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Show Highlights

Most websites you visit are filled with words. And that may seem simple, but if you build a website, you’re going to have to be the one to come up with those words. How do you decide what to put up there and how much is too much? What should you focus on?

Graham and Ashkahn tackle the elusive web copy problem for float centers and provide some helpful tips for anyone who’s feeling a little overwhelmed at the concept.

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Listen to Just the Audio

Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Ashkahn: All right. Welcome.

Graham: Hey, everybody. Another day, another podcast.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: Happy flag day.

Ashkahn: Yeah. Your business is our business.

Graham: Legally, now, by listening to this podcast.

Ashkahn: As you’ve entered into an agreement, verbal contract. Verbal slash listener contract.

Graham: I’m Graham.

Ashkahn: I’m Ashkahn.

Graham: Today’s questions- Questions. Question is –

Ashkahn: Questions. Oh, boy. That was close. We almost had to answer multiple questions today.

Graham: That’s dangerous. Okay. Today’s question is “what are the best words for my website?” It’s good. Yeah, because there are definitely bad words that you can use that you want to steer away from.

Ashkahn: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. You could’ve maybe used more words in your question.

Graham: I can see why this is a concern.

Ashkahn: Yeah, you don’t seem to have a lot of words at your disposal.

Graham: All right. Really it’s like how-

Ashkahn: What is it? You think this is about search engine optimization?

Graham: I assumed it was about actually just selling floats or creating calls to action, or what’s the-

Ashkahn: Just, like, how do you write things about floating on your website?

Graham: Yeah, like website copy.

Ashkahn: Okay.

Graham: Where website copy is words on website, right?

Ashkahn: Website copy: Words on website, yeah.

Graham: Otherwise they would’ve said, like, “How do I first result Google?” That would’ve been the question that we got.

Ashkahn: Okay. All right. Yeah. No, I can roll with that.

Graham: All right. Yeah, copywriting advice. I have that. I know about copywriting. I can totally do that. Steer away from words like “danger” or “death”. Yeah, the animated rotating skulls like you’d see on a 1995 website or something like that.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: Don’t use those.

Ashkahn: That’s good. This is why people tune in. How would they know things like that otherwise?

Graham: Where are you going to get this kind of research? Okay, well, let’s start at the beginning. Let’s start at the beginning.

Ashkahn: Or words.

Graham: A website is, yeah, words I guess is more of a beginning. One of the big things is you make it about the people who are visiting your website. You I know, as a business owner, you’re thinking about people coming to your website. You’re like, “Great. Marks. I’m going to convince these people to come in and buy floats from me, and then I’ll get their money.”

Ashkahn: Bunch of idiots.

Graham: That’s where you’re coming from, but from the customer perspective they’re just like, “Oh, what’s this floating thing? There’s a float center near me. Let’s check it out.” They go on there. It’s your job to kind of nurture them and get them excited from there to the point where they’d actually go and purchase a float.

Along those lines, and this is classic just sales 101 stuff, but pitch the benefits, not the features of floating, right? Does that make sense, Ashkahn?

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: For example, right? You wouldn’t say, “Pitch black and no light, no sound, no sense of touch, no gravity.” I mean, you could say things like that, but far better would be, “Stretches out your spine as a result of having all the salt in the water, feels like a massage without getting touched. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.”

Things that are explaining what they’re getting as a result, which is rest and recovery and de-stressing time. All of the things that come along with the fact that there’s these weird sensory deprivation devices.

Ashkahn: Yeah. Yeah. I feel like with float tanks there’s a little bit of a balance to be struck in the sense that people may not know what it is, right?

Graham: Right, yeah.

Ashkahn: And, on top of that, although saying things like “There’s this much salt in it, and it’s completely dark and it’s completely quiet” is not what they typically advise you to do in terms of copywriting there’s something about that that I think is inherently interesting to people.

If you do describe floating to someone in person using those attributes, people’s initial reaction is, like, “Wait, what?” It just captures people’s attention, so I think there’s a place in float tank copy to go against that advice a little bit to make sure that you’re explaining what the heck this is going on, what is happening inside these things, and the basics of what floating is.

Because I think it is kind of inherently interesting, but if you’re talking about big titles or headers, or the words surrounding those things and stuff like that, yeah, you do have to keep in mind that people’s immediate question when you do describe floating to people is why? Why would anyone do that?

