Writing Content That Is Credible

It certainly helps to have the big wow factor in your sales copy, but it’s a fine line between making the most of the truth and extending it into fiction. The latter can also get you into trouble, so it’s vital that you write your content carefully and double check every aspect of it before putting it on your website.

A good starting point is to spend some time thinking about the product or service you are writing copy for and making a list of all the benefits it has. The golden rule that lies behind all good sales copy is that it doesn’t promote the product itself – it promotes its benefits. Consider how your customers’ lives could be improved if they had your product, and tailor your copy accordingly.

The key aspect to remember is not to exaggerate. Not only will it destroy your credibility, but people also find it more difficult to believe hugely inflated claims. It’s a fact that an ad which states you can make a million dollars will attract less interest than an ad which states you can make ten thousand dollars. Good copy isn’t just credible – it’s believable as well. People must be able to relate to what you are writing.

Being honest and truthful in your copy isn’t just important for selling your products now. It also helps to establish you as a trustworthy website owner, and over time that will increase the amount of repeat traffic you are getting. Good and credible copy has lasting effects – and so does bad copy that makes claims which can’t be substantiated. The lesson here is not to write anything that goes for short term gain – write truthfully and take your time to build an audience that will come back to read more again and again.

Credibility doesn’t just relate to your sales copy however. It relates to all areas of your website. An essential part of creating a dedicated customer base involves the need to divide promotional writing clearly from any editorial comments you put on your site. If you try and slip in some advertising “under the radar”, the customer is likely to spot it and will start to look at the rest of your copy with more suspicion.

In short, always make sure your customers can trust you. Credible content is the backbone of any successful website, so make sure it’s an integral part of yours.

Alex Cleanthous

Alex Cleanthous

Chief Innovation Officer at Web Profits

Alex Cleanthous is Chief Innovation Officer at Web Profits. With more than 10 years experience in online marketing, Alex is always on the lookout for smarter, faster and more scalable ways to achieve maximum growth with minimum spend.

One comment

  1. Tai McQueen says:

    An excellent post, Alex. I think people are even more sensitive to exaggeration in web marketing copy than they are in other media.
    Sometimes it even pays to write honestly about your product’s limitations. On the one hand, this indicates to potential buyers that you’re more interested in meeting their needs than making a quick buck, and that’s a great way to gain their trust. On the other hand, it can help to qualify leads by weeding out prospects that really aren’t likely to buy, or will be unsatisfied customers if they do.

    February 19th, 2008 at 8:27 pm