Contact me here