A while ago I wrote a 25 Point Website Checklist for Therapist and Healing Professionals. I included some points on copywriting in that list. Below, I’ve now created a more detailed copywriting checklist to help ensure the copy on your therapy or holistic website is attracting as many clients as possible.
But before we get into the checklist, let me define copywriting for those of you unfamiliar with the term:
Copywriting is the science of using words to entice the right customers or clients to buy your services and products when they arrive at your website.
Yes, it is a science that has been around since the beginning of advertising and marketing. Over the years the web has made research easier than ever, reinforcing the earlier copywriting principles.
The goal of compelling, client-attracting copy is not to be pushy, manipulative or coercive in any way, but to speak to your ideal clients who are showing interest in, or looking for a service such as yours. The idea is to write in a way that resonates with them so strongly that they say to themselves, “Yes, this is for me!”
Strong, compelling copy is the most important aspect of a Client-Attracting Website. Investing the time and dollars into writing great copy can vastly increase the number of ideal clients you attract.
Below is the 25-point copywriting checklist to help make sure your therapy or healing website copy is client-attracting.
1. Is Your Website Targeted to a Specific Audience?
For the most part, people have specific problems when they seek out a counselor or healing professional. Therefore, the more specific the audience you are writing to, the better. If you don’t know who you are writing to or try to write to everyone, it will be very difficult to write your copy. It’s not impossible, but it will be challenging to make it stand out and be engaging.
2. Do You Have an Attention-Getting Headline on Your Home Page That is Focused on the Client?
Do you even have a headline? Attention spans are short and us humans are impatient. Therefore, if you don’t let your website visitors know immediately upon arriving at your website whether they are in the right place or not, research shows they will click away to another website within the first few seconds.
3. Do You Write Directly to Your Audience?
Your website copy should speak directly to your ideal clients. Use “you” as much as possible, as opposed to “they” or “we”. This makes it personable and helps build a connection. Your readers then feel more intimately connected to you, increasing the chances they will call or take you up on your offer– if your offer is what they want.
4. Do You Write in a Conversational Style?
Websites are not the place for an academic or professional style of writing. You need to create a deep connection with your website visitors if you want them to contact you, and a conversational style does that. Your writing needs to sound informal and warm. Imagine your ideal client sitting on the other side of your website and you are writing directly to them.
5. Do You Clearly Identify Your Ideal Client’s Problems, Pain and Desires?
People come to you as a counselor or health practitioner because they have a concern or a problem that they want solved. They are hurting physically and/or emotionally and they want to know if you can help them with their pain. They won’t know if you can help unless you tell them very specifically the kinds of problems you help with.
6. Do You Identify Your Ideal Client’s Emotions and Show Empathy?
Research tells us that it is people’s emotions that lead them to make a purchasing decision. This is even more true when you are offering a service that aims to alleviate peoples pain and discomfort, such as therapy or another health service. Ensure your copy shows empathy for the pain and suffering your potential clients feel so they feel understood and more inclined to work with you.
7. Does Your Copy Build Hope in Your Visitors?
If your website copy doesn’t give your visitors hope that it is possible to get relief from their discomfort, then why should they bother to stick around your website? Take note that building hope is not the same as making a promise that they will get better. Although if you are offering something that can make this promise, go for it.
8. Do You Outline the Concrete Solutions, Outcomes, and Benefits of Your Services?
While people want to know you understand and can help with their pain, it is the end result that they are looking for when they pay for a service. They want to know if investing their money is going to be worthwhile. You need to clearly outline what they can possibly achieve from working with you. Be careful not to mix up your “process” of counseling or healing with the “outcomes” people want.
9. Is Your Copy Focused, Concrete and Specific?
Your copy needs to be focused on all pages and be specific. Vague claims of what you do or how clients can benefit don’t have an impact because they don’t give enough concrete information. They leave questions in your potential clients’ heads which often causes them to hesitate or leave your website.
10. Is the Copy Easy to Read, Using Simple Vocabulary–And, Is it Free from Jargon?
People do not read on the web like they read a book, newspaper or magazine article. They are in a hurry and in order for them to clearly comprehend your message quickly, it will need to be written simply and be easy to understand. When you confuse people or overwhelm them with jargon, guess what? They hesitate or leave your website.
11. Are Your Sentences Short Enough, Containing One Main Idea?
Sentences should be very simple and short containing one main idea making them easy to comprehend. They should be written so that any 12-year-old can easily understand them without having to think about the meaning.
