Just about every Realtor, mortgage lender, and business owner has a website these days, but does anyone actually read it?
Too often, potential home buyers, sellers, borrowers or clients will log into your website only to take one look at the home page with its mismatch of endless paragraphs of text, and click right out.
In fact, studies show that the average website visitor spends about 30 seconds on a site, and 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds!
When that happens, it’s like having a big hole in your marketing funnel, with potential leads (and money) leaking right out.
With website copy, every word, title, header, bullet point, and sentence is critical since you don’t have much time to make a good first impression.
A good site with well-written copy will really grab your visitor, helping to pre-sell them and directly leading to more closed sales. Professionally written websites boost your search engine ranking, acts as the hub of your social media wheel, and establishes you as a credible expert in your field.
You probably think that your website copy is “fine” or “OK,” but you probably wouldn’t read it, either if you were a new visitor. Objectivity is difficult when it’s your own site. And it’s not that most business people can’t write well; it’s just that they don’t know how to write website copywell – a totally different art in which less is way more.
AIDA rules for web copy:
When writing copy for your website, it’s best to keep the AIDA strategy in mind, an acronym that stands for:
A – Attract Attention
I – Trigger Interest
D – Create a strong Desire
A – Call to Action
Let’s take a look at 10 methods to write clear, engaging, and persuasive web copy that homebuyers and sellers will actually read:
1. Use concise text
Check out the websites for the biggest brands in the world and you’ll notice that they are big on simple, intuitive, and visual content that leads to the next step – not endless words. But if visitors to your website see a vast amount of text in paragraph form, they’ll automatically tune out. Use short words, short sentences, and even shorter paragraphs. As a good rule of thumb, write your web copy and then cut the word count in half, and then in half again.
2. Make sure your site is easy to scan
When it comes to websites (and social media or just about anything online), people want to scan – not read. Research proves that only 16% of web visitors read text word for word and 79% just scan. So, break up text with headers, subheaders, numbered lists, bullet points, and even different fonts to make the information easily digestible in chunks. Oh, and don’t forget plenty of photos of beautiful houses and happy past clients!
3. The secret behind writing amazing web headlines
Headers and subheaders are so important for effective web copy. Since most people just scan your website, creating compelling headlines or headers is crucial. Studies show that headlines with numbers (“10 Ways to buy a house in a good neighborhood”), those that promise to solve a problem or provide a benefit, play on words or common phrases, or use the tactic of negative knowledge (“5 Ways not to make costly home selling mistakes”) perform best. Contact me if you want more help with this!
4. Eliminate fluff
Use clear, no-frills language. Avoid the temptation to fill your copy with adverbs and adjectives. Always write in the active voice and have a professional editor go through your copy.
5. Be clear about what you’re offering
When someone goes to your web page, they should know in within seconds – the time it takes them to scan – what exactly you can do for them, but also your unique value or specialty as a Realtor. Highlight if you specialize in working with buyers, sellers, high-end homes, first-timers, in certain neighborhoods, or have awards, publishing credits, or other designations that will benefit them.
6. Ask your potential clients what they want!
Any good website should include opportunities for visitors to offer their needs, desires, and feedback. You can do this with surveys, questions, and pop-ups that give them some sort of incentive to share their opinion. People love to be asked their opinion, especially when it comes to homes and real estate!
7. Create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section
Instead of going on and on about every detail of your job and what you can do for them in paragraph form, create a detailed FAQ section, categorized by potential client’s questions and clickable, so it’s easy to navigate.
8. Be a real person
People want to engage with a real person, not a robot or a faceless corporation. Tell your story, show your passion, and feel free to write in a familiar voice – just as long as you stay clear, concise, and always appropriate. Especially in the real estate field, it’s encouraged to have fun and show your personality, while also maintaining professionalism.
9. Be careful about what you can’t say
Your clients look to you for invaluable information, but there are very tight rules (see: Fair Housing Act) that govern what Realtors can and can’t disclose. Likewise, mortgage lenders will end up in trouble if they advertise “Lowest rates around!” on their website.
For Realtor web copy, even mentioning specific topics or answering certain questions could result in fines, loss of license – or even trigger litigation. So, don’t offer specifics about relative wealth socio-economic class of a neighborhood or area, school ratings, crime statistics, religious or ethnic demographics, etc. or you could get in hot water.
10. ALWAYS have a call-to-action
Your website’s text should always conclude with a clear call-to-action, which simply leads them to the next step. It could be entering their email to get a free report, signing up for your blog or email newsletter, registering for a market analysis of their home price, or any other giveaway that provides help and value.
With these tips in mind, take the time to pull up your website and look at it objectively. You probably don’t need to rewrite all of your site’s copy, but by implementing these best practices, you’ll soon notice an uptick in the number of visitors that stay on your site longer and contact you – and therefore, your number of clients!
Contact me if you’d like a free look at your current website to see where it needs improvement – I’m happy to help!