These days web visitors expect to find information on certain pages, or else they can click away in frustration. In this article, find out 9 web pages you should have, and why.
Your Home page is your main page, so it has to embody the essence of your entire business. Your Home page should provide a persuasive summary of everything you offer, and how you offer it.
The purpose of your Home page is to grab attention, while encouraging people to explore other pages of your site.
Services (or list the individual names of your services)
If you offer services, then you should include at least one page that provides a persuasive summary of the services you offer.
Products (or list the individual names of your products)
If you offer products, then clearly define a Products page. If you only offer products, then ensure that your menu includes clear categories so that visitors can find their desired product/s quickly and easily.
A Why Choose? page lists a variety of reasons why people should choose your business. I believe a Why Choose? page is vital because it’s persuasive, punchy and prone to converting browsers into buyers.
AboutYour About page should provide an insight into who you are, rather than talking about the values of your business or company. On the About page, people want to make a connection with the person behind the pixels.
FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions, and as such this page lists a series of common questions and answers related to your business. If people want a quick answer, they’ll sometimes head straight to your FAQ page, which saves them precious time.
A well-constructed FAQ page reassures people that you run a trustworthy and transparent business.
The testimonials page should include a selection of some of your favourite testimonials. If people want quick reassurance about your business, they can find it on this page.
A selection of testimonials should also be sprinkled throughout your website, with at least one testimonial on your Home page.
Articles, tips or a blog allow you to share useful information with your website visitors, which encourages these visitors to stay on your website for longer. The good news is that the longer they stay on your website, the more likely they are to take some sort of positive action before they leave.
Wherever possible, encourage your web visitors to sign up to a newsletter so that your website also becomes a tool for generating and collecting leads, rather than just a place to share information.
As the name suggests, your contact page should include all your contact details. Many people also include their social media details on this page.
The vital ingredients each page should contain
Now that you know which website pages to offer, it’s important to know the vital ingredients that each page should contain. These ingredients are:
Although business websites can have hundreds of pages, the above pages are a handful of the most important.
Every subscriber to my newsletter, Roar Ingredients, receives a free 80 page eBook titled, ‘The Ultimate Website Evaluation Checklist’. This eBook includes 50 + succinct checklist points to help you convert more browsers into buyers. Below are 3 of these checklist points – I hope you find them beneficial!
I once assessed an excellent website that had one major flaw, the contact details were under a page called ‘My story’. The words ‘My story’ indicated that the page was actually an ‘About’ page, so most people would never actually be able to find the contact details there.
For this reason, always be crystal clear with page names. People recognise the following names:
• Products (or list the individual names of your products)
• Services (or list the individual names of your services)
• Why Choose?
• Pricing or Rates
• Terms and Conditions
It’s important that your browsers have an enjoyable reading experience when they come to your website. If they have to squint because of the font size or font colour, they probably won’t persevere with your website.
Also, make the font style and size appropriate for your audience. I once visited a website aimed at people with Alzheimer’s disease – the font was huge. While this was off-putting for me, it was ideal for their target market of senior citizens who require a minimum of 12 point.
Rather than using broad examples in your copy, be as specific as possible. Being specific helps your prospects to get an accurate picture of what you offer and how it will help them.
Example of not being specific
‘We have a great success rate’.
Example of being specific
We have a 99.7% success rate helping people to stop smoking with our natural quit smoking program.
In The Ultimate Website Evaluation Checklist there are another 47 Checklist points.
So, have the above points been useful? Or do you have any comments about ‘The Ultimate Website Evaluation Checklist?’ If so, let me know here.
If written well an About page will encourage perfect strangers to trust you, and consequently, to do business with you. Make no mistake, people genuinely want to discover the person behind the pixels, the brains behind the business, and the ‘scene’ behind the screen.
Simply answer this question: If I was the customer, what would I need to know about the person or people behind the business? Then, address those questions with clarity, personality and conciseness.
