Copywriting 102: 7 Keys to Effective Website Copy

David C Justin, The CopyGeek, Dallas Freelance Copywriter, Blog Writer

Did you know there are almost 2 billion websites currently online? While only about 400 million are actually active – including a staggering 380 new sites every minute – that’s still a whole lot of competition fighting to attract the same audience as you.

In order to make an impression in the minds of your prospects, you need to distinguish yourself from the rest of the noise in the digital ether. That’s why it’s so important to have effective website copy. Consider a few numbers…

  • 69% of marketers say personalized content is important. (Marketing Charts)
  • 82% of visitors say original content makes them feel more positive about a company. (BP Studios)
  • Visitors spend an average of 5.59 seconds reading a site’s copy. (CX Optimization Agency)

In other words, having the right copy is critical to the company’s ability to engage and convert new customers. If your copy isn’t professional or your message doesn’t match your branding or name, you’re losing prospects before you even have a chance to show them what you have to offer.

David C Justin, The CopyGeek, Dallas Freelance Copywriter, Blog Writer

While I’m not a website designer (although I know some really good ones and can refer you if you need one), I do know a thing or two about good copy. So if you want to pull a Jedi mind trick and engage your audience on a deeper level, here are some keys to writing effective website copy.

Keep Your Copy Simple and Conversational

Generally speaking, digital marketing – whether website, social media or email – begins as a one-sided conversation written out to connect with the audience. As they continue to read, they get opportunities to engage and turn it into a multi-party affair. However, if your copy is too complicated or overstuffed with industry jargon, there’s a chance they’ll click away from your site without understanding anything about your business. Trust me, it’s actually a pretty common problem – especially with SaaS, technology and finance.

The easiest way to remedy this problem is to simplify your message. Break complex sentences down into more direct statements and use simple, but relevant, words to describe your offering. Once you’ve written your copy, take a minute to read it out loud. Does it flow easily or is it leaving you tongue-tied? If you’re tripping over your words, it’s time to revise the copy.

David C Justin, The CopyGeek, Dallas Freelance Copywriter, Blog Writer

Maintain a Consistent Voice

While Robin Williams made a wildly successful career through his manic variety of voices, it’s an absolutely terrible strategy for your website. Your online voice needs to stay consistent. It doesn’t mean you can’t be wild or outgoing. You just need to maintain the same voice throughout. Don’t try to be funny on one page and super-serious on the next.

So if you want to be funny, throw in some jokes like the one about the two droids that walk into a bar. If intensity is your thing, use BOLD UPPER-CASE LETTERS and lot of exclamation points!!! And if you have decided to convey an air of formal professionalism, refrain from utilizing contractions in your copy.

This also means you need to establish a copy guide for your digital marketing. For example, Is it wifi or wi-fi? Do you avoid cliches like the plague or do you use them like they’re going out of style? And do you call your CEO Ben, Obi-Wan or Mr. Kenobi??

Make it Customer-Driven

Have you ever been stuck in a conversation where the other person talked non-stop about themselves? Unfortunately, that’s the way a lot of websites are written. They spend all the efforts telling their customers what they can do, bragging about their own features, functions and accomplishments. They never address their customer or any of the challenges they’re facing.

Determine why your prospects are seeking you out and develop your site copy to address what you can do to help them.

There’s a simple test to see if your site is guilty of this or not. Just count the number of first-person pronouns (I, me, my, myself, mine, we, us, our, ourselves) vs second-person pronouns (you, your, yours, yourself). If you have more first-person, it’s time to rewrite the copy to talk more about your customer.

Offer Solutions, Not Features

There’s a good chance you’re not the only company in your industry. That means you’re competing with others for the attention and business of your audience. While your features and functions are great, if you don’t explain how they can help your customer, you’re going to lose them to a competitor that can.

It’s all about offering a solution to a problem that’s preventing them from finding success or happiness. Address the unique challenges your audience is experiencing and then describe how your product solves their specific problem. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself offering solutions to challenges they didn’t even realize they had.

David C Justin, The CopyGeek, Dallas Freelance Copywriter, Blog Writer

Use Persuasive Keywords

There’s one universal truth to marketing – everyone wants to be special. The only problem is that everyone has their own definition of what that means. By utilizing persuasive keywords that identify with those belief systems you can connect with them on a deeper level.

For those who value a good return on their investment, the words FREE, GUARANTEED and BEST are powerful motivators. For anyone who appreciates exclusivity, words like NEW, LIMITED and EXCLUSIVE are important. And if you’re a fan of convenience, you’ll probably be attracted to copy with the words EASY, QUICK or REDUCE. 

Show, Don’t Tell

No matter how persuasive your copy is, there are some members of your audience that are just harder to win over. They’re skeptical of what you have to offer perhaps because of their own past experiences. For those prospects, you have to gain their trust and the easiest way to do that is to show them what you can do.

Metrics. Statistics. Case Studies. Testimonials. All have the ability to prove that you know what you’re doing because you have documentation to show how you’ve helped other people just like them.

David C Justin, The CopyGeek, Dallas Freelance Copywriter, Blog Writer

Include a Clear Call-To-Action (CTA)

It might seem contradictory, but while the easiest way to get someone to do something is to simply ask, in copywriting, it’s better to tell them.

You see, people are really good at following instructions. So it’s just easier and more effective to tell them what you want them to do. Click here. Buy now. Sign Up. Use the Force. You get the idea.

And speaking of CTAs… if you need help developing website copy that’s more consistent, customer-driven and connects with your audience, let’s connect so I can help you. I’ll take a look at your website and give you three recommendations on how you can improve it. All you have to do is ask.

But you have to take the first step. So clear your mind. Concentrate. And use the contact page to reach out so we can start talking.

Until next time,

David C Justin, The CopyGeek, Dallas Freelance Copywriter, Blog Writer

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