How to Improve Your Customers' Experience with Great Web Content

When you’re creating web content, the golden rules you read from experts all over the Internet can become overwhelming. Add to that the ever-evolving trends and changing SEO practices you need to keep up with - and before long it can all seem a little out of your control.

I always say that the most important point to remember when you’re writing anything for the web is that you’re creating it for a customer. So, when you’re writing your content, think about how it can genuinely improve your customers’ experience of your website.

Not sure where to start? Here are my tips on improving your website’s customer experience.

Write for Humans

Your customers and website visitors are humans. It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to begin to distance yourself from your audience, especially if you’re elbow deep in SEO keywords and product descriptions. Take a good look at the content you’ve created and ask yourself one thing: ‘does this sound natural?’

Of course you’ll need to take your own company’s branding into account, and what’s natural for one business might seem unusual or awkward for another.

Make it easy for yourself and put your metaphorical feet inside your customers’ shoes. Take a little browse around your site. Are there any pages that seem off to you? Could your writing use a little less jargon? Make a list and use this to inform how you amend your content.

Be Positive

You might not have noticed at first glance but you may be talking your business down. You need active calls to action in your web content in order for it to be truly functional, but increasingly savvy consumers are getting wise to this, and they don’t like it.

The best reaction to this is not to force it. Don’t try sneaking your ‘Buy it now’ links into text - and instead be upfront. Offer help, support and a friendly team member’s undivided attention to your customers  in return for a quick chat about their needs. It sounds much more positive than a fake offer or a ‘time’s running out’ deal.

Aim to make your customers happy and you’ll be glad you did.

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Offer Something Unique

Your customers are looking for value - and this is called ‘value propositioning’. They’ll understand what your company does quickly, and they’ll even grasp the basics of your products within a few minutes.

What you need to show them is why your business can offer something nobody else can.

  • How can you pique their interest?

  • How can you delight them?

  • How can you fix a problem they didn’t even realise they had?

  • What can you do that goes above and beyond?

  • Why should they subscribe to your blog?

Don’t just list your team members. Talk about who they are, why they’re great, what they can do for your customers. Use your web content to create a connection, and you’ll stand out far above the crowd.

Use More Straightforward Language

Just because you use acronyms within your office all the time doesn’t mean your customers will understand what they mean. Even if your industry-specific products come with long-winded, technical descriptions as standard, break them down so that anyone could understand their benefits and appreciate their usefulness. Think of it this way:

  • A parent could be buying this for their tech-savvy child

  • A newcomer to the industry could be looking for equipment they need

  • Acronyms could vary between countries and within industries.

Jargon can easily be misunderstood and can present a barrier through which your customers are unlikely to try and break. As long as you use the wording expected of your business and industry, speaking simply and in straightforward language will only make you seem more professional, not less.

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If you’d like to find out more about how to create great web content, or you’d like to chat about how I could support you with yours, contact me today. I’d love to help.

Until next time…

Why You Should Hire a Copywriter in 2019

If you’ve been hesitant to hire a copywriter, I can sympathise. Making the decision to outsource your web content, social media posts or ads can seem like a daunting process. After all, your company is your pride and joy - and handing over the creative reins to an outsider involves a lot of trust.

You needn’t worry. Professional copywriters are experts, and we exist to help you. If you need a simple press release writing, that’s what we can do. If you need a full website’s worth of content creating, you can count on us to deliver exactly what your brief describes.

A relationship between a copywriter and our individual clients is all about communication. We trust you to give us all the information and support we need to create exceptional content – and in return, you can trust us to work hard to deliver content you need that goes above and beyond your expectations.

Here are some more compelling reasons why you should hire a copywriter in 2019, and why I think the job I do can help out businesses of all kinds all over the world.

A copywriter knows exactly what you need - even if you don’t.

You might be unhappy with your web content and need an overhaul. You might be working on a brand new website for a startup. You might have heard about Instagram ads and want to get involved.

