Impactful Websites Transform
Disclaimer: Work Wife Wine Time promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol. And encourages the heart of your business to adopt marketing principals, be user friendly and speak in a conversational tone to your ideal target audience.
To get your hands on a copy of Gemma’s Ultimate Website Checklist visit: www.workwifewinetime.com.au/website
Hi everyone, Mikala here from Work Wife Wine Time. Welcome to episode eight of our podcast. In this episode, I’m going to speak with fellow work wife and self proclaimed word nerd Gemma from Contently Driven about all the components of writing captivating copy for your website. If you don’t have a website, then I highly recommend you still listen in to discover why having a website is so important and to learn how to get your website right from the start. Without further ado, let’s jump into the episode.
So Gemma, tell us a bit about what you do.
Well I am a copywriter and marketing strategist. I have been for many years. I love it. And I also love words and grammar, of course. So, later in life, I became an international English teacher. So I’m also a teacher. Yeah. And I taught overseas for three years.
Where abouts did you teach?
I taught in Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands.
Yeah, Italy and Bulgaria.
So that’s, that’s a little bit about me.
Cool. And so what actual qualifications do you have in the area of copywriting and marketing?
Hmm. Yes, of course. I have a degree in advertising communications. I have a degree in business marketing, I have a post grad certificate in media planning and buying and I have an international teaching English as a first language certificate so just a few things under my belt.
Wow! So you kind of know a little bit about what you’re talking about.
A little bit about a few things right? I love learning it’s education is the power of learning is probably my number one value and principle so I just need to be constantly learning. I love it.
That’s awesome. All right. So what led you to where you are now like what have you done previously, prior to running Contently Driven?
Of course. Well, my first job and probably one of my favourites was processing photos.
It was my first job when I was 16 at Big W. Remember when we had rolls of film?
Vaguely, and I loved it. It was a great job. Actually another qualification I forgot that I had. So when I started university, I was losing my creativity of painting and drawing and everything I did throughout school, as well as writing so I on the side of my university studies I also got a certificate for makeup artistry.
Yes. So my job throughout my seven years of studies was actually working in retail makeup in Napoleon. Yes, that was my second job I absolutely loved. I still do makeup sometimes but, yeah, not often. And then I got a graduate position for The Age newspaper for Fairfax and worked there for many years in paper. Of course with traditional media, my job became redundant.
Mm. So, moved on from that. I did a short stint in radio. Job became redundant. Moved into television, so I moved to Queensland and worked for Channel Seven Queensland for many years as well. That’s when I decided to get my international teaching certificate and during the time working overseas, my job was made redundant anyways.
Oh, my gosh. You’re like, I don’t know. You’ve got the touch of redundancy.
I know I love media. I love it. I love everything about newspapers, radio, television, everything, but unfortunately, where the world is now, you know, writing those ads and selling those ads, watching and seeing those ads just is really is a thing of the past. Which I felt, I guess, throughout my career. So at the same time when I was teaching overseas, I also did miss what I was doing. I missed the marketing, and I missed that. So I started to learn about the digital side of things. And of course, the same marketing principles. The same strategy is all there but was just learning about the new platforms.
That’s cool. So you went from analogue to digital?
So who’s your target market like who do you ideally work with?
And like yourself and I guess many, many of us I work with other female entrepreneurs, business owners and creatives so people within my space I guess, wanting to help them with their business.
What brought you into the field of I guess communications?
When I was a child I loved I was obsessed with television commercials. I loved them to the point that when we got our first video VCR remember those?
Yep. I was telling the kids about one the other day and they like what are you talking about? You know, we had one that had like the long it had a remote control but it was on a cord that plugged in
yeah, we were right up there with the latest tech.
You were right up there. My family got one but a lot later so by the time we actually got a VCR the cord wasn’t needed anymore. Ours was super modern and I would actually sit there and not tape television shows, but pause the show or the movie and tape the ads.
And I absolutely loved them. And when I was a child I went, one day I want to write those. That’s what I want to do. So that really did lead me towards why I decided to study advertising and copywriting everything yeah.
That’s so cool. And so, you were overseas teaching? What brought you back to working well, what brought you back to Australia, I suppose and working for yourself.
Hmm, of course. Um, well, like I said, I started to learn the digital side and focus on that and I was freelancing. At the same time, teaching English overseas doesn’t pay too well, easily pays the bills there but, of course at the same time I thought I need to do more things. So that’s why I started doing it there. So I was able to travel a bit more, get back into writing and doing things like that as well as teaching it just really fulfilled all parts of my brain at that time, you know, because I don’t know travelling to places like the Galapagos Islands wasn’t enough I don’t know. Just the brain keeps going I suppose with I did something like 32 countries and in those three years, I guess my brain was so stimulated it was just like I need more things. And I guess I started to see the opportunities and everything out there and I just thought let’s start my own business and that’s why I came home to really focus on that and if I missed another Christmas. I was terrified my mother was going to kill me.