Also, be sure to write your About page in the third person. The third person is when you refer to yourself as ‘she’ or ‘he’ rather than ‘I’. Using the third person sounds more credible than using the words ‘I’ and ‘me’.
Let’s say that Sarah Smythe provides home French language tuition. A list of questions that people may want to ask Sarah are:
So Sarah might approach her About page like this:
Born in Paris in 1965, Sarah graduated from the University of Paris with a degree in languages. She spent most of her adult life teaching French in schools and pursuing her hobbies of cycling, scrabble and extreme shopping.
After a brief trip Down Under in 2000, Sarah decided to move to Australia permanently after falling in love with the country – and one of its handsome occupants!
Sarah has been teaching French to children and adults in their Sydney homes for over 3 years, and she absolutely loves helping everyday individuals to speak French fluently.
There are definitely some common mistakes to avoid, so remember to:
Mistake # 3 is a common mistake for people in solo or micro business who want to attract large clients. It’s okay to make yourself appear bigger to attract bigger clients, but remember, the larger the client, the more details they’ll need to know about you before they make contact. So be specific rather than secretive.
An About page inspires action from your website visitors, whether it be good or bad. So share your story in an interesting and effective way, and it’s bound to have a happy ending!
Having assessed dozens of websites, I’ve realised that many have something I’ve nicknamed ‘Website Wilt’. In this article find out what it is, and why you should avoid it at all costs.
Website Wilt is when your website has been left untouched for a long period of time so that it looks tired and old. Here are some obvious signs of Website Wilt:
Your website is your ‘virtual shopfront’, so if your website has virtual cobwebs hanging from it, it will look as though you’re closed for business; or worse still, that you’re open for business but that no one actually cares.
Many people solely shop online for products and services, so if your outdated website is competing with websites that are current, vibrant and fresh, you could be missing out on valuable business.
Update your website content
Make your website copy timely by updating it with compelling and persuasive wording.
Add fresh information
Offer free, updated information in the form of blog posts and newsletters. However, if you feel you simply can’t update your content regularly then opt for an ‘Articles’ or ‘Tips’ page. The benefit of these latter pages is that people can’t tell how long ago they were added.
Get an objective opinion about your website
Sometimes when you’ve been looking at your website for too long it’s difficult to know how it can be changed. The task seems overwhelming, which inevitably leads to inaction. So ask a website designer to assess your website design, and a copywriter to assess your copy. Many will do this for free, but for comprehensive assessments, you may need to invest some money.
Ensure links are active
Every few months check that the links on your website are indeed active.
A website is not something you can ‘set and forget’, and although Website Wilt can have a negative impact on your conversion rate, it is also easily avoidable. Give your website regular care and attention, and it will remain revitalised and ready to convert!
Earlier this year, Mark and Ilde from Starlettos asked me to write some copy for their website. Even back then, the husband/wife co-creators had a clear vision for the growth of their Starlettos brand – which prompted me to write in one of my notes to them: ‘The ‘stars’ are your limit!’
As it turned out, Starlettos really DID reach the stars, by being included in all the Emmys Nominee Gift Bags (bags filled with gorgeous gift products for the nominees). What an achievement!
But how the heck did they get their product in there?
Read on to find out…
An interview with Ilde from Starlettos
Lucinda: Hi Ilde, first of all, can you tell all the Lion Writing Blog readers exactly what Starlettos are?
Ilde: Sure. Starlettos are stylish and discreet heel protectors, shaped like floral stars, which stop stiletto heels from sinking into the grass at outdoor events like race days and weddings.
Lucinda: You and your husband actually invented Starlettos. Can you explain how that came about?
Ilde: From personal need. We were planning our own wedding and I didn’t want my wedding shoes sinking in the grass. So after years of design and development, Starlettos was born.
Lucinda: Okay, so the 64 million dollar question is: how did you get Starlettos into the Emmy Nominee Gift Bags this year?
