Having a website has become essential. Even for those businesses that had never considered it before, their time came with COVID.
Without a website, you don’t exist as a business.
But it’s not enough to have just any website that takes up space in the cloud, it has to be a website worth maintaining.
Because it will bring you business.
But to make lots of sales through your website, it has to be well designed and have clear and compelling copy which will make your offer stand out from all the others.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a website, you can have a very decent one for 3K euros including the designer‘s and copywriter’s fees.
For less than that it will be difficult to get a website that gives you results.
In any case, whether you hire experts or you decide to create it yourself, you have to take into account certain elements that cannot be missing if you want your website to bring you a lot of joy.
In all these years that I’ve been working as a web copywriter, I’ve studied hundreds of websites and my experience, and that of my clients has taught me that there are certain elements that cannot be missing for a website to work.
Some may be obvious to you, but I’m sure there are others you didn’t know about.
If I were you I would stay and read this post!
Elements of design and copywriting that cannot be missing from your website
1. A clear and concise menu
You should make things easy for visitors, if you make it difficult they’ll leave.
The menu should be as concise as possible, the fewer options the better.
If you have a lot of different services you can use menus that expand when you hover the mouse over, like this one:
However, the best option is to “hide” some of the options in other sections and make them visible only when you have clicked on that section.
As here *volume up:
As you see you don’t need to put absolutely every everything on the main menu.
The other important aspect is to call a spade a spade.
Clarity before originality.
Some businesses, in order to sound different, give “original” names to the sections on the menu, and in the end people get lost.
|DECLARATIONS OF LOVE
My house Instead of home, autumn colours for catalogue, experience for portfolio, declarations of love for testimonials, and so on.
You don’t have to be original with the menu, better to see how other companies in your niche organise their sections and do something similar.
This way, your prospects will know where to go next and will have a better user experience.
Leave the originality for when presenting your Unique Selling Proposition, which we will look at in the next point.9 #copywriting and #webdesign elements that cannot be missing from your #website. #SmallBiz #DigitalMarketing Click To Tweet
2. A home with an eye-catching USP
As soon as a prospect lands on your website they should know why it’s worth staying, and for that your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) has to almost jump out at them.
The USP is that important benefit that only you offer and that differentiates you from your competition.
There’s always something that others don’t offer. Or maybe they do offer it but don’t talk about it on their copy.
It doesn’t need to be a huge difference but it does have to be interesting enough for your prospects to stay and find out more because they think “I could use this” or “This is what I was looking for”.
It may take you a long time to find that difference but your business is at stake, so find it.
Visitors should already find some clues about your USP in your homepage headline, and in the first 4 or 5 lines of copy (the lead) your USP should already be crystal clear.
Recommended reading: The sales Lead: 10 seconds to convince your prospect
Your prospects should feel you’re talking to them in a personal way.
You shouldn’t use all your cards already on the home page.
The rest of your weaponry will go in the other sections, especially in your services, product or courses pages.
Your homepage has to make the reader feel they should stay to find out more.
You achieve this by conveying that you can help them with their problem and that you are the ideal professional (or company) to do so out of all the others out there.
So find your USP.
Recommended reading Find out your Unique Selling Proposition and sell more
3. No stock images, please!
Many businesses love to add photos of smiling beautiful people with perfect teeth.
And we end up seeing the same image from Unsplash on thousands of websites.
How could you stand out like that?
How are you going to create authority with images that are as fake as a 25 euros note?
True. Images break up the monotony of the copy, but they shouldn’t be added without rhyme or reason.
A photo of your team at work taken with your smartphone is worth more than the typical stock image of a bunch of hipsters typing on a MacBook with a Starbucks coffee next to them.
People want to see who you really are so they can trust you.
Illustrations work really well in breaking up the copy and adding personality to a brand.9 #copywriting and #webdesign elements that cannot be missing from your #website. #SmallBiz #DigitalMarketing Click To Tweet
4. Testimonials and case studies
When we hire someone or buy online we want to be sure that what we choose is the best out there.
And other people’s testimonials make us feel more confident about the value of the product or service we are considering.
