As a new dietitian business owner, your website is vital to help you land new clients. Once you’ve nailed the design and aesthetic, it’s time to fill those blank pages with words (AKA copy) that will convert readers into paying clients.
Compelling website copy is crucial because each word is an opportunity to connect with potential clients and convince them that you can help solve their problems. But how do you write website copy if you’re a dietitian and not a writer?
These tips can help. Here’s everything you need to know to start writing amazing website copy.
1. Start with research.
If you’re staring at a blank screen and feeling paralyzed, turn to Google for inspiration. Search for dietitian colleagues (in and out of your niche) or other health professionals and read their websites.
If their copy resonates with you, make notes as to why. Is it their “voice,” the way they speak to readers? Do you feel a connection and want to learn more about them or their services? How do they tell you that they have solutions to your pain points?
As you read other websites, list things you like (or dislike), so you can apply them to your content. Use this free Website Content Planner as you do your research and begin writing.
2. Look through your email inbox for inspiration.
The internet is jam-packed with content and chances are, you get a variety of sales emails, newsletters, and links to websites trying to win your business every single day. Start reading these sales emails and looking at websites through the lens of a copywriter.
Examine the headlines — are they clever, short, and snappy, or way too boring? How do they draw you into the content? Is the content arranged so you can get the main messages quickly and easily? Is the “what’s in it for me” message clear? Soon, you’ll start to see patterns in how sales copy is written and arranged — a catchy intro, a problem, a solution, and a call to action. You’ll also notice the difference between OK writing that you scan and move on, and great writing that holds your interest and makes you want to learn more.
Start an email folder and save any great content, whether it’s relevant to your niche or not. As your file grows, you can break it up into content types, like email sequences, websites, and content marketing (blogs, newsletters, etc.). Open your folders when you need a creativity boost. Use the content that’s all around you to spark ideas for your website, blog, and any future content you’ll develop.
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3. Know your client.
It’s tempting to write to a broad audience but generally, no one listens when you speak to everyone. Instead, speak to one person — your ideal client, and you’ll get their attention. Give your reader a name, face, and age. Where do they live? Are they single, married, or have a family? What do they eat for dinner? What do they struggle with daily, and why do they need you?
Lean into your previous work with patients or clients for this exercise. Think back to your most successful clients. Why did you connect with them so well? Chances are, there are many others like them out there and they’re looking for you — you just need to speak to them.
4. Speak to your ideal client in words they’ll understand.
It’s easy to slip into clinician talk, using technical, medical terms and citing research studies like a dietitian boss. But doing that can alienate the regular people who want to be your clients. The average person wants assurance that if they work with you, they’ll get clear, concise explanations. That’s critical for anyone trying to manage a health condition.
Make sure your website copy speaks to the average person. And keep in mind, most consumers need medical advice explained at a sixth-grade level. To get a sense of how to explain complicated clinical conditions in short, simple explanations, look at consumer health sites like WebMD or Mayo Clinic. You can also cut and paste your copy into HemingwayApp.com. This free tool gives content a grade-level rating and suggestions to simplify your website copy for your target consumers.
Many dietitians are comfortable speaking to groups or individual clients, but the thought of writing is terrifying. If that’s you, pretend you have a potential client in front of you. Speak your message and record yourself. Then, transcribe your recording and use it as the basis for your website content.
5. Harness the power of AI (artificial intelligence).
While they won’t provide Pulitzer-quality writing, AI writing tools can be helpful for breaking through your writer’s block. Some, like ChatGPT, Jasper, Copy.ai, and Rytr can help outline articles or web pages, come up with headlines and subheads, and identify customer pain points. If you feel like your writing needs another set of editing eyes, check out Grammarly. It’s a free great tool to catch grammar mistakes, improve word choice, refine sentence structure, and make your writing easier to read.
Just keep in mind that these tools are machines, not humans. They lack the human touch and connection that a good writer provides, so while they’re helpful as a starting point, it’s essential to go back, read the copy they produce out loud, and add your own polish.
6. Demonstrate your value to your potential client.
Everyone has a backstory, and you want clients to relate to yours. However, it’s their pain points that matter. Tell your story but make it a highlights reel. Let readers connect with you but focus on how your experience will help them.
Everyone who searches a website looks for a solution to their problem (AKA what’s in it for them). Make sure you let your website visitors quickly know what sets you apart from other dietitians in your niche and how you will help them solve their pain points.
7. Optimize for SEO.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in putting words on a page that we forget about Google. But Google is the bridge between you and your clients.
When writing, use keywords your ideal client is searching for throughout your website copy, but use them naturally. Don’t stuff keywords into places they don’t belong. Instead, write as though you’re speaking and break your content up to make it more searchable.
Use short, to-the-point sentences, catchy, but clear headings and subheadings, and bulleted lists to address everything your clients are looking for. To make this easier, try to keep your ideal client in mind while writing, and organize your thoughts as though you are speaking to them.
8. Leave your readers with a clear call to action.
What do you want people to do after they read your website? Chances are you want them to call or click to schedule an appointment. However, many people need several interactions with you before they’re ready to commit.
Every page on your website should have a clear call to action (CTA in marketing terms). Offer a free helpful downloadable PDF (make sure you collect an email before giving it away), or a discovery call to learn more about you and your services. If you have a blog, point them there for helpful articles and resources. Lead them into the buying journey by inviting them to connect with you. Whatever you do, don’t write great website copy and then leave them hanging.
9. Remember, a website is and should be fluid, so edit frequently!
Most people have imposter syndrome and are terrified to hit the publish button on their website because the world will see it. But here’s a secret. It takes a while for any content on the web to get significant traction, so initially, the only people who will see your website are you and your immediate friends and family.
Writing is a skill and craft that you’ll develop and hone over time — so don’t feel like your website copy has to be perfect from the start. With anything you write, it’s always a good idea to keep it in draft form for at least a day. Then, sleep on it and revisit it the following day for edits and tweaks. Even after you hit publish you can (and should) revisit everything in a few weeks or months. The beauty of a website is that you can easily edit anything and everything as your writing and marketing skills change and grow.
It’s overwhelming for anyone to write their website copy — even if you’re a professional writer.
Once you get going, it may be easier than you think. Give it your best shot but if you still don’t feel confident about what you’re writing, there are lots of excellent professional writers for hire. We also offer copywriting guidance and very detailed copywriting templates as part of our website course, The Dietitian Website System. Check it out if you’d like to fast-track your copywriting with expert advice and support, without the premium price tag!