Maslen on Marketing, Web copywriting

Why your home page shouldn’t be a lecture theatre

Imagine you live in Newtown and you’re looking for a firm to convert your attic into a couple of bedrooms.

You go online and Google “loft conversions Newtown”.

You choose the number one ranked site – for Bloggins Loft Conversions of Newtown – and click through to their home page. Here is the page head. And the first few lines of copy…

Welcome to Bloggins Loft Conversions

Converting your loft can release much-needed space in your home. It can add a bedroom, a home office or even a play room.

Nothing wrong with that. Or is there? It’s my view that…

…your prospect isn’t interested in statements of the bleeding obvious

So, what would you say to Bloggins’s opening lines? Uh-huh (or something saltier), would be my guess. You already KNOW all that – it’s why you’re on their site in the first place.

What you want to know is why you should use THIS loft conversion company.

The desire to lecture the reader is common to lots of professions and markets. Particularly, those in what are termed the knowledge industries.

Copywriters themselves seem particularly prone to this type of opening. Many explain in considerable detail the advantages of hiring a professional copywriter.

But your reader wouldn’t be on your site unless they had already reached that conclusion. So you’re wasting time.

What if you strolled into a used car dealership? The salesman walks up to you, smiles broadly, shakes your hand and intones, “Buying a used car gives you all the features of a new car, but at a lower cost. The first year’s depreciation is savage but with a used car you can forget about that.”

Er, OK. I think I know that.

What to say instead

Instead, let’s cut to the chase. Why not hook your reader quickly with a promise, a benefit or an intriguing angle on the problem they have come to you to solve for them?

“Hi, what kind of car are you after? We have a couple of beautiful convertibles over here. Come and take a look.”

“Every single loft conversion we create comes with a free ten-year guarantee. And we have our own in-house architect so you get everything under one roof – literally.”

“If you’re tired of copywriters who seem more interested in poetry than profits, we should be talking.”

This is what your reader wants to hear. How are you going to make their pain go away? How are you going to solve their problems? Why are you better than anyone else in your field?

And I’m telling you this because

Look at your bounce rates and time-on-page stats for your site. People leave within seconds if they don’t have a compelling reason to stay.

Unless you are running an education/information site then steer clear of boring explanations of your trade, product or market.

If you really feel that educating your prospects is important – and it may well be – then set up a “free stuff” page or a blog and stick all your guidelines on choosing a loft conversion company/used car/copywriter there.

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