Behind-the-scenes look: copy layout strategy for my 3 most visited pages
You may have noticed a couple changes around here recently.
Here’s why I decided to give them an update.
After finishing up B-School my top priority was to figure out what to do about my copy.
I considered hiring a copywriter to revamp the copy on my site, but quickly came to the realization that that wasn’t a great long-term solution.
I realized that I honestly write copy equally as often as I design websites.
I’m constantly communicating with y’all through blog posts, social media, weekly emails, my (soon-to-be-written) email welcome series, and of course, my website.
I quickly realized that just hiring a copywriter to overhaul my about, home and work with me pages wasn’t going to fix a much bigger problem.
I wanted to have the confidence to write my own copy and know I’m doing it right.
While I can build a website page quickly, I have always spent foreverrrr writing the copy for every new page I'd create.
My copywriting process looked a little like this:
I’d write, question myself, re-write, Google an article on best practices, listen to a podcast with a copywriter, re-write, doubt myself, get upset that I had no clue what was correct and then eventually get annoyed with how long it was taking, just hit publish and hope I did it right.
Just at the time I was looking for a solution, Ashlyn Carter’s Copywriting for Creatives course launched.
I signed up right away and was feeling relieved to have picked a direction and was ready to get a move on already!
Quick Copywriting for Creatives praise:
(No I'm not an affiliate, but if it was offered to me in the future, I'd be in!😉)
Ashlyn’s course knocked it out of the park, it was some of the best money I spent on my business this year!
I’m no longer left helplessly looking at a blank page, and can finally write the way I sound IRL.
(And lemme tell you, it feels so darn good!)
Ashlyn started with helping us build the foundation of our voice, and laid out a clear system for storing ideas and tid bits of copy for future use.
Ashlyn taught us how to hack our clients voices with a specific system, and let me tell you, the system continues to work for me daily. My set-it-and-forget-it copy system collects info from my site visitors and adds it to my ‘Copy Voice’ Google Sheet every. single. day.
So darn helpful!
Now of course I can’t spill all of Ashlyn’s secrets here (sorry), but if that all sounds like something you’re into, then I def suggest keeping an eye out for when the course launches next.
Okay, back to my site copy revamp.
I started with the home page. Here’s what the top of the home page looks like, the area with the majority of the copy.
What’s different between the new one and the old one? I finally wrote a tag line that described what I do, who I serve and how I’m different, all in one easily-digestible, quick and to the point format.
My CTA buttons on my home page lead to the page I most want site visitors to head to - my work with me page! While the CTA buttons have different text that relates to whatever copy is above them, they all lead to the same place.
#NotSoSubtleHintToWorkWithMe 😊 #JustSayin’
You’ll notice that there’s not one jumbo paragraph of text on the page. Just one liners, using a variety of headings, bolding, and italicizing to add visual interest.
Next on to the about page, the most painful page to write. (Amiright?!)
Here’s the new page.
I start not with me, but with my reader. I’m basically chatting directly to my ideal client, explaining where she’s at, reassuring her I get it, and then moving on to who I am, what I do, and how I help.
I also tell a little story about how I got started, and tie that into who I love working with.
I polish it off with, of course, a CTA to my Work With Me page.
(Starting to see a trend? I'm here to tell you that you have full permission to be shameless in directing visitors to the pages that are going to make it start raining money!)
WORK WITH ME:
This one is a bit of a monster.
I always tell my clients ‘don’t be afraid of having long pages’ and honestly, I basically became them and starting having a ‘holy moly, this page is massive, I need to cut it down feeling’ when I was building it.
BUT I had to remind myself that people are scrollers these days.
Never-ending Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest feeds have trained us to scroll, scroll, scroll.
I can also now tell that it’s fine because I have a SumoMe heat map working away on this page, and some of the most clicked bits on the page are the FAQ’s at the very bottom. So it’s telling me that those who are interested are indeed making it to the bottom.
So here’s the breakdown behind the Work With Me page.
I start with a hard-hitting headline. It’s short, and nails exactly the worries my potential clients may be having.
I then follow it up with describing how my client feels ‘you’re clueless on how to update your own site, and ‘build new site’ has been in the back of your mind for far too long’.
