Looking to improve your website copy but it’s not something you like doing? Unless you want to hire a copywriter, DIYing it is your go-to.
So, in this article, you’ll learn five powerful tips that’ll help you create copy that grabs your audience’s attention and keeps them reading down the page. No more bland, generic content that’s confusing to readers.
Knowing Your Audience is Essential
I’ll keep saying this until I’m purple in the face (cause blue is over-used). You’ve got to, got to, got to understanding your audience because this sets the foundation for website copy that makes sense to them.
To truly grasp your audience’s attention:
- Research their demographics using tools like Google Analytics. If you’re a swimwear designer, no point in writing for people are live in the Arctic!
- Identify their interests through public platforms, social media interactions and feedback. Listening to what people are saying can teach you a lot. Read the comments on YouTube, blogs, Reddit or Quora. Wherever your audience hangs out, that’s where you should be learning about what they’re saying.
- Understand their challenges by engaging in online discussions. Don’t be afraid of asking questions, but don’t push your products or services. Your objective is to learn about the people and what they are looking for.
- This is a good time to learn about the “voice of customer”. What words are they using? Do they use industry jargon? Do they have a potty mouth?
- Time to spy! Learn from competitors’ audience and their strategies. Use the same tips above, but on competitor websites and social media platforms. Are your competitors responding quickly, not at all? What type of follow-up comments are they getting?
Action Step: Create a detailed audience persona that includes demographics, interests, and pain points. Then refer to it when writing your website copy. Doing that ensures you’re the website copy on one page will be written for one person, with one problem and proposing one solution.
Key Takeaway: Without knowing who you’re writing for, your messaging is going to be generalized, so it won’t resonate with anyone.
Clarity and Conciseness Rules
Clear and concise copy is easy to understand and digest. Don’t repel your readers by trying to sound smart if the reader expects a casual conversation.
To achieve this:
- The copy is written for a specific audience. If you are a chef that specializes in raw food diets for dogs, your audience won’t be solely bunny rabbit owners. So don’t introduce copy about bunny rabbits, unless that’s part of the recipe. OMG, did I just write that!
- Avoid jargon that might alienate or confuse readers (sorry if I offended any bunny rabbit lovers).
- Use simple words that convey your message effectively. A doctor writing an article about arthritis for a mature adult, will write the article with as little medical jargon as possible, or at least provide some type of glossary if it’s unavoidable.
- The exception to the rule: if you’re audience expects industry jargon, and that’s how they understand it (instructor of computer programming writing to an audience of computer programming students) vs (a fashion designer writing to an audience about capsule wardrobes).
- Keep sentences short and to the point and break up long paragraphs into smaller sections and/or use bullet points for better readability.
Doing this gives the eyes a break while reading content. 2–3 sentences per paragraph should be ok. It depends on your audience. Usually, industry jargon content is more copy dense. Jargon-free or conversational style content should be 2–3 sentences per paragraph.
- Avoid writing one sentence paragraphs.
- It’s exhausting to read.
- It looks unprofessional, even if you’re a casual writer.
- It just doesn’t look right!
- Point proven.
- The end.
Action Step: Review your copy and remove any unnecessary words or phrases. Aim for simplicity and clarity in every sentence. Always remember who you’re writing for. What do they expect to read?
Key Takeaway: Clear and concise copy is more enjoyable for your readers and helps to convey your message effectively. Make it easy for them to read your website copy.
Embrace a Conversational Tone
A conversational tone makes your copy engaging and approachable.
To create this tone:
- Write like you’re talking to a friend using informal language. Picture sitting on a park bench with your reader. If they asked you a question, how would you answer them.
- Record your words in your phone and play it back. Does it sound natural?
- Use contractions (don’t, you’re, etc.) to sound more natural.
- Ask questions to engage your readers and invite their thoughts, but don’t panic if you don’t get any responses. People are busy and once they have the answer, they go off and do their own thing. Remember this when you’re reading an article that you found helpful.
- Share relatable anecdotes that create a personal connection. Stories work well here, to put the reader in your shoes.
Action Step: Read your copy out loud and adjust any parts that sound too formal or stilted. Aim for a natural, conversational flow.
Key Takeaway: A conversational tone helps readers connect with your content and feel more at ease with your message.
Strong Calls to Action Make a Difference
Compelling calls to action (CTAs) drive user engagement and conversions.
To create effective CTAs:
- Use action words like “Download,” “Sign up,” or “Learn more”.
- Be specific about the benefit users will gain from taking action.
- Create urgency with phrases like “Limited time offer” or “Don’t miss out”.
- Only one main CTA on a page. The one that you want the reader to take action on. Any other call to actions or links should be in a more subtle colour, but make sure there is enough colour contrast to meet accessibility compliance.
Action Step: Review your CTAs and ensure they are clear, persuasive, and focused on the benefit to the user. Experiment with different styles to find the most effective approach.
Key Takeaway: Strong calls to action encourage your visitors to engage with your content and take the desired action.
Don’t Forget to Edit and Proofread
Polished copy builds credibility, trust, and professionalism. You’re first draft of website copy (or any article) is always a 💩 one.
To ensure your copy is error-free:
- Check for grammar and spelling mistakes using tools like Grammarly or Linquix. You can throw your copy into Chat GPT and ask it to proofread your copy and re-write with proper grammar and spelling mistakes fixed.
- Remove unnecessary words and redundancies for a more streamlined message.
- Bold your sub-headlines so they are skim-able.
- Your sub-headlines should read like a mini article. Your reader should be able to get the gist of your website copy, just from the sub-headlines. Go back and read just the sub-headlines of this article.
- Ensure consistency in tone and style throughout your copy. Example: mixing formal and informal website copy. Unless you are teaching copywriting styles.
- Get a second opinion from a colleague or friend to spot any overlooked errors. Keep in mind that unless they are in your niche, they may not understand what you’ve written. Website copy is written differently than what we were taught in school.
Action Step: Set aside time to carefully review your copy for errors and inconsistencies. Consider seeking feedback from others for a fresh perspective.
Key Takeaway: Meticulous editing and proofreading result in polished, professional copy that reflects positively on your brand. In saying that, perfection doesn’t exist, so don’t let that be the excuse for not launching your website or new product. Get your website copy 80% there.
Wrapping It Up
With these five tips, you’re well on your way to writing website copy that will captive your audience. Keep honing your skills, experiment, keep learning about your audience, revise, analyze…then rinse and repeat.
Until next time, stay inspired.