This guest post on website copywriting tips was previously published on Novella.nu and Coffee & Pens (both retired blogs) on Mar 20, 2012. Last updated: April 5, 2020.
Written by Stuart Cooke, the Director of Levity Digital a specialist SEO agency.
You know what they say about websites:
It’s all about the content.
Even more so if we consider that, according to a 2018 research by B2B Content Marketing, a good content strategy was a major success factor for 72% of the responding marketers.
If you have a website then you have a purpose in mind for it.
You might want to inform visitors of a cause, sell products, get people to sign up to your service amongst many other possible goals.
No matter what the purpose of your site is, the one thing that is a constant is that your website content needs to be of a high quality in order to achieve its purpose.
So what can you do to make sure that your content says what it should?
Here are some website copywriting tips for you to consider.
What Good Copywriting Can Do for Your Website (4 Tips)
1. Be Engaging (Glue Readers to Your Page!)
One of the most important factors in achieving high quality content is being able to engage with visitors to the site.
To do this you must make a journey into your customer’s mind. Not literally, but you will need to understand how they think.
Put yourself in your target customer’s shoes: do you really want to read through War and Peace, or some other equally long book, just to get to the point of the website?
Of course not, and visitors to your site won’t be any different: the majority of them won’t even give it a chance if they are met with a mass of content.
While longer content (1,200-2,000 words, SerpIQ 2012) keeps visitors engaged, don’t forget that an ecommerce page is a different kind of page (and not all blog posts need to be long) and shorter content is a win here.
Luana’s Note: When you are writing copy for ecommerce, site and transactional pages, make sure you created a customer persona first. Get into the customer’s mind and understand their pain points, describe their age, gender, ethnicity, and other demographics to produce short content where every word matters and guides the customer from reading to hitting the purchase button.
Keep it concise and to the point where it has to be, telling customers exactly what they need to know and not more.
That holds true even when your website doesn’t sell anything. Serve the length that your users expect and not more.
2. Be As Original As You Can
It’s tempting to just find a website that already says everything that you want to say then copy and paste, but be warned: this is a big mistake.
Not only it’s a mistake from a legal point of view (it’s copyright infringement) but the final result that is your blog post or page will have nothing of what makes you (and your website/brand) unique.
Moreover, copying your blog posts elsewhere won’t help either.
Google and other search engines will rain down their fury on any site that they find to contain duplicate content, seriously devaluing its strength which will stop it ranking well within search engines or they might even remove it from their search results completely.
Try operating a website that cannot be found through Google and you’ll soon discover you have a major problem.
Luana’s Note: The dangers of duplicate content without rel=canonical lie not in the fact that there’s a copy of your work somewhere else on the Web (which might be a great thing to find new audiences!) but in the fact that search engines won’t be able to recognize the original source of that content, choosing to pick the one from the website that they deem to have the highest authority. So feel free to syndicate your content, but always ensure to have the rel=canonical attribute up!
Original content is key, and if you have created a website then surely you have some knowledge about its content. Use your brain.
3. Don’t Sacrifice Content For Design
This is possibly the most important out of all my website copywriting tips today.
It doesn’t matter if your web designer presents you with the best looking website in the world.
If the content does not tell the potential customer what they want to know, it won’t work.
Make sure that the content of your site gets as much attention as its design; it is not an area that you can afford to just throw together once everything else is done.
4. Make Readers’ Life Easy
Don’t assume that visitors to your site know as much about your industry or service as you do and don’t force them to work out what they need to do to use your service, sign up or buy products.
Make your website as straightforward and efficient as possible by allowing visitors to get from your homepage to fulfilling the goal of the site whatever that may be in as few clicks as possible.
One thing you can be sure is that if you don’t make it easy for them then they will find another website that will.
By Stuart Cooke
Conclusion by Luana
To write great copy for your website, you have to know your audience first.
I know, that sounds like stating the obvious, but it’s that kind of obvious advice that often goes overlooked.
I repeat: if your website sells something, all your copy must be crafted on the basis of a buyer or customer persona that will keep you “dialoguing” with your ideal customer as you write.
If your site doesn’t sell anything but its goal is to build community, have your ideal community member in mind. This especially applies to blogs.
I hope these website copywriting tips combined with my notes will help your website grow and thrive over time.
To your success!
P.S. I’m a freelance blogger and copywriter. If you need someone to write blog posts or site copy for you, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.