The big Italian family thing.
Yup, the big Italian family thing like and they were very angry at me so it was not one more Christmas that was allowed to be missed.
Cool. Well I for one am glad you came back and are doing what you’re doing now. So you love learning and you love travel. What else can you tell us about yourself?
Of course, they’re my two favourite things I guess I love leopard print and everything about it. I’m actually not wearing any today, which is
Oh, I was going to say.
I know but it’s okay. No one can see apart from you and I.
Although I can’t see what’s below like desk height. Are there leopard print socks?
There is a tiger on this hoodie though.
That works. Close enough.
Love leopard print love wearing it. I don’t know, it’s a part of me. I’m vegetarian, but basically vegan. I adore animals. I love the beach. There’s something about being at the beach seeing the blue ocean blue sky something about colour blue that makes me incredibly happy. And I love being close to water.
Yeah, I get that. All right, so let’s jump into the meat of this. Today we’re going to talk about website copywriting and which essentially, comes from your marketing background. Tell us exactly what marketing is because I know for me personally, marketing was a very scary word. And it’s not something that I was confident I would actually ever understand in my business and it was something that would leave me running screaming from the room. And curled up in the foetal position in a corner just and that’s just the word that’s without actually knowing what it was, like anyone would mention marketing and I’d go, Oh no, I can’t do this. So, tell us.
It is quite a terrifying word I get it. It seems like it’s this word that encompasses so many things and that’s because it does. So obviously marketing is part of business that’s why it’s within a, I guess business degree. So where you have your financial side and your legal side and everything like that marketing, basically, is how you’re going to sell your service or product.
It’s so important and it goes back to the marketing principles of the four Ps of Marketing which really is the base of everything and that is your product, price, place and promotion. So the product of course is what you’re selling your product or service. Price is how you’re going to price your product or service. So of course that entails a lot of research of competition if you’re going to have a high end product market it high end sell it with a high price tag have a low amount of sales so that’s where the economics of it comes into it. The place of course is where you’re going to market your product or service so for most of us now that’s online. And the promotion of course is all the advertising for it, my favourite part of it. And now they are going up to five Ps and six Ps and things are getting more complicated, so the main five Ps now that have actually bought in is people, because how is that you know, it is the most important part really. So the people being you know, your target audience.
So once you understand those five Ps and put them together, that’s basically marketing 101. But marketing is the promotion of your product or service.
Okay, cool. That is a really simple way of explaining it and understanding it. Thank you. Wish I’d heard that right back at the beginning.
So how does all this then work with copywriting?
So I think what many people don’t realise is in order for someone to be a brilliant copywriter that they need to be a marketer. Because like I said earlier, it’s understanding everything, it’s understanding the marketplace. It’s understanding the people, standard price points, understanding everything. Yeah. So if you’ve got a professional grasp on all of that, you’re going to be able to write for a target audience. And websites now and content marketing is basically based around writing.
You know, it was very different before there were many other medias for promotion and advertising. But now so much of it is the content we’re reading, people are researching, their reading ebooks and websites and social media posts. And everything, of course, there’s still interaction and interactional videos and photos and images that go with it. Yeah, but writing now is just such an important part of market to marketing strategy. So that’s really how they tie in together, understanding those marketing principles really helps you with that true art of being able to write good copy. Because of course copywriting is its own art form of writing. It’s not business writing, it’s not legal writing, it’s not creative writing, it’s the art of writing to sell something. So they’re basically completely intertwined.
Yeah, that makes sense.
That was my long answer.
That was a good answer, I like that one. So well, I guess you’ve started to tell us there why website copywriting is important. Can you elaborate on that a bit more?
Absolutely. Again, with the shift of media and how we’re promoting these days, it’s basically a shopfront. So ads before you know were most likely speaking about a business that’s in a certain place or what have you. But you know, now it’s mainly online, and your website is the heart of your business. You know, it’s got all your information there. Most of your promoting is directing people to that website. You know, it’s basically the Yellow Pages ad, you know, so I guess it goes back to Jan getting upset and yelling. You know, I like poor Jan “Where’s our Yellow Pages directory?” You know, I’m sorry, that was one of my favourites, absolutely!
You recorded that one a few times.
