A good marketing message is clear, visible, and indexable on every page of your website. But writing that message is harder than most people think. In this article, I will provide a simple guide to copywriting for positioning statements.
Copywriting for Positioning: Clarity
If the way you express your positioning isn’t immediately clear to a prospect, they’re not likely to spend much more time on your website interpreting it.
The basic elements of positioning are expertise and audience. In other words, you must make clear what you do, and who you can serve best. These two pieces of information should be as clearly and simply expressed as possible. They’re the basic elements of copywriting for positioning.
Positioning Mad Libs
The best way to write a good positioning statement is to begin with the simplest structure possible. Think of your positioning statement like a “Mad Lib.”
In it’s most basic form, your positioning statement should look like this:
“We do __________ for __________.”
Now, your final positioning copy does not need to read in this way. But, a good rule of thumb for positioning copywriting is to be informative first, evocative second.
Filling in the blanks of your positioning “Mad Lib” will ensure that your statement is informative. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to play with the words. You can go from informative to evocative. After all, you do want your positioning statement to provoke the right emotional state and the right actions. Copywriting for positioning is all about speaking directly to your prospects’ minds and hearts.
Where to Put Your Positioning Statement
The positioning statement you write should be featured prominently on your home page. This statement provides a foundation for all the other positioning-related copy on your website. It should directly support and influence the pages that go into greater detail about your business focus, like your Capabilities Landing Page and Service Details Pages. You may even directly repeat your positioning statement on them.
Copywriting for Positioning: Visibility
The majority of your future prospects will begin their sessions on your website at lower-level pages, not your home page. That means that you need to make sure that your message is as clearly articulated on every page of your website as it is on your home page. Your positioning copy must be visible everywhere.
A prospect will read an article on your site for the first time and think, “who wrote this? and why?”
Where to Put Your Tagline
A good tagline, featured near your logo in the header of your website, will answer that question for them. If you can do this in just a handful of words — ideally no more than six — you’ll make it easier for prospects to understand the context of your content without having to leave the page they are on.
The best tagline will enable prospects to take a more informed next step. That might be to read more content, or to share it with others, or to subscribing to your newsletter.
Copywriting for Positioning: Indexability
Finally, any positioning copy you feature on lower-level pages must be indexable text. If you feature a tagline beneath or beside your logo, don’t bury that text in an image file.
Your tagline needs to be seen by people and read by machines. That is how a search engine will determine the subjects over which your website has authority.
Three Specific Forms of Copywriting for Positioning
Your positioning should be expressed by three different kinds of statements:
- Tagline: A tagline is what you do and for whom, in 5 words or less. It should be visible and indexable in the header of every page of your website.
- Positioning Statement: Your positioning statement expresses what you do and for whom, as well as any unique differentiators or special claims. Ideally, it is 10-15 words in length. It should be the first thing prospects see on your home page.
- Reassurance Statement: A reassurance statement is not required. But, including one may enable you to elaborate on some details that are important to your positioning. For example, it might say more about how you do what you do, why you’re good at it, or specify a guarantee.
These three statements are the basic components of your positioning message. Make sure they are in sync with one another.
Try This Exercise: “The Ideal Client Inquiry”
If you are not only struggling with positioning copywriting, but also in defining your actual positioning — perhaps because what you do is broadly defined and who you serve fall into several different industry verticals — we recommend an exercise that can help you to further refine your focus by looking more closely at the client engagements with which you’ve experienced the most success. We call it the Ideal Client Inquiry.
This article is the second in a series that will guide you through applying the principles of Prospect Experience Design for yourself.
Next in the series is a guide to designing the web pages that shape your prospects’ experience.