Website copywriting is now standard for every business. But what’s the next step when you’re staring at a blank white page and a flashing cursor? It’s like you need a copywriting checklist to follow that will show you how to write good website copy!
Copy is like your online sales person. If it’s not selling you, it’s not doing its job. Picture your website visitors as someone in their car, hurtling down the freeway at 110 kilometers an hour, and all they want to see from a messaging perspective is billboards.
The real key is to focus on simple, succinct and scannable content so that when someone comes through to your site, it’s easy for them to know they are in the right spot.
Holly is our in-house SEO copywriter and with more than 200 blogs on every subject imaginable under her belt, Holly is equipped to handle any client content thrown her way!
Here is a checklist of her favourite tips and tricks of the copywriting trade to help you get those creative juices flowing and write readable content that engages and converts.
Monitor your usage of “we” and use more “you”
You will find that you often use too much “we” and not enough “you” in your copywriting.
This is definitely the number one mistake you will tend to make. When writing copy about your own business you get really excited about wanting to share what you do and how you do it the best.
But people, especially your customers and clients, love to hear about themselves and want to be spoken to directly. This engages them and leaves them wanting to read more.
Instead of saying “We are a team of experts and we will give you the best website your money can buy” try saying, “You will have the best website money can buy, crafted for you by a team of experts.”
Tip: Ctrl+F or Command+F the two words “we” and “you” and see how many times they each appear in your copy. You need a ratio of approximately 1 ‘we’ for every 4 ‘you’!
If you constantly think that you have to write an academic essay on your product or service, website copywriting will become too overwhelming.
You think you have to throw in all these technical words and be overly professional to be seen as the authority, but in reality, the average reading age of Australian adults is actually about 12-14 years old.
Don’t eliminate half your audience by writing content that is too difficult to understand. Your audience shouldn’t have to Google the words you are using. They are looking for information that is easy to digest so they can make a decision as quickly and easily as possible.
Strike while the iron is hot and don’t rely on them reading your content three times over to understand it. They won’t.
Check your sentence structure
If you are not a confident copywriter, you will tend to write how you talk. This results in too many ‘run-on-sentences’.
When you talk, you naturally pause so your audience can keep up. But when you read you don’t pause until you are told to, usually by a comma or full stop.
If your sentence is too long, it won’t make any sense when it is being read by your website visitors.
Tip: A good rule of thumb is one conjunction like “and” or “but” and aim for two (absolute maximum of three) commas. If you’re putting more than three commas, you need to turn one of them into a full stop instead.
Take your customers on a journey
You want to be concise with your website copywriting and show your audience ‘billboards’, but you do still have to put an element of emotion into your content.
Saying “We have the best websites on the market.” is not enough to engage your audience. You need to paint the scene of what your product or service is going to look like in their lives and address some of their pain points.
Tip: Use the sentence starter “imagine/ picture this…”.
For example, “Imagine waking up every morning and checking your emails to find more enquiries and warm leads than you’ve ever seen before, all without having to do anything yourself. Your website does all the initial hard work for you!”.
Make sure you aren’t being too repetitive
When you’re in the copywriting zone, you can forget what you have just written and always use the first describing word that comes to your mind.
But you don’t have to know every word under the sun to do good website copywriting. There is no shame in using a thesaurus! It’s perfect for when you can’t quite think of the word you want or when you need more variety in your copy.
Tip: https://www.thesaurus.com/ is your best friend. Bookmark it on your computer and have it open at all times when writing your website content.
Remember, a brand is a consistent tone of voice
Your business should have a personality and a specific and unique tone of voice.
Five By Five is a young, quirky professional with a great sense of humour and who knows their stuff. We get your website done quickly and efficiently, plus we have fun along the way!
You’ll see this tone of voice reflected in all our copywriting marketing from our EDMs, blogs and social media captions, through to the other areas of our marketing like Instagram reels.
Tip: Give your business characteristics and personality traits as if it is a character in a movie.
Talk to the experts
When writing website copy for your business, you don’t have to know everything! Whether you are the CEO, marketing coordinator, or a freelance copywriter, you are not expected to know it all.
What you have to do is find somebody in your business, (if it’s not you) that can talk confidently about it.
If you get stuck, a really great place to start is your customer service representative who answers your phones and the questions that people are asking.
Ask them what the questions are that they commonly hear from your current clients, customers, and more importantly, the prospective clients and customers.
If your business is very multifaceted, find the resident expert in the particular area you need to write about and interview them for the content you need.
Tip: You can voice record what they say and turn their sentences into readable content which will be the start of a blog post or service page for your website!
The Final Checklist for good copywriting
These are the obvious (but maybe not so obvious) things to think about:
- Make sure you proofread! Ideally leave it overnight so you have fresh eyes or have someone else look at it for you.
- Another big one is to watch your use of exclamation points! Aim for one per paragraph at the most.
- Questions are also the perfect way to address and engage your clients but don’t put them back to back. Put at least one sentence in between.
- Writer’s block doesn’t exist. Just start typing whatever comes to your mind that is kind of on topic and don’t backspace it. Keep typing until you get the ball rolling and then you can go back and tidy up the first few sentences.
Or simply employ the best SEO copywriting service to help you
If all of this just seems like a difficult and completely insurmountable task and it is stopping you from getting your digital presence out to the world, then leave it to the experts.
Do not force it. Our SEO copywriting team here at Five By Five is amazing and there are certainly cost-effective ways of going about this.
The number one tip for creating good copywriting is to use more “you” and much less “we”.
Don’t say your clients always love their new website, say “You will love your new website” instead.
Copywriting is a task that can be overwhelming and one that many of us procrastinate over. Whether it’s a blog post, content for a new landing page or simply an EDM or social media caption, copywriting always seems to be one of the biggest blockages for our clients.
If you are a serial copywriting procrastinator and you’re wondering how you can get over this crippling roadblock, then contact us and let us create written content that truly reflects you, your business and captures the imagination of your target audience.
To be guided through the process, you are welcome to also view the recording of the Five By Five Lunch and Learn Webinar based on this topic. Feel free to click on the link below.
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