Ilde: We wrote a series of press releases about Starlettos that we lodged on a site known as PRWeb. Our press release was seen by a company that actively looks for products for the Emmy Gift bags. They sent us an email, and that’s how it all started.
Lucinda: That sounds so easy! Was it?
Ilde: Not really. We spent around 3 weeks writing the first press release, and once we sent it in, PRWeb actually rejected it. But the process was a really good one, because they gave us excellent advice on how to re-write it in order to get the best possible results.
Lucinda: What sort of advice did they give you?
Ilde: The mistake we made was to write the release too much like a sales letter. We used a lot of questions and used the word ‘you’ liberally throughout the 800 word piece. PRWeb automatically rejected it and asked for the same piece to be written in a more informational style. We were only too happy to oblige but it was more complicated than just changing ‘you’ to ‘they’. The whole tone of the article had to change and it actually got slightly longer.
Lucinda: Rest assured Ilde, it’s a common challenge for business owners to make their press release informational rather than advertorial. As an aside, do you recommend PRWeb to get the word out about products and services?
Ilde: For us, they are a good engine to get news out to the world. They announce news early in the morning, American time, which is apparently an excellent time to reach journalists.
The press release from PRWeb then has the potential to be picked up by plenty of other sites. Added to that, every press release you write stays on their site forever, continually generating interest and backlinks to your own site.
It also gives very thorough analytics, so you know how many people have read your press release and whether they’ve clicked any of the links within the press release. PRWeb was a worthwhile investment for us, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be worthwhile for others. It’s a good idea to experiment with various marketing mediums.
Lucinda: Great advice. Can you tell me a bit about your branding strategy?
Ilde: Our branding strategy is entirely about focusing on the ‘experience’ of wearing Starlettos, rather than just the function. When ladies buy and wear Starlettos, we want them to focus on the fun and fashion of the event. Everything from the name, the packaging and our market positioning is designed to evoke those feelings of excitement and glamour. It’s our running joke that the day we will know our branding strategy has succeeded is when we see Megan Gale telling Princess Mary about Starlettos at the Melbourne Cup. That hasn’t happened yet but with the stars of Hollywood taking them home as an Emmys consolation prize, it sure feels a lot closer!
Lucinda: Absolutely! And do you have other big plans for the future?
Ilde: Yes, we have news coming up that will eclipse the Emmy success. But people will have to visit our website over the next 6 months to find out our big news. Or perhaps they can ‘Like’ our Facebook page. We really enjoy keeping in touch with our friends through Facebook, and we have over 6000 friends on there.’
Lucinda: And if all those friends wear stilettos, they are definitely friends in high places! Do you have one piece of marketing or business advice that you’d like to share with everyone today?
Ilde: There’s never enough time – so regularly ask yourself what things you can stop doing – or get other people to do. That way you protect your most valuable commodity.
Lucinda: Thanks so much Ilde, I wish you and Mark continued success with Starlettos!
SPECIAL OFFER: Ilde has kindly created a special offer for Lion Writing Blog readers. If you purchase a pair of Starlettos, simply enter the promotional code LION (must be all caps) to get 15% off the already low price of $14.99. This offer is open to the first 100 buyers.
Sandwich Selling is a simple and effective sales technique
The art of Sandwich Selling has nothing to do with bread, but do it effectively, and you’re sure to make some serious dough! I first heard the term Sandwich Selling years ago from a sales trainer. Like most brilliant concepts, Sandwich Selling is straightforward, simple, and leaves most people saying, ‘Why didn’t I think of this sooner?’
What is Sandwich Selling?
Sandwich Selling involves introducing your products and/or services to people who are physically located on either side of your client’s premises.
Examples of Sandwich Selling
Corporate Mobile Massage
Let’s say that you provide corporate massages for one particular business in a mixed-business building. After completing work for your client, walk to the offices on either side, and say something like, ‘Hi, I’m Sven from Sven’s Corporate Mobile Massage. Janette from JD’s Accounting, next door, hires me to relax all her staff so that everyone is happy, healthy and productive. Is this something that would interest you?’
