When it comes to selling and communicating on a web page, it is the written word that makes the vital difference between satisfying your viewer or losing her as she clicks through to the next web site.
If you are not sure what to write or how to write for an Internet audience, then one of the best guides is the ebook, Make Your Words Sell by Joe Robson and Ken Evoy. The authors explain the entire process of creating a web page that will attract the attention of your viewers, maintain their interest and then convince them to contact you, sign up for your newsletter or buy your product.
The secret of their approach has nothing to do with knowledge of English Grammar or writing techniques. Rather it is based on human psychology. When someone comes to your web page he wants a solution for a particular problem or an answer to a question. If you can show how your product or service provides the solution or answers the question, and convince him that you can be trusted, then you will make a sale.
Because your viewers are looking for a solutions to problems, the authors emphasize the need to write benefit-oriented copy. If you say that your lawn mower has a built-in grass catcher, then that is a feature. But if you say that by using your lawn mower the user will be able to spend more time at the beach on the weekend, then that is a benefit.
One of the most important sections of the book is an exercise which will help you determine your business’s USP (unique selling proposition). The USP is a combination of your product’s most powerful benefit with a strong unique aspect of your business. The USP should answer a viewer’s inevitable question, “what’s in it for me. ”
Getting away from psychology, the authors also give some writing tips that are very useful. They stress the importance of using short paragraphs, headlines and subheadings to break up long stretches of boring text. On the Internet most people are scanning rather than reading and your copy should make sense even if they only read your headlines and bold text.
Take a look at the most riveting and persuasive, sales-oriented websites on the web today, and you will find that all of them use the techniques explained in Make Your Words Sell. If you would like to join the ranks of the 5% of websites that actually get it right, and don’t have lots of money to spend on hiring marketing experts, then Make Your Words Sell is required reading. (you can find out more about the book at http://myws.sitesell.com/webpromote2.html )
Donald Nelson is a web developer, editor, and social worker. He has been working on the Internet since 1995 and is the proprietor of A1-Optimization, http://www.a1-optimization.com , a firm providing search engine optimization, copywriting, reciprocal linking, and other web promotion services. He publishes a monthly ezine, A1-Web Promotion Tips, available at http://www.a1-optimization.com/newsletter.html