5 Tips for Writing Killer Website Copy

Matt Ulmer
Matt Ulmer VP of Operations & Client Relations

Online Copywriting AdviceAll too often, the design of a website gets all the attention. The look is of course what draws a visitor in, but only the copy can compel your audience to take action.

That’s why we’ve put together the following 5 tips for how to write effective website copy.

1. Keep it short

Writing for print ads, radio ads, and channels like Twitter require us to be extra concise with our messaging. We therefore tend to relish in the relatively infinite size of our websites by including every bit of available information on our products and services. But you should treat your site like those ads. You don’t want your Web pages serving as your sales staff — instead, use short, actionable copy that motivates visitors to fill out a form or otherwise contact someone for more information. Then your sales team can do what they do best.

2. Talk about the customer, not yourself

We often get caught in the trap of writing about ourselves. How long we’ve been in business or how how many clients we serve or how many patents we own. But here’s the thing: Our visitors don’t care, unless that information is tied into a direct benefit to them. Always remember that it’s not about how great you are, but about how you being great results in a better/cheaper/easier product for your customer.

3. Hit your audience’s pain points

When we do write benefits, we tend to base them on what we think are the top qualities of our products or services. Instead, we should consider the problems our audiences face, and how our offerings solve those problems. Highlight your audience’s pain, and then explain how your specific solution alleviates it.

4. Create a written style guide

Do you have brand standards when it comes to your graphics? Rules for how your logo is presented, what fonts you use, the specific shades of your colors? You should do the same for your writing.

A uniform writing styles builds subconscious credibility, and you’d be amazed at how many people notice grammatical inconsistencies. Create rules for common situations, such as whether to use third or first person (“Arc Intermedia’s services are…” vs. “our services are…”); whether to use a comma to complete a series (this, that, and the other); how you write numbers (nine vs. 9); and how you handle terms (email vs. e-mail, website vs. Web site). This will demonstrate professionalism and attention-to-detail.

5. Write with SEO in mind

Much has been said about the importance of search engine optimization. I’ll go so far as to say it’s as important as your website itself. Therefore, write all content with search engines in mind. Research vital keyword phrases before you begin, and stitch them naturally into every page of copy. For tips on selecting the right keywords, check out our keyword research advice article.
Good design is obviously vital to a website’s ultimate success. But the look itself can’t motivate visitors to action — you need compelling copy to drive results. Implement the tips presented here, and you’ll increase the number of leads your website generates.

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