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Posted 18 February 2006 - 09:05 PM
I am having a copywriting dilemma with one of my client's websites. He has two key target markets and in a perfect world we would probably have two websites. But it's not a perfect world so here we go:
First target market is a consumer market for a series of online training/coaching videos. Once the visitor signs up for a freebie or two, buys some videos, etc. a small percentage of this customer base may seek more expensive training, one-on-one coaching, etc.
Second target market consists of coaches and others already in helping professions who are looking for a career change or to expand their existing skills into the area my client specializes in. My client offers practitioner certification (training, seminars, etc.) to such individuals so they can grow their business, help more people, whatever.
I have come to the conclusion that the first target market will require relatively long copy because the particular type of coaching is not broadly known and my client offers very "boutique-y" coaching services, which truly distinguishes his practice from others who might use similar methods in their teachings. (Gee, so hard to explain without getting into the details ... see why I need long copy??).
The second target market may also need somewhat long copy although I am currently researching this more through an online survey via some of my contacts in the coaching industry.
Dilemma: I've written what I feel is fairly compelling copy for the first target market and it's probably 3/4 to a page long (will definitely require some scrolling!). And this is just the initial "AIDA" piece. No specific product details yet ... that is on other pages. How can I effectively address both target markets on the home page? Should I be more brief on the home page and then offer internal links within the copy to "find out more." I am not convinced we'll get the necessary clickthroughs to properly inform our prospects before they click away ...
Yet, I don't see an elegant way to put all the necessary copy for both target markets on the home page.
Does the home page have to have your entire AIDA process or can I successfully break the message into chunks and if so, when in message can I direct the prospect to please "click here" for more info without losing him?
I have actually been studying Karon's Copywriting Course although haven't gotten through all of it yet. But I feel the principles make a lot of sense and want to apply them successfully to this particular site. This client is darn marketable as are his products and services. So I want to optimize every selling opportunity.
Thanks all for any insights you may have. Can't see the trees for the forest on this one anymore!
Posted 18 February 2006 - 10:26 PM
The first thing I normally do to start a new website is set down a "who/what/why" chart to help me identify the different kinds of visitors I'm hoping to attract and the what differences they have in content needs. That's where my navigation and content map begin and, often as not, the home page becomes an explanation of what I've done. This gives me a chance to write a few very compact, keyword rich pieces of copy with good anchor text designed to get visitors quickly to the information they're looking for. Then the content pages can truly be optimized with a singular focus, supported by anchor text and navigationon the home page -- in a way, that structure is really the essence of on-page optimization.
On the home page, (there's a reason it's often called the "index"page, eh!) you can wrap those tight little nuggets of intro text with copy that describes the overall theme or business category or credentials for the site - so you optimize it at a broader level.
Ultimately, you would expect to see lots of the SE traffic landing on your main interior pages, but the home page is still helping it get there.
Posted 18 February 2006 - 11:58 PM
Posted 19 February 2006 - 08:10 PM
Copy length is more a decision made based on what your target customers need than what the copywriter prefers.
That said, if you've got two different target customers coming to one home page, you're going to have to create a funnel effect. I don't think you're going to be able to elegantly explain everything you've said you need to explain to two different sets of visitors on one page without losing one visitor type in the process.
Based solely on what you've said here, I would most likely do something similar to what's on this home page: Colorado-retaining-walls.com. See how it's broken into commercial and residential? You could do something similar with Group 1 and Group 2. Some intro copy up top then split them off (like a fork in the road) with "signs" pointing to each one's destination. Then complete the conversion process on the individual pages specifically written for each one.
And yes, it would be much better to have 2 sites, but...
Posted 19 February 2006 - 11:23 PM
Unfortunately I did not design this site which new and already under revision by another designer. That said, my client has agreed to permit me to do a full site usability and copy review so I am hoping we can create clearer pathways to purchase for our visitors.
Karon, the website example you gave me is bang on! And I like how the "forks" in the road are side by side so that neither segment is forced to scroll down the page to see what may or may not pertain to them. Perfect!
