14 Must-Know Tips for Website Copywriting
This is especially important on your website, which serves as your company’s home online. You need to include enough information to show why your visitors should purchase a product or make another type of conversion, but maintain the fine line between informative and pushy. When done well, the copy on your site can serve as an effective sales tool — but writing it is often easier said than done.
On this page, we’ve compiled fourteen tips to help you write great copy for your company’s website.
We’ve also included a video with tips for creating professional copy.
Give us a call at 888-601-5359 or keep reading to learn more about writing effective copy!
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1. Do your research
Before you write a page on a certain topic, you’ll want to know as much as you can about it, and this involves more than looking at the first few sites in Google search results. Part of being a good copywriter is diving into the subject.
You’ll want to do as much research as you need to gain a full understanding of the subject. The more familiar you are with a topic, the easier it will be to create your own to write your own page about it. Plus, researching online gives you a sense of what types of content already exist on any given subject, and the opportunity to create something unique for your site.
Depending on your industry, you may also choose to create content about complex topics. In this case, your goal with research should be to understand the topic you’re covering, then write it in a way that makes sense to your target audience.
2. Back up your claims
Although you can publish almost anything you want on your website, you need to include sources, facts, and statistics in order to establish credibility with your readers. Reliable sources help validate your articles, and show your visitors that they can trust what they’re reading on your site.
This is also true for information about your company and products. It isn’t enough to just say that your business is great and that your current customers are satisfied. Your visitors know that you’re biased towards your own brand, and want clear proof of these claims. You can provide this in the form of reviews, testimonials, or a portfolio to give people the confidence that your business excels.
3. Make your most important point first
Copywriters often make the mistake of leading with long introductions that “build up” to their main arguments. And while this is an appropriate approach for essays and research papers, it doesn’t often translate to effective website copy.
Many people use search engines with the goal of quickly finding information, and want to be able to find an answer easily after visiting a site. So if your copy makes it difficult to find key facts or information, you’ll likely lose them.
This means it’s in your best interest to include the most important information at the start of your pages. Once a visitor finds the answer they’re looking for, they may be compelled to stick around and learn the why behind that answer, or read more information on the subject. You can include supporting and background information to help them learn more — but in most cases, you shouldn’t lead with those pieces.
4. Know your audience
Writing effective copy requires an understanding of who you’re writing for. Beyond simply conveying information, you need to be conscious of the style and tone you use throughout your copy. Different audiences respond to different writing styles, and the better idea you have of who’s reading your site, the more effectively you’ll be able to communicate with them.
If you have a concrete idea of your company’s target audience, you can use this to guide your copywriting efforts. You can also utilize demographic information from tools like Google Analytics to gain insight into who is visiting your site and reading your copy. You want to make your articles as relatable to your readers as possible, and this information can help you accomplish this goal.
5. Focus on your audience’s needs
Going along the same lines of the previous tip, you should always keep the focus on your audience and their needs. Once you know who your target audience is, you can write copy that addresses their needs or helps them solve a particular issue.
Your site’s copy can illustrate how your products or services can help your audience solve specific issues, but it shouldn’t only focus on your company. Your goal should be to show your audience that you understand their needs and want to help address them. And in many cases, this can take the form of helpful information and articles.
If you’re writing a page about a common issue your target audience faces, you can start by explaining potential solutions — even if not all of those solutions involve hiring your company. This shows that you genuinely care about helping your visitors find the solution that works best for them, and not simply about making money.
Of course, it’s okay to mention your services — it is your website, after all. But the focus should always remain on your audience and how you can meet their needs.
6. Go easy on the jargon
As you’re writing copy for your website, it can be easy to forget that not all of your readers are familiar with your industry as you are. This is another reason it’s important to know your audience, and their level of familiarity with the topics you’re writing about.
Forty-three percent of American adults read at a basic or below basic level of literacy, and many of them could be your potential customers. But beyond writing comprehension, it’s important to remember that every industry has its own set of terminology that the general public may not be familiar with.
You want to sound professional and knowledgeable about your field, but that doesn’t mean using terms that confuse your potential customers. Make sure to spell out any acronyms on their first usage, and define terms that the average reader wouldn’t be familiar with. This will prevent you from alienating readers, or worse, losing potential customers simply because your copy is too confusing.
7. Be clear and concise
When you want to make a point, get to it as quickly as possible. Don’t drag out multiple long paragraphs to explain an idea that could be made in two sentences.
