I probably don’t have to tell you that having a website is a crucial part of any business’s success. Here’s where I have to give you the bad news: having a PRETTY website isn’t enough. When creating a new website for your business or brand, you need to make sure that the content on your website is engaging, informative, and persuasive. This is where website copywriting comes in.
While most of my clients hire me to write web copy for them (grab details about that here if you are past the DIY stage), today, I’m going to take you through the basics of website copywriting and equip you with the tools you need to write compelling copy that converts visitors into customers. This one is for the DIYers!
PS: If you feel like you struggle with constantly starting at a blank screen when you sit down to write, I highly recommend you check out Jasper.AI. It’s an affiliate link, but it also gives you extra credits when you sign up and it’s what I use in my own business every single day to get the ideas flowing. Start your free trial here.
Table of Contents
What is Website Copywriting?
At its core, website copywriting is the process of writing words for a website that is designed to inform, engage, and persuade visitors to take action. When my clients hire me for website copywriting, they will typically walk away with a home page, about page, services page, and contact page. This can include everything from product descriptions and blog posts to landing pages and calls to action.
The key to effective website copywriting is understanding your target audience and crafting content that speaks directly to their needs and desires. By doing so, you can build trust, establish credibility, and ultimately drive more conversions and sales. But here’s the catch: we need DATA to do those things!
Here are a few places I turn to when researching for my clients:
- Google Analytics
- Social media insights
- Customer surveys
- Sales data
- Keyword research tools (because you want your website to convert well AND rank on Google too)
- Industry reports
- Competitor analysis
- Internal data *this one is my favorite! it includes things like reviews and lead inquiry forms)
The Importance of Good Website Copywriting
I know that as a website copywriter, I’m biased, but I truly believe good copywriting is the MAIN difference between a website that makes more money and one that gets nothing but compliments. Your website is often the first point of contact between your business and potential customers, so you need to make a good impression. If your copy is dull, confusing, or unengaging, visitors are likely to leave your website without taking any action.
On the other hand, if you try to infuse too much of your personality, you may risk confusing your audience too. Sometimes there is a fine line between boring copy and clear copy!
Key Elements of Effective Website Copy
So what does effective website copy look like? Here are a few key elements to keep in mind:
- Clarity: Your copy should be clear and easy to understand. You want to avoid jargon or overly technical language that might confuse your audience.
- Conciseness: Get to the point quickly and avoid unnecessary fluff or filler. Yup, you don’t need to include your coffee order or turn everything into a story. Your audience is busy and doesn’t have time to read through long, rambling paragraphs (and you likely aren’t as interesting as you think you are).
- Relevance: Your copy should be tailored to the needs and interests of your target audience. That’s why there is no “one size fits all” approach to website copywriting. Speak directly to their pain points and show them how your product or service can help solve their problems.
- Persuasion: Use persuasive language to encourage your audience to take action. This might include using strong calls to action, highlighting the benefits of your product or service, or using social proof to build credibility.
- SEO Optimization: Finally, make sure your copy is optimized for search engines. This means using relevant keywords and phrases throughout your content to help it rank higher in search results. You can have the “best” website copy in the world but if nobody can find you, they can’t buy from you.
By keeping these elements in mind, you can create website copy that engages your audience, builds trust, and ultimately drives more sales for your business.
Now, let’s talk about your ideal client
When it comes to creating effective website copy, one of the most important things you can do is to know your audience. When it comes to your ideal customer, you need to have a clear understanding of who they are, what they care about, and what they need from YOU. By taking the time to identify your target audience, you can create copy that speaks directly to their concerns and helps them find the information they need.
Too many business owners are skipping this step because they think they know their ideal client’s favorite place to shop or TV shows. So let’s dive a little deeper here!
Identifying Your Target Audience
Before you start writing website copy, you need to get in the zone and think about who your ideal customer is and what they are looking for. How old are they and what does that mean about them? What do they value in your product or service? Where do they hang out online and what do they search for? Finding your ideal client or target audience could be a blog post by itself, but those are a few to get you started!
