The Do’s and Don’ts of Website Copy: Create Content People Want to Read
Based on insights from Leverage copywriter, Nicole Elliott
Charm, excite, entice, clarify, affirm…with your words.
WEBSITE COPY IS IMPORTANT, YET OFTEN OVERLOOKED
When it comes to marketing content, website copy is often neglected. Yet, it’s a huge (and often missed) opportunity to craft the right message in order to reach the right audience. Well crafted content ultimately helps you attract your dream customers, boost conversions and improve your retention rates. In other words, website copy has powerful potential.
The problem is that time, budget and resources are typically spent on marketing emails, ads, landing pages or places where companies see a direct ROI.
Although you might not immediately see hard numbers from website copy, it is still a form of sales writing. It may be more subtle than direct sales, but it is where you’re selling your most important product — your business — and therefore the same types of sales strategies apply.
GUIDELINES FOR WEBSITE COPY
1. Me-focused vs. You-focused
“Me me me”
If a company writes in “me me me” style, the content is based around what the company does, how great it is, and how they are better than the competition. What’s missing in this style of copy is the relation and benefits to the user/customer. Companies should refrain from being focused on themselves and rather focus on what they can do for the potential customer.
“You you you”
The customer wants to know what’s in it for them. Writing in a way that answers and supports this question is “you you you” style.
Use your words to talk directly to your audience, by using the term “you” or elaborating on the many ways you help your clients. In this form, you’re showing how you can solve their problems.
2. Cut the Fluff
“Fluff” is vague, meaningless copy that says the exact same things you expect every other business to say, such as “we focus on making our customers happy” or “we are better than the competition!” These statements are usually said without any proof.
Instead of relying on generalities, be specific, offer benefits, and give proof to show your business is credible.
Proof can be in the form of testimonials, case studies, or a specific process (if your process or way of business is unique).
3. Call to Action (CTA)
Don’t leave the customer hanging by letting the conversation end at the bottom of your webpage. Do place a CTA on every page––whether it is your Home, Services, or even your About page––to guide the customer on a journey of what to do next.
The CTA can be different on each page to fit with the page content and to link to the desired outcome. Some pages may link to your blog while others link to your portfolio or a direct ‘buy’ page.
4. Know Your Background Info
Before you write, you need to know who you are writing for, what you want to say, and how you want to say it.
- Define your target audience
- Discover your writing “voice”
- Identify your most enticing benefits (ex: what saves someone time or $)
- Identify your unique ability, or what makes you truly stand out
- Choose the relevant personal story (if you have one) to share with your audience. For instance, if you’re an entrepreneur and have a personal connection to the brand, sharing this story can help build a personal connection with your clients.
4 THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE COPY
1. Change your me-focused copy to you-focused copy.
2. Cut the fluff by making content specific, providing benefits, or offering proof.
3. Add a Call To Action to every page.
4. Read your website copy aloud and simplify as needed, anywhere it doesn’t read smoothly.
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