Depending on the answer, you could chat to someone immediately, set up a meeting or simply leave your brochure and business cards.
Garden Maintenance Business
If you maintain people’s gardens, then either knock on the neighbour’s doors to introduce yourself, or pop your business card with a hand-written note in their letterboxes.
Sandwich selling works effectively for a vast array of businesses
As you can see, if you visit your clients in office complexes, then Sandwich Selling works for an infinite amount of business types, including: web designers, IT people, copywriters, stationery suppliers, corporate gift suppliers, training providers, interior designers and so on.
Stretch the boundaries of Sandwich Selling and reap the rewards
Although Sandwich Selling refers to selling to people on either side of your client, you can decide on the appropriate geographic radius. For a garden maintenance business, you could drop your card into every letterbox in the street or even surrounding streets. Real Estate Agents do this all the time! If they’ve sold a house for a good price, you better believe that they’ll let every resident from neighbouring streets know about it.
The benefit of Sandwich Selling
The main benefit of Sandwich Selling is that prospects are more likely to trust you because you’re already doing business with someone they know. And thanks to Social Proof, some people will say, ‘Well, if Janette is using a corporate mobile massage therapist, then I want to use one too’.
The etiquette of Sandwich Selling
Sandwich Selling = a free lunch
Apart from your time, Sandwich Selling costs absolutely nothing. It’s a simple, quick and easy way to market your business to prospects. So, rather than just earning a crust, why not make some serious dough using the Sandwich Selling technique?
Do you already use Sandwich Selling techniques? Or can you now see some new, untapped opportunities? If so, leave a comment below.
A business slogan is a short, catchy line that generally appears next to or under your logo or business name. A good business slogan is a constant source of premium advertising that will reinforce your brand while generating sales. Below are some business slogan examples created by Lion Writing.
Business By Numbers
Run by Angela Brady, Business By Numbers is a Chartered Accounting Firm that does more than just year-end accounts. Angela offers a suite of value-adding services to assist with: increased business growth, increased business income and increased personal wealth. Angela is renowned for her expertise, track record and industry experience.
Angela’s favourite Lion Writing business slogan so far:
Profit from our knowledge
Clever Clicks helps people to grow their business through practical marketing strategies. While they offer comprehensive online marketing strategies and Google Adword Management, their strength (and increased future focus) is on educating people to harness the full potential of online marketing. They offer a 100% guarantee, with no fine print.
Their favourite Lion Writing business slogan:
Online marketing education that just clicks. Guaranteed.
3D Wall Panels™
3D Wall Panels™ are decorative, textured wall panels that transform ordinary interiors into spectacular and dramatic spaces. 3D Wall Panels™ feature on The Footy Show, Mornings with Kerri-Anne and the Today show. The 3 dimensional textured panels ensure that there are no more flat and boring walls!
Their favourite Lion Writing business slogan:
Decorative feature wall panels. Add an extra dimension to your life.
Romance Russian Restaurant and Function Centre
While people flock to Romance Russian restaurant for their delectable Russian cuisine, they are most famous for their unique way of dining, which on Saturday nights includes live entertainment and dancing in between courses! (By the way, there are many courses, I went there last month and I’m still full). It’s a late night. A different night. A night to remember.
The Lion Writing business slogan they’ve chosen:
Delicious food. Vibrant atmosphere. A place to celebrate life.
Mansfield Motors – Queensland
Mansfield Motors is your “One Stop Shop” for all your car service and car repairs in Mount Gravatt and surrounding areas. Julian Mason, the manager, is passionate about keeping car owners safe, and he believes that regular car maintenance and early intervention can save lives.
The Lion Writing business slogan they’ve chosen:
Our honesty. Our expertise. Your safety.
Business slogans can be great for your business
As you can see, business slogans come in all shapes and sizes. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these business slogan examples!
