Does your website copy need a refresh?
First impressions matter – and your online presence is no exception. But it can be hard to know whether you’re putting your best foot forward or not.
If you’re getting the traffic but not getting the conversions, it may be time to take a peek at your website copy. This is something you can audit yourself!
Then find yourself the perfect copywriter to elevate and get those all-important conversions.
Knowing good copy from bad is the start of your journey. At Maggie Writes Copy, I bring you all the knowledge you need to succeed in the online space.
Let’s start with what website copy is.
What Is Website Copy?
Website copy should be all the words written on your website. Copy is writing that aims to convince or compel a reader to do something.
Since your website was created for a purpose, all the writing on it should be copy.
A lot of times, business owners will get confused between content writing and copywriting. But they aren’t mutually exclusive. Copy can contain content. But the overall goal isn’t to inform, the goal is to convert.
Content on the other hand generally just informs.
This is why copywriting is so powerful and why you shouldn’t skimp when you’re hiring it out.
Copywriting should be the basis of:
- Your home page
- About page
- Product and service pages
- Contact page
At the very least. All of these pages directly impact your site visitor’s opinions of your business and whether they should purchase.
It’s also good practice to hire a copywriter for your blogs. This way you’re able to give your audience a clear path to their next steps on your site.
This is all easy to say, but what makes good copywriting – well – good?
How to Determine if You Have the Best Website Copywriting
Many different factors that go into good copywriting. But we’ll stick with the basics today.
When someone shows up on your website, you have a very limited time to catch their attention. The average site visitor across all industries spends 53 seconds on a site.1
Within that 53 seconds, you need to capture your audience’s attention and convince them to stay. Then convince them to click to another page. Then convince them to buy or book.
Several aspects of website copy can reduce your bounce rate.
- Speaking clearly to your target audience.
- Providing a strong Call To Action (CTA) sprinkled throughout.
- Writing with attention-grabbing headlines.
- Creating skimmer-friendly copy.
- Using easy-to-read copy.
- Conveying a conversational tone.
- Keeping the focus on your audience rather than your company.
Let’s dive into each of these a bit further.
1. Focus Your Website Copy on Your Target Audience
If people can’t tell who you’re talking to, they’re less likely to stay on your website. This can be something people determine within the first 2 seconds of arriving on your site.
Being clear on who you’re talking to and what you have to offer them will go a long way toward keeping the right people around.
But how do you do this?
Make sure you have your audience and your CTA in the first fold. The first fold of your site is what initially shows up when your audience arrives. It’s the part they see before they scroll down.
Speaking of your CTA, you need one!
2. A Call to Action Makes All the Difference
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when you create your website. People who visit your site want to know what’s expected of them.
Not putting a CTA in your first fold can cause confusion AND make people leave sooner rather than later.
Your audience is looking for a solution to their problem and if you have a clear CTA at the top of your page, they’ll know you have that solution immediately.
Whether the CTA is ‘Book now’ or ‘Buy now’ your audience knows you can help. Although I’d maybe try something a bit more catchy than that!
Either way, it should be clear exactly what you’re funneling them onto.
Your CTA should go right beneath your main headline.
3. Headlines Can Make or Break Your Website
Headlines that are big, bold, and convey the meaning of your site are important. They are one of the things that stand out the most to your audience.
That first headline on your page needs to tell your reader exactly what your site is about. It’s the first thing they will see. For some of them, it will be the last thing as well.
Have you ever been to a website and read a headline that was three unrelated words, with a generic photo as a background? You could tell the owner of it was trying to be vague and artistic.
Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t a great move on their part. Unless they have amazing brand recognition (like Apple or Nike, for example) – they probably just wasted their time putting their site up.
People don’t want to spend 20 minutes figuring out what your offer is. Instead, they’ll go back to Google and click on the next result. Because they know it’ll take less time. As a general rule, people take the path of least resistance.
Keeping that headline to the point is powerful and will give you better results.
