Have you ever struggled with copywriting for your website? I know I do — and I have a degree in journalism! Yet I sometimes struggle with writing copy that hooks readers.
I want to share with you four easy steps that have helped me improve my copywriting and I’m sure they’ll help improve your copywriting.
Improve your copywriting by reading “Building a StoryBrand”
Earlier this year I bought Donald Miller’s book “Building a StoryBrand” after listening to some audiobooks of his others like “Blue Like Jazz” and “Scary Close”. In “Building a StoryBrand”, Miller shows how to present your company’s story that the customer is the Hero with a Problem to solve.
Remember Star Wars? Luke thinks his biggest problem is that he’s short a few power converters, that is until he stumbles upon some droids carrying information about a weapon that can destroy planets. Luke now has a serious problem.
Now where does your company fit in? Your company is the Guide (e.g., Yoda, Obiwan Kenobi) who gives the Hero (the customer) a clear Plan and a Call-to-action so that they will result in Success and avoid Failure.
Now, while reading “Building a StoryBrand” will introduce you to the StoryBrand framework, there’s three more steps to improving your copywriting.
Side note: No, this is not a sponsored post and I did not receive any money, compensation, donuts, etc. for writing about this. Just sharing a resource I think could honestly help anyone with improving their copywriting.
Create a BrandScript
- The Hero or Central Character
- The Problem the Hero faces
- The Guide who can help
- The Plan to solve the Problem
- The Call-to-Action to start the Plan
- What Success looks like for the Hero
- What Failure looks like for the Hero
After you figure out these, you’re halfway done and ready to start copywriting.
Start over with your BrandScript
After creating your BrandScript, I suggest creating a blank document in Google Docs, Pages, Word, whatever and use your BrandScript to drive the creation of brand new copy that’s clear and concise.
Here’s what you want to do: write a page where the words on the page present a clear, compelling, concise story that should engage your target audience.
But don’t attempt to change your existing copywriting.
No, seriously. Don’t try to just revise your existing copywriting.
Just start over. Let it go.
By starting fresh, you’ll avoid confusing tidbits of irrelevant information creeping back into your copy. Your new copy should be so clear, so engaging that it doesn’t need any design elements or buttons or animated GIFs to attract your audience’s attention, such as the ones I’ve added here.
After writing fresh copy, there’s one last thing to remember.
Review SEO after you’ve improved your copywriting
After you’ve written copy that’s clear, concise and engages people, then and only then you can review your SEO. I intentionally kept SEO for the end so you wouldn’t write something awful like this:
I am Aaron Tweeton, a Sacramento web designer and developer in the Sacramento area who specializes in Sacramento web design and Sacramento web development. Also providing Folsom web design, Orangevale web design, Fair Oaks web design and Cameron Park web design. Also specializing in Sacramento WordPress development, Folsom WordPress web development…Aaron Tweeton, obviously trying to trick Google because he is a Sacramento web designer and developer who knows SEO and local SEO.
Seriously, who would read that? Save the stuffing for Thanksgiving.
Instead, start with a compelling story first, and then optimize your copy for search engines (hint: that’s what SEO actually means).
Here’s an example. I recently rewrote the copy for a local gutter cleaning company:
Without regular gutter cleaning, you’ll notice other things from dirty gutters: the putrid smells from the stagnant water which makes a perfect breeding ground for pests.Original copywriting
To optimize it a little better for local search, I could change it to:
Without regular gutter cleaning for your El Dorado Hills home, you’ll notice other things from dirty gutters: the putrid smells from the stagnant water which makes a perfect breeding ground for pests.Modified copywriting with local SEO
A few little changes like that can add local SEO without making it sound like you’re trying to trick Google.
Why you should care about improving your copywriting
The main reason to review your website’s copywriting is so that you’ll have a clear story that connects with your intended audience.
The alternative is having perhaps a pretty website, but one that’s a garbled mess of information, that confuses potential customers.