You might know this, but you don’t know what next steps to take.

This is what we copywriters do. We can talk through your options, and together we can work out the best possible plan of action. Then we get to work. Simple as that!

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Copywriters only do what you ask us to do.

If you’re afraid that hiring a freelance copywriter will somehow start a chain of events that leads to you paying for content and fees you didn’t want to pay, don’t be.

Good copywriters can send a clear contract to you for every job you ask us to complete. If we think more work needs to be done – for example, keyword research or a spot of competitor analysis – we’ll flag this, but ultimately it’s your call.

If a copywriter is charging you more than you can afford, it only takes a conversation to rectify the situation. After all, we work for you, not the other way around.

Freelance copywriters have experience - and lots of it

Believe it or not, most freelancers don’t have one, specific niche. This is a good thing. It enables us to flex our mental muscles, turning copy into well-rounded, well-informed information.

We might know everything there is to know about your particular industry, but in the background we might also be experts in retail management, extreme sports and professional cleaning services. They don’t feel connected, but a wide spectrum of reference points helps our writing feel less robotic - and that’s what you want.

A copywriter understands how important your content is

If your team doesn’t have time to give your content the precision and care it needs, your business could suffer for it.

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A copywriter understands how vital your content is, and will work hard to ensure it is perfect before sending it back to you for your comments. We are also great at making amends, sometimes several times, so that the content you want is the content you get. We understand. It’s important to you, so it’s important to us.

A copywriter gives you space to achieve

 Whenever I speak to potential clients, I want to make sure that they are making the right choice for their business. I also want to convey that by handing over this work to a professional copywriter, they will be freeing up headspace, time and resources. It makes a huge difference to be able to pass work over.

The most common comment I receive from my clients is that I’ve given them time to think, and to work on important projects that in turn have helped their business to grow.

In that sense, copywriters offer two things in one: a chance to turn your mind to more important matters, and the truly essential resource of a professional who can write content that takes your business higher.

If you’d like to chat about how we could work together this year, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Three Resolutions Your Business Needs to Keep in 2019

It’s the start of January - and you’re probably full of good intentions and big ideas. I love the motivation the start of a new year gives me; what about you?

A new year marks a new start – a clean slate where we can forget the bad habits we accumulated over the past 12 months and dive into a year where we never forget to respond to an email, never eat chocolate for breakfast and never, ever forget our business cards.

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While some resolutions are doomed to fail (I’ll eat chocolate for breakfast if I want to, thank you very much) there are some great new year’s resolutions for your business that if you keep up, will help your enterprise grow and succeed. Here are some of the best new year’s resolutions you can make that’ll keep you motivated, bring in new customers and push your business to the next level.

Regularly Update Your Business Blog

Your company blog is vital to your success in 2019. Keeping your website updated with fresh content is essential for your search ranking, and it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about your new products, shout about your success and reveal new information about exciting plans that may be afoot.

Start off small. Setting aside half an hour twice a week to research, write and edit your blog posts means you’ll easily manage one blog post per week. Feel that achievement!

Of course, if you really don’t have the time, or you need a little support, contact me. Helping businesses out with their content is what I do best.

Keep Your Social Media Ticking Over

How’s your Twitter account doing? Are you answering all your Facebook messages?

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Ignoring your social media accounts can seem like the only way to deal with them when you’re busy but honestly, in 2019, your customers will be reaching out to you via social media more than ever. Making your accounts a priority will make them far less scary and gain you new business. I promise.

Take a look at Buffer’s useful tips on using social media to your advantage, and while you’re at it, have a gander at their post scheduling tool. I use it, and honestly, it saves me so much time.

Carry Out A Web Audit Twice a Year

Ever wondered what your customers think when they reach your website?