12. Are Your Paragraphs Short?
Big blocks of text are intimidating. Web users respond better to smaller chunks of content. Like sentences, your paragraphs should be short. For the most part, no more than 4-5 lines is ideal and you can even include some 1-2 sentence paragraphs using a larger font for emphasis.
13. Does Your Copy Deliver a Consistent Message on All Pages?
You don’t want to confuse your website visitors or cause them to lose interest because you copy is contradictory from one page to another. Make sure your message is clear and consistent on all pages and doesn’t go off on tangents that are not in alignment with your core message or appear to come “out of the blue”.
14. Does your Website Reiterate Important Points in Different Places on Your Site?
Because people jump around skimming and scanning your website looking for the information they want, it’s important to reiterate the most important points on different pages in case they miss it (in different words, of course). Just having a few lines about something important that is buried in your copy doesn’t mean your website visitors are going to see it.
15. Have You Used Compelling Sub-headlines in Your Copy?
Sub-headlines summarize your message and allow people to easily scan and quickly find the information that they want. They need to be compelling and client-focused like a headline so that they catch people’s attention.
16. Have You Used Bulleted Lists and Bold Font to Highlight Key Points?
Like sub-headlines, bullet lists and bold font should be used to highlight key points and make your website copy easier to scan.
17. Have You Clearly Described How You Are Unique?
Yes, you are unique–everyone is, so pull out your uniqueness as a therapist or healer and in what you offer and write about it. You need to stand out from the crowd if you want to be noticed by your ideal clients.
18. Does Your Website Copy Alleviate Any Concerns Your Potential Clients Might Have About Working With You?
Have you identified any concerns or hesitations that might prevent them from wanting to work with you? For example, if your prices are higher than average, have you justified this in your copy?
19. Is Your Website Copy Compelling?
Boring copy makes your website visitors go “Ho-hum, I’m out a here.” You’ll need to include only the information that is engaging and relevant and cut out the boring stuff that causes website users to lose interest.
20. Is Your Copy Long Enough to Answer Your Website Reader’s Questions (and to Rank Higher in Search Engines).
It doesn’t matter if you don’t like to read long copy when you visit websites. Besides, research shows that people often don’t do what they say they do when visiting websites. It only matters what your ideal clients do when they land on your website. Long copy *IF* it’s compelling and meets the criteria described in the other points in this checklist, almost always converts more people into customers and clients. Why? Because when people are paying a lot of money for something as important as their emotional or physical health, you need more copy to convince them. People often need as much information as possible when making a significant investment in their health. As a side note, search engines also prefer longer, quality content.
21. Is Your Website Copy Credible?
When a website visitor lands on your site do they get the impression that you are someone who has the ability to help them? Do you include testimonials (if appropriate), endorsements and/or case studies (real, composite or hypothetical) to give your visitors an idea of what others think about you and your services? Have you included any awards or statistics on the outcome of your services? What other credibility boosters can you include?
22. Does Your Copy Answer All the Important Questions Your Potential Clients Might Have?
Your website visitors need to be satisfied in their minds that they have all the information they need before they contact you. Sure, some will call or email you to ask you questions when the answers are not on your website, but others won’t. Instead, they will just leave, perhaps never finding their way back to your website. Instead, their likely to find a website that does answer their questions.
23. Does Your Website Have Calls to Action (CTA’s) on All Web Pages?
You should have a CTA on all your web pages asking potential clients to take the action you most want them to take. Is it to call you? Sign-up for your email list? Visit another page on your website? You should guide your visitors through your website, telling them what to do next so they don’t have to think. Thinking takes work, and you want to make it easy for them. Research shows when we ask people to do something, they are more likely to do it if it makes sense to them and will likely give them what they want.
24. Is Your Website Copy Optimized for Search Engines?
Is your website optimized for relevant keywords, their synonyms, and related words without over being optimized (which Google can penalize you for)? Have you or your web designer chosen and entered appropriate title and description tags? After optimizing your pages, do they still sound natural when you read them or do they sound like they are written for search engines? If your website was optimized in the past several years, chances are it will need to be updated to allow for Google’s ever-evolving algorithm.
25. Have You Edited Your Copy Enough Times?
Have you gone over your copy several times to edit it? Have you then gone over it a few more times editing it to make sure it meets the above criteria? Have you read it aloud to see how it sounds? Copy can always be improved upon, and while you don’t want to get stuck in perfectionism, you want your copy to be as good as it can be before you put it on your website.
Yes, there is a lot to do to make sure your copy is client-attracting. As part of the Client-Attracting Website Course, we spend several classes talking about exactly how to implement the above 25 points on your website.
Find out when the next course starts here.