Writing web copy doesn’t need to be complicated. With a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll be a website copywriting expert in no time! This post gets into 10 must-dos and must-don’ts (if you will) for writing web copy.
If writing copy for your website seems like too tall of a task, you can always contact me for website copywriting services.
Now, let’s get into these tips!
10 Must-Dos for Writing Web Copy
Must-Do #1 – Speak to Your Audience
Have you heard of a customer avatar? No, not Pandora Avatar or the Last Airbender. A customer avatar is a detailed profile of your ideal customer. This isn’t a general profile like “I write web copy for wellness entrepreneurs.” This is a super detailed, super-specific description of your ideal client.
For example, my customer avatar, aka my girl, is Ariana. She’s a 27-year old married African American woman with chronic illness, and works full-time in the health and wellness industry. She is college educated, doesn’t have kids, and challenges mainstream values about wellness. I could go on and on.. You see how specific that is? (And, I could probably be more specific in some areas!)
The more you know about your ideal customer, the better you’ll be able to write to them! The point of your customer avatar is to get specific about their background, attitude, belief systems, goals, values, so you can write specifically to them. What does this person need from you? How does your business serve this person? When writing web copy, you want to speak directly to your audience for maximum impact.
Must-Do #2 – Easy-to-Read Language
We get it, you’re smart. But this isn’t the time to show off all of your knowledge and expertise with fancy words and mumbo jumbo. You want to write at a middle school reading level, and you want your copy to be easy to read and understand. If you need help with that, check out my post on how to boost your writing with 7 awesome free tools. Tools that help you write at a digestible level for your audience!
When writing copy for websites, it’s important to use clear, concise language that is easy to understand. There are ways to show off your industry knowledge without filling your website with complex jargon. Write in short sentences. Use the active voice. Avoid unnecessary filler words. Don’t overthink things here!
Must-Do #3 – Clear Call to Action
One of the most important tips – if not the most important tip – for writing web copy is having a clear call to action. So you have a website – great! But what are you trying to do with it? I’m sure you don’t want potential customers to click off your website without taking action. What’s the goal for your home page? Maybe it’s for people to sign up for your email list and download your newest opt-in. What’s the goal for your about page? It’s possible you want someone to fill out a contact form or click through to your blog. Maybe the main goal of your contact page is to have leads schedule a discovery call on your calendar.
Whatever your intention is, make sure the call to action is CLEAR when writing web copy.
Must-Do #4 – Be Authentic
If you know me, you know authenticity is super important to my brand. And if you don’t, now you do! To me, there is legitimately no point in trying to put on an act, or try to pretend to be someone that you’re not – this is pretty clear if you read my about page. Giving your customers a picture-perfect image of what wellness is “supposed” to be, what a morning routine “should” look like, or how you “should” be eating is not going to get you clients! Being true to yourself and your values is. Remember that customer avatar we talked about? Refer back to that person! My girl Ariana challenges diet culture and mainstream beliefs about health and wellness. So, what is the purpose of me trying to “fit in” to mainstream standards of wellness when writing web copy? There is no purpose! Besides, trying to fit into standards isn’t authentic to who I am and what I value anyways.
When taking on a website copywriting project, whether it’s for your own site or someone else’s, I challenge you to be authentic. Go against the grain. Be true to yourself. Authenticity is how your audience will relate to you. I mean, let’s be real – who is waking up at 5AM every single day for a 5-mile run, followed by a 30 minute meditation session, a gourmet nutrition-filled breakfast, and then ready for work at 9am? 99% sure – no one! Plus, that’s not relatable at all! Maybe you snooze through your 5am… 6:30am alarm. Maybe you only walk one mile in the mornings, followed by a 10-minute meditation, and a quick smoothie for breakfast. Even though it’s not a “perfect” wellness routine.. It kinda is. It’s authentic, it’s manageable, and it’s something your audience can relate to. Make sure you write that in your web copy.
Must-do #5 – Be Persuasive
Being persuasive relates to all of the must-dos we covered above! To be persuasive in website copywriting, you want to ensure you are covering all of the must-dos above to achieve maximum results with your audience. After all, you are trying to sell! So, let’s do a quick recap:
#1 – Speak to your audience.
Again, your customer avatar is super important here! Dig deep into their attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. What would persuade this person to take action? Tap into what makes them excited, their fears, their desires. Address their pain points. Why is your offer so valuable to them? With it, how will their problems be solved? How will they benefit from it? Then, write it down! Although you want to appeal to a wide audience, it’s crucial to be specific. Address that one person, speak to your audience, and you’ll have a much greater impact.
#2 – Easy-to-Read Language.
Yes, you want to write at a level that is easy to understand for a wide variety of audiences – that’s key (don’t forget about the free tools available to help you with this!) But, you also want to make sure your language is clean and error-free. A quick way to lose credibility in your industry is for your website to be full of spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and other no-nos. To be persuasive in website copywriting, you need to be clear, clean, and CORRECT! Don’t make simple mistakes, and don’t use alternative facts – especially when there are so many resources to help you double and triple check your errors. If you are still having a hard time, hire someone! It’s not worth losing your credibility – you won’t persuade anyone without that.
