Dear business owner,
Not getting all you could from your website? Worried it drives customers away? Do tumbleweeds roll past your screen when you check your web analytics? Was your last copywriter worth a damn? Is anyone interested in what you have to say?
Bad websites cost you business. They also cost stress and headaches, making you work so much harder for those sales that you do get. There's the frustration of feeling like you're always hitting your head on the wall. There's that fatigue of being left to duel your competitors with both of your hands tied behind your back. Why do this to yourself?
Your Website is Crucial to Your Sales Process, Whether You Like it or Not.
There are still a few basic everyday things people in Melbourne buy without checking the internet: petrol, toilet paper, milk, that sort of thing. Just about every other purchase, from bugles to beagles to bangles and bagels, starts with some research online. This is especially true when you're asking for more than the loose change in your customer's wallet.
Some business owners unconsciously start to think that because they can go a long time without looking at their website, that their customers aren't looking at it either. “Out of sight, out of mind” as the saying goes. Yet we all know from experiences as customers that websites can be the dominant and often only impression we'll have of most businesses.
You might say that because you use word of mouth, direct mail, commission based referrals, print advertising, telegrams, smoke signals, skywriting, coupons, celebrity endorsements, electric shock therapy, or whatever else is working for you, that you don't rely on your website as a sales tool. The better way to say this is that your website is not your first point of contact with potential buyers. They'll still visit it while they're umming and ahhing over whether to splash some cash. Smart phones now mean that everybody's on the web in every idle moment, they'd be breaking the habit of a lifetime not to.
What then happens when your customer gets to your website? Does it make them more confident about buying from you? Does it establish trust, authority, or build rapport? Does it engage with the conversation already going on in their mind? Does it address their concerns, doubts, anxieties or objections to buying from you? Does it do anything to bring your visitor closer to buying?
How 'bout Those Hollywood Big Shots?
Ever watch Space Jam? Yeah, me neither. I saw the ads though. It was a saturation marketing campaign, with advertising everywhere: on the telly, billboards, in the paper, and they even built a website. In 1996 that was still a new and strange thing to do to promote a film.
Wonderfully, Warner Brothers still have this website up, and it's exactly as it was. It's a rough looking site, especially considering that it's for a multi-million dollar blockbuster featuring Michael Jordan near the height of his fame. But in the mid-90s nobody had really figured out that websites could be any different. 12 months of web design was enough to be a grizzled veteran. The whole web looked like this or worse.
This site's design is crude. Cruder yet is the strategy behind it. I'll sum it up in five words:
“Hey, let's have a website.”
In 1996 that was all the strategy you needed. It got people talking. I heard about this website on the radio, and I went to check it for myself, even though I already knew I didn't want to see Space Jam, that if I was somehow forced to go then twin forces of boredom and disgust would so overwhelm me with extraordinary tiredness and nausea that I'd fall asleep vomiting in my seat from the end of the previews until I was forcibly ejected from the cinema for being a snoring, spew-soaked mess. Ha! What an afternoon. But I digress..
These days you'll go a long time without seeing a website that looks like this. But this “strategy”, such as it is, remains widespread. Businesses often aren't much clear about what they want from their website, where the traffic will come from, how to engage the audience they have, or how to move anyone closer to buying. There's just a general intuition that having a website is a good idea: that to be taken seriously as a real business you need one, ideally one that doesn't suck too hard.
It's been a couple of decades since the mere publication of a website would get huge media coverage. Now, building an aimless website is like archery with your eyes shut: you're still in the game, but you won't hit targets you can't see. You have no way to know how well you're doing, right up until the horrifying moment it's clear it all went catastrophically wrong.
What Does Great Web Marketing Even Look Like?
It's tempting to be happy with a website that looks nice and has plausible language with no glaring defects. Yet through this door lies madness: an insipid, ineffectual web presence that bores and frustrates your customer's wallet shut. You'll give nobody any reason to hate you but they'll also have no reason to keep paying attention. They have the entire rest of the internet to tempt them away. You won't get any traction on search engines because your reader engagement metrics will suck, and because great websites will see no reason to link to yours. You won't move anyone closer to buying because they're barely skimming. They just won't care.
Set the bar higher. You've worked too hard on your business not to.
Great web marketing has clear, specific goals. These goals aren't just picked out of thin air. They're drawn from a study of your market and relate to your wider business objectives. Every page has a reason, and not a word is written only to fill in space.
When one of these goals is to bring in new customers, it gives readers clear instructions about how to buy from you or get in touch with you, and very powerful reasons to do so right now. When it's instead written for who you are already in contact with, it absolutely communicates features and benefits, and reassures the customer they are shopping at the right place.
Great web marketing is often amusing, sometimes stone-cold serious, but never a chore to get through. It engages the reader. It builds trust, rapport and authority. By the end of it, the reader absolutely better knows who you are and what you're about.
The best web marketing connects with the thought processes already going on in the prospect's mind. It anticipates the concerns and misgivings your customers have about spending money with you, and addresses them directly. Is this the kind of thing you want for your business? We should talk.
I've been in web marketing since 2007. I've been in the game as a consultant, a salaried employee, and running my own business. I've run campaigns for Melbourne businesses large and small improve their search rankings, from e-commerce retailers to solar installers to professional services and more. I've published at least a million words of web content in this time; this is not to say raw word counts are everything, I'm just saying I've had some practice.
I've worked as a copywriter at one of the big digital agencies, writing the text behind some high dollar website developments; I've seen up close how these big firms can get it right for their clients, and the myriad ways they get it so very, very wrong. I've been around the block a few times and I know where the bodies are buried and I write a damn good sales pitch.
I'm even ranked #1 on Google for “world's most attractive copywriter”.
What I'm really getting at here is that I know a thing or two about a thing or two about web marketing. If this is something you'd find useful then please get in touch.
Before we take this further, let's get one thing out of the way: my services aren't for everyone. I can be downright picky about who I work with. This is not a big “you probably can't afford me” speech – my hourly fee is actually quite affordable – it's just that I'm really looking for clients who offer the best scope to do great work.
I want to hear from people who are honestly great at what they do, who need the right help to craft the right messages to get them in front of the right customers. I want more than a bank account and a pulse. For this reason, I like to have a proper chat before I take on a new client. After that we can both decide whether or not we want to work together.
If that's you, let's get the ball rolling. Enter your name and contact details in the form below. Please also write something about you and your business. It can be a little or a lot, whatever you feel like really. I'd just like to know who I'm hearing from. Then when you're ready to send your message, press the button marked “send message”. I'll respond shortly. It'd be great to hear from you.