How To Write The Functional Pages For Your Website

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author/source: Miles Galliford
How To Write The Functional Pages For Your Website

To launch the website, there are two lots of content that need to be prepared.
 
The first lot of conatnt are the functional pages which describe the company, you, your contact details and the benefits of your products or service.
 
The second pieces of content are the articles about your subject.
 
Let’s Start with the Functional Copy
 

The Functional Copy – Sinking the Hook into Your Prospect

 
There is a whole lot of copy that needs to be written to give your website visitors all the information they need about the services you offer, your company, how to subscribe, the terms and conditions and so on.
 
The quality of this copy will give them confidence that there are real people behind the website.
 
The most common functional pages are:
 

The Public Home Page

The first paragraph on the home page is the most important 100 words on your website. Remember, you have eight seconds to impress your visitor before they click and go.

Start with a gripping headline that grabs your reader’s attention. Move on to a sentence that describes what your website is about, followed by some reasons why your members subscribe.

Finally, finish with what action they should take next. This will probably be to ‘Click here’ to take them to a more detailed description of the benefits of joining.

There are two schools of thought about the Home Page.

One suggests the copy should be short and to the point. No more than 250 words long. The rest of the Home page should be examples of what they will find if they become members. A couple of examples are Bill Myers' website (www.bmyers.com) and Personal Trainer University (www.personaltraineru.com).

 
The other school of thought advocates that the Home Page should just be a sales letter; often a very long sales letter that goes through all the reasons why a person should join. A couple of examples are the Abraham Insider (www.abrahamclub.com) and the Directory of Ezines (www.directoryofezines.com).

 Both sides have good figures to support their method.

You need to look at both and decide what suits you best.

As you’ll see from SubHub’s website, we tend to recommend the short version and let the content do the selling.

 Our perfect Home Page has a catchy headline, one or two paragraphs of description about the site and an automatically updated list of the latest articles. This is the format followed by most of the big online newspaper publishers. We think they provide a pretty successful model to follow. A good example of a niche site is the Cruise Report (www.thecruisereport.com)

 

The Member Home Page

The copy on this page can be very short if your website has the ability to list all the recent articles straight under the introduction paragraph.

All you need to say is something like:
 
“Welcome Back,
 
You are in the member’s area, where you will find all of the premium content. Please see the list of recently added articles below and take time to chat with your fellow members in the discussion forum.”
 
 
  • Our Services – The ‘Our Services’ (or similar page) should be your silent salesman. You should list all the features and benefits of your site and pepper the text with links saying ‘Click Here to Join Now’. This must be a compelling story that should be regularly checked and re-written.
 
  • About us – A description of the site owner, the history of the site, contributors, etc.
 
  • Contact us – Your email address, postal address, fax number and telephone number. Providing this information is a legal requirement if your website takes money from customers.
 
  • Privacy policy – The Privacy Policy describes how you will and will not use customer’s personal details. I suggest that you visit several successful subscription websites and print off their privacy policy. They will probably have been written by lawyers so you can use them to re-write a policy for your own website. Remember copying directly is a breach of copyright.
 
  • Terms and conditions - As with the Privacy Policy, take a look at the T&C’s from other subscription websites. It is up to you whether you employ a lawyer to write yours or choose to write your own.
 
  • Our Guarantee – I always strongly recommend that you offer a 100%, no questions asked refund if a member is not happy with the service. I also suggest to our clients that they should allow their clients to cancel with no notice period. Both these promises will get more people to sign up and very few will cancel and ask for their money back.
 
  • The Order Form – Put some thought into the order form. It is more important than you think. Make sure the copy clearly explains what a member should do and reassures them that their credit card is safe. More on both these points later.
 
  • Thank You Page – After the member has signed up, a page should appear that thanks them for joining and tells them what will happen next.
 
  • Joining Email – When a member signs up, your system should automatically send out an email with their password and a welcome message.
 
  • Non-subscriber Page – When a non-member tries to click on a members-only page, there should be a message that tries to convince them to join the site.
 
The functional copy is not a 'write once and forget' exercise. You should continually re-write it, tweak it and test different ideas. It could have a big impact on the number of your site visitors who become paying customers.