There can be a bit of a conundrum when it comes to web copy. For one thing, there is the argument that people don't like to (and tend not to) read much anymore. Of course, this is a general blanket statement, and there are many people who do (like) to read. But on the other hand, your web copy and some solid behind-the-scenes website strategies are what allow your translation or interpreting website to show up in search engine results and convince your site visitors that you are the ideal solution for their language-based needs.
When it comes down to it, your web copy and what you say are what sell your services to prospective clients. You can have the most beautiful images and layout on your website, but if you don't have anything to say, what's the point? As translators and interpreters, we often have a lot to say. ;) But knowing how much, and just what to say, are vital to nailing your web copy and attracting your ideal clients.
Excellent web copy is often overlooked by service-based businesses and providers. Many think that just having a website with their contact information, bio and a photo will be enough to start attracting new clients. Wrong. The way to attract new clients is to speak to them on your website. Think of it as a conversation. You don't want to talk to your clients about "A" if they typically need "B" to solve their problems or relieve a pain point. If you want to write great web copy that works, it's important to know your clients and their needs, as well as what you do well for them that helps to solve their problems or pain points.
Yes, there are formulas for writing great web copy. And all of these formulas are based on sales. But you don't have to be "salesy" to create amazing web copy that will bring you results. Of course, the goal is to make a sale! But your copy should do one thing, first and foremost. Your copy (and your services) should provide value to clients. Think of it as content marketing. The marketing and sale is a byproduct of really solid and valuable content.
Great web copy not only attracts ideal clients, but it tells them what you want them to do next. There has to be a call to action for your clients so that they know where to go from one page of your site to the next. You don't have to get fancy. You just have to be smart about it. Again, it all comes down to really knowing your ideal clients.
For more information on how to build an ideal client profile, check out How to Create an Ideal T&I Client Profile to Market Your Services.
You'll know when you've gotten your web copy right. You will start to hear from more and more prospects who are "qualified" to work with you (i.e., those who are willing to pay your rates and will cause you fewer headaches than those you'd rather avoid). They will seek you out and refer you to others, because you are that good. You will be beyond valuable to them and a key part of their team.
Finally, think about this. Our websites are often the first impression our clients have of us. And it also might be their last. Nailing our websites, and that includes solid web copy, is essential. When you have great web copy, people will stay on your site longer. And the longer they're there, the higher the possibility of their engagement with you.
For "word people" like us, we should be some of the best at getting web copy right, no? Wrong. We're not! So, how do we get it right and use our websites to attract our ideal clients and keep them coming back? We provide real value to them. And I'm not even talking about the value we already provide through our professional services. We don't overwhelm them with long lists of our qualifications (yes, those are still important, but they're not what our clients want to know upfront!). We don't provide them with chapters of our experience to sift through in order to find what they really want to know. And we definitely don't make it all about ourselves!