Writing website copy that sells is difficult and time consuming. It must be SEO-friendly, but also reader-friendly, because your website is made for humans after all. Although you know your business like nobody else, the most qualified people to write content on your website are professional copywriters. They know how to invoke emotions through words, to clarify needs, and be persuasive. Nevertheless, if you still want to write copy yourself, here are six important tips to write compelling website copy:
1. Focus on the customer
You’re probably very proud of your business. But the truth is customers don’t care about your company (at first). They want their problems solved, their needs fulfilled. As long as you tell them exactly how your offers are helping them, prospects will keep listening. Keep that in mind when writing your copy. Take this test to check what the focus is in your copy: count the “we’s” and “you’s” and see who wins.
2. Write in the second person
Hundreds or more visitors may come to your website every day (OK, that’s quite hopeful). Each of them is a potential client and you need to show that in your copy. As you write in the second person (you, your, yours) visitors will feel more drawn in. Imagine you’re having a close conversation with your best customer. What would you say? What would your tone be?
3. Use the right keywords
Keywords tell search engines what your content is about. Don’t know where to get keywords? Use a keyword analysis tool like Google Keyword Planner. Add keywords sensibly throughout a webpage: in the page title, main body, subheadings and anchor text (avoid generic ‘click here’ anchor text). However, don’t write copy purely for SEO purposes. You don’t want to cloud the reader’s experience with repetitive text. Make your text is readable by humans first, and robots second.
4. Write straightforward page titles
Generic words like ‘services’ or ‘products’ don’t belong in a page title. Tell visitors exactly what that page is about. This not only helps them get a better picture, but also helps search engines know what your content is about. So keep the title direct, concise and simple. Also, don’t forget to include your main keyword in your page titles.
5. Narrow the focus in the main body
What follows after the page title and heading must also be ultra-specific. Concentrate on a single topic (that of your page title) and don’t deviate. A webpage should answer a specific question.
Another thing to note here is to cut down on the hype. People are not impressed by hyperboles, they’ll find them annoying. As people are bombarded with adverts every day, they’ve developed pretty good BS detectors. Build trust with simple language, not with hype.
6. Keep your website copy short and easy-to-read:
- Organize the copy by breaking it into paragraphs, bullets, tables, etc. This makes it scannable by human eyes.
- Use shorter words and sentences. Long and difficult words don’t make you seem smarter – on the contrary, they are pretentious.
- Make the text bigger and easier to read. Most people browse the web from a mobile device, and you don’t want them to squint their eyes when reading your website copy.
- Use minimum punctuation to provide less ‘reading barriers’. Adhere to ‘lean punctuation’ – cut out acronyms, abbreviations and excessive capitalization.
- Avoid jargon, obscure acronyms and unnecessary punctuation – they stand in the way of comprehension. Write as if schoolchildren are your target audience.
- Have a sense of humor. Writing in a chatty or conversational style makes your brand seem friendly and sympathetic. Don’t be afraid of being yourself.
- Use verbs instead of adjectives. Saying your product or service ‘saves you $25 dollars a month’ is much more convincing than saying that it’s ‘economical’.
Finally, always check for mistakes. This sounds obvious, but we see spelling mistakes on websites all the time. They make you seem sloppy and unprofessional. Also, don’t forget to change your website copy from time to time to see what works best. Check if ‘sign up for your 30-day free trial’ brings more conversions that ‘sign up for a free trial’.
Planning to build a landing page to get more of those sought-after conversions? See 10 Effective Tips to Boost Your Landing Page Conversion Rate.