Tips to Writing Effective Website Copy
Posted on: September 9, 2014 by: DedePerkins
You’ve figured out what to write on each website page. Here’s how to write it.
The tone of your copy – how it makes visitors feel – matters almost as much as the content. Your website copy should be true to your brand message so consider rereading your company’s mission statement before your start writing.
For most small to mid-sized business, a friendly yet authoritative tone works well.
You’re the expert, but you’re also a nice person who cares about your customers. If you have a brand “voice,” definitely use it, but don’t overdo it. Most businesses use a conversational tone in marketing copy. You want the visitor to “hear” you talking to them rather than be conscious of reading website copy.
The following techniques will help you write copy that engages website visitors and hopefully, turns them into loyal customers.
• Write in terms of “you.” For example: “On cold winter nights, you’ll be toasty warm underneath our European Goose Down Comforter.”
• If appropriate, use industry lingo, but don’t overdo it. People want to know you’re the expert, but they also need to understand what you’re saying.
• Use words so search engines – and therefore your customers – can find you. Best not to be too clever here. Brainstorm common phrases your customers regularly use to describe your product or service. (These are the phrases prospects will type into Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines to find you.) Consider adding a location to streamline the search. For example: “Business Writing Company, Portland Maine.” Weave these common words and phrases into your titles, headlines, and copy. If you’re not sure what words are best, check out WordStream’s free Keyword tool for ideas.
• Unless you’re a nationally known brand, use keywords and phrases from above rather than your company name in title tags.
• Use short sentences and brief paragraphs. Here are guidelines:
Titles and headings – Try to keep them under 8 words.
Sentences – 20 words max
Paragraphs – 35 – 75 words
Pages – 250 words max
• Break up text with highlighted titles and sub-titles. Most people scan rather read every word. Make it easy for readers to get your important points.
• Use bulleted lists to call attention to important information.
• White space is key. Keep lots of it on every page.
• Use hypertext links to lead visitors further into your website.
A properly crafted website will have user-friendly navigation, visual appeal, and customer-focused information. Use the tips above to write website copy that will engage visitors and, when they’re ready, convert visitors into customers.
Dede Perkins has over 25 years of writing, branding and marketing experience with businesses and non-profit organizations.