If your website has great Google rankings, plenty of traffic, and your content is being liked and shared... you're there, right? So how come you're not getting leads and sales? Without a proven conversion strategy and well-written copy, your site might never deliver a return on investment.
When I began writing copy in the magazine industry, back in 1987, I had three choices: work in art, copy or editorial. In the larger publications, these were three different job descriptions, handled by three separate departments. The publication's editor and creative directors did their best to produce an issue that harmonized the creativity from all three divisions.
I worked for several small publications over a ten year period, beginning in the art department. It wasn't long before I had the opportunity to work in copywriting, writing the ad copy for the many display ads, and some of the long form advertorials. And, if I could write an advertorial, why not slide me over to editorial, if we needed another article. That range of skills resulted in me being promoted to Editor in Chief of one of the publications.
Having experience in all three disciplines was also very useful when I began creating websites in 1997. Most online marketing firms still have separate web designers, web developers (coders), researchers, content writers, SEO experts, copywriters, social media and promotion... the list has grown. I work in all of the departments at Whitewolf Design & Copy, but admittedly hire team members with a very specific skill set most of the time.
My passion has always been copywriting, because that's where the rubber meets the road. If SEO and content writing are doing a great job, you should have plenty of qualified prospective buyers on your website by now. But it's still conversion copywriting that moves your website visitors through a process that makes them your customers.
What's the difference between earning rankings through 'content writing' and SEO 'copywriting'? Content writing focuses on providing ridiculously valuable and helpful information, as part of a content marketing, audience-building strategy. But if you start pitching your products and services in your 'content', you'll drive away your audience on the spot. They came for information; not a pitch.
SEO copywriting is for the marketing pages of your website. If your content has been effective, there should be a day when your prospective buyers decide to check you out. You now have permission to persuade them to buy from you. Your site's advertising copy needs to be powerful, so it converts the reader into a lead, and ultimately a customer. But the page also needs to rank well on Google and Bing, and that's where keyword research and targeting the right keywords in your copy are critical. SEO copywriting has two agendas: high search engine positioning and high conversion.
According to leading web analysts, only 3% of business websites enjoy a return on investment. While that may be a discouraging and dismal statistic, it's very easy to understand. Visitors are expected to find what they're looking for on their own when they arrive on your website.
User experience (UX) on most sites is terrible, and there's no buyer's journey or conversion strategy evident. It can be overwhelming, and it's just easier to 'bounce' back to Google, and try again.
At Whitewolf, we're UX web designers, and have been building buyer-friendly websites for over 20 years. We can map out an effective buyer's journey and handle all the copywriting that converts visitors into leads and customers.
You're familiar with the long form 'squeeze' sales pages; those really long pages with lots of 'yellow' panels, that cover every single objection you could possibly have, and include plenty of testimonials, with a bold offer and call to action button. They may be sleazy as hell, but those ugly pages sell millions of dollars of ebooks, courses and products every year. They exist because they work like a hot damn.
A buyer's journey is the elegant version of the long form sales letter. It's a series of beautiful pages your visitor needs to look at, that will provide all the essential information they require, and cover all their objections, with testimonials and proof, so your visitor feels confident enough to take the desired action today.
You may be asking them to sign up for your email list — offering a free white paper — or to make a buying decision now. Unless your reader goes through this buyer's journey, with all the conversion elements traditionally included in the long form sales letter, there's very little chance they will take action... now or ever.
Almost every marketing page on your website — that's any page not created to be ridiculously valuable, incredibly helpful 'content' — should participate in influencing the conversion process already going on in your prospect's head.
There are many so-called 'proprietary' copywriting formulas out there, with cute acronyms and steps; but they're essentially variations of the AIDA formula Elias St. Elmo Lewis introduced back in 1898. Sorry to disappoint... we offer no cutesy names for stuff; just a proven formula. 🙂
We discover your audiences' passions, pain points and fears and draw Attention to their problem, and your brand as the potential answer. Next, we build Interest, by highlighting the problem and its negative impact on their lives. This step seeks to make the prospect deeply "feel" the pressing nature of the problem. We make it personal, and this is often accomplished with storytelling.
We then focus on the solution your product or service offers, or the improvement they will enjoy in their lives; creating an intense Desire. Testimonials and before and after photos are very effective in convincing your prospect the results or transformation are going to be real. We have to overcome every objection, and build enough trust, that your prospect wants to do business with you.
When we're certain they want your solution or benefit almost as badly as they need air, and they trust you, it's time to persuade them to take immediate Action. Creating a sense of genuine urgency here is an art form. It's our job to convince your prospect why NOW is a far better time to invest than next week, next month, or next year.
Designing great landing pages, with powerful copy and calls to action, can be the financial turning point for most websites. Quality landing pages also make pay-per-click advertising work more effectively; increasing your Google Adwords Quality Score, and thereby reducing the cost per click.
We may have shifted from magazine advertising and television commercials to the internet, but the competition out there is even fiercer today. The "Subscribe" or "Buy Now" button that gets the click will usually proceeded by great copywriting.
Direct response marketing is still one of the most effective ways to sell products and services, both online or offline. Your list can be even more valuable than your website, whether you send an email or a package your readers receive in the mail.
We use the AIDA formula when writing direct response letters, but there's an even bigger consideration: the subject line. David Ogilvy said, "When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar." If the subject line doesn't grab your readers, your open rate will be horrible, whether it's at the mailbox or email inbox. We use split testing to find killer subject lines that convert well.
We hate spam as much as you do, and will only write emails for companies that have obtained their list in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.
What's the difference? Ebooks are usually more informal, while white papers tend to be filled with quantifiable data, presented in a more formal style. If you don't specify a format, we will conduct a study to determine the format most used in your industry.
There are two main reasons your business needs to publish at least one white paper or ebook.
Each ebook or white paper should cover a specific pain point or problem your ideal customers are facing.
How do you use these books? Your SEO and content marketing strategies should be driving traffic from Google and Bing, in response to search enquiries. Your visitors should find valuable answers to their questions... and then they notice you've got an entire free book available on the topic.
They click the link to the landing page. We show excerpts from your beautifully designed and well-written book, so they desperately want it. And all they have to do is enter their first name and email address to get it; joining your list.
The most powerful use of ebooks and white papers is a multi-tier qualification approach. After your new subscriber opts in to your list, they receive additional valuable information by auto-responder, with links to other free books. The landing page forms include one or two questions, and the answers become part of your file on the prospect. Every ebook or white paper they download tells you more about them.
Can I map out a conversion strategy for your website and begin writing the web pages, landing pages and white papers you need to fill your sales funnel, and emails that nurture your sales leads?