Let’s be real. I can talk til I’m blue about what makes for good website copy, but when it comes to driving the point home, nothing beats an example.
Below is a screenshot of the hero section (the top section of the homepage) of a website for a doggy daycare. Identifying information like name and location have been redacted – I’m here to teach, not to shame.
OK, so what’s wrong here? Looks pretty inoffensive. Let’s break it down. Then we’ll work on improving it.
No focus. As you can see, this doggy daycare offers a variety of services, which is great. But by not choosing a focal point, the business passes up an opportunity to make an emotional connection to the audience. If everything is important, nothing is.
No benefits. Two words make all the difference when choosing copy for your website’s hero section – so what?
“Our staff shares a genuine love and appreciation of pets along with many years of experience in the pet care industry.” So what?
“So we understand your pet’s behavior.” So what?
“We know how to keep your pet safe and happy while you are away.” OK, that makes me feel better.
Don’t just tell me what you do. Tell me how it benefits me or solves my problem. If I’m a dog owner worried about leaving my furry baby with strangers all day, reassure me. Prove that you know what you’re doing and you understand how I feel.
I don’t see myself. Making an emotional connection with your audience is key to making them want to move farther down the path toward becoming your customer. There are two ways you can do this in your website copy, and both involve showing the visitor a version of themselves.
- Mirror their pain. People looking for doggy daycare may have tried leaving their dog home alone and regretted it because bored, lonely dogs misbehave. You are not selling this customer daycare services. You are eliminating a problem that is causing them stress.
- Show them their dream state. This is the other side of the coin. Once you’ve shown someone you understand their pain – or sometimes instead of showing their pain – you paint a picture of a rosy future in which that pain doesn’t exist. There’s an old adage in marketing that customers don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves. You’re still not selling daycare services; you are selling a peaceful evening that doesn’t include cleaning up destroyed objects, apologizing to complaining neighbors, or trying to contain a dog with a day’s worth of pent-up energy.
Improved website copy
Let’s see if we can make this hero section stronger. We’re going to:
- Focus on the service that has the highest value to the business (I’m assuming doggy daycare);
- Go beyond explaining services and explain instead how they benefit the visitor; and
- Show the visitor their pain and the dream state this company creates.
I also chose a stronger photo and headline that capture the customer’s frustration. Remember, the job of your headline is to get people to read the next line.
What about the rest of that great information?
No worries. I would absolutely still include all the information in that old hero section – the 20 years experience, the staff’s affection for the animals, and all the ancillary services. I just wouldn’t load them all into a single box in the hero section.
The experience should be featured in a proof bar, possibly right below the hero.
Telling me your staff loves animals is OK; showing me with customer testimonials would be better.
Each of the other services – the grooming, the boutique, the training – deserves its own short section of copy explaining its unique benefits to the customer.
Your website is not an online business card or a digital brochure. It is your 24/7 salesman. The better it is at showing visitors you understand them, the better it will be at turning them into customers.
If you feel like your website copy could use a little more juice, contact me for a site audit. I’ll review your copy, on video, and offer concrete suggestions for DIY improvement.