Copywriting

Homepage Copywriting

Go on – write your own home page for that most important marketing document: your website

Especially the home page of a website can be either an extension of the ego, or a powerful marketing tool.

Research shows that visitors finding a website take 4 seconds to decide whether it is worth reading (grabbing their attention). If they don’t think so, they click out.

If they decide that it seems to be worth their while, they take 15 seconds to decide whether to read all the information (arousing their interest), or click out.

To entice them to read all the information, and react positively to it,  the internationally accepted AIDA approach is extremely effective:

A          attract Attention
I           arouse Interest
D         create Desire
A          instigate Action

In the technological age we live in there are very few opportunities available where your firm will be the sole player. The question is therefore not why the prospective client should use the product or service, but why he should buy it from you and not from one of the competition firms around. Unique Selling Point(s) play(s) an important part. In the technological age we live in there are very few opportunities available where your firm will be the sole player. The question is therefore not why the prospective client should use the product or service, but why he should buy it from you and not from one of the competition firms around. To enable the copy writer to write strong sales copy for your home page, he should know and understand the USP of your business or organization.

In practice the AIDA approach catches the reader’s attention by addressing negatives he may have experienced, be experiencing, or anticipating. Then his interest is aroused by painting the ideal situation for him. Desire is created by the solution offered by the product(s) and/or service(s). In the case of a web site, action can be called for in various ways – like, for instance, making it very easy for the reader to contact the firm (an eye-catcher to click for a direct response facility, for instance, and a user-friendly Contac Us page); and/or, if  feasible, making (a) special offer(s) within a limited time frame – the same as in an ordinary sales letter.

The first requirement for the success of the home page (the marketing/selling part of the website) is of course that people who do an internet search must find the website. For this reason the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialists provide mega-tags to build into the copy that will be found by the search engines’ “spiders” or “crawlers”. To eliminate the necessity for some cosmetic adaptations to the style of the copy in order to accommodate the mega-tags it is important that the copy writer must have the mega-tags at his disposal when writing the copy so that they can form an integral part of the copy, and not stick out like sore thumbs because they ruin the natural flow and emotional content of the copy.

Perceptions also play an important role – how the client perceives your product or service, and what it will do for him are more important that the product or service itself. Placing yourself in the position of the reader of the home page is more difficult that it sounds, because in order to do that, you must be able to distance yourself from the business that you know inside out, and look at it through the eyes of the prospective client.

The emotional content of words is one of the most overlooked aspects of marketing and sales copy writing. Compare, by way of example the names “Cheapy Corner” and “Bargain Basement” (Cheap = something of no or little value; Bargain = something of value that you get at a very good price).

The bottom line is actually very simple: Don’t think you can write your own home page because you know the business inside out; or that your daughter in Grade 11 can do it because she writes such beautiful poems and essays. Commission the services of a seasoned professional sales copy writer with experience in writing that extraordinary and very important “sales letter” – your website’s home page.

MARNUS ROOTHMAN
BA Hons (Media Science), Assessor (SAQA), Mastermind Marketing (Abraham Foundation, USA)
082 440 8047
www.bodymindfound.co.za