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War of Words
How the Way Your Website is Written Can Mean Life or Death for Your Business

By: Meredith Pond

Meredith Pond is a professional and freelance writer with extensive experience working on the web. Meredith provides writing and editing services to individuals and businesses alike at the best prices around. See www.wordsmithweb.com for details. Contact Meredith directly at meredith@wordsmithweb.com.

There are literally millions of websites on the Net today, and most of them, in one way or another, are trying to sell something. Sure, not all of them are trying to market the same thing you are, but they are all your competitors. Why? Because each and every site on the Internet is vying for people's time and attention. If your site can't compete with all the others, you won't sell a thing.

Traditionally, people always thought of the Internet as a place where a lot of text wasn't necessary, because people didn't go online to read. While you don't want to overload your visitors with 42 pages of text on your site, you also don't want to alienate them or insult their intelligence by not having enough words.

The entire basis for using the Internet is to get information. People do research, look for people, and try to find the best stuff to buy and the best places to buy it. No matter what people are looking to spend their money on, the basic reason they venture online is to get the information they need to buy it.

If your site doesn't offer enough information about what you're selling, your homepage will be nothing more than a revolving door with some cool graphics. Pictures are nice, but people need substance. If you're going to keep people on your site long enough for them to buy, give them something to do: let them read about what you're selling and how it can benefit them.

Start off your homepage with a welcoming statement, then a brief paragraph or two about who you are, what you do, and what you're selling. This introduction doesn't necessarily have to sell the person on your product or service right off the bat-- it just has to grab their attention, then give them the basics about your company and what you're offering. If people don't get this very basic information about your site right from the start, they'll go somewhere else in a hurry.

Once you've given the basics, you can start your sales pitch. If you offer several different products, start out with a general pitch about how your product line can enrich people's lives. Then, give a brief description and benefit (along with a picture) of each one, accompanied by a link to another page devoted solely to selling that product. Those other pages are where your customers will get the full details and sales pitch for each product you sell.

If your entire site is meant to sell just one product, then after your introduction you can jump full-throttle into selling that product. Point out a problem your prospects likely have, explore their feelings about that problem, then present your product or service as the ultimate solution that will change their lives.

Believe it or not, a good sales pitch doesn't have to involve a lot of hype. Think about your audience: if they're likely a bunch of educated, middle to upper class businesspeople, you need to use a different voice than if you're speaking to starving college students. Considering your audience and their tastes before you start writing your sales pitch will do wonders for your results.

When you start getting to the end of your copy, be sure to remind people of what you've already told them. Briefly review the main benefits and bonuses of buying from you, and remind people of why they need your product. As you end the page, close with a call to action that urges people to act now, before time runs out or they waste more valuable time.

And finally, make sure your website copy is clear, concise, and error-free. If you have a lot of typos, misspellings, run-on sentences and the like, your credibility will suffer and so will your sales. If you're not 100% confident in your abilities as a writer, have a professional write your copy for you, or at least have it professionally edited. Over the long haul, your site stats and your bottom line will thank you.

© Copyright 2002, Meredith Pond

Other Articles by Meredith Pond

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.

 

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