Lucinda Lions is a copywriter who specialises in web copywriting and writing business slogans. Her popular copywriting ebooks, The Ultimate Web Copywriting Crashcourse and The Ultimate Web Copywriting Crash Course WORKBOOK are available for only $9.95 (that’s $9.95 for both).
Web fonts are the letters that appear on your website, and it’s vital to make them web-friendly, here’s why…
The Lion Writing brand colours are black, white, orange and grey, and although my web design has evolved over time, those colours have remained the same.
In a previous web design I had white web fonts on a completely black background. I really wanted that design. I thought it looked awesome. But…
Some people told me that the intensity of the white font on the black background was too intense, and that it actually hurt their eyes.
Gulp, I could ‘see’ their point, but I was so busy writing other people’s website copy that I neglected to spend time on my own. Big mistake!
Just days after having the changes made, my web conversions increased. Imagine if I’d changed the colours sooner? My mistake had definitely cost me customers.
Inappropriate web font sizes
Have you ever visited a website and needed laser eye surgery in order to see the teeny tiny font? Of all the web font problems on the internet, unfortunately inappropriate font sizing is the most common.
Inappropriate web font colours
Well, you already know about my faulty font colour story! Other font colour problems include colours that are too bright or too light. Also, having headlines and web copy in different colours on the same page can diminish the professionalism of a site.
Inconsistency in web font style
With the availability of Content Management Systems (CMS) for websites, most of us can change our own website copy quickly and easily. As a result, some websites have dramatically different font sizes, styles and colours on different pages. This reflects badly on both the website and the business, sending a message that there is a lack of attention to detail.
A friendly font is what people want
Your words are important because they carry your sales message, so by offering web-friendly fonts, your message will be more easily read, absorbed and understood.
I didn’t formulate the below questions, they’ve been ‘lifted’ (with permission) from Andrew Griffiths’ Business Bullets newsletter.
Andrew Griffiths is Australia’s # 1 Business Author, having sold 10 bestselling business books in over 50 countries. His latest highly acclaimed book, The Me Myth is in bookstores now. And just like you, Andrew is also a subscriber of Roar Ingredients!
1. What direction do I want to take my business in 2011?
2. What specific products and services will I focus on?
3. Which companies do I want to target?
4. Will I change my prices?
5. What marketing will I do and how will it be in line with the changing face of marketing?
6. What will I do differently in 2011?
7. What are my specific goals and objectives for the year?
8. What are my ten biggest achievements from 2010 – and how can I build on these in 2011?
Have fun answering these questions. Remember, answers bring clarity.
Web copy waffle can turn your website from a lead-generation tool into a lead-demolition tool. In this article find out what web copy waffle is, and why you urgently need to remove it from your website.
Web copy waffle is web copy that:
The main problem with web copy waffle is that your website visitors can’t find useful information immediately, which causes frustration, confusion and quick clicks away from your website.
Below I’ve written about website waffle, using website waffle. I’ve also pretended that the waffle is web copy for a professional proofreader, just to highlight how easy it is for a business message to get lost.
“ Waffles are yummy, but not in your web copy. ”
Web copy waffle is quite different to the waffles that you eat. Don’t get me wrong, I love waffles, and in my youth I ate mountains of them. Some of them were extremely yummy too, especially the blueberry ones. But website waffle is quite different, completely different actually. Website waffle is where you write more than you absolutely need to. I am a proofreader, so I’m a master at helping you get rid of waffle. I get my red pen out, and whammo, I cross out all the waffle as though my red pen is a sword, and I am a warrior! Do you remember back at high school or university (ah yes, those were the days!) when you had to write a 3000-word essay or assignment on something really uninteresting and you’d just sit there and allow your pen to vomit ink all over the page? Well that’s waffle. When you put those words onto a web page, those words become web copy waffle. Of course, not blueberry waffles, that’s a different kind of waffle altogether…
Okay, so a professional proofreader would never write like that (if they did they’d have a lot of spare time to eat waffles). But I think you get my gist!