Testimonials should be convincing and sound real.
You obtain great testimonials asking the right questions to your customers:
- What problem you had before you hired me?
- What made you decide to take my course?
- How your situation has improved after working with us?
By asking such questions, you can obtain interesting information that will convince other doubting customers.
Recommended reading The most common mistakes when uploading testimonials
If you offer services, case studies are the best option.
Prospects can see with concrete data how you helped a customer to increase their sales or to solve a certain problem.
This will make it easier for them to see how you can help them and they will be more willing to hire you.
If you are just starting out with your business and you don’t have any testimonials yet, don’t get into a funk.
Gradually add the ones you’re getting and when you work on a successful case, take the time to write it properly.
5. A shorter About page
Some companies are hesitant to add an About page.
I always recommend adding it. You’ll be surprised at how many people have a look at this section to see whether or not they can trust a company.
Don’t take the opportunity to tell all about your life, hobbies and mission on your About page.
Unless you are exploring the galaxy, you are not on a mission.
The aim of this page is for people to trust you, to see the people behind the brand and to become even more convinced of the value you offer.
Nobody cares how you drink your coffee or how you spend your free time.
They only care if you are the company that can help them.
Better a concise About page, with the information your prospects need to read.
Recommended reading 5 killer ways of writing your About page9 #copywriting and #webdesign elements that cannot be missing from your #website. #SmallBiz #DigitalMarketing Click To Tweet
6. A longer service/product page
This is where you have to use your best copywriting skills and not be afraid of writing a long page.
It isn’t true what they say that people don’t read.
People read what interests them and if you make your service, course or product page compelling enough, with all the information your prospect needs to know, they sure will read it.
The length of the copy depends on the level of awareness your audience has about the problem your service or product solves.
The length also depends on how much your prospect knows about your solution.
In this article, I explain everything you need to know about this important topic, which is key to making sure you leave no loose ends and you clear up all your prospects doubts.
Let’s elaborate on this because it’s a very important point.
The main purpose of your copy is to clear up any doubts your prospect might have when considering buying from you.
If they are left with even the slightest doubt in their mind, this might cause them to leave and buy from the competition.
So don’t be afraid to add as much information as you need to make sure your ammunition is sufficient.
Make sure you break the monotony of the copy by inserting blocks with different designs.
You can also use bold and headings – H1, H2, H3 etc.- to highlight the most important messages.
Don’t use a lot of different fonts because it’ll make your page messy and the reader won’t know where to direct their attention.
Be consistent with your font and play with sizes, italics and different blocks.
In this article I explain step by step how to create a landing page for an info product but you can apply it to any product or service page.9 #copywriting and #webdesign elements that cannot be missing from your #website. #SmallBiz #DigitalMarketing Click To Tweet
7. 1.001 reasons to buy your product or service
This is a mistake I often see on many websites.
For fear of being a bore, businesses fall short and don’t give compelling reasons to buy.
When you write copy, no matter if it’s for your homepage, sales page or SM posts, you have to convey the reasons why anyone should buy your product or hire your services.
We all buy out of a desire to be better or to live better lives.
We buy things that make us more attractive, richer, allow us to have more free time and help us avoid danger or effort.
So you should clearly convey how your product or service helps to achieve one (or several) of these goals.
Often when we start describing our product or service, we make the mistake of talking only about features and not about the benefits for the customer.
One way to know whether what you are saying is a feature or a benefit is to imagine the reader saying, “So what?”
When you can imagine your prospect asking this question, it means you’re talking about technical aspects or elements that don’t clearly explain how it will improve their life.
This is when you have to think of a clear example to help them imagine in detail how they will enjoy this improvement in their life.
Even when you talk about a real benefit, you should make sure it’s clear in the reader’s mind.
For example, imagine you are a nutrition coach.
If you just say:
“With my programme, you will learn techniques to stop binge eating”.
The benefit is there but it isn’t clear how it will help me in my goal to lose weight and improve my relationship with food.