Yeah. And it’s basically the same thing. If you don’t have that website, it’s like not having your ad in the Yellow Pages. I’m gonna say 20 years ago. It’s so important. It’s where people are going to make their decisions. It’s where the transactions are happening. It really is the heart of your business. So if it’s not right if the words aren’t compelling, if they’re not speaking to the target audience right, if they’re not helping you sell your service or your product then it’s just not going to work so it’s so critical website copywriting.
Yeah, that’s really interesting because, um, you often see like in business community groups on Facebook and that sort of thing, people going, oh, I’ve got my Facebook page, do I really need a website? And like, I for one always jump in and go, yes, but what you’ve said it makes it even more compelling. It’s like I hadn’t actually thought of it that way.
That really surprises me too when I see a lot of business owners asking that where are you directing people? How are they finding out that information? What are you offering them? What can they see about you? It’s really surprising, but it’s just critical to business now.
Yeah. And I mean, I suppose what you can put on your Facebook profile or your business page and in your social media like on Instagram, you can’t put much like it’s all sort of disjointed and if there’s a website people can click on the different pages to get the different information but on a Facebook business page or something, it’s more disjointed and
Yeah only so many words and things like that, you know, of course they’re important too, but it’s the website is the heart of your business.
Yes, I like that one. So, what are the components then of effective website copywriting?
Well, like I said earlier, copywriting is the art of writing to sell. But of course, we’ve come so far now that we’re not using, you know, pushy sales words and things like that. So yeah, I think a lot of people get a little bit scared. No I don’t want pushy sales words and things like that. I remember the ads back in the day, remember there was that ad like doors, doors, doors, doors!
Yeah. We still have some of those in Tasmania.
Last time I was in Tasmania. I turned the television on just so I could see regional ads and it made me really happy. I just like I still like seeing local businesses that are still doing ads. It’s so wonderful because in cities only multinationals can if every ads were McDonald’s, KFC, and Hungry Jack’s. It’s awesome when that sort of finishes. Anyway, I digress. Of course, effective website copywriting, it must be compelling. It must be real, authentic. It has to use your tone of voice. It has to be succinct. It’s not a thesis. It doesn’t have to be grammatically correct. People don’t have time to read pages and pages and pages. So you get to the point. Be short, be succinct, be compelling. Speak in your voice, make sure it’s real. And use the whitespace. It needs to be spread out. Use dot points, things like that. Keep it short and sweet and get to the point.
Yep. All right. So, avatars. We all know how important. Well, we all know on some level how important it is to know your avatar. But I also know that it’s a step that a lot of people duck and weave to avoid doing. So. Tell us a bit about avatars.
Let me get comfortable.
So I love marketing. As you know, I’m also very analytical. So I like all of the information about everything. I love collecting it and putting it together and moving it about and changing it and ingesting it and all of that. And as people being an actual principle of marketing now, it’s just so important because you’re not going to have a business if someone’s not there to purchase your product or service right? It’s just everything your research into your target audience is absolutely everything behind your business. You’re not going to have a business without people. And intimately knowing the avatar of course you need to know your basics of their demographics, you know, their age group and gender and things like that. Their income all of those, but you need to delve then into the deepest psychographics of just knowing them so intimately that, you know, how they speak, you know the words that they’re using, you know the words they relate to, you understand how they like to be spoken to, you know that sometimes that’s two very different things they may relate to these words but they like being spoken to in this type of tone. Yeah, and you need to understand what is going to make them take an action. So if you’re copywriting, it’s writing to sell. So it needs to then compel people to take action to buy the thing. And it’s just so important to know that intimately. And there’s so many ways you can do it. You know, find out where they are go into their Facebook groups, see how they’re speaking with others , see how others are speaking to them. See how they’re relating to certain topics and certain things. You can see that, you know, the internet is so stalk-able now. I tell you that 20 years ago, if you could just understand a target audience and your avatar this intimately, the world would have been a different place. You know, it’s incredible. There’s just so many ways you can find out how they’re even ingesting their information, you know, are they using TikTok or whatever and, you know, all of that sort of stuff, because if you’re on those platforms, they’re enjoying getting information from that not that TikTok is informativenut you get the point.
Well, apparently it is, according to teenagers. Well, according to my teenagers.
Very much so to teenagers but that’s okay. If it works business it works for your business, right?
It’s just so important. Once you understand all of those things, then you can speak to them in the right way. And you’re not going to speak to them in the wrong way where they’re going to read your first page of your website and then run away saying oh I don’t like that. You know?
Yeah. Okay. So you’ve told us a bit about how marketing works, how it works with copywriting, why the website is so important, and I love that it’s the heart of your business. I’m going to be doing something with that. I don’t know what but doing something because that’s brilliant. And you’ve told us a bit about the avatar. So what should we be doing with our website, like what’s something that people can sort of look at doing now or start considering now to make their website the heart of their business? What’s something practical that our listeners can jump in and do?