Graham: Why would anyone do this? Yeah. Really, I guess that’s more of what I was saying is you don’t need to avoid descriptions. Obviously you need to explain what floating is, but be sure to put the why in there.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: A description alone is definitely not enough. I would say don’t even go through all of the different features of a float tank, saying that it’s dark and it’s silent and there’s all this salt in the water and the room is private and has its own private shower. All of those points. It’s kind of, like, introduce them, and then explain some of the benefits as they’re going along.

Ashkahn: Right. Yeah.

Graham: Like, what happens as a result of tossing all that salt in? Oh, cool. Your spine stretches out and your muscles get to relax like you’re getting a massage. Okay. What happens as a result of not having sound or light? Like, okay, your brain doesn’t absorb all these things. It naturally de-stresses.

Ashkahn: Right. Also, people’s attention spans on websites are-

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: You’re just, like, skimming. When’s the last time you went on a website and the first thing you did was read a huge block of text? You just skim. Your eye goes through it real fast, so being able to quickly skim and see things, like, relaxation and stuff like that, even if you’re not really reading the full sentences you’ll come away with it with an understanding of, like, hey, this is a kind of relaxing, spa-like sort of service.

Graham: Yeah. Other things to avoid with words on website? Again, really common sort of advice here, but avoid things like the word “purchase” or “buy” or “cost” as much as you can, right? If you have a main call to action button on there that says, “Buy floats,” or “Purchase your float,” or something like that, instead consider “Schedule a float,” or, “Get your float.” Something like that where what they’re doing is not spending money.

You don’t want to emphasize that they are spending money, but you don’t want to make that really salient in their minds and make them feel that pain before they have to do it.

Again, saying, like, “Schedule something,” or, “Get something.” Really the direction of exchange here is going towards them, not away from them is sort of the verbiage that you want to use for a lot of the writing.

Ashkahn: Yeah, receive your floats.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: And then in parenthesis, in exchange for money.

Graham: Be incredibly happy that I just purchased a float.

Ashkahn: You can look this stuff up. You can look up call to action words.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: There’s a bunch of actual research and stuff like that that’s gone into words that are more or less effective.

Graham: Right. For memberships, I think on our website it actually says, “Learn about our memberships.” Right? Things like that where what they’re getting is, again, knowledge. It’s not like let us pitch you on our memberships or something like that.

Another good one for memberships, which once they get to the membership page, or even in physical literature for your brochures or something like that, is save money by getting a membership, right? Not even emphasizing the amount that the membership costs, but really saying, “Hey, what you’re doing by getting this is actively saving money.” I think is a good thing to emphasize there as well.

Ashkahn: Having things of different scope on your site is nice, too. It’s nice to have something where someone could read three sentences and get the gist of what was going on, and then also a place where someone can get much more in depth and actually learn how many pounds of salt are in there and that these things were invented in the 50s.

For the people who are really interested and are looking for more information to have that provided to them, but for the people who aren’t you don’t want them to have to dig through all of that to just get a general idea of what’s going on at your place.

Graham: Yeah. Again, keep in mind who’s coming to your website, right? This isn’t float researchers. Most often it’s not even going to be the press.

Ashkahn: Right.

Graham: Or someone who’s really trying to get this totally comprehensive view of floating. It’s people who are curious about going in the tank and want to see if it’s actually something that’s for them.

As you’re going through, and even if you do have little teasers that are leading into longer-form content about the benefits of floats and what people get out of it, or what they can expect from their experience, every sentence and every paragraph keep in mind what you’re trying to actually accomplish, which is getting people excited to come into your business.

Shorter is always better. We touched on that a little bit, but keep it short and sweet. Keep it exciting and engaging. Make it about the person who’s coming in. Even doing things in the second person, “you will”, or “this is when you’ll enter into kind of a deeper state of the float”, or something like that that actually allows them to as they’re reading along picture themselves in that scenario.

It’s one of the few places you actually see the second person often is in sales copy. It’s not so often you pick a book off the shelf and it’s like, “Hey, you’re reading this book. Let me tell you a story about you.”

Ashkahn: Not entirely related to sales, but I always find it, I think websites for brick and mortar businesses in physical locations should always have their hours, their phone number, and their address, and their email I guess too very easily accessible. Probably somewhere on your home page right there. A lot of times that’s what people are coming to your website for.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: They already know what’s going on. They just need to give you a call real fast. They’re just trying to look up the address or much more often they’re trying to check your hours because hours are only so trustworthy on kind of third party websites.