#3 – Clear call to action.
And I repeat, you are trying to SELL! So, be persuasive about it! You want your potential audience to take action on something – whether it’s purchasing your product or program, signing up for your email list, following you on social media, or sharing resources with others in their community. Writing web copy isn’t easy – you work so hard on those words! Why waste the effort by not persuading customers to a clear call to action? A call to action doesn’t need to be a complicated step-by-step essay. It can be super simple! Here are some ideas:
- “Are you struggling to make time for breakfast? Click here for 5 easy breakfast recipes ready in 5 minutes or less.”
- “Only have 20 minutes for a workout – no problem! Swipe up for an 18-minute HIIT yoga sequence on my YouTube channel.”
- “Sign up for my online course and receive three bonus modules – offer expires today!”
#4 – Be authentic.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you are pretending to be someone else, it’s going to be pretty dang hard to be persuasive about it. How can you be persuasive about something you don’t practice, or don’t believe in? You always want your website copywriting to be as authentic as possible. Being true to yourself and your values will go a lot farther than being fake.
What to Avoid When Writing Web Copy
Tip #1 – Don’t Ignore SEO
If you have a website or are planning to have a website, you’ve probably heard of SEO. SEO, or “search engine optimization,” is all about increasing traffic to your website through organic search engine results. In SEO-land, it’s about quality and quantity. More traffic from the people who want to see your web pages (and likely, you want them to see it too!). SEO also isn’t just about fancy algorithms and data. It’s about what people are searching for, the questions they are asking, the answers they are looking for, and most importantly, the words they use to search. This tip is by no means a deep dive into SEO. Some useful resources for that are Yoast, Moz, and WordStream.
What this tip is all about making sure you don’t ignore the importance of SEO! Like I said before, you work hard writing web copy. You want to make sure your efforts don’t go to waste! Make sure your website is actually seen by your target audience by using SEO appropriately. Keyword research is about understanding what your audience is searching for. Once you understand that, then you can incorporate those keywords into your web copy! Using a keyword research tool like WordTracker is helpful for figuring out those magical words to add to your website copywriting.
Tip #2 – Don’t Forget to Edit
Okay, we’ve talked about this! You don’t want to lose credibility in your industry by having a bunch of typos, spelling mistakes, and bad grammar sprinkled all throughout your website. After writing web copy, make sure to edit it too! I like to take a break from a draft before I go back to edit so I don’t skip over simple errors. There are also amazing tools like Grammarly available to help you out with the editing process. Of course, you can always hire a professional editor when you want an extra set of eyes on your work!
Tip #3 – Don’t Be Bland!
No one wants to read a boring website. This isn’t a resume… You don’t need to list out your graduation date, GPA, honors, and accomplishments. Who wants to read that? Let’s compare website copywriting to cooking. Do you boil your noodles in hot water and then just eat them plain? I hope not! At a bare minimum, you’ll add butter for a simple bowl of noodles & butter (a childhood favorite of mine). Hopefully, you’ll add a few more seasonings, herbs, and sauces to give your pasta some flavor. Writing web copy should be the same way! Sure, you could list out all of your great certifications you worked so hard for on your about page. But, where’s the flavor? Share a meaningful quote or story you learned during your certification program. The same principle applies when writing out your services. You could just write “3-Month Intuitive Eating Program” and the price. You have to admit though, that is pretty bland! Share the benefits of your program. Speak to your audience about how they’ll feel, and the results they will achieve. Spice up your website copywriting – give it some seasoning okay y’all!
Tip #4 – Don’t Plagiarize
So, this one should be pretty obvious. But, in case you need a reminder, don’t plagiarize! One – that’s just not something you should do. Plagiarizing is not the behavior of someone who is authentic and living with integrity. Plus, duplicate content confuses search engines and can hurt your SEO. I’ll keep this tip short and sweet – don’t plagiarize!
Tip #5 – Don’t Ignore the Research Step
I’m not the type of person that can just “wing it” and when it comes to writing web copy… You shouldn’t be either! Please don’t open up the WordPress editor and just start typing away and then publish. What is that?! You are skipping a few crucial steps here! Research is important for SEO, and it’s also key to writing web copy that makes sense. Especially in the health and wellness industry, you want to ensure the information you share on your website is factual. It’s also important to do a little bit of market research before getting started on your own project. Check out some of your competitors’ websites – what are they saying? How is their website structured? Audit their site to see what’s working, and what isn’t. Then, use that research to help you outline the website copywriting for your own site. Again, the goal isn’t to plagiarize here! Market research is to explore and educate yourself on competitors, so you can ultimately make your website better.
And there you have it – the 10 must-dos and tips to avoid when writing web copy. That’s all from me today! Drop a comment here if this post was helpful, or if you have any lingering questions. For more writing tips, check out these posts:
Boost Your Writing Skills with These 7 Awesome Free Tools
Content Trends You Need to Know This Year – Are You Ready for 2021?
101 Content Ideas For Your Wellness Business