Take some time to walk in their shoes by carrying out a web audit. If you’re not sure what one is, don’t worry, I’ve written about them before in my blog. A full web audit means talking a deeper look at the content on your website, and running through it with a fine-tooth comb to see what needs to be amended, what needs to be removed and what could be enhanced to make your website earn its keep.

Trust me, it’s well worth doing.

Want some help getting that new year’s motivation going? I’ve got plenty to go around. Get in touch today and let’s talk about how a freelance copywriter like me can help you make the best possible start to 2019.

Until next time..

 

 

Five Reasons Your eShot Isn't Being Opened

Using eShots - to create interest for your products, announce news or even shout about special offers - has become second nature to us in 2018.

Need a boost in sales? Send out an eShot. Want to share some amazing new lines with your best customers? Ping them an email. Got a surprise sale going on because of a larger-than-usual shipment? Get the message out quickly using an email newsletter.

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But what happens when your eShot open rate…well…takes a nosedive?

Overcoming eShot Fatigue

It’s time to look at why your emails are starting to be ignored. Take a look at your metrics and have a think through these top five reasons your eshot is being left in the spam folder compost heap.

  1. You’re sending too many emails

 Subscribers want to hear from you, but there’s a limit to their love. If you’re sending out emails more than once a week, you need to think about whether each of these are relevant to all of the addresses you’re sending them to.Consider all the emails you’re sending and who they’re going out to, and answer the following questions:

●     Does every recipient on your list need to get every email?

●     Why are you sending so many emails?

●     Could you say less and save your emails for really important or exciting news?

If you really feel that you need to be sending more than one eShot a week, it’s wise to make sure each of these emails are visibly different from each other and contain totally unique content each time.

A customer can forgive oversharing if it involves useful nuggets each time. What they can’t forgive is being bombarded with the same old stories over and over again.

2. You’re emailing the wrong people

You might have a long list of email subscribers, but how many of them are active? And how many of those email addresses have ever given you any sort of reciprocal attention?

Take a deep breath and count to 10. Yes, you’re going to have to scout through your subscribers to check their validity. It might take some time. Luckily, if you’re using an email service like Mailchimp, in-built stats and other shortcuts can make this a lot easier than trawling your way through a long list of emails manually.


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Maybe they’re not interested in what you have to say anymore. Maybe they only signed up for an offer that’s now expired. Maybe, just maybe, they bought something from you in a previous role, but months later they just aren’t a relevant customer anymore and will never buy any of your products again.

Check for the number of eShots they open, and start getting ruthless. It also pays to check the types of emails they’re opening - move onto our next tip to find out why:

3. You’re giving the right content to the wrong people

Eh? What?

Yes. There’s every chance that your email subscribers are perfect for you, but you’re feeding them info they’re just not interested in. But as they say, “one man’s spam is another woman’s ribeye.”

 Take a look at the types of emails your subscribers are actually opening. It will almost definitely vary.

Now it’s time to separate your followers into relevant lists so you can make sure you’re only sending certain types of emails to the customers who could benefit from them. Here are some list ideas to help you shuffle them around:

●     Special Offer Snoopers: Only interested in sales, discount codes and offer

●     Blog Readers: Only opens emails that promise interesting content, or links to blogs

●     Hype-Hunters: Only wants to know about new and upcoming products

●     Forgetful Customers: Usually clicks on emails that remind them to complete purchases.

4. Your emails are boring

Sorry to say it, but you just might not be making an impact.

It could be a case of the subject-line snoozies, or it could be that your customers have become accustomed to opening your emails and immediately regretting it. Either way, they’ve taken to avoiding you at all costs to quell the boredom.


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Your company might not easily lend itself to fun, bright and breezy emails, but even the driest of subjects can be interesting to a customer who’s invested in what you do.

Take the time to think about how you could be putting yourself across in more attention-grabbing ways.

5. It isn’t clear what you’re selling

If you’ve sent a few emails out recently that have fallen flat, take another look at the content.

 How many times do you actively tell your readers to ‘click here’ or ‘do this’ or ‘go there?

