Writing compelling copy for your website is difficult to nail, but once you master it good word-smithing can really pull your website together. For your reference in this post, I will be covering basic web page copy only, not content copy like blog posts that focus on marketing strategies. Carry on reading if you want to know my top tips on how to write compelling website copy.
Enriching your web pages with relevant, interesting copy can decrease bounce rates and can even improve your ROI (return on investment). But, how can you write copy that delivers these results? You probably think that it takes up time, manpower and is extremely complicated. In actual fact, it isn’t. The simpler you keep your writing the better.
Let me show you the key points that will help you write compelling website copy that won’t leave your audience searching for the right words.
1. Headlines should headline.
People are five times more likely to read a headline than any other page copy. We’ve talked about how headlines should be the main focus of any web page before. However, headlines are also important because this is the first thing your users are going to see. It has to leave a lasting impression and provide your readers with an incentive to carry on reading. But remember, always keep your sole purpose in mind; communicate effectively. Don’t waste your time trying to come up with catchy tabloid inspired headlines that lose the point of what you are trying to say, they don’t help communicate your content effectively in the long run. When it comes the web page headlines less is definitely more.
2. Bettering the basics.
This is the easiest thing to get right; correct spelling, punctuation and grammar make communication between yourself and your audience a lot smoother and a whole lot less complicated. If you know that writing isn’t one of your strong points you can always improve. Start off by writing your content in Microsoft word as this has a built-in spell and grammar check. However, don’t let it do all the work for you. You can always click the explain function to learn more about your error and how to prevent it next time. Additionally, if you want some more specialised software you can always use the Hemmingway App or Grammarly.
3. One paragraph per idea.
Allocate one idea or point to one paragraph. Nobody wants to read endless pages of copy that waffle on and go off on a tangent. Keep your paragraphs short and to the point. The concept of one paragraph per idea separates your writing and keeps it in a manageable, user-friendly order that readers can comprehend. Too many ideas in one place makes your copy disorganised and can come across as erratic. This rule also helps avoid going off on a tangent as you are restricting your ideas to a physical space on the page.
4. Write to validate and inform.
Don’t just write anything on your website. Make it constructive, concise and most importantly make sure that it informs your readers. The aim of every sentence is to give something to the reader that they can use in some way. The easiest way to achieve this is to follow this simple formula. Firstly make your point, what is the basis of what you are trying to say in its simplest form? Once you have established that back your point up with some evidence. Why should your readers believe that point or statement? Finally, explain how that evidence links to your point in more detail. This gives readers validation that you are a trustworthy source of information that is worth their time.
5. Confidence is key.
Everyone’s writing style is different and so are everyone’s brand identities and values. Make sure as a business that you allow your ethos to shine through your web page copy. For example, if your business thrives itself on being fun and quirky don’t use formal language or a serious tone, add in some play on words accompanied by light-heartedness. Additionally don’t use passive verbs or fillers. This makes your copy weak. Avoid filler words such as: just, very and so. Make sure every line of copy is said with conviction and purpose because if your writing doesn’t convince you how is it going to convince your readers?
If you want to read some more compelling copy articles here are some longer and more in-depth posts:
We hope that these tips on web page copy will help you on your way to becoming a web page wordsmith master! Happy writing!