The example above is an extreme one, but if you’re worried that you might be waffling even just a little bit, ask yourself the following questions:
If you answered ‘No’ to any of the above questions, then delete all the waffly bits and re-write your copy so that your message is sharp and clear.
Reminder: When you’ve got your red pen out, you’re on the hunt for any sections of copy that are too long, too confusing or bordering on rambling.
When your web copy is sharp and clear, people will understand your message and be more likely to take positive action as a result of reading it. So remember, waffles are yummy, but not in your web copy.
Given that Oprah is currently in Australia with lots of spare time and minimal commitments, it’s likely that she’ll be Googling your business on the net. The question is, will she like your website? Well, that all depends on whether your website meets some of Oprah’s life criteria…
Is your website ‘living its best life’?
Do you ever cringe when you think about your website? I do. It happens every few months or so. In the back of my mind I’m thinking, ‘I really should change that information’ or ‘I really need to update that part of my design’.
Most website owners feel this way from time to time, and I’m pretty sure that you do too. The key is to make the changes in a timely fashion otherwise your website will hold you back rather than moving you forward, because you won’t want to promote it.
With the festive break coming up, maybe now is the time to make some of those much-needed changes? That way, in 2011 you’ll have a website that is living its best life and not suffering from website wilt.
Is your website ‘giving’ enough?
Apart from Oprah’s audience members, no one expects you to give every one of your website visitors a free trip to Australia (though it’s an awesome offer if you know they already live here).
There are lots of ways your website can ‘give’. You can give:
• Free articles
• Free tips
• Free video presentations
• Free access to your blog posts
• Subscription to your free newsletter (which will include useful information, not just advertisements and promotions).
Do you turn wounds into wisdom?
If something hasn’t worked with your business or website, pat yourself on the back for giving it a go and (armed with new knowledge), try a different strategy. Remember, there is no failure, just feedback.
Love your website, and others will love it too.
Okay, so maybe Oprah will never visit your website. But by following the tips above, at least you’ll have a website that you AND your visitors will love.
Writing for the web can be a challenging task, but we can actually learn a valuable lesson from a humble spider. Spiders have lived and thrived on their respective webs for centuries, they are truly masters of their domain! If we take a leaf out of their book, perhaps we’ll be masters of our domain too.
Using sexual attraction to hunt
The Bolas spider uses an unusual and unique method to hunt and catch moths. It detects a particular species of moth and produces a pheromone (a sexual attractant) to well, attract the moth. But get this, it produces a different pheromone for different species of moth.
I’m not suggesting that you madly fan pheromones toward your potential customers, but…
You must know who you are targeting in order to attract them to your products and services.
If the Bolas spider decided to target all moths in one hit, he’d produce a one-size-fits-all pheromone. His new diluted pheromone would vaguely interest hundreds of moths, but probably entice none.
Exactly the same thing can happen with your web copy.
An example of how to write specific, targeted web copy
To avoid writing diluted web copy think carefully about who you are actually targeting, and then write copy that addresses their specific needs, wants, desires and fears.
For example, if a babysitting agency is targeting every parent on the face of the planet, they might write.
Take the night off and let Brainy Babysitting mind your children
That’s okay, but it is general copy that doesn’t speak to any individual person.
So let’s say that the babysitting agency decided to target single mothers between the ages of 25 – 45 in Sydney. How might their copy become more specific?
Here’s a small sample of copy as an example…
Are you a single mother in Sydney who requires babysitting services?
Your children are your number one priority, that’s why at Brainy Babysitting we hire police-checked, patient and caring babysitters, many of whom are wonderful mothers , just like you.
Use Brainy Babysitting in January 2011 and you’ll receive a free 25 minute massage from Massage Queens. As we see it, every mother is special and EVERY mother deserves to be pampered.
You can catch a lot of things in the world wide web
The world wide web is an intricate network of over a billion virtual threads. We can connect. We can learn. We can flourish. And if we’re really clever, we can even attract a moth or two.
Happy web copywriting!