How to Write Great Copy for Your Website » a 10 step guide

Your website is full of words. Lots and lots and lots of words. On average, a web page contains 750+ of them, which is a lot to read for someone with a casual interest in your service or product.

So, how do you write great copy that creates a personal connection with your dream client or customer? How do you inspire them to click through all your pages and eventually become a paying customer? Let’s find out!

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Writing great website copy is one of the most essential parts of promoting your business online.

It’s also one of the most difficult. Over the past 20+ years, we’ve found that writing good web copy is the #1 stumbling point for most people. Even if you have a background in copywriting, odds are it’s for an academic purpose. Unfortunately, that doesn’t cut it online.

Think of the average person visiting your site. They are one step away from distraction – whether that be a competitor’s site, Facebook, or an actual human sitting next to them. Plus, in all likelihood, they have a very limited background in whatever you’re promoting.

The key to writing great website copy is to keep it short and simple.

Avoid technical jargon. Speak directly to the reader and make them feel included. Use callouts (like the one above). Include bullet lists and lots of photos.

»» Feeling inspired?

Keep reading to learn 10 powerful ways to write great copy for your website.

 

Write great copy for your website 


1. Describe (and Visualize) your Ideal Customer

Imagine who they are, what they like, really get inside their head. Know what makes them smile, what keeps them up at night, how they think, and what they feel.

Move beyond basic demographics and really get to know them. Feel like you could have a conversation with them, and know how they will respond. When you write your content, imagine you are writing for your ideal customer, and your writing will be much more vivid, interesting and persuasive.

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2. Great Website Copy Needs to be Scannable

Close to 80% of users scan a webpage, rather than read it word for word. So how do you get your website copy to be scannable? Try using these best practices:

  • Meaningful subheadings, which clearly describe the content.
  • Highlighted Keywords, so users can quickly determine what’s important.
  • Bulleted Lists
  • One idea per paragraph
  • Half the word count of regular text

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3. Keep the Focus on the Customer

Use examples and references that come from their point of view. Make them feel you understand them and their needs. Describe how you can make their life and/or work better. What can you do for them? Tell them.

For example, here are some content writing tips we offer psychotherapists when helping them create a new website.

“While Googling, you discover two identically-designed therapist websites that have completely different website copy. Take a moment to read them both; then, ask yourself, “which of these two therapists am I more drawn to, and why?”

  • PAGE 1 — I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with 10 years of experience treating depression, anxiety, and relationship issues. I practice EMDR and Somatic Therapy with heavy influence from Gestalt.
  • PAGE 2 — You deserve a compassionate therapist … someone to make you feel safe, secure, and connected while guiding you through the healing process. My goal is to support and promote lifelong change that will allow you to form healthy relationships and foster an overall sense of wellbeing.”

 When you look at the two side-by-side, it’s clear how great website copy makes all the difference.

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4. Write great copy by being straightforward

Don’t use jargon or fancy words and write clearly, using an active, not a passive voice. Write a draft, edit it … then edit it again. You want to make sure you’ve eliminated anything that detracts from your core message. Remember the therapist example you just read? Page 2 succeeds because it takes out all the psychobabble.

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5. Make things easy for your visitors

There’s nothing worse than having to search through a site to get the most critical information. This goes far beyond wanting to write great copy … it’s a matter of basic website usability.

Make life easy for your visitors and they will reward you with their business.

If you offer a service – either provide pricing in your website copy, offer a pricing table, or give users a way to get a free quote (like the little blue button on the bottom right of your screen). The same goes for your contact information, terms of service, refund policy, etc. If a potential customer needs it – you should make it easy to find.

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6. Optimize your website copy for SEO

You can have the most beautiful website on earth – but if people can’t find it, they’re not going to become a paying customer. That’s where SEO optimization comes in. You may have noticed that I used the words “write great copy” several times in this post. That’s because I want to optimize it for that keyword.

While it may be tough make your keywords sound natural when writing good website copy, it’s also incredibly important for getting your site noticed by Google. So do your research – start by going to Google’s keyword planner to find out what words and phrases you’ll need to use. Still need help? Reach out and ask us for more info on how to write copy for a website.

 

How to write copy for a website


7. Don’t forget formatting

How your content looks matters. Format it so it is visually engaging, which means having white space, images that support or expand on your content, and a thought-0ut typeface. There’s nothing worse than writing good web copy and then burying it under a teeny or tough-to-read font. Which of these do you prefer:

Writing good web copy in a 12px font

Write great copy for your website in a 16px font

Writing copy for websites in a 20px font

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8. Be Humble

Your website copy should describe how you can help your customers. Ie, what you can do for them, not how wonderful you are. Don’t try to sound smart, because it will only create distance between you and your potential customer.

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9. Be Credible

You want visitors to your website to feel your company is trustworthy and detail oriented, so your website copy should communicate that. Make sure there are no spelling and/or grammar mistakes, no typos, and no broken links. Think about any objections to your product or service on the part of your customer and address them.

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10. Put Important Information First

Want to write great copy? Start by organizing your content in an inverted pyramid style.

Put the most important information—benefits of your product, what services you offer, essential facts, figures, and statistics, etc., at the top of your piece. You want to grab your readers’ attention right away by giving them relevant information. Doing so will make it more likely they will stay on your page.

Website content writing tips


Enough reading … it’s time to get started writing your own great website copy!

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