These lines are actually bits I’ve taken directly from ideal client interviews and past clients I’ve spoken with. They’re often telling me they don’t know the first thing about updating and editing their site, and they have been meaning to get a new site for ages. So, I hit on both of those ‘pain points’ right at the top.
I bullet point a little before & after from the clients perspective with just 1 line to describe each so it’s not too lengthly.
Then went onto a little look at what working individually with moi feels like.
I then intro my 2 packages, and have a teeny description of what they are and how they’re different.
I explain the 2 week process and detail what happens when within the 2 weeks.
I hop into pricing, with the prices stated loudly and proudly.
I think there’s absolutely no use in dancing around your pricing or trying to bury it in a bunch of text. I’m proud of the work I do, and my pricing reflects the value my clients will walk away with.
I talk about the 3 main things that makes my studio different along with some cute branded icons to add visual interest.
I then get into my available dates, and have a quick line speaking to the scarcity of the available dates, to encourage interested clients not to wait!
Now that my pricing has been stated and dates outlined, I then start with the CTA’s.
The CTA I really want people to click is the ‘ohhh, yes I want that’ which takes them to my booking inquiry area. If they’re not quite ready and want to chat first though, I’m happy to do so, so my other CTA is to book a free consult.
Otherwise though, I’ve limited all links off this page.
I have areas within the page that ‘jump to’ other areas, but have made a conscious effort for my CTA’s to just be options which gets clients to book.
I give a couple words that describe the style of my work, and then showcase 6 of my past designs.
Note, I have built MANY more sites than these 6, but I make a very conscious effort to only keep in my portfolio the pieces of work I’d like to continue taking on.
These sites all showcase my style visually, and relate to the industries of clients I most like working with.
I previously had my portfolio page separate and had just a very small summary of my portfolio on my Work With Me page, and then linked to the portfolio page.
I noticed a lot of visitors were clicking off my Work With Me page which I disliked. So I expended upon the portfolio pieces on the Work With Me page and took out the link to a separate portfolio page.
Now I have the portfolio images, and their links so if someone really wants they can copy & paste to view the site. I considered linking the photos, but decided I wanted to again, limit the links off this page.
I’m not 100% sure I’m in love with this solution, but for now I’ll test it out.
The portfolio is followed by a little fun line of text that demonstrates personality, followed by more CTA’s.
That is followed up by some of my fav testimonials.
Again, I have more, and I also have longer ones, but I wanted to put some of my most useful ones in there.
While, don’t get me wrong, I love when people say “Paige is absolutely AMAZING to work with,’ having that 5 times over is kinda boring, and not very convincing, so I pulled out lines from reviews that got a bit more in depth.
Then there's my booking inquiry/Let’s Start area. All the CTA’s on the site ‘jump to’ this area.
After which I have my mini bio. For those who may be new to my site and want to get to know me, without having to read through the full long about page, this is a quick & to the point summary of who I am and what I do.
Then there's a couple trust-building stats come next, followed by my FAQ.
Again, the FAQ is a change from my previous Work With Me page.
Previously it linked to another page, now it’s held within the Work With Me page. From checking out my SumoMe heatmap I can see that these FAQ are some of the most clicked items on the page.
My goal with this FAQ is to quash any last worries and questions potential clients might be having. I also leave my email, justttt in case there’s something on there I didn’t mention.
And lastly, one last CTA that links up to the Booking Inquiry area.
So, if you want the short form version my Work With Me page is set up like this:
Problem, Before & After, solution, intro packages, describe process, pricing, how I’m different, design calendar, CTA, portfolio, CTA, testimonials, booking inquiry, mini about, social proof stats, FAQ, CTA.
If you also feel like you’ve been moving in circles, trying to figure out what content goes where, what should come first, second, third, etc., then feel free to follow the breakdown I’ve laid out above, and structure your pages in a similar manner.
Good design and good copy go together like apple slices and peanut butter (my fav snack).
One just isn’t nearly as effective without the other.
You can write the best copy in the world, and if you stick it all in one boring big block of text on an ugly website, it’s not going to be nearly as effective as you’d like it to be.
Similarly, a beautiful design with copy that doesn’t resonate with your ideal clients is going to make your site fall short in terms of turning visitors into buyers.
Thank you Ashlyn for helping me get a solid understanding of copy world, the vital companion to a great web design!