We all want our websites to translate into more conversions and revenue from business. Yet, when investing in a new website, copywriting tends to rank low on the priority list. This brings us to an important point. Your website requires effective copywriting to be effective. “And when it comes to reeling in users and converting them, it’s all about the copy,” writes Forbes. Consider the following analogy.
Imagine your website is a house. The house’s construction and design can be impeccable, but if the interior doesn’t welcome visitors, convey the value you offer, and do so in a likable way, they’re not going to stay, much less have meaningful engagements with you as their host. So it is with your website.
Those who invest in copywriting for their website attract and convert more visitors into customers. To learn more about pitfalls to avoid and best practices, we spoke with Kristin Gilmore, a former English professor and current Marketing Content Manager with Bell Media.
Common Copywriting Pitfalls to Avoid
1. Including every detail on a page
Your business matters to you, as it should. However, including every detail about every aspect of your business is too much. Visitors ask, “why does this matter to me,” and if it doesn’t, they won’t read it.
2. SEO keyword cramming
We often see this among companies that have a team member who has some understanding of SEO. Search engine optimization is crucial to showing up but packing in keywords at the expense of human readability is a sure-fire way to lose your visitors’ interest.
3. Instilling a sense of urgency and immediacy at the wrong points
CTA’s are essential, but many businesses fail to lead with benefits, are too pushy right away, and don’t consider the customer journey. Unknowingly, you can risk coming across as spammy or scammy.
Let's get your website copy to work for you.
Top Tips for Effective Website Copywriting
Now that we’ve discussed what not to do, let’s dive into the elements of strong copywriting. Compelling website content boils down to 3 rhetorical principles: (1) show credibility (2) demonstrate that you’re the logical choice for them (3) tell a compelling story that moves visitors to action. If you have poor writing or fall victim to the pitfalls mentioned above, visitors won’t trust you. Read on for our top tips for effective website copywriting.
1. Know thy audience.
To speak effectively to anyone, you must first know who they are and what matters to them. Research your target market to understand their interests, what tone will resonate with them, what keeps them up at night, and how you can position your solutions to address their problems.
2. Attract with a strong first impression.
You have mere seconds to capture visitors’ attention. Format your website with “above-the-fold” in mind and construct strong messaging. Your above-the-fold content should demonstrate your brand’s personality, the problem you’re solving, and what you’re offering. Be warned, though – It takes a lot of thought to come up with something compelling in such a small amount of space.
Start with your homepage and work your way out. Your homepage should present concisely and compellingly how you solve the problem, who you are, and credibility for using you. Include CTAs to learn more so that visitors can dig further into the website on additional pages.
3. Inform and convert.
Tell a compelling story that moves visitors to action. As you tell your story, position yourself as unique, credible, and a logical choice for visitors. A well-written story will make a more significant impact, ensure that visitors enjoy learning about you, and are more apt to convert when you make a call to action.
Use headers to help you organize the content of your story. Useful headers will make it easier for search engines and visitors alike to consume your content. Try to keep sections to 300 words, as a best practice.
Use CTAs (calls to action) to compelling visitors to take the next step. Be careful how urgent and immediate you are in your CTA messaging. Consider the location of your CTAs and your visitors’ journeys. You want to know how they got to your website, why they’re on your website, and where they are in their search journey. Understanding these aspects of the user journey will speak to the level of immediacy to use in your language and what information to present first. It’s about knowing when and how best to push.
4. Support your SEO strategy.
Most of your visitors begin their journey in search. Ninety-three percent of website traffic comes from search engines. SEO is key to showing up for consumers in search engines. Use your headers to support your SEO strategy. Include keywords, but make sure they pertain to the section and are readable. When writing for SEO, we recommend not undergoing or overdoing it. True, this is easier said than done. Try this trusty trick— Write for people first and foremost, then go back in and ensure you’re using keywords where appropriate.
What a Professional Website Copywriter Will Do For You
We asked Gilmore what she’d tell businesses who are reluctant to invest in professional copywriting. Her answer was spot on and two-fold:
- Copywriting, especially effective copywriting, takes more time, energy, and expertise than you might think. Hiring a copywriter will allow you and your team to focus on your business and will keep the website project on schedule for completion.
- Hire a digital agency over a freelancer. Your digital agency knows the ins and outs of your future website, your email nurturing, your digital advertising, and your brand. It can ensure that communications are cohesive. A cohesive strategy yields the best results.
The Bottom Line on Website Copywriting
The investment in website copywriting is worth having a partner in creating your voice. Check out pricing on our Instant Quote Page.
If you still aren’t sure who you should hire to build your website and develop your website copywriting, feel free to contact us. Our team of digital experts are here to guide you toward success in the digital world.