There are so many factors that combine to make a website successful. Design – both UX and UI, functionality, and effective use of graphics and images all have an impact on a website’s success. Each of these factors focus on driving users to a website and keeping them engaged once they arrive. Also included in this list is the text on your page, but writing copy for websites isn’t always a simple task.
Web copy serves many purposes in addition to simply providing information to your users. It directly and indirectly describes your brand, impacts SEO, and helps build engagement to name a few. Seriously, the importance of good copywriting cannot be understated.
Website Copywriting Tips
Learning how to write copy that sells and engages users will take time. The good news is that writing copy for websites is as much a learnable, technical skill as it is a creative one. Here are eight tips for writing website copy that will make your business stand out from the rest.
Images are also incredibly valuable to your website. First and foremost, they capture users’ attention and break up long-form copy. In addition, they can add clarity to your copy, thus making it more impactful and likely to achieve it’s intended goals.
Always Consider User Intent
We’re sorry to say it, but nobody really cares about what you have to offer unless it will benefit them. So. Think about your users. What problem are they attempting to solve by visiting your site? What struggles do they frequently experience? What would bring them value?
Regardless of what you’re writing – whether it’s the about section of your website, a product description, or your weekly blog – one of our most important website copy best practices involves providing readers with exactly what they are seeking. No, you’ll won’t get it perfect 100% of the time, but the more often your words provide the information your users hope for, the more successful your website will be. (This goes hand in hand with our next tip, too.)
Use the WIIFM Principle
Sometimes, writing effective web copy involves explaining to your users that you are, in fact, providing them with what they need. How do you go about this? WIIFM. AKA: What’s in It For Me?
Simply making statements and assuming readers understand their relevance will often leave your copy lacking. Have you been in business for 20 years? Awesome. Now how does that benefit your customer? Do you sell a state-of-the-art product? Great. How will it improve their lives? Tell you reader what’s in it for them, and watch your conversions take off.
Write for Scanners
Don’t fool yourself into believing that every word you put out into the innerwebs will be read with fervor. Users don’t read. They scan.
Break your content up to make it scannable. Keep paragraphs short and create a visual hierarchy by using headings, subheadings, and lists. This will make it easier for readers to find the information most relevant to them in the moment.
It can be difficult to simplify your web copy, especially if you’re particularly passionate about the reason you’re writing to begin with. But trust us. Simpler is better when it comes to writing copy for websites.
Be concise. Great web copy gets the point across quickly and easily. Don’t use six words when four will do. Don’t take an entire paragraph to express a single thought. Not only is concise copy more scannable, but it packs a much bigger punch than something long and drawn out.
Omit Jargon. Want to know how to write website copy that fails? Require your readers to work hard. Unless you are writing for a very specific audience and you are 100% certain that they understand industry-specific jargon, don’t use it. You’ll risk losing users who either don’t have a good grasp on it, or don’t want to do the mental gymnastics required to decode it.
In today’s digital world, writing engaging copy is only one piece of the puzzle. Keep SEO in mind by targeting keywords in your copy. The right keywords can go a long way to improving SEO and getting your website in front of more people. Friendly reminder: utilizing keywords should never compromise the integrity of your copy or dilute your message.
Need to know how to write good copy for your website, specifically? Consider completing a simple A/B test. In doing so, you’ll learn very quickly whether one version of your copy resonates with users better than another. This isn’t something that needs to be done for every little bit of copy on your website, but rather on high value pages, especially pages intended to entice conversions.
Honesty and Integrity Above All
Today’s users are savvy! Which is why even 1,000 website copy tips won’t do any good if your users don’t trust you. They come to your website to find accurate information which they can use to make their own decisions. If you come across as though you’re trying to impress the reader or pull the wool over their eyes, you’ll lose them.
Furthermore, keep in mind that readers can fact-check you in about thirty seconds. So, definitely don’t tell a tale. But also, take the time to confirm your own assumptions before hitting publish. In short, give your readers what they want, and do so honestly.
Learn How to Write Better Copy with Hungry Media
If writing copy for websites isn’t your thing, don’t think it means your site is destined for doom. We can help! Our team includes SEO strategists and copywriters who create top notch copy which our designers then turn into a visual masterpiece. Skeptical? Take a look at our list of satisfied clients. Or better yet, contact us for more information. We’d love to help you take your copy from blah…to BOOM!
contributed by Melissa Lucas, senior staff writer