Just keep that in mind. Have that, know that is a big reason people come to your site and have that information kind of friendly and available to people.

Graham: Yeah. I guess one other thing I’ll say, and I don’t really have a great solution to this one, but there are interesting challenges around trying to write good copy for a float website specifically.

One of them is just there’s so many different kinds of people that get so many benefits out of floating. If you’re pitching something that has a very specific purpose, like exercise equipment for rehabilitation from a certain type of car accident, right? You know exactly who your audience is. It’s, like, “hey, do you have whiplash? We have something that will help with whiplash.”

That lets you really hone in your pitch and make sure that it’s being a little more concise. You can interview people who have had whiplash. You know exactly what it is that they need, which means you can pitch your product as delivering directory to their needs.

In our case, there are just so many groups where you could do that. It kind of forces you to be a little more general at the beginning.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: Almost like if you can figure out a more choose your own adventure path where you’re kind of telling some people about the physical benefits if they’re extreme, or the physical benefits if they’re recovering from something or have chronic pain or …

Again, I don’t have a great necessarily set of tactics for this, but strategically it’s something you’ll just need to consider, which is our fan base or our customer base is so broad that it does become hard to kind of create this perfect one or two line pitch that will just hit home for the people you want to come into the float tank.

Ashkahn: Also, testimonials are really effective.

Graham: Oh, yeah. That’s actually …

Ashkahn: They sound really, My instinct at first before I looked into any of this stuff is it sounds kind of cheesy or something like that, or just that putting some quote from someone up is not something that actually results in much, but if you can look into the research on it.

They’re, like, shockingly effective. It’s amazing. You can have a quote with attributed to nobody and just have, like, quotation marks around it. It will actually boost people’s confidence in your site and stuff like that. Pay attention to that. They get better obviously the more legit that they seem as opposed to just quotes attributed to no one.

Testimonials are really powerful and they’re a great thing too. Especially for floating where the testimonials are so unbelievable.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: They’re so incredible the way that people have been helped and genuine when people have things to say about them that you have a really good supply of them. They’re really nice to kind of pepper throughout your website.

Graham: Do keep in mind that for testimonials they need to be representative of kind of a general experience, which, again, fortunately so many people have awesome experiences.

Ashkahn: All my hair grew back after one float.

Graham: Right. Exactly. If someone’s like, “I floated and then I won the lottery,” you can’t actually legally use that testimonial on your website, right? It’s implying something that is not a connection that a lot of people have.

Don’t think that because one person had an absolutely amazing experience that you can kind of bill it as everyone will have this type of experience or suggest that, but, again, it’s just there’s so many people who get so much out of floating the level of testimonials we can have is amazing.

We have a whole nother episode where we kind of delve into more specifics about other just stuff that needs to be on your website, or what you’re trying to accomplish with it. Maybe we’ll leave it here for words to use specifically.

Ashkahn: Best words to use.

Graham: Best words to use. Just, so, yeah, again, make it about the people, pitch the benefits, make sure that you’re allowing room with your words for them to picture themselves coming in. Just make that as easy for them as possible. Kind of lower the barriers, too.

We run a weird business, right? Really, it’s like so much of the copy is just lowering the barriers to getting people into the tank and making them think it’s normal and not totally bizarre.

Ashkahn: Yeah. There is the whole search engine optimization side.

Graham: That is a thing, too.

Ashkahn: Just because we didn’t talk about that in this episode, we have in others. Just realize that that’s also something you should be considering as you’re writing. Choosing the best words.

Graham: Yep. We’ll go over that in the show notes, too. If you go to the actual Float Tank Solutions’ website for the Daily Solutions podcast you can go and find those. Yeah. Any last words about words?

Ashkahn: No.

Graham: Meta words?

Ashkahn: That was it. Those are all the words I had.

Graham: They were really good words, too. It was. Great. Well, if you have your own words to send us, go to Floattanksolutions.com.

Ashkahn: /podcast.

Graham: I can’t tell, but I was just gesturing frantically at Ashkahn. He was refusing to do anything, you big jerk.

Ashkahn: I was just building the suspense. Sometimes you gotta.

Graham: Building suspense for me too. I was like, “Oh my god. Is he just going to leave me hanging forever?”

Ashkahn: Yeah. We probably got some people’s attention there. Sitting there at their computer, desperately, desperately waiting to know what to type.

Graham: What is it? What is it? All right. Talk to you guys tomorrow.

Ashkahn: Right.

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