But if you say:
“With my programme, you’ll stop eating compulsively because you’ll learn easy techniques to stop when you are satiated. This way you’ll lose weight progressively in a natural way and without rebound effect”.
There you have a lot of benefits and a clear description of how my life will improve.
If you want more clear examples of how to extract the benefits of your product or service I recommend reading this article where I explain it in detail.
8. Buttons that stand out and prompt action
It won’t do you any good to have convinced your potential customer to buy if you don’t make it easy for them.
Contact, subscribe or buy buttons have to be clear, in a different colour and contain a persuasive message.
If your website includes a lot of visual components, a CTA (click to action) button can get lost on the page.
The right amount of white space around a button helps to attract visitors’ attention since it becomes more noticeable.
Another important point about CTAs: Don’t bother putting these buttons too early on your homepage.
Because the person who has just landed on your site has no idea who you are or what you sell so they aren’t going to buy or contact you yet.
As Gill Andrews says, there has to be a minimum conversation first.
That conversation starts on your home page, continues on your About page and ends on your product or service page.
So I don’t put CTAs on the homepage?
Yes, they need to be there.
But only those that don’t require a great commitment from the reader.
Here are a few examples of the type of CTA and the degree of commitment they involve:
|High level of commitment
|Medium level of commitment
|Low level of commitment
|Buy yours now
Reserve your spot
Become a member
Add to cart
|Subscribe to my list
Try it free for 14 days
Download the free guide
|View our services
Check out the catalogue
Get to know us
Don’t bother adding high commitment CTAs on the home page because no one will touch them.
The route that potential customers usually take on your website (if it’s well designed and written) is as follows:
Home – service or product pages – about us – contact or shopping cart
Your home page serves to build the prospect’s interest and lead them to the other sections where they will take the actions that involve more engagement.
So you can put medium and low commitment CTAs on your home page, and the high commitment CTAs on the other pages, as you have set out all the arguments for buying on these other pages.9 #copywriting and #webdesign elements that cannot be missing from your #website. #SmallBiz #DigitalMarketing Click To Tweet
9. A message of haste or scarcity
We can all be very lazy and unless we are in compulsive shopping mode (which can happen) we will often think “well, I’ll buy it later”.
This is dangerous because most of the time visitors won’t come back to your website.
That’s why you need to introduce a feeling of haste or scarcity.
As does Vueling:
“Only 3 seats available on this flight”.
“Size about to be sold out”.
But what if you offer services?
Then you can work more on the prospect’s pain points.
Working on the pain points is basically (I’m going to be a bit radical here, forgive me mum) putting your finger in the wound.
Your prospect has a problem you can solve.
To prevent them from leaving thinking that they will solve it another day, you have to remind them of all the bad things that can happen if they don’t solve it NOW.
For example, the second headline you see already on my home page is:
Don’t waste any more money with a website and emails that bore people to death.
This message hurries my prospects.
Because if they are looking for a copywriter it’s because the copy on their website or emails isn’t selling and therefore they are losing money.
Also by reminding them of all the benefits they will get, you are encouraging them to act fast to get them as soon as possible and not waste any more time.
You can also offer discounts for a certain period of time or say you usually have a busy schedule so if they want your services they have to hire you well in advance.
To sum up
Having a website is vital, but you shouldn’t have one just for the sake of it.
Now that you have it, put all your weapons on the table and make the most of it so it can bring you happiness.
With a clear, clean and intuitive design, and persuasive, original and relevant copy, you’ll have a much better chance of customers choosing you.
Remember the most important elements of web design and copy:
- A clear and concise menu
- A powerful USP on the homepage
- 0 stock images
- Testimonials and case studies
- A shorter About page
- A longer service or product page
- 1.001 reasons to buy
- Clear and persuasive CTAs
- Feeling of haste or scarcity
Check if your website complies with all these 9 elements and if not, get to work.
There are a lot of businesses that haven’t yet realised how important these elements are, so get ahead of them by investing in your website.
See you around!9 copywriting and design elemen9 #copywriting and #webdesign elements that cannot be missing from your #website. #SmallBiz #DigitalMarketing Click To Tweet