Copywriting Makeover: Know Where Your Customers Are In The Buying Process
Part 1 of 2
by: Karon Thackston
When you begin to
write copy for any product or service, there are a few things you have
to take into consideration. The first is always your target audience:
who you’ll be writing to. Finding out about the needs and wants of the
audience members, their communication styles, their lifestyles, and a
multitude of other elements are “musts” before writing one word of copy.
But something most
people neglect is giving due attention to the buying process as a whole
and where your target audience is within that process. Understanding
this can, oftentimes, make or break the success of your copy.
When AEwebworks (an
online, dating-site software developer) approached me about rewriting
their website copy, it became immediately apparent that their copy could
benefit from paying some due diligence to the buying processes of their
My primary concerns
with the copywriting on this site included the lack of synergy within
the copy, the use of testimonials, the lack of focus on the target
customer’s buying process, and the inability for the copy to support the
search engine goals of AEwebworks. In its present state, the copy
contained few mentions of keyphrases.
You can view the old
copy in PDF form at this link:
When I first read the
copy, it felt as though I was being pitched to from all sides. The
headline spoke to someone thinking of entering the online dating site
industry. The body copy did not support that headline; rather it spoke
to someone who had already made the decision to launch or improve a
The use of
testimonials at the bottom of the home page posed a challenge for two
reasons. The first was the sheer location. The design of the site was
such that it appeared nothing fell “below the fold” (what was first seen
when the home page loaded onto a browser). The second challenge was that
many of the testimonials were from people asking questions or stating
they were considering trying the dating software… not actual customers
attesting to the benefits they’d personally experienced.
In addition, while
the information included in the body copy was good, the information
given on the home page needed to outline why AEwebworks was better than
the competition. In its present state, it did not. That meant finding
those aspects of buying dating software that were most important to the
customer and highlighting them within the copy.
Lastly, I needed to
focus the home page copy on only two or three keyphrases and increase
keyword saturation for those phrases. This also meant creating a copy
strategy that would allow me to use the keyphrases effectively without
making the text sound stiff.
As always, I started
the project by gaining a good understanding of who the target customers
were, what they wanted, their fears, their likes, their dislikes, and
anything else I could discover. After a good bit of research, and after
reading the completed target audience analysis from AEwebworks, I felt I
had a good understanding of those I would be writing to.
In order to combat
the lack of synergy within the copy and the lack of focus on the target
customer’s buying process, I created a copywriting plan. From my
research I found that installation, upgrade policies, and support were
the three most common gripes buyers had about dating software. I decided
to make overcoming those obstacles the focal point of the copy instead
of the actual features and benefits.
That may sound
like an odd choice, but that’s where recognition of the buying process
comes in. Considering that the majority of visitors to the site had
already made the decision to launch a new
0 site or had
chosen to upgrade an existing site, they were already well versed in the
features of dating-site software and their associated benefits. Yes… the
benefits did need to be mentioned; however, other issues proved to be
more pressing to this particular group of customers.
The use of
testimonials on the home page was easily corrected by simply deleting
the ones that did not directly apply to actual users of the software. I
chose two for use within the copy and suggested that, as AEwebworks gets
more testimonials, they create an entire page that visitors can read.
I selected three
keyphrases for each page in order to allow an adequate level of both
keyword saturation and natural language. For the home page, the terms
“dating software,” “online dating software,” and “dating script” were
After all the
hoopla with Google, AEwebworks was in foul shape as far as search engine
rankings were concerned. I had to pay particular attention to creating
copy that impressed the search engines AND their site visitors in order
to help them regain ground with their positioning and sales efforts.
The plan was in
place. Now “all” I had to do was write the copy. In part two of this
series, you’ll get all the details on how I turned “OK” into “Wow"
|About The Author
Copy not getting
results? Let Karon provide search engine copywriting, catalog
copywriting, or other types for you. Just visit
. You can also learn to write your
own SEO copy that impresses the engines and your visitors at