Fill Your Readers with Confidence
Site visitors generally stay with you for as long as they feel confident that they will succeed in achieving their goal.
It's a simple truth, but important. For me, it helps explain some sites I know that perform extremely well, but appear quite amateur in their design and architecture. Some shortcomings in appearance and structure are amply compensated for by the high level of confidence they inspire.
If the confidence of the visitor is so central to the success of your site, that puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the writer.
The writer needs to make sure that visitors feel they are in the right place, that your site is the place where they can achieve their goals. The home page needs to shout out, "Yes! You've come to the right place!"
And on each page, the visitor needs to find a link that says, "Yes! This is the best way forward. Click here to find what you're looking for!"
And the page the link takes them to has to say, "Yes! This is the next stage, the next step in completing your task!"
The process needs to be fluid, clear, obvious - as simple as turning a page in a book, the text from one page flowing naturally into the message of the next.
Easier said than done, for sure.
But while the copy on a site may not be the only way to build confidence, it is certainly a key element in making visitors feel they are in the right place, and on the way to achieving their goals.
Nick Usborne is a copywriter, author, speaker and advocat of good writing. You can access all his archived newsletter articles on copywriting and writing for the web at his Excess Voice site. You'll find more articles and resources on how to make money as a freelance writer at his Freelance Writing Success site.
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