Want to know how to write web copy that works? Below you’ll find the 10 words that will guarantee you 1000s of new enquiries, tonnes of sales, and a yacht on the Med…
Okay, maybe not.
Because the words themselves aren’t actually all that important; it’s all about the emotions each word makes you feel.
When you read a great book, you don’t tell your mates, ‘wow, the author’s vocab was amazing’. You think about the empathy you felt for the characters, the fact that it made you cry, or the passages that made you literally rofl.
So it is with web content.
Now, I’m not going to leave you out in the cold — I am going to provide a list of wow words that’ll make your web copy a bit more sparkly and enticing. It comes with a caveat though: not every word here will work for every business.
The key is to look at the why behind each word and then use it as a springboard for ideas. If you can figure out what you want your readers to feel, then you can figure out which words will get the reaction you’re looking for.
Problem-solving wow words
It’s safe to assume that, if you’re running a business, you’re solving problems for your clients in one way or another. This is the part where you need to tap into those problems and find the right wow words that will speak to your readers. Words that conjure images of your readers’ struggles are great here.
If your product or service helps people with physical or mental difficulties, you might want to use words that suggest a sense of relief:
Your audience might want to overcome sugar addiction, relieve back pain with a bouncy new mattress, or reduce tension by attending your yoga sessions.
If you’re providing a B2B service, you might want to look at words that tap into the desire to improve skills or sales, or the fear of being left behind:
Potential clients might want to use your accountancy skills to help them avoid tax penalties. They might want to learn how to improve their presenting skills to increase their speaking gig opportunities.
We’re on a journey wow words
The common thread in all wow-worthy web copy, is that it takes you on a journey. It propels you right into the heart of a problem and convinces you that there IS a solution.
You need to take your readers on a journey through your business; show them you understand their problems and that you are the one who has the answer.
Try to include:
Words that evoke an emotion, that really help readers picture themselves in a scenario. Adjectives are great here, as long as you don’t go overboard!
Words such that conjure up powerful images:
Marketing shows to blow your business up
Marketing shows to blow your mind
(Wow words courtesy of our very own Andrew and Pete)
Action wow words
To stick with the journey metaphor, the destination you’re going for is action. After you’ve proven that you understand your clients’ problems and you know how to fix them, you want them to make a decision. You want them to join your site, make an appointment, or call for a quote.
This is where your action wow words help you seal the deal:
Join is a powerful little word — it plays on our herd mentality by letting people feel like they’re going to be part of a community of other buyers and that they’ll be missing out if they don’t join in. Going back to Andrew and Pete’s site (well, they have allowed me to guest post for them, it’s only fair!), have a look at how many times they use join. They have an entire page titled Join Atomic. They encourage you to join for full access to all shows.
Learn is a great one — we’re naturally curious and learn makes us feel empowered and in control. Who doesn’t want to feel like that?
Learn how to grow your business with Atomic. See how that makes you feel like you’re in the driving seat?
Ditto Grow. We all want to grow in one way or another; our business, our audience, our sales.
We’re living in the age of instant gratification. You’ve described your readers’ problems and convinced them you’re the very business that will help solve these problems; your reader sure as hell doesn’t want to wait. Using start as your action wow word lets them know they won’t have to.
Instant access, immediate, and fast are also good additions, provided you can deliver the goods.
Action wow words are key to an effective call-to-action, but look out for other ways you can incorporate them into your copy too.
Urgency wow words
It never hurts to add a few urgency wow words to your copy if you need to light a fire under your readers’ butts.
Before xxx ends
can help stop prospects umming and ahhhing over things and help them make a speedy decision.
Reassuring wow words
Sourcing products and services online is fab, no doubt about it, but when we shop this way, it does open us up to a level of vulnerability. If you’re relying on info from a website (as opposed to a word-of-mouth recommendation) it’s hard to know whether the site is legit, the products are any good, or if the business owner is a total scam artist.
Now there aren’t any magic words that will make all of those doubts disappear but there are a few wow words that can help reassure your audience.
The key here is to put yourself into your readers’ shoes and think about what they may need reassurance about — does your product work, are they going to be tied in for a long period, is their personal information going to be secure —and try to assuage these fears.
The obvious wow word would be:
but this is soooo overused, it’s lost all meaning! If you do offer a money-back guarantee, be specific; lay out the exact terms of the guarantee to avoid sounding like a cliché.
Other reassuring wow words to consider:
Money wow words
Free is the obvious wow word here, and do you know what? It does still work. We all love a freebie, right?
Free lead magnet
are all good. But, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it’s all about giving stuff away. Don’t forget value wow words.
This is especially important if you offer a high-end service or product — attracting cheapskates would be totally counterproductive. If this sounds like you, you want to focus on words that imply value like invest.
Don’t abuse the wow word
A word of wow word warning: you can’t just go chucking them around with abandon. They have to be relevant to your business, they have to be true, and they have to sound like you. Not every wow word will work for every business.
Except for one, that is.
The King of the wow words. The Grandaddy, the big cheese, the big Kahuna…fanfare please.
It’s so flippin’ obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many people forget all about it when writing their web copy.
The most powerful word you can use in your copy is you.
Too many websites focus on I, we and my: my passion, my goal, we were established.
They’ve forgotten the power of you. You turns your content from a one-sided conversation, a sales pitch, into a two-way chat, an exchange of info. It makes the reader feel like they’re included, they’re part of the process and it shows you’re thinking of them from start to finish.
and focus on
Over to you now. Have a look at your own web copy and see how many wow words you have in there — and if you don’t have any, add some in, pronto!
If you’re still in the processing of creating web content, get yourself a pen, paper, and a pint and start brainstorming your own wow words.
And if you need any help figuring it all out, give me a shout. I love a good brainstorming sesh ????
– Clare Crossan, Copywriter, content writer and language geek | www.clarecrossan.co.uk
Copywriter, content writer and language geek.
I don’t have a novel in me (at least not yet!) so I satisfy creative urges by helping you guys with your content. I run the gauntlet of the blank screen so you don’t have to.
I specialise in website copy and blog content, and if your business is eco-friendly, ethical, or helping make the world a better place in any way, so much the better! Helping you boost your business through great content will give me the warm and fuzzies for sure. It’s a win win.
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