Planet Numbers | Turning bland web content into powerful selling copy

Here’s a really clear example of how poor web copy can seriously undermine your website, robbing you of customers and enquiries.

Planet Numbers is one of Britain’s leading supplier of super-memorable business phone numbers like 0800s; most sold direct from their website. And, I’m proud to say, a client I’ve been associated with for many years.

Their website refresh last Autumn made their site easier to use, and a lot better-looking. There was nothing obviously “wrong” with the web copy their web agency had written; it described their products and services accurately and concisely; it was friendly and easy to read. Just like most web copy and content. It worked well for SEO purposes and Google ranked them highly.

But, despite its excellent design and highly relevant, Google-friendly content, it just wasn’t delivering the enquiries and sales they’d hoped for. So they asked me to have a look at it.

There were several issues…

Firstly, and most importantly, they weren’t selling the benefits of their services strongly enough. They told their customers what the products were, but didn’t give them really compelling reasons to buy them. What they’d do for the customer, what was unique about them, what was better an their competitors’.

Secondly, they didn’t leverage their pricing and offers enough. They’re highly competitive in their marketplace (business telecoms services and custom phone numbers) but hadn’t properly harnessed the power of FREE add-ons, low starter prices and special offers.

Thirdly, there were some small UX (user experience) issues. Some aspects of the site and its navigation were laid out to reflect the company’s structure, not the customers’ needs and desires.

(This is one of the hardest things for a company to do — really step outside their subjective point of view and see their website and offering from the customer’s perspective. This, I believe, is something that a great copywriter really brings to the party.)

Fourthly, and this is something that is SO often overlooked or done wrongly, the CTAs (calls to action) were not clear and obvious enough. If in doubt, make your directions and CTAs utterly idiot-proof to ensure casual visitors know exactly what to do next.

Fifth, some of the key messaging was getting lost on mobiles because the agency hadn’t considered Mobile First properly. This is a big deal. Make sure your site works on mobiles FIRST, then on tablets and, finally, desktops.

Once we’d sorted out these issues, the site started to really deliver. Enquiries and sales both increased significantly, literally as soon as my new copy went live.

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