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8 Tips for Writing Effective Website Copy

Posted by Stephanie Fisher on 11/24/15 10:17 AM

What is the point of your website content?

If you said things like attracting new customers, convincing people to buy our product, converting visitors to leads, then you have been paying attention.

Writing great content for the web is more complicated than just knowing how to write (which isn't so simple in itself). Work hard to create winning content and your content will work hard for your business.

Writing Effective Copy

Here are a few tips for creating winning content for your website and inbound marketing.

1. Focus on your customers' feelings.

How do you make their lives better? Showcase that in your copy and do it quickly. Tap into the emotions and feeling of your customers. Storytelling is a key component here: what story is your brand telling?

What does this minimal homepage copy say? UXPin speaks directly to its customers' needs. They get it and their platform will help you solve your problems. 

UXPin

2. Include key information and summaries on About pages.

Your About page is important. The Neilsen Norman Group says the key to constructing an effective About Us page is to include key information and a great summary. New users to your site need highlights in scannable format.

Here's a great example from Labdoor. I found this example on a website that aggregates examples of terrific web design, but I had never heard of Labdoor. I didn't know what they did. After glancing at the About Page, I immediately got the gist of the company's service. The highlight is "We Test. You Decide." The summary at the top and the scannable headlines below give a new visitor what they need to know.

Labdoor

NN/Group uses this example of what not to do: 

NN/Group example

This page has very low content density and forces the user to drill down for more information that they could've just gotten without more clicks. A better approach would be to offer highlights and a detail-rich summary that conveys what it is the company does. I still don't know for sure.

3. Create scannable blog posts and articles.

We've touched on this in the last point, but scannable, easy to digest copy is best for web reading.

Large blocks of text are not.

Make your sentences punchy and your paragraphs short. Use bullet points or numbered lists. Make your headings and subheadings count, because most readers scan.

4. Make your title and introduction count.

How much of your blog content do you think people actually read? A new study by Moz revealed that only 16% of people will read everything online word-for-word. Here's the breakdown, out of a study of 500 people who were surveyed about how they read online:

image source: Moz whiteboardimage source: Moz

Make your headline and opening paragraph count. You have to provide quick answers or you will lose your reader.

5. Move your reader to take action.

You can move the dial on how many people click thru your CTAs by tweaking the copy. Create a sense of urgency and action with phrases like "Register Now" rather than "Register for the webinar." Change "Download" to "Get Your Free Copy Today." Use words like free, now, get, register, sign-up, try, subscribe and watch.

Here, RavenTools uses them all -- start, 30-days, free, now!

They have a lot of information here in a few words, plus a simple sign-up form to encourage me to get started.

RavenTools

6. Keep your team bios short and sweet.

I love this example from our client WoodTruss Systems. The images on the website speak volumes about the history of the company. The copywriting on the team pages are full on flavor, low on calories. The short bio packs a lot of personality about the president and founder of the company without going into his entire life's history. The page also offers valuable contact information so the user has it at his fingertips.

WoodTruss Systems - Bios

7. Keywords matter, but fluff won't cut it.

I know you're thinking about SEO. Your keywords phrases are important, but stuffing them into every nook and cranny of your website will not do.

You will get penalized for stuffing. Include your keyword phrase too many times on the page and Google will bite you. Design, usability, back links, amazing content, how many people see your website.... this is the new SEO.

Which leads me to my final point.

8. Overall user experience.

Check out this absolutely gorgeous, minimal website. The company is the food truck equivalent of a dentist's office.

Take a look at Studio Dental. You won't find many examples like this in the healthcare industry.

They've gotten tons of attention for beautiful design and an overall amazing concept. The user experience, from start to finish, is seamless. Certainly no keyword stuffing here. Every word has intention.

The images and strategic design do the rest of the hard work. 

Studio Dental

 

If I could sum up all of these tips into one sentence it would be this: Choose your words carefully and use fewer of them to tell the story. 

What are your website copywriting tips? Add your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Create Web Content That Converts  

 

Topics: content, writing

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