Having engaging, customer-centric copy on your website means the difference between soaring sales or a rising bounce rate.

I hate to tell you what to do, but I’m going to have to insist you close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine you’re meeting someone for the first time. (Bonus points if you do this in some fancy yoga pose I’d fall over whilst attempting.)

Okay, now you’re ready. Perhaps you’re in a park, at the mall, or sipping coffee in a small café. How is it going?

How was their first impression?

Was their hand shake firm and welcoming?

Did they smile? Greet you warmly?

Is an easy, engaging conversation starting?

I’d be willing to bet that if you’re picturing the ideal way to meet someone for the first time that scenario would fit all the above credentials. And the person you met left you feeling happier for having met them and inclined to spend more time with them in the future.

Now go check your website. Does your homepage give you the same warm and fuzzy feeling when you see it? Does it compel you to take additional action? Because if it doesn’t you’ve got some changes to make.

After all, your website is how customers or clients meet you for the first time. Whether they heard of your business through the grapevine, found it through an online search, or saw an ad pop up in their Facebook news feed, the first stop on the way to actually working with you is checking you out via your personal corner of the interwebs. And if that first impression is not up to snuff, well, that customer or client is going somewhere else.

You can have the flashiest website with all the bells and whistles, but without good copy to grab people’s attention it won’t give you the results you want. That’s because an awesome design and dynamic photos can only tell your visitors so much. You need strong copy to truly solidify their connection with you, which means you need to take the time to identify the persona of your ideal customer, client, patron, etc. and then use that to craft copy that speaks directly to them.

The problem, though, is there are about a zillion and one websites for people to visit, so it takes some skill to write words that cut through the clutter and get people to connect.

That’s why working with someone who lives and breathes copy writing (Hey! Hello!) is a no-brainer investment for your business. You’re the expert in what you do, which is why customers or clients want to work with you. And because you’re usually off being a rock star in your field, you may not have the time or resources to fully commit to crafting copy for your website.

That means that your website may be missing an essential piece of the conversion puzzle. If people are coming to the homepage of your site, only to end up confused as to what you really do, unsure of where they should go next, or unable to easily identify how to contact you you’re going to miss out.

So take the time and effort to ensure you’re not losing customers because of lackluster copy. Tailor the words you use in headlines, service descriptions, calls to action and more to your target audience and significantly increase the chance that the first time they meet you won’t be there last.