Some businesses have already understood that in order to sell products or services you must have an outstanding website.
This means combining a modern, user-friendly and attractive design with compelling texts designed for your target audience.
If you sell physical products, you have to carefully choose the photos and the layout. In order to make sure they are remarkable, it’s preferable to hire a good web designer and a professional photographer, so your product shines in all its splendour.
As we saw in my article a few weeks ago, copywriting sells and many businesses know it so they hire professional copywriters to write the texts of their websites, emails, blogs, social media ads and even the scripts for their promotional videos.
Still, there are many websites that might take care of the looks but not of the interior.
Let me explain.
Some websites might have a cool design but the texts don’t transmit anything and they sound like everyone else; or the other way around, some of them have excellent compelling texts but the layout is so atrocious that it takes a big effort to read what they have to say.
Let’s look at some examples of outstanding websites where both texts and design unite forces to bring a great result. We are going to analyse them briefly to understand why they are so good and what they could improve to be even better.
The good news is that nowadays you don’t have to spend a fortune, you can have a superb website investing only some time and a little bit of money.
Let’s have some fun and be inspired by how well others do it.
Are you staying with me?
Here we go.
This website is almost perfect, it’s obvious that there’s been quite an investment on it, but you can take ideas from it for your low-cost version.
Marie Forleo is a self-made woman who started working as a waitress and ended up creating a coaching business and hosting a TV program in the US. She’s been interviewed and photographed with very famous people like Oprah and Tony Robbins.
I like her website because of the cleanness of the design and it’s easy to use but what I like the most are the texts.
She talks from her heart and her words are really compelling. She knows how important the texts of your website are in order to attract the attention of the readers, empathising with their issues, being persuasive without sounding like a salesperson. This is an excellent example of good copy:
She is getting the attention of all those people who don’t fit in the corporate world because they don’t find a meaning. These people have many interests but aren’t sure how to use their different talents to make a living.
She is very good at writing and actually one of the products she offers (she is multitalented and does lots of different stuff aimed to the realisation of oneself) is a copywriting course.
She talks about the power of will to make your dreams come true and she puts herself as a study case, she is living her dreams and now wants to help you to live yours too.
She makes an excellent use of what we call in marketing “social proof”; she adds photos and testimonials with prominent people to back up her relevance and to make us trust her.
Social proof is something very important in order to build trust with your customers. Maybe you don’t have photos with Oprah but you can ask your best customers to write striking testimonials about you.
What they do really well
The texts are very well written and carefully aimed to the target audience, people who are unsatisfied with their lives and want to improve them to become more successful. She makes an excellent use of social proof with photos and testimonials. And the design is really good, clean and zen. The site loads very fast even though it has a lot of photos, even motion ones. Speed is very important, people don’t have time to waste waiting for your site to load and will leave if it takes too long (more than 6 or 7 seconds)
What they could improve
She has a page with lots of success stories from “normal people” but this page isn’t included in the main menu but on a secondary one on a sidebar. This menu is not so evident so many people will leave the website without seeing this page.
These testimonials are very important because they are coming from ordinary people like you or me, who follow her TV program or read her blog. If you only see the pages on the main menu you can have the impression she only helps people with means since she is very famous, however, reading these other testimonials you can see that she also helps normal people.
Lush is a very popular cosmetics brand. There is a shop in almost every city and they also sell a lot online.
Their success lay in promoting the use of handmade and natural products to take care of yourself and their superb use of colours and textures for their products.
They let you try all the products in their shops and this definitely has a positive impact in sales, people buy more when they can try a sample.
But, how do they do it online since you can’t try the products?
With excellent photos and well-thought sales copy for the descriptions. When entering their website, you can almost smell the lovely fragrant and touch the materials. They manage with their texts to offer you almost the same experience as if you were in a physical shop.
They have videos to show you how to use their products so everything seems super easy to apply at home.
Note how they talk about benefits and how your life will improve after using this product. This is pure and great copy.
We find even poetry that sells:
Note the use of testimonials as well to reinforce the benefits of the products. Social proof is one of the most powerful tools you can have to convince your prospects to buy your products.
Their marketing strategy is to be a brand on the green side, worried about the environment, with products that are not tested on animals and even now also saying good bye to packaging.
This brand is definitely a winner both offline and online.
What they do really well
They take extreme care of the photos and videos showing normal people and not top models, to connect with their target customers, people like you and me.
Their copy is 10/10, they write excellent sensorial descriptions for every product highlighting benefits and more benefits and finally, they make excellent use of social proof adding very positive testimonials next to each product.
What they could improve
It’s difficult to find any point for improvement because they have one of the best websites I’ve ever come across. Maybe one day they will improve the user experience adding scents to their website 😊
Only one thing to say here, I was a bit disappointed when after being for a little while on the site a chat message popped up asking for my name and my email to keep in contact.
I personally don’t like pop-ups because they feel intrusive to me, but I must say in their defence that this pop up only showed up after I was on the page for a while (on some websites appears right after you entered in the page) and it disappeared only a few seconds later, once I hadn’t filled out any information. Well done Lush.
Airstream is a classic brand of RV (recreational vehicles) that has recently resuscitated with the fad of digital nomads or just nomads, so to say, people that decide to live on the road.