Let me give you an example: my ideal client for website copywriting in a day is a business owner who has been in business for 2-5 years, KNOWS how to make quick decisions, HAS a clear offer, and knows the pain points of their target customers.
Most of my clients are offering a service, or coaching program, or are online course creators and they prefer to communicate via email (which often means they are millennials – but not always).
They may or may not have the budget for search-driven marketing services like Pinterest management or blogging, but they DO recognize the importance of a good website and value it ranking on Google. What they order at Starbucks (or Dunkin’) in the morning is irrelevant.
Creating User Personas for Better Copywriting
If you get stuck trying to create an ideal client avatar, consider trying to create user personas. User personas are fictional representations of your target audience that help you better understand their needs and preferences (and they can be based on a real person).
For example, I have a few but one of them is named “Courtney” after a real-life Courtney I would love to work with one day. If you’ve worked with someone you’ve LOVED in the past, consider creating your user persona with them in mind! You don’t need to just pull facts about your ideal client out of thin air.
Crafting Compelling Headlines
The Power of a Strong Headline
Your headline is often the first thing that visitors see when they land on your website. Its job is to grab their attention and entice them to keep reading. I think the latest stats say you have about a tenth of a second but honestly, everytime I check it gets shorter.
Here’s what I do know though: a strong headline can be the difference between a visitor staying on your website or leaving immediately.
Think of a headline as a hook that draws your audience in. It’s the first impression that people have of your content, and it needs to be powerful enough to convince them to continue reading. A well-crafted headline can make all the difference in the success of your content marketing efforts. I often start with headlines and craft the “body copy” after.
Again, if you need help getting started or generating ideas, I highly recommend Jasper.
Tips for Writing Attention-Grabbing Headlines
Creating catchy, compelling headlines is a true art form. Keep it simple and snappy by using vivid, active language that truly showcases the essence of your content. Don’t forget to include juicy facts and figures whenever you have them. Not only do they add credibility, but they also make for a more intriguing read.
A little tip from a website copywriter? To really draw readers in, try weaving in some vibrant emotional language that truly resonates with your audience. After all, people are more likely to engage with content that speaks to their true desires and pain points.
Last but not least, let your creativity shine through! A clever, unexpected headline can result in swarms of curious clicks and stand out from the crowd. So, go ahead and let your imagination run wild! If you are worried if the message is clear enough, ask someone outside of your industry if they can understand it in 2 seconds or less.
Remember, your headline is your first chance to make a good impression on your audience. Take the time to craft a strong headline that will capture their attention and make them want to learn more.
Tips for Engaging and Persuasive Website Copywriting
The Art of Storytelling in Copywriting
Humans are wired to respond to stories, so incorporating storytelling into your copywriting can be a powerful tool for engaging your audience and persuading them to take action. Try to create a narrative that relates to your audience’s struggles or desires and shows how your product or service can help them overcome their challenges.
Using Persuasive Language and Techniques
Incorporating persuasive language and techniques into your copy can help you influence your audience’s thoughts and actions. This includes using words that create a sense of urgency, emphasizing the benefits of your product or service, and using social proof to show that others have had positive experiences with your brand.
A word to the wise: FOMO has been overused to death. It’s lost its effectiveness. And let me just say – people are drawn to content that speaks to what they are “pining” for. You don’t always have to agitate their pain points to death.
Balancing Information and Emotion in Your Website Copywriting
Effective copywriting strikes a balance between providing valuable information and tapping into your audience’s emotions. We’ve all read that spicy headline that caught our attention… even if ultimately we did not know what TF they were actually trying to say (or sell).
Your copy should be informative and persuasive, but it should also create an emotional connection with your audience. This means using language that evokes feelings of desire, excitement, or even fear (if appropriate).
Should You Hire a Website Copywriter?
On one hand, hiring a copywriter could ensure that your website copy is of professional-level quality and tailored to your brand and goals. We know how to structure websites for conversion.
On the other hand, DIYing it could save you money and give you the flexibility to make changes quickly without having to go through a third party. If you choose to DIY it, there are helpful tools like Jasper that can help you when creating effective website copy. It’s ultimately up to you; consider what makes the most sense for your needs and budget! I’m here to support you either way!