Beyond being a basic tenet of good writing, this is increasingly important given that the attention span of readers is declining. On average, people only spend 37 seconds on an article — so you need to get your point across in a way that’s short and sweet.
8. Use active voice
It is very easy to slip into passive voice, especially when you’re writing trying to sound professional — but this actually creates the opposite effect of what you want. Active voice makes your copy sound more authoritative and in most cases, is easier to read.
9. Highlight the benefits to the reader
When discussing your products or services, always frame them in terms of the benefits they provide. If someone is considering becoming a client, they want to know how you can help them solve an issue or reach a goal.
Keep the focus on what you can do for them, instead of simply highlighting the features or details of your products. You’ll want to include details, of course, but make them supplementary information to the bigger picture of how you help your customers succeed.
10. Be transparent
In many industries, it’s common for potential customers to be skeptical about certain claims or have reservations about investing in a service. The most common concerns are related to the cost, quality, and effectiveness each company offers.
Your first instinct may be to avoid mentioning those concerns, but this isn’t a good approach. Instead, address concerns head-on, and explain how your company deals with challenges in your industry.
For example, if you use specific tools to measure and report the work you do for your clients, explain what those tools are. When you’re transparent about how your company operates, you can ease your potential clients’ minds and make them more comfortable purchasing from or partnering with you.
Transparency helps build trust in your services, and in many cases, will also set you apart from your competitors. This is especially true in industries where many companies are unclear about specific parts of what they do — and you can help you establish a reputation for being a more open and honest brand.
11. Make your articles visually appealing
Although the primary goal of copywriting is to convey information, it’s also important to remember the visual aspect of online content. Pages made up of nothing but large blocks of text can be unappealing to visitors, and prevent your readers from making it all the way through.
Fortunately, some simple formatting changes can make your copy appear much more reader-friendly. One great practice to adopt for online content is short paragraphs. Smaller paragraphs make articles appear less intimidating and more skimmable to readers.
You can also use subheadings to help break up text when you move onto a new idea, and visual elements like photos and graphics to break up sections. These elements are an easy way to make a page more visually interesting.
Plus, visual elements can increase a reader’s willingness to read your articles. Content with visual elements gets 94% more views than content that only has text. Adding a few photos or graphics could be exactly what you need to boost the value of each of your pages.
12. Write attention-grabbing titles
Your page titles are the first things potential readers will see in search engine results or on social media. If a title isn’t interesting, most readers won’t click on your article to see if it has the information they want.
When you create your title, it should be an accurate representation of the content in the article, and interesting enough that searchers are intrigued to learn more.
Make sure your title conveys what someone can expect to learn by visiting a page, whether it’s 10 tips for achieving a specific task, or an overview of a specific service you offer. You want people to know what they’ll gain by visiting your site.
You should also keep search engine results in mind as you write your titles. Google only displays the first 70 characters of your title before they cut it off with an ellipsis, so you need to keep your titles under this limit in order for users to see the entire thing.
13. Use a skimmable format
Many Internet users utilize search engines to find information quickly and will skim the pages they click on to find exactly what they need. If a user doesn’t have the time to read an entire article, they want to be able to identify key points by skimming.
Many readers will skim your article, so you need to structure your articles in a way that is helpful for those readers. You can use lists and subheadings to make it easy for them to pick out the information that’s most relevant to them.
14. Include clear calls to action
Each page on your site needs to include a clear call to action. Although not every site visitors will be ready to make a purchase or contact you, you want to make sure that it’s easy for them to learn more about your company or enter your sales funnel.
Your calls to action can vary by page. For example, on more general pages, you might encourage users to sign up for your email list, while on more company-specific pages, you could encourage them to download a free trial or guide. Regardless of what action you want visitors to take, you should make it clear and as easy as possible for them to take the next step.
Want to improve your website’s copy?
Writing effective copy for a website can be challenging, but has a major impact on your overall digital marketing success. If you’re ready to improve your online content, WebFX can help.
We offer several copywriting plans to give you options, and our team has years of experience writing high-quality copy for our clients. And because we have 1,020+ clients in a variety of industries, we know what it takes to create effective copy for businesses ranging from ecommerce stores to industrial manufacturers.
When you partner with us, we’ll be dedicated to your campaign — because we believe that our clients success is our success. So if you’re ready to work with an agency that gets real results, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today to speak with a strategist about how WebFX can help you improve your results with digital marketing!