5 Copywriting Tips for a Better Website
Anyone with a business understands how important a good website is, especially in this day and age. The internet has become an integral part of our lives, so if your business doesn’t have a web presence, it’ll fly right under most people’s radars. However, in their quest to design a visually attractive and user-friendly website, many business owners neglect their website copy—the words that appear on the page. While the visual design and user interface are incredibly important and can have a major impact on your brand image, every business website needs good copywriting to generate leads; generally, the best way to ensure great web copy is to collaborate with professional copywriters like ours.
Copywriting is different from other forms of writing because people don’t read websites the way they read other written material. They don’t move from top to bottom—they scan the text, searching for headings and keywords and omitting any portions that don’t immediately appear relevant. They’re not enjoying a story but looking for quick answers to their questions.
In other words, copywriting isn’t easy, but since it’s such a crucial aspect of your online presence, it’s important that you get it right. We’ve put together our top tips for writing great website copy so you can turn more visitors into customers. If you’re looking for professional help, have us write your business website content, including web copy, blogs, newsletters, and much more.
How to write great website copy
1. Know your audience
You can’t write for your audience if you don’t know who they are. Accurately identifying your target demographics is crucial for creating copy that speaks to them. There are multiple reasons for this.
First, it helps you determine what kind of language to use—how much do your prospects know about your field? If your target audience consists largely of laypeople, stick with straightforward language and avoid jargon. Knowing your audience also helps you choose the right tone—if you’re looking at a younger customer base, for example, you’ll likely want to adopt a more casual tone. Finally, an understanding of your target audience gives you insight into what pain points potential customers have. When you understand their problems, not only can you connect with them better, but you can also offer them solutions.
2. Open with your key point
Writing web copy isn’t the same as writing a novel. You don’t want to save the best for last or hide the eye-popping plot twists—on your business website, you want to lead with your best attributes. Your audience’s attention isn’t guaranteed; you have to earn it, so if you start out with your weakest points, your readers won’t bother to stick around for your exciting reveal. Don’t make them scan through more than they have to. Putting the information they most want or need at the top not only makes it more convenient for visitors but also solidifies your business as one that can deliver results.
3. Write the way you speak
Some people use overly formal or complicated language in their web copy because they mistakenly believe it makes their business appear more professional. In reality, it often ends up sounding pretentious and impersonal, and it can easily obfuscate the message you want to convey, especially if you use complicated words that not everyone knows. A more casual vocabulary can still convey professionalism, and it’s a much better fit for most corporate websites. It generally results in clearer and more concise copy than the overly complicated language some businesses favor, and a clearer message will win over more customers.
4. Use the active voice
The active voice is generally easier to absorb than the passive voice. The latter can sound vague and ambiguous when the agent (doer of the action) is unidentified, and even with the agent introduced, it often rings unnatural and pretentious. Some people default to the passive voice to sound more professional, but the active voice lends more confidence and persuasiveness to a text.
That said, let’s just take a moment to dispel the persistent myth that “active voice” and “passive voice” simply mean “strong writing” and “weak writing.” Voice is a grammatical concept, not an arbitrary judgment of the quality of a sentence. The active voice is the default structure of an English sentence, clearly delineating the agent (subject) and the object (if there is one). The passive voice shifts the focus to the receiver (the object in an active sentence) and may omit the agent entirely. Check out these examples:
Active voice: We offer the solution to your problem.
Passive voice: The solution to your problem is offered by us.
5. Make pages easy to scan
People browsing your website want to find the answers to their questions as quickly as possible, so you want to make it easy for them to scan the pages. Three simple ways to do this are to have lots of headings, use lists, and bold important words.
Headings: Multiple headings allow a visitor to find the sections relevant to them and skip the rest. Headings direct them to the paragraphs that answer their questions.
Lists: A bulleted list draws the eye and is much more skimmable than a bloated paragraph. Your readers can glide through a list much faster than through a paragraph containing the same information.
Bolded keywords: Any bolded words will attract attention, so this is a great way to help readers find the information they need or highlight anything you want them to see. Bold any keywords you know your website visitors will be searching for to draw their eyes.
One final piece of advice
Another thing you can do to improve your copy is to visit other websites and see how easily you can access the information you want. Take note of what you find frustrating or what slows you down, as well as what makes finding information easy for you. This will allow you to discover simple tricks for improving your copywriting skills.
If you'd like a keen pair of eyes to go over your website copy, hire us to proofread it. Also, don’t forget to check out our writing service for websites if you’d prefer a professional touch. We can help you with copy and other content to attract more visitors and turn them into clients.