But we should probably move on to the next element of the site. Everything below the fold.
4. Website Copy That Speaks to All Your Readers – Skimmers and Deep Readers
Not every site visitor who hops onto your website is the same. They all will interact differently with your pages.
One of the ways people are different is some will want to read every word with a fine toothcomb. The others will skim. Only reading deeper if something jumps out at them. So how do you make things pop?
- Make sure you have plenty of Headings differentiating sections.
- Add bullets and numbered lists for conciseness.
- Incorporate bold, italics, underlines, and links.
- Write in small paragraphs, 2-3 sentences max.
- Create buttons for CTAs you value the most.
- Use special characters where applicable to really make things stand out.
Yes, you want your copy to be thorough and convey everything you need to share about your products. But you also don’t want to lose people throughout the journey.
Something that goes hand in hand with this, is keeping your jargon levels down.
5. Easy-to-Read Website Copy Can Make the Difference
Chances are you’ve been in your business field for years. But your audience likely hasn’t. While you may not want to sound stupid, you want your audience to understand what you’re discussing.
Keeping your website copy at around a 6th-grade reading level can help with this. Think of it this way, do you want to read a textbook in your downtime? I didn’t think so.
Featuring copy that speaks at a lower grade level can keep the experience easy. Depending on your niche, maybe even fun.
If people want to solve their problem or find a solution with a textbook they’ll sign up for a college class. NOT go looking on the Internet.
This goes hand in hand with your website copy tone of voice.
6. Keep a Conversational Tone in Your Website Copy
Your website copy should definitely be written in the tone you’re most comfortable with for your business.
But just because you use one of the more serious tones, doesn’t mean you should ignore basic copywriting principles.
The main thing to keep in mind is that your copy should talk to your audience – not talk at them. One way to check this element is to see whether your copy uses the word ‘you’. This is one of the most important words in copywriting. So you need an immediate rewrite if it’s not there.
You also want your copy to be written mostly in the present tense, without lots of extra words. Use contractions where possible. Unless you’re trying to really emphasize a point.
Copywriting shouldn’t include a lot of fluff. This is why most copywriters don’t write for a specific word count. They write until the topic is covered completely. The only time word count comes into practice is to make sure they’re following Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices.
Keeping a conversational tone leads me to the final basic principle we’ll discuss today.
7. Focus Your Website Copy on Your Audience
People like to relate what they read to themselves. It’s a simple fact of life. We’re selfish beings at heart. That’s kind of what all these tips lean towards.
Make it as easy as possible for your audience to see how you help them.
This is why the word ‘you’ is so important. Every element of your website copy should reflect your audience back to themselves.
Even your About Us page should really be about how your experiences make you the best choice for your audience.
There’s an art to writing website copy that connects with your audience. It’s not easy and it takes know-how.
Beyond these simple tips, there are so many ways to drive conversions for your website. But I can guarantee, if you aren’t including the above in your website copy, then your site isn’t working as hard for you as it could be.
Convert Through Connection – What the Best Website Copy Is All About
If you provide what your target audience needs, then ethical selling with copywriting is possible.
Your website copy should connect with your audience until they know your product is their solution. This is where having a great product goes hand in hand with your copywriting.
Good website copy is the start of your customer’s journey. Or the middle. Check out my post on marketing funnels to learn more about that.
Satisfied customers who come back for more and refer you to others should be your goal. Let good copywriting get you to that point.
What if You Don’t Have the Best Website Copy?
If you’ve gone through all of the tips above and aren’t feeling so hot it’s ok. You’ll also want to take a look at your website metrics and your industry conversion standards.
However, if your key performance indicators (KPIs) aren’t great comparatively, or you see glaring issues with your web copy – you may need a refresh.
Not sure exactly what to do about it? It’s ok, you don’t have to become an overnight copywriter. Book a call and let’s elevate your website copy together!
1 Average time spent on a website – Website Builder