Our Website Copy Top Tips
Let’s start off by saying that there is a lot to Copywriting, especially website copy. We could talk about it all day, but you’ve got other things to do! So, we’ve condensed it down to five top tips.
Most copywriting applies to any form of marketing, be that content for a leaflet, a blog, or even an ad in a local paper. If you have the right audience reading, your copy has to engage and convert. For this article, let’s assume we’re talking about copy for a new website. Let’s also assume that good spelling and grammar goes without saying.
Features vs Benefits
A feature is basically the description of a product or service and what it offers. It’ll include descriptive details such as specific services hours or a special type of package tailored to the company. “We were established in 1997, etc…”
A benefit focuses on how the product or service is different from the others – more importantly, what is in it for the customer.
Both are important to focus on when writing website copy. The customer will most likely be unfamiliar with the company and may want it spelling out. But, a customer will be more persuaded by the benefits.
Honestly, all the reader wants to know, is ‘what’s in it for me?’ Yet, without a doubt, most businesses write about what they do rather than why you should choose them.
Words are the life source of your writing and when used effectively can deliver the point you’re trying to sell and cause a person to act. So, it’s good to not be lazy with your words.
Your web copy should stay away from weak words such as ‘strive’ or ‘try’ as they suggest hesitation. Rather than ‘Our goal is to put the customer first 100% of the time’ say ‘We put the customer first 100% of the time.” Be confident and proud.
Good copy should use positive words that again, are confident about the service a business provides – don’t be hesitant about your company, otherwise the customer will. You can be modest, but don’t be too British about it!
It’s also wise to stay away from lazy words such as ‘very’, ‘just’ and ‘so’, which can be overused and don’t actually add much emphasis. So, something is not ‘very strong’ but rather it is ‘powerful’. Think twice before using these types of words and search for more, er, powerful ones, which won’t simply be skimmed in your web copy. They can be used but be careful about using them repeatedly.
Sentence length (Website copy readability)
Readability is important in website copy you must hook the customer and not bore them. Split the text, use headers, keep the bodies of text simple, yet effective. Deliver your benefits without confusing or overwhelming the customer with flowery language.
Readability is also important for Search Engine Optimisation. A punchy, human-readable story. Sentences of mind-numbing length will tell Google off as well as the reader.
Short sentence length works well for website copy because you’re also cutting out the bits people like to skip. Readers can be put off by large blocks of writing, especially as it doesn’t look good on mobile. You’re not writing a book, so make sure your paragraphs are concise.
I don’t mean keep the overall amount of text on your website minimal. Again, it’s about putting your messages in bite-sized chunks. Collectively, they could add up to a lot of text, which is fine. If your message is interesting, and the recipients are relevant, people will read it.
Although the use of keywords is important in website copy, they should be used sparingly. Avoid keyword stuffing and stick to content that reads well and is relevant! The days of mentioning your category 50 times are long gone… if you’re a plumber in Shrewsbury, mention that you are a Plumber in Shrewsbury. Don’t overuse the keyphrase and ruin the story. Google may indeed punish you if they think your keyword stuffing. And, the media-savvy audience won’t be interested.
Talk about your services, as people’s searches are much more specific these days. They might not be searching for a plumber in Shrewsbury, but rather ‘leaking taps Shrewsbury’, for example. It paints a nice picture and keeps Google happy.
Definitely make sure that keywords are in your page meta descriptions, i.e in the back end of the website. These are the headlines and summaries that will appear in Google search results.
Make the call to action clear
This may seem pretty obvious when writing website copy, but it’s surprising how many companies fail to clearly lay out their contact number or email.
When offering a service, it should be clear what the company wants the customer to do; be it a phone call, email or a free online quote. You should make the call to action obvious and easily accessible – ideally, your contact information should be on every page. If someone is on a mobile, reading a page on your website and decide they want to call you, is your number there on that page? Or is it on the Contact Us page, which is hidden in the hamburger menu at the top of the page?
People get confused and bored easily. You might think it’s a bit silly, for example, to have a contact form on every page. But, if that’s how people want to contact you, do it. You want people to phone? The phone number should be on every page. Make it easy!
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