This brand was founded in the 30s and has been alive since, with its ups and downs, and is currently enjoying increasing success.
They have a very attractive website with a lot of information, you can watch videos and read posts about how they make their RVs in Ohio, using traditional processes, almost by hand. They highlight the fact that they are based in this city and it’s one of their value propositions since they haven’t moved their factory outside the US.
They know very well they have a new target audience now, these digital nomads who are growing in number every year, so they use photos with people who might look like them and write messages aimed to this group.
Note that they talk about a community, the Airstreamers, and you can find out more about how to become part of it.
The feeling of belonging is another very powerful tool when writing copy, the human being is a social animal, we all want to belong to a group to feel accepted, to not feel lonely.
They know very well that many young people nowadays crave for adventure to escape the rat race, and they are succeeding, working online from remote places.
You can now have your mobile home and travel while you are still working.
They include videos that invite us to embrace the adventure, “Live Riveted, how are you living yours?” after watching these videos you really want to buy an Airstream and just leave everything behind.
They have a blog with stories from Airstreamers so they can build a community of followers. As we saw in my previous article, having a content strategy and publishing posts and videos on a regular basis is really important to bring organic traffic to your website and to build a community of followers that can become customers later on.
They make use again of the feeling of belonging talking about the long history of the company and the spirit of adventure which has endured all this time.
What they do really well
The stories, the photos, the videos, everything incites us to get up from our chairs and travel the world. Their copy makes us dream and at the same time makes everything seem possible and even easy, it’s telling us, why not? Why couldn’t you also do it?
They state the price of each of the different models which I think is a good strategy because it drives you to think more seriously if you can afford to buy one. You may even think they are not as expensive as you thought and start making calculations about how much rent you pay for your apartment compared with the cost of living in one of these vehicles.
What they could improve
Since some of the audience are young professionals who want to travel while working, they should show photos of trendy and homey interiors. All the photos of the interiors are a bit cold because they have focused in showing the modern technology and spaciousness but they lack the warm feeling of a home on wheels.
Adding photos of cosy interiors would definitely improve the experience and the desire to buy. This is one of the main tools we copywriters use when writing sales copy, we try to help the prospect to picture herself having that product; here they could have done a better job showing these decorated and “lived” interiors and adding texts describing the feeling of living, working and travelling in those fantastic vehicles.
And to finish this article about outstanding websites, I, of course, want to put the cherry on top of the cake by showing you the website of a copywriter.
Her copy is excellent since she skilfully addresses every single worry of her target audience, who are small business and solo entrepreneurs that are struggling to get more business.
She follows really well the principles of persuasion that we saw in depth on my article, Why copywriting sells: she first presents a problem, then she empathises with the prospects’ frustrations about that problem, and finally she presents her solution and describes how she can help to solve that problem.
She uses the same language as her target audience who are young people with the same struggles as hers. She masters the powerful tool of “I’ve also been there like you” to create trust; prospects think “if she managed to get there, she can teach me how”.
You can see straight away that she hasn’t spent a lot of money in the web design, she even admits on the home page that she has made the website herself with a DIY theme; everything to show you that no matter how big (or small) your budget is, you can also sell lots with good copy.
Once you have compelling texts that talk about benefits and your value proposition, then you just need to spend a bit of time if you want to do it yourself, or money if you really don’t have the time or the will to create a website.
She has a blog with tips to write good copy for your website which is really helpful, with her content she creates a community of followers that might register for one of her copywriting courses.
She knows email marketing sells so she encourages you to register for her newsletter in order to receive her insightful posts in your inbox. This way she can also send you marketing emails to warm you up before deciding to enrol in her course.
If your content is good, you will have many more chances that people will sign up to your list. She also uses a lead magnet, a free series of 3 copywriting tips, so you will be more likely to exchange your email address for her free advice.
Do you see now how important great helpful content is?
What they do really well
The copy is obviously very good because it speaks the same language as her target audience. Her lead magnet has been very well thought out because it incites the reader to subscribe to her mailing list.
What they could improve
Talking about annoying pop-ups, the pop-up offering her lead magnet appears right after entering in the website. I find this quite annoying, it should at least let the visitor read more about her and then it could appear later on, when we can decide if the content would be worthwhile.
Also, I find her language a bit too informal, she sometimes swears and uses a lot of slang. This is not my style but I understand that it can work to attract a certain type of audience. Using this kind of language is kind of trendy among the youth, apparently. But I believe not all young people will identify themselves with this tone.
These are the websites that I liked the most, there are a few more that are also quite good, but I must say I haven’t come across many that were great.
What I find incredible is that some renowned companies have poorly written texts or cheap stock photos on their website. I’m not going to name them, but what I’m sure of is that little by little all businesses are realising of the importance of having an outstanding website and these other companies will eventually join the trend.
Your website is your business card, your salesperson, your online personality and your future. You have to take care of it.
Sometimes you have to invest a little to get results, but it’s worth it if you want to live off your business and prosper with it.
What is your favourite website? Leave the link in the comments so we can have more sources of inspiration.
Thanks for reading me, see you next time!
I write web copy and engaging content for businesses without borders. I live in the Netherlands, I write everywhere. I love arthouse films and books that make me think. Tolstoy and Chekhov are my life coaches.