This article focuses on some important things you may not know about website copywriting for therapists and wellness businesses. If you want your website to do well, the more you know about copywriting, the better. So here are 5 things you may not know.
1. “Copywriting” is Not The Same as “Content Writing”.
Unless you’ve been around the marketing or advertising world for some time, you may not know the difference between “copywriting” and “content writing.” I find that many of my therapist and wellness business clients don’t.
It is no wonder these terms are often misunderstood, as there is a lot of misinformation out there as to their meaning.
Here are some definitions:
Content Writing: As it applies to the web, the term “content writing” is often (mistakenly) used for any content that is written for websites. However, the correct definition of “content writing” is any content where the primary purpose is to ‘inform’ ‘entertain’ or ‘educate’ readers about topics they care about.
The goal of content writing is to get your therapy or wellness website visitors to stay on your website longer and engage with you. The aim is to build a relationship with them so that they keep coming back for more. The goal is to warm them up so that they “buy” from you eventually.
Content can come in many forms: blog posts, articles, social media posts, infographics, slide presentations, the words used in audio or video content, etc.
Website Copywriting: “Copywriting” is another type of content writing, but is a very specific type of writing used for marketing and advertising on websites.
Copywriting can contain content writing, but it goes further. Its purpose is to promote what you are offering. It may be something you give away for free, or something you charge for such as a service, program or product. The primary purpose of copywriting is to get people to take action.
Website copywriting can be used for your therapy and wellness website, sales pages when selling programs and products, social media posts, Google Adwords or Facebook Ads, etc.
To have a successful therapy or wellness website, you need both compelling content and compelling copy.
Successful online marketing requires strong content to engage your web visitors and engaging copy to generate leads or to encourage people to spend their money on your services and products. They two are most effective when used together.
2. Being A Good Writer Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You’ll Be a Good Copywriter
While there are excellent writers that do become great copywriters, having strong writing skills does not automatically mean you will be a good copywriter. In fact, I’ve seen people who are great writers write horrible copy because they were not trained in copywriting.
Copywriting is quite different from the essays we learned to write in school.
As copywriters, we use a conversational tone, write short, simple sentences and paragraphs, use simple and clear language (we don’t try to be clever just for the sake of being clever), we bold some sentences, use capital letters sometimes, and do other quirky things.
There is a specific style and structure to copywriting that is based on scientific principles.
The structure of copy that inspires people to take action takes the reader on a journey. It tells a story that eventually asks the reader to do something – sign up for a free offer or to make a purchase.
Compelling copy outlines both the struggles of your audience and the benefits they want. It engages the emotions of your readers, answers potential objections, and offers proof that you can deliver results (if possible).
Unless you learn these and other psychological principles of copywriting as well practice writing a lot of copy, you won’t become a good copywriter.
3. Compelling Copy is Authentic, Ethical, and Empathic.
Copywriting is NOT about manipulating or tricking potential clients or customers into buying something they don’t want or need.
Some therapists and wellness businesses object to copywriting because they believe it sounds “salesy”. They see copywriting as trying to make people buy something. This is a faulty view of ethical and authentic copywriting.
This quote dispels this myth nicely:
“[People] cannot be made to want anything, nor is it necessary to create want. All that is necessary is to be able to channel those wants into the proper products that offer legitimate satisfaction for them.” – Eugene Schwartz
For example, if you are marketing a therapy practice, the goal of your website copy is not to convince readers who don’t want therapy (even if they could benefit from it) that they should attend therapy. Rather, the goal is to write engaging copy to encourage the people who *do* want therapy to contact you or book an appointment with you.
Similarly, if you are selling an online course on improving couple relationships, you wouldn’t try to sell it to people who are doing well in their relationships and are not interested in improving theirs. That is not to say they couldn’t benefit from your course, but if they don’t have a desire to improve their relationship, there is no point trying to convince them that they should.
You want to reach out to those who already *want* what you have to offer. You only have to convince your ideal clients and customers that your services, products, and programs are going to give them the outcomes they want.
Furthermore, if you are asking people to give their money to you, it only makes sense that you should justify why they should.
4. Compelling Headlines Are Essential if You Want Your Body Copy to Be Read.
An oft-quoted statistic about headlines is that 80% of people will read your headline but only 20% will read your body copy. What this means is that you need to have a compelling, targeted headline that speaks to the emotions of your potential clients and customers.
The headline is where you make the first connection with your reader to help them determine whether they are in the right place. The goal is to let them know that you may have something to offer them. It is where you start to build a relationship with them.
I see a lot of question headlines (or no headlines) on therapist and wellness professional’s websites. There seems to be an erroneous assumption that asking any question is the right way to write a headline. This assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you choose to write a question headline ensure it’s a question that your ideal target audience will say an affirmative “yes” to. You also want the meaning of the question to be engaging and instantly clear to your therapy or wellness clients and customers.
There is much more that can be said about writing headline copywriting for therapists and wellness professionals websites, but I will leave that for another article.
5. It is a Myth That Short Copy is Better Than Long Copy.
There is a belief by many (including wellness professionals and therapists) that people don’t read on the web, and therefore website copy should be short.
However, many studies show that long copy often outperforms short copy.
It is true that most people scan on the web as opposed to read entire pages. And, in some cases short copy does work better (e.g. on ecommerce sites that sell many products, a low-cost product that doesn’t require much decision-making before buying, a well-known product that doesn’t need to be explained).
BUT, if your target audience is seriously considering coming to you for therapy or buying a natural health product from your website, they WILL read more. In fact, they will read as much information as they need in order to get the information that will help them make a decision as to whether they want what you are offering.
The truth is: People scan on the web until they find what they are looking for, they then read.
If you don’t have enough information that will help your web visitors decide whether you have what they want, they may hesitate on taking you up on your offer or click away.
Further, the more your services or products cost, the more copy you will need to convince your website visitor that your offer is worth the money you are asking for.
Most health and therapy services are a significant financial and emotional investment, and, therefore, do require more copy to show that you are the person that can help them.
Further, since there is a lot of competition on the web, you’ll need enough copy to make your website stand out and to illustrate how your offer is unique.
Long copy works amazingly well in many cases *if* it is compelling and “scannable” (uses subheadings, bulleted lists, some bold font, has lots of white space, etc.)
I hope this article clears up these important misunderstandings you might have about website copywriting for therapists and wellness businesses.