Does Your Web Content Suck? How to Tell With One Single Word


Copywriting Sucks

There’s probably nothing more daunting than writing your own company’s marketing copy or web content. It’s like writing about yourself, or your wedding vows. Cold sweat ensues. Is this good copy? Will it get results? Or worse, where the heck do I even begin?

As a professional advertising and web copywriter of 20+ years, I am pleased to offer up a single, simple, powerful way to make sure every word you put down on paper will do what’s intended: move the needle on your business. Yep, it’s true: One single simple word has the power to vet your finely crafted verbiage for the holy mother of all marketing sins: serving up a boring compendium of information bereft of benefit and meaning for your customers.

And that word is….SO.

Those two letters, “so”, as in “so what”, can be a powerful way to make sure your web content isn’t talking to yourself, you are relating your company’s benefits to your customer, connecting the best of what you offer to satisfy a real need or want.

Great copy is not about you. It’s about them, your customers.

Say, for instance, your company, Illustrious Insurance, has been in business for 20 years. You might be inclined to write something like:

Illustrious Insurance has been providing Washington, DC residents with quality insurance programs since 1991.


That simple word prompts you to dig deeper, think about the facts and benefits in your web content as they apply to your business.

What do those many years in business mean to your prospects? If you’re a high-tech firm, it may mean that you are a forerunner of advanced technologies. For all businesses, history means stability, reliability, an established reputation and trust. You will be there for your clients tomorrow.

Like so:

Many DC insurance companies have come and gone since we opened our doors in 1991. Today, we are proud that our legacy of trust and stability now includes the sons and daughters of longstanding clients. As we help a whole new generation secure quality coverage in a tough economy, one thing hasn’t changed: We are here to care for you and your family’s insurance needs today and tomorrow with quality programs made family affordable. But don’t take it from us, listen to what our customers have to say about really makes us Illustrious.

The difference: An implied sense of trust in doing business with a company that will be around and has a solid reputation. The copy invokes the warmth of one-on-one communication and lends humanity to the somewhat sterile world of insurance.

You can apply the So What Principle to any benefit, fact or writing statement about your company, and its capabilities as your write web content, copywriting or marketing copy. It will take you to a place where your content is more meaningful, compelling and hopefully, human. Instead of listing facts, you are talking and connecting with your prospects and giving them a reason to believe.

Of course, there are many elements that make content strong and effective. You need to understand keywords, do diligence to your Unique Sales Proposition and understand how to craft a great call-to-action. But the So What can be a pretty powerful way to take your copy from so-so to sign me up for that insurance.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 at 6:30 am and is filed under Copywriting, Internet Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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