Thanks so much again! I can finally move forward with some confidence ... I was really stuck in a rut there.
Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:47 AM
And they take PayPal too!
Posted 20 February 2006 - 12:40 PM
Karri, if it makes it any easier (and I think you've already got the right answer above), just remember that the index page isn't the only page that people will use to reach your client's site. If you've done a good job of copywriting on the more specific pages, and your client gets just a few links pointing to those pages, those pages have a decent chance at coming up well in the SEs for search terms related to those services. At least some of the clients who are interested in one or another of the specific services may well first land on the site on the detail pages that describe the exact service they're in the market for, and never even go through the index page at all.
(Yet another reason why everything doesn't have to get laid out in excruciating detail right on the home page... )
Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:01 PM
Why not let us see what you have so far? Perhaps we can help.
All the best,
Posted 20 February 2006 - 11:42 PM
Well, I put some of your ideas to work last night and it is making my life soooo much easier. All that copy on the home page just didn't feel right AT ALL. Like you Michael, I HATE landing on sites that are one big loooooong abnoxious self congratulatory "letter" to the visitor. EEEW.
I wish I could show you what I've done so far but I feel this would be a breach of confidentiality with my client as he needs to approve my changes before they are published. That said, I'll probably come back once it's up on the site and see if it all makes sense ... I'll just make sure I've had a glass of wine (or ten) first to get my courage up. LOL.
In the beginning, I didn't want extremely long copy. Then I started overanalysing the whole "AIDA" copywriting process and got myself into a tailspin. I am of the "let's just get to the point" ilk. But I do realize that the products/services my client is selling DO require extra explanation and persuasion.
IMO, the self-help industry has become pretty bloated with garbage (corny websites, cheesy ebooks, etc etc). My client and I agree that we need to deliver the message that his offerings are in fact different, authentic, credible (25 years in his profession/international keynote speaker/etc.) and quite "boutique."
So, I have the challenge of balancing our visitors' needs for explanation with our marketing goal of demonstrating we are not some fly by night coaching business that thinks the world should live in a permanent hyperbolic state (that's my own way of describing it at least).
Makes life interesting! And this is a great client so I guess I am putting myself through the ringer a tad on this one.
Posted 21 February 2006 - 07:41 AM
Also remember that how long it takes to go through the AIDA process is dependant on your target customer. For someone high in Dominance on the DISC behavioral model, you'll have to go through that process pretty quickly or you'll lose them. They just won't tolerate long copy up front. For some other behavioral types, if you don't give a lot of detail, they'll be lacking necessary information to make a decision.
Just because you see the term AIDA doesn't automatically equate to long copy or sales letters.
Torka, was it a post by you I saw that said something like, "Writing copy using a 'formula' is the same as trying to create a masterful artwork using paint by numbers."
Posted 21 February 2006 - 09:20 AM
Posted 21 February 2006 - 10:06 AM
Or your posts.
Posted 21 February 2006 - 11:13 AM
I feel that coaches in general, and definitely the ones I've come into contact with, are of the Influencer personality type on the DISC model. They are idea people who want to draw out the positive. So, in that respect, I think the copy has to be somewhat "big picture" and illlustrate a unique vision of what this particular coaching model can bring to their practice and their brand of influence on their client's lives. However, there is some controversy around this particular method my client uses so I know that for both my target markets, I should probably be sure there is solid testimonial sprinkled throughout as well as the opportunity to get more info if needed. Fortunately, my client has some fantastic free videos that visitors can watch right within the site and I think this is going to establish credibility quite quickly. The videos are of my client actually speaking at seminars and they show not only his dynamism as a speaker but that he presents a very thought-out process for rebuilding your life.
But I digress.
Posted 21 February 2006 - 04:51 PM
Did I miss something in this thread? Could you define the "AIDA process"? It's probably something I should know. If you can help, that would be great.
All in all, I agree with your conclusion about segmenting your copy for each target audience. Torka is correct in saying that people will arrive at different pages via different methods, not always through the home page.
Off Topic: It's nice to see another Albertan on this forum.
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