3 Ways to Win Over Web Copywriting Clients and Get Paid Twice
92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results, according to SEO Expert.
Yet, there's only room for 10 spots on the first page.
That leaves a lot of websites that aren't bringing in new visitors and customers. Most of these companies have no idea what's wrong with their sites.
That's where you come in.
You can put on your "web detective" hat and show them where they can improve.
So many companies have "No Idea" websites, and you can turn them into "Best Choice" websites.
What’s a “No Idea” website? It’s a site that gives the visitor no idea where the business is located or what it offers to local customers. It’s lacking in that basic information.
Sometimes customers aren’t even aware that important information isn’t featured. Let me walk you through a common conversation I’ve had as a web expert, so you can see what I mean …
Imagine you’re talking with a potential client. She's concerned that her company's site is buried on page 10 while their competition is on page one in the coveted #1 position.
She says, "We had our website redone, but it hasn't helped at all. In fact, our visitors seem even more confused by it. Can you help?"
You say, "Well, let's look. What's your URL?" You type it into Google and can immediately see they're missing a headline on the homepage, and you're not sure where they are.
You say, "Where are you located? It's not clear on your site."
She says, "Decatur, Georgia, outside of Atlanta."
You say, "Do you serve local people?"
She says, "Yes! We're a local securities firm. We set up alarm systems for commercial businesses."
You: "You could add a headline on the homepage that says something like, ‘Alarm systems for commercial businesses serving Decatur, Georgia and the Greater Atlanta area.’ That helps both your potential customers and Google know what you do and where you do it."
She says slowly, "That makes a lot of sense."
The goal of a Site Audit is to uncover missing elements like that and turn a ho-hum website into a business asset. One that attracts visitors and turns them into paying customers.
While you're on the call with this prospect, you can point out a few other simple changes. She'll agree with you and ask, "How do we get started?"
Here are 3 ways your "web detective" skills can benefit your clients and get you paid:
1. Get Paid to Point Out Issues/Opportunities
There are several critical components of websites that work yet many sites are missing some (or all) of them. You can easily identify the opportunities for improvement using a handy checklist (more on that below). Here are some typical missed opportunities.
- The website is slow to load. If a website takes more than a second or two to load, people hit the "back" button and go right to a competitor.
- Is the website mobile-friendly? Google knows that 48% of people start their search with a mobile device. As a result, businesses that have a fast-loading site on mobile devices get points from Google.
- The site also needs to be easy to navigate from the phone. Keeping people on the site tells Google the site is relevant. More points.
- Is it clear what the business does and who it helps? You'd be surprised at the number of websites that don't make it obvious what they do and for whom. This problem shows up across the board, from global software companies to local mom-and-pop businesses.
None of these common problems are difficult to spot if you know what you're looking for, which is where your checklist comes in.
2. Use a Great Checklist
With a handy checklist at your fingertips, you can move through the website page by page and check "yes" or "no" by each point.
- Is the Location Obvious? Especially with local business websites, you want the location prominent. Too many local websites leave the visitor with no idea where it's located or what it offers to LOCAL customers.
- Is It Clear Why They're the Best Choice? Across industries, too many have only a giant photo at the top. There's no concise copy that explains what they do or why they're the best choice for the visitor.
- Is the Copy Customer-Centric? Ever read web copy, and it's all about the company? Instead of focusing on me and how they can help, it's all, "we're best in class," and "second to none." None of that tells me why I should choose this company over another.
- Lack of Headlines and SEO Phrases? It's no secret that people search for solutions to problems online. When the terms they use are also in the headlines and other strategic locations, that helps the website get found by them AND shows them the business has the solution. For example, if a dog groomer uses a phrase like "dog grooming services in [city]," they have a better chance of being found by their prospective customer.
- Is It Easy to Buy or Order? Have you ever been frustrated because you wanted to buy or download something, but you couldn't figure out how? Or they wanted you to fill out a form a mile long before you could download the e-book? Those are examples of friction. You can give suggestions on ways to reduce friction.
You find these types of problems across the board and in all industries from B2C, B2B, and nonprofits. These problems cost the business money, and they're especially noticeable on mobile sites. Since Google prioritizes mobile these days, smart businesses want their sites to be mobile-first too.
Fortunately, it's not difficult to turn these “No Idea” websites into winners and help your clients stand out as the “Best Choice” … even if you're a beginner.
In fact, here's a simple script you can use with a prospective client that will have them saying, "Yes, please!"
3. Get Paid to Fix the Issues
Once you identify the issues, you'll present them to your client in an easy-to-read report. Of course, they'll want you to fix them, and that's your chance to GET PAID again.
Here are some examples of how that can work …
Ever look at a website and have no clear idea what they do? Me too. Some of these “No Idea” websites need an overhaul. You know you can help by identifying the problem areas. For example, you know that Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites these days. If the website isn't quick-to-load and easy-to-navigate on mobile, then you'll check "NO" on your checklist.
That's just two of 21 elements you'll review for your client. When you present it, your client will recognize the issues and appreciate you pointing them out. Then you can be paid to step in and help fix them.
Revise the website content. Every page needs SEO keyword terms in strategic places. Each page requires a benefit-focused headline that uses that SEO keyword term. Ensure the content addresses the questions the prospective customer will have. Weave in plenty of benefits with the relevant keywords and a clear call-to-action on each page.
When you explain the importance of this for bringing in more leads and sales, your client will want you to do this. Your rate for making the revisions? $500-$800 per page.
Is the site missing pages? Besides the homepage, two of the most visited pages on most websites are the "About Us" and "Service Pages."
Visitors have questions about who the company is and what they offer. If your client doesn't have these pages, or they're unclear, or they're fewer than 300 words, then your client is missing out on business.
Google requires a minimum of 300 words per page to be considered "useful." Additionally, these pages need to be customer-focused and have a clear "here's what to do next" or call-to-action on each.
Your rate for writing these new pages can be $500-$800 per page.
Help them keep their site relevant. Google also rewards frequently updated sites by ranking them higher than others. That's one benefit of a consistent blog.
Yet, many businesses don't have the time or know how to write useful blog content. You can help. If you look at the competition, many of them are using blogs to attract new customers and leads. You can make it easy for your client to do so too.
You can explain how a blog has been shown to attract new business. DemandMetric found that "Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don't blog."
You can even do it for them, so they don't have to think about it. If you offer to write 2-4 blog articles a month at, say, $400 per article, then you're offering your client a way to bring in more business without having to do it themselves.
That's an offer that many will say "YES" to! Plus, there's the opportunity for emails, case studies, and so much more your client needs in their content marketing efforts.
By now, you probably see the World Wide Web is full of opportunities for your "web detective" skills. You can also see that Site Audits offer the perfect way to turn “No Idea” sites into “Best Choice” sites and give you a chance for additional content writing projects.
With proper training, you can help your clients and create long-term business for yourself.
If you’d like to become a well-paid web content consultant who helps clients overcome these problems and win BIG … consider becoming a Certified Site Content Audit Specialist. Pam Foster will mentor you in how to review any site against 21 standards, create a report with your findings and recommendations, and collect $2,000 or more for your efforts. Interested? Learn more about how you can join this training program here.
Do you have any questions about how Site Audits can help you get your foot in the door with prospective clients? Please share with us in the comments.
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