Effective website copy can be broken down into two simple parts: it conveys information and convinces visitors to act. The ultimate goal of any website is to gain conversions, and website copywriting is the science of telling stories that urge readers to respond.
There is no one formula for website copywriting that works for every company. Short but sweet might be just the thing for one business, while another will require more in-depth information to convince visitors to take action. However, following are some steps all website copywriters can take to make the most of their limited time with readers.
1. Keep it simple.
Because internet readers tend to scan text rather than read every word, using the simplest terms and vocabulary helps them digest your content more easily. The more easily visitors are able to gather information from your site, the more likely they are to stay and take action.
2. Write for readability.
Remember how internet readers are scanners? On the internet, readability is everything. Don’t treat your website like a book and force your visitors to dig for info buried in a dreaded wall of text. Embrace white space and short bursts of content, utilize bullet points to single out vital info, and keep paragraphs to a maximum of four sentences.
3. Know your target audience.
Know who you want to reach and write for them. For example, don’t use technical jargon when writing for end users, and don’t use a formal tone if you are writing for a young audience.
4. Tell your story.
If you can make an emotional connection with your reader then you’re well on your way to turning them into customers. If your company has a unique background, a humanitarian goal, a colorful office environment, a focus on family values or anything unique, incorporate it into the About Us section and help your readers feel a connection.
5. Stress the benefits.
Readers want to know how and why. Your website copy must tell them up front, loud and clear, how your product or service can benefit them and why they should take action now. Be specific.
6. Use persuasive reviews and recommendations.
If you have great reviews on trusted sites or have glowing client testimonials, by all means share them. Reviews and recommendations lend credibility to your company and can help nudge visitors from maybe to yes.
7. Include all the pertinent company info.
Website copy needs to be persuasive, but it must also contain practical information about your company and services offered. This can include pricing, product details, and full contact information. Don’t make it hard for your customers to get the basic information they need to take action.
8. Check that all links are working.
It is important that the links in you website copy work properly. All links should be checked often to make sure that they are leading to the right page. That said, most or all of your website links should be internal, meaning that they point to other content on your own website. Don’t lead visitors away from your site and potentially lose the sale.
9. Edit your copy, then edit again.
Errors can erode confidence like nothing else. You might have a miraculous product, but if your website copy contains errors then visitors will immediately perceive you as sloppy and unprofessional. Go over your content with a fine-tooth comb, but don’t leave it at that; let at least two other people read it before you hit publish.
10. Use powerful action words.
Sprinkling persuasive action words throughout your website copy lends a sense of urgency and gives visitors the confidence to make a purchase. Some action words include now, act, new, limited and free. This Writtent post contains more information on power words that get attention.
11. Include calls to action.
Every single website page should include a strong and visible call to action. Your call to action tells readers exactly what they need to do next, and removes all barriers to doing it.
Following the tips listed above can help turn visitors into customers. For more help with website copywriting, check out this post chock full of copywriting tools, and this list of 77 copywriting resources.