How to write good website copy

Tip 1. Know your customers
The biggest mistake people make when writing their website copy it that they write it for themselves rather than for the target audience. Get to know your audience, the language they use, the questions they will have, their needs, and why they might buy from you. If a potential customer has a need in mind when they type in their search term into Google, then they see that need reflected in your listing and then again on the web page they arrive at, they are much more likely to buy. So, when writing your website copy, write directly to your potential customers and anticipate what’s likely to be on their minds.

Tip 2. What’s in it for them?
When visitors to your site read your copy they will have one question in mind: “What’s in it for me?” While a website is designed for thousands of visitors, for each visitor the experience is personal. Just as with a book the conversation is one-to-one, you are talking directly to the reader.

You need to write your copy so that the audience sees the benefits of your products and services compared to those of your competition. Therefore we recommend presenting your products or services in terms of the benefits, as opposed to the features and their advantages. A tip for doing this is to present your products/service descriptions in this way: “Has (feature). Which (advantage). So (benefit). The “so” is the critical bit as you are explaining what the benefit will be. Do not assume your customers will be able to work it out for themselves. The benefit is most importantly going to explain to the customer, how buying this product or signing up for this service is going to benefit them in some way.

Example: This tutorial HAS a section on good copywriting WHICH explains the key principles of good copy SO you can create a successful website and increase sales.

Tip 3. What do you want them to do?
You should know what you want your customers to do, whether that’s buy a product immediately, get in touch for more information or sign up for a newsletter so you can get their data. But does your customer know? Never assume this is obvious and make it crystal clear to them as many times as possible. If you want them to buy make sure you have a huge ‘buy now’ button, or to make them get in touch have a heading “Find out more” which links to your contact page. Make sure this information is positioned at the top and not at the very bottom of a lot of text. Many visitors will not scroll down. So make things easy and let them know what to do at the very top.

Tip 4. Keep it Simple
There’s no avoiding the importance of simple, clear, grammatically correct English. Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes suggest to buyers that you are careless which they will see as a reflection of your business and not want to buy from you.

Every paragraph, every sentence and every word must serve the purpose of making it more likely that your audience will buy your product or service. Remove anything that is not relevant and get to the point as quickly as possible, this will ensure you don’t lose the reader’s attention. Remember visitor don’t like to read large amounts of text so keep it precise, short and break up blocks of text as much as possible.

Tip 5. Be friends with Google
Google rewards relevance because that’s what its searchers want. The more relevant Google believes your web page to be, the higher it will rank you and the cheaper your pay per click advertising will be.

Google determines relevance primarily from the websites that link to you (and those that you link to) and from the content on the page. It will compare the copy on your web page with the search phrase the user typed in. Include the keywords and phrases your customers will use to search for your products. Include the names of products and services but also the areas you cover if you are a local service. Google is however very sophisticated so don’t just cram pages with keywords, you will be found out and blacklisted.

Tip 6. Get your headline right
The most important line of your copy is the first one visitors see. Headlines fall into several types, including questions (“How much is peace of mind worth to you?”), calls to action (“Sign up now for free peace of mind”) and direct headlines (“Free peace of mind here”). One of the most popular is the “how to” (“How to get free peace of mind in seconds”).

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