Test Web Copy by “Turning Your Chair Around”

One of my clients read a web page I wrote and said, “If I read that I would buy from me.”

When judging the merit of your own web pages, think of that. After reading one of your web pages, would you want to buy from you? 


It isn’t easy to determine, especially if you have a brand new site from a good designer that you paid big bucks to. It’s easy to be distracted by visual beauty.

For example, your home page is attractive with clean compelling graphics. Your headline, subheads, and copy are contained in nifty containers. Your buttons are inviting for click-throughs. All good.

But if you provided the content yourself, unless you are a trained and experienced copywriter, chances are your writing doesn’t live up to the design and functionality of your website.

Have you ever watched American Idol and closed your eyes so you could just hear the voice? Or maybe you’ve watched The Voice where the judges have their chairs turned around so they can’t see the singer.

There’s a good reason for this. When judging the quality of a singing voice, it’s helpful not be distracted by a singer’s good looks or rhythmic movements.

You need to do the same thing with your web pages. Here’s a way to “turn your chair around” and check out your text.

  • Copy and paste your text into a document.
  • Next copy and paste the text of your competitors into other documents.
  • Strip out all the company names and anything else that would identify the companies.
  • Substitute a generic company name.
  • Now give the documents to several people and ask them which one they would select to purchase from and to rank them in order.
  • How does yours rank?

Even if yours comes out on top, don’t be over confident. It may simply be the “least worst” of bad pieces. A little further testing is needed.

  • Take your text and, at a natural pace, read it out loud with expression.
  • Does your text capture attention at the beginning?
  • Does it stress the benefits (as opposed to the features) of your products?
  • Does it differentiate you from your competitors?
  • Does it prove its message?
  • Is it conversational?

This last point is the most important. As you listen to yourself, determine if you are saying the things you would say to a customer when pitching your services or products? If you do, you are definitely on the right track.

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