People who are quickly scanning an email need a prompt to hook them in. Being able to passively read through an email to get everything they need might be convenient for your customers, but it isn’t doing you any favours.

Drag them through to your website at all costs, where they can easily find products to buy, more information to read and even more ways to be reeled in by your marketing.

 Putting it All to Work

After you’ve worked out what your customers are avoiding and you’ve learned how to get around it, it’s time to get working on improving your emails.

Figuring out what will catch their attention is one thing, but making sure you continue to offer them frequent mailings that keep them hooked and ready to buy from you is another kettle of fish.

●    Check your statistics regularly to make sure you’re getting the opens you need and work with the information you find out to guide your content moving forward

●    Don’t send out emails you wouldn’t read yourself. Stick to one or two important points and keep it snappy.

Still struggling? I’m an email marketing expert with more than 10 years’ experience under my belt. Give me a call or drop me an email today and http://www.laurenholden.co.uk/contact/about how we can collaborate to get your emails working hard for you.

 

 

What's a call to action and why use them?

A call to action - or a CTA - is probably the most important part of any page. When you’re writing copy for your website, it doesn’t just need to instruct. It needs to take your visitors by the arm and guide them gently (but with a little force) to the areas of the site you’d like them to see.

Think of it like giving a tour around your home. You’d spend a while showing off your kitchen, or your newly-decorated living room, but you’d probably skip the downstairs loo in favour of looking out of the back door into the garden. A good CTA will help your visitors see the pages you want them to see - and glance over the pages that might not be useful to them.

For example, if a visitor comes to your website via a blog post that has interested them, you’ll want to send them directly to a page of your business’ site dealing with what that blog post covers. That way, you’ve piqued their interest and capitalised from it, rather than let them tail off and travel on to the next website that takes their fancy.

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What’s a good CTA?

 A good call to action is short and to the point, and encourages visitors to take action. Things like:

Click here to find out more!

Contact me now to learn how.

Learn more.

See more amazing pics here.

See for yourself.

Click now to find out how.

Did you feel the need to click on those sentences even though they weren’t links? It’s okay. Copywriters all over the internet have created CTAs that speak to you directly and they’ve become such a natural form of navigation, you might find yourself clicking without realising it.

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Where do you put a call to action, then?

Writing a good call to action isn’t natural to a writer who doesn’t spend much time online, which is why digital copywriters are such naturals at incorporating them. It’s about placement as much as it is about the words they use.

Placing your 'action phrase' into the right part of your page will encourage visitors to click. But remember, you don’t want them bouncing straight off your page without at least taking in some of your content.

The best suggestion is to place your first clickable link after your first main paragraph, to grab hold of your quick-reading content skimmers. Then, place another one two-thirds of the way through, with a slightly different message. Finally, end your piece with some punchy words that encourage your fine-tooth-combers to take action after they’ve fully considered your piece.

Done. Except…

Make your content flow towards your CTAs

Your calls to action will not be effective if you don’t tailor your content to ebb towards them. As Billy McCaffrey says at Wordstream, command verbs in your paragraphs can really make a difference when it comes to causing your visitors to act on their impulses.

What are command verbs?

Do!

Go!

Buy!

Shop!

Order!

Read!

Download!

Click!

Telling your customers what to do is something you can only really do online, so make the most of it!

A good use of command verbs:

Want to save money? Buy now. Our early bird offers expire on Wednesday, don’t miss out!

A bad use of command verbs:

We have lots of offers on our site at the moment. Buy now.

Can you see the difference in how you feel? The first sentence feels exciting, like being let into a VIP sale. The second… not so much.

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Take a look at your content and see how you could increase its effectiveness using command verbs. You might be surprised how quickly you see results!

As a digital copywriting specialist, I’m here to help you with any and all of your CTA conundrums. Let’s chat about how I can help you make your website more effective at ensnaring your inbound visitors.