Your website isn’t converting like it should because of this one thing.
Most businesses understand they have to have a website. Yet, ask many and they’ll say that their website isn’t doing much for them to actually drive business. This is a major problem because websites serve as the only asset you control on the internet.
Author: Frank Wazeter, Nov. 6, 2020
Most businesses understand they have to have a website. Yet, ask many and they’ll say that their website isn’t doing much for them to actually drive business. This is a major problem because websites serve as the only asset you control on the internet and as the cornerstone behind your digital marketing.
If your website isn’t working well, then it probably also means the rest of your digital marketing isn’t working as well as it could be either.
We’ve analyzed thousands of websites and it usually comes down to the language that’s being used to communicate with people. Professionally, this is called ‘copywriting.’
See, a website at it’s best acts like a salesperson. In theory, it’s a salesperson that works 365/24/7. Never off, always on, always working for you. However, when we break it down most websites aren’t working that way because they aren’t matching the language that you actually use in sales.
At best, they become like powerpoints without the presenter - cold, shallow, and directly appealing to no one in particular.
This happens because of the way most websites are made. A business owner looks at their market, scopes out the competition, says to themselves “hey, they’re successful” and starts to copy their website.
The thought process goes something like this: “they’re doing well, so we need to adopt what they’re doing and make it our own.” So that means that you read through what they say, how they say it, make some tweaks and call it “done.”
Add on to this process the fact that most people absolutely loathe writing, finding it difficult to start and finish, finding it hard to think of what to say, how to say, and you end up with thinking “it’s good enough, just use that.”
The problem with this is you’re assuming your ‘more successful’ competitor has absolutely nailed their marketing process and target marketing and they’re putting out writing that actually works to convert new clients.
That’s a dangerous assumption to make. You cannot assume that your competitor ‘magically’ has it figured out. Because most of the time, when it comes to the internet, they do not.
Typically, we look at a couple different types of competitor websites: 1) Large corporations who ‘set the standard,’ and 2) other local businesses who are larger in scale, or because they show up in search rankings, we assume are better off.
Let’s break down these two categories of competitor:
Copywriting from Corporate
Most corporations aren’t necessarily writing to convert sales - most are going to leverage having huge sales teams to do the footwork: calling, making appointments, closing deals, the whole nine to do their sales. The other alternative is they have many physical locations and the only goal is to get someone to come in the door, where a real person is going to do the majority of the ‘selling.’
So when it comes to the writing on the website, it’s typically written by a marketing department first, which is then coordinated with their administrative teams or executive teams that look it over. It goes through a couple different rounds of revisions and usually the end result is content that is pretty ‘bland.’
This content is bland because they don’t want to insult anyone or turn anyone off - they want to very generically ‘appeal’ to everyone, which often doesn’t work. We all know how this looks, it even has a word as “corporate speak.” Again, the primary lever of growth here isn’t the website itself or the copywriting on it, it’s the physical sales team doing the work. At best the corporate site just wants to get opt-ins to create warmer leads for a sales person to immediately contact.
When I worked in corporate sales, the last place we ever wanted our leads to look was the website because the prospect would end up confused or find information that wasn’t exactly helping our case. At best they could check it out, see some of our testimonials and prove that we were legitimate in being able to help them.
The rest was all up to us - and the language we used, as sales people, was very different from the ‘corporate speak’ version on the site itself. In fact, the average concern of the person we did business with was very different from the concern executives ‘wanted’ the customer to think about on the site.
This was a terrible website for any kind of digital marketing - it’s no wonder that the company had to rely on a sales team of over 200 (out of ~250 total employees) to generate income.
So, if you took that site, and said “these guys are bigger than me, they have it figured out” and copied the content there, your site would be just as ineffective, but worse because a copy isn’t usually nearly as good as the original. Plus, you wouldn’t be accounting for the fact that the majority of sales were driven by cold-calling, not by ‘inbound marketing’ or organic growth.
You’d be using bad copywriting (language), with the wrong strategy and wondering why it’s “just not working for you.”
Copywriting from Small Business
Most small businesses aren’t going to have a marketing department. The website is usually going to be made with some internal effort - which maybe the person whose in charge of it is good at writing, maybe they aren’t.
Most likely, they’ve hired a firm to create their website and haven’t even read through most of the content that’s actually on their site. We’ve had countless clients where we’d read through the content they had and would find things that made no sense whatsoever - like it was boilerplate content slightly modified to pass the test as being unique content.
Even worse, it could be just a copy of a copy of a copy of website writing that just leads to a garbled mess that again, isn’t going to reflect what the true sales process or true concerns of the company’s customers are.
With no uniqueness it’s no wonder why these companies aren’t able to distinguish themselves in the market. They haven’t given anyone anything unique, valuable or insightful to make any decisions off of.
If you’re copying this, you’re basically copying outsourced second hand work done on the cheap or boilerplate content that has no voice that’s unique. Again, you’re going down the path of copying a flawed strategy with no good implementation.
No wonder most website content sucks - no one is actually writing anything.
How to write better content for your businesses’ website
Your expertise and your sales experience are full of gems to make killer copy that converts. The best place to start isn’t with pen and paper, but rather with a voice recorder.
The next time you have a customer that you’re talking with, simply record the conversation. Naturally through that process you’ll come across what questions really matter to your customers and your exact process of answering them in a way that simply won’t happen if you sit at the computer trying to write out things to make them “sound good.”
Once you’ve got the conversation (and ideally a couple conversations) recorded, take this and hire someone on Fiverr or Upwork or use an automated transcribing service to transform the audio recording into written text.
Then, take the written transcription, read through it and make edits. What you’ll now have is a strong start towards making content that covers what your customers actually care about, is unique to you and your company’s voice and most importantly is something that you can confidently show your potential clients and actually help you in your sales process rather than not knowing what exactly your content says and being completely ineffective.
Audio Recording Programs From Your Phone
There are a couple apps you can use to record phone conversations or take audio notes, we tend to use TapeACall for phone recording or an App like Evernote for audio recordings in person.
Once you have an audio recording, you’ll need a transcription service if you don’t want to be writing down your own audio recordings - TranscribeMe and Rev.com are both good and cheap automated services to help you with this.
Conclusion: How To Write Better Copy For Your Website.
Great copywriting is at the very core of making your website ‘work for you.’ Great copy mimics as close as possible what your actual sales process is and the sales language you use to help convert clients.
You cannot rely on copying other competitors' websites for their copy because you have no data on what their strategy is, who wrote the content or the purpose behind it. This will just lead to ineffective copy that doesn’t help you to convert more prospects, leads and sales.
Do this instead:
Record your sales conversations with customers.
Take the recording, have them transcribed.
Edit the transcription and use that new content as the base of your writing to pitch your products, services and offerings.