How to Ensure That Your Website Copy is Effective

Are you aware of the power that your website copy has to either make or break your online presence and to invite users in or drive them away?

An amazing design with engaging elements and images isn’t the only thing that your website needs to stand out and capture the attention of your audience. Your website copy, the core text that narrates visitors through your website and tells them the information that they need to know, also has a tremendous effect on your audience and informs their first impression.  

Think about it for a moment.

When you visit a website, what kind of text do you enjoy reading? Text that is interesting, relatable, and focused, that feels like it was written specifically for you? Or text that is stuffy, boring, and speaks to you like a “target persona” with no name or feelings rather than a real human?

I think the answer is obvious.

If you want to succeed online, it is imperative that your website copy intrigues, engages, and inspires your readers. Follow the 8 below tips to ensure that your website copy is effective.

1. Consider your audience

This is the most important point when it comes to writing effective copy for your website. In order to know what to write and how to write it, you must first understand your target audience and know what their needs and expectations are. Make sure that your tone, terminology, and writing style all appeal to your target audience and that they accurately reflect your brand and business. Only then will you be able to communicate effectively and intelligently with your site visitors.

2. Put the most important information first

Most often, your target audience is visiting your website with a specific goal in mind, like to get information or accomplish a task. You want to make sure that what they’re looking for is readily available to them so that they are encouraged to stay on your site. This means that the most important and relevant copy on your website needs to be listed first.  

Copy that lists your value proposition and headlines and clearly identifies your website pages and what the visitors can find on them should be included at the top and be immediately visible. You don’t want users to have to scroll through your site or work hard to find this key text that they are looking for. By positioning your most relevant copy at the forefront, you’ll keep visitors on your site and make it easy for them to find the info that they need.

 3. Make it scannable

The way that people read text on a website is completely different from the way people read books. People tend to scan through copy on a website, rather than fully reading it, which means that it must be succinct, straightforward, and easy to digest.

The best way to accomplish this is through formatting your copy a certain way and highlighting main points.  Break up big paragraphs into short ones, use headers and subheaders, incorporate key information in bullets points and lists, and include important points in bold. By doing all these things, you will make the copy much more reader-friendly for those busy people who are visiting your site and don’t have the time, energy, or interest to read every word of text on your pages. 

4. Make it focused

The copy on each of your site pages should be clear and make it easy for users to understand what that page is all about. A good idea is to set a specific goal for each of your site pages, and then develop copy  accordingly so that it serves that purpose and is cohesive, sticking to the topic at hand. This will prevent you from including copy that is random or superfluous.  

An important thing to remember is that people don’t interact with web content chronologically. Instead, they visit the pages that pique their interest the most or where they think they can go to find the information they need. Thus you should be careful to develop and group the copy on your website so that each page can stand alone, not being dependent on the info contained on any of the other pages, and with the understanding that your site pages will not be visited in a sequential manner.

5. Keep it friendly and use simple language

Your web copy serves as your virtual salesman and customer service representative. Thus you should write it in such a way as if you were directly speaking with your customers. You should aim to make it as friendly and welcoming as possible to your visitors, while staying in line with your brand. Avoid writing in a way that is stuffy, bland, or overly-salesy.   

Additionally, aim to keep it simple, using familiar language that the average person can understand. Using complicated industry jargon or unfamiliar words is unnecessary and could potentially alienate readers from you. You can still sound professional and authoritative without using complex language, so focus on writing in a way that is clear and simple.

6. Include visuals

Dense blocks of website copy can be exhausting to read through and turn users away, so it’s a good idea to include relevant visuals throughout a piece of copy to help break it up. Incorporate compelling and informative visuals like graphics, photos, infographics and video clips to illustrate points and help readers to further understand your content. By pairing your written copy with visual elements like this, you will provide a visual break for readers and make your site pages much more approachable.

7. Be mindful of including keywords

Keywords work hard to guide Google and your readers to understand what the content on your website is all about. Think about when you go to do a search for online content—don’t you use a string of keywords? It is crucial, therefore, that you incorporate keywords when writing your copy, which will optimize your content for SEO.

Focus on using keywords that are best in line with your message and include them in your page titles, subheadings, body text, alt tags, image file names and meta description.

8. Get help if you need it

Let’s be honest: not all of us are good at writing. Although you are ideally the best person as the business owner to write the copy for your website, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. If writing isn’t your strong point, then enlist the help of someone who is a strong writer or work with a professional copywriter. You want your website copy to be professional and help drive your marketing goals and if that means investing in copywriting services, it will be well worth the investment.

By keeping these 8 tips in mind, you’ll be able to create compelling copy for your website that is memorable, effective, and works towards the goals of your business. For more tips on copywriting and what goes into the making of a successful website, contact us today.

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