When you begin to write copy for any product or service, you have to take a few things into consideration.

The first is always your target audience: who you'll be writing to. Finding out about the needs and wants of the audience members, their communication styles, their lifestyles and a multitude of other elements are musts before writing even one word of copy.

But something that most people neglect to do is to give due attention to the buying process as a whole and where your target audience is within the process. Understanding this can often make or break the success of your copy.

When AEwebworks (an online dating-site software developer) approached me about rewriting its Web site copy, it became immediately apparent that the copy could benefit from paying some due diligence to the buying processes of its customers.

The Problems

My primary concerns with the copywriting on this site included the lack of synergy within the copy, the use of testimonials, the lack of focus on the target customer's buying process and the inability for the copy to support the search engine goals of AEwebworks. In its present state, the copy contained few mentions of keyphrases. You can view the old copy in PDF form.

When I first read the copy, it felt as though I was being pitched to from all sides. The headline spoke to someone thinking of entering the online-dating-site industry. The body copy did not support that headline; rather, it spoke to someone who had already made the decision to launch or improve a dating site.

The use of testimonials at the bottom of the home page posed a challenge for two reasons.

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Karon Thackston (kt@ktamarketing.com) is the proprietor of www.copywritingcourse.com.