The most practical I’m going to go for and it’s one that is probably the easiest for anyone to obtain. Testimonials, testimonials, social proof is so critical. And it’s simple you know you speak to your customers, speak to your clients, ask them for feedback, ask them what they thought about your product, thought about your service and get them on there and don’t just have them in one place, you know they’re just so important because, again, marketing is changing in the way of how people are ingesting information. And what they want to see is reviews, is people’s thoughts about you. If you don’t have that on there, they’ll go to someone who does, basically. You know, there’s so much competition out there, we know that we’re all in industries where other people are selling what we do. That’s reality, right? Um, and if you’ve got proof there from your clients who love you and adore you, which I’m sure, get it on there. It’s so critical. It really really is. People want the proof of what other people have thought of using your service or product, have felt when using your service or product if they were happy if they were satisfied if they would come back. So get your testimonials on there. The testimonials, the client love, the whatever you want to call it. Get it on there.
Good advice. Okay, so while we’re sort of on that track, how do you write great website content, like what are the components of that?
Hmm. Are you asking for my secrets revealed? Yeah, no.
I am! Tell us! It’s just us here, no-one else will know.
Well, first of all, how you write it is, again, going back to the P principle of people going back to intimately knowing your avatar. If you don’t have that you cannot write great website content. You just can’t do it. Because you’re speaking to them. So, yeah, the number one of writing it is understanding your avatar intimately so that you can write what they want to hear, which is going to sell you your business, basically.
What’s really important as well, compelling headlines, you know, and I know again, that really is copywriting 101, but something that they’re going to say as soon as they land on your side, in a very short, succinct way, you know, this is who I am, this is what I do, this is what I do it for. Cool. Okay, that’s what I’m looking for. I’m going to scroll down, the placement of things as well on your web pages, very important of how they’re flowing, of how people should be scrolling through your information. And one or probably the most important thing is your call to action. Don’t just have one don’t let them scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for them to actually click on something to make an action, you need buttons flowing around here and there. So they can see something oh, yeah I wanna click over there. I don’t need any more information. I’m going to click and book it now. Or, no I wanna scroll all the way down to the bottom because I’m a person who likes to read information from the bottom going back up. You don’t know how people are going to actually read your site. As well, you know. So you need those call to actions around and you need them to be compelling. They’re not just click here or here. No. Boring, you know?
And yes, so great website content writing it I guess the main points of amazing headlines is going to compel people and excite them. Knowing your avatar. Knowing how to write in a tone of voice that suits your business that’s true to you that suits the target audience of your business. And calls to action. And of course, like I said, earlier, write it in a compelling way write it succinctly you don’t need perfect grammar use shorter sentences, dot points. And yes, that’s some steps of writing great website content.
Cool. I actually found it interesting because um, obviously you did the copy for my website and that was one thing I did find interesting, the shorter sentences because like, I used to write for government so you know, I can write these really long, rather boring sentences but yeah, that was one thing I really liked how you just broke it up into these really short little succinct grabs. That was really good.
Yeah, it was something I never even thought of was something that you could do.
Yeah, no, of course and when I first started studying copywriting, which was obviously a fair few of my subjects. In uni I was the same ‘what is this? Why was starting a sentence with because with but? What is happening? Why is there a full stop there?’ But it’s how we speak. You know, how we speak is in short sentences we don’t speak in really, really, really really long sentences and paragraphs,
Unless they’re politicians.
Unless they’re politicians! That’s a very different story there you go! You really do need those short succinct sentences. They really just make all of the difference. They really really do.
No, I’d agree with that! Do you have a freebie or something for our listeners?
I do, of course! Absolutely! Since we’ve been speaking about website copywriting, I actually have a website checklist of all the things you should be having on your site. And it’s not just for copy. It’s for usability of your site for visitors on there, it’s where things should be placed. It’s what should be there in the writing. It’s an awesome document, go through it, sit down, put your feet up, tick what you have and what you don’t have. And it’s going to give you a real indication of perhaps why your site may not be converting or why your site may be losing visitors, for example, and it’ll really, really help you get your website, right, because what is it Mikala? It’s the heart of your business!
It’s the heart of your business! Awesome. And if anyone wants to get their hands on that, they can just go to our website, www.workwifewinetime.com.au/website and that will take you to Gemma’s landing page where you can get your hands on that checklist. All right, Gem. So what is a final thoughts or key takeaway for our listeners today?
Final thought actually is something I only just touched on in this is remember no matter what you’re doing, what you’re writing, who you’re writing for, what business you’re in, write your website copy conversationally, write how you speak.