By Neha Sodhi on Jun 14, 2022 9:00:00 AM
A 2022 State of Content Marketing report by SEMrush revealed that 40% of brands surveyed say they outsource copywriting. If you fall in the 60% and want to improve your copywriting skills, we’re here to help.
Web copy can make the difference between a visitor and a lead. It plays an integral role for consumers at every stage of the buying cycle, from awareness to decision making and advocacy.
Read on to find tips on how to write compelling copy.
What is website copywriting?
Website copywriting is the process of writing content – think blog posts, landing pages, product pages – to prompt a desired action on a website. Well-crafted website copy can turn visitors into leads and leads into customers.
Most marketers can identify poor web copy when they see it. Why? Because poor web copy doesn’t read smoothly, stir emotions, influence behaviors, or make explicit calls to action.
It feels purposeless — and that’s the exact opposite of what marketing is meant to accomplish.
Know your audience.
The number one tip for website copywriting is to know who will be reading it. If you don’t have a reader in mind, how will you know which words and tone will resonate with them best?
Figure out the why.
Too often, we write without diving into the purpose of the content. What will the reader gain from reading this? What do I want them to do after reading this? Why should they care about this content?
Answering these questions is key to writing valuable content.
Complexity kills readability.
SEMrush recently analyzed over 23,561 texts ranking in Google’s top 10 results. They found that the lowest-scoring texts had two things in common: They were too long or too complex.
In fact, 41% of low-scoring texts used words that were too complex.
Take this as your sign to skip the jargon and the fancy words – just get straight to the point.
As writers, it’s so easy to get carried away with our words. In marketing, using excessive language can have the exact opposite effect.
Write how you speak.
This one seems obvious but can be the biggest hurdle for copywriters.
We often think that our readers use language that’s more advanced and elevated than our own. But the truth is, many readers want to be spoken to like a friend.
Take breaks between drafts.
When you’ve been working on something for a while, it becomes hard to spot errors.
To combat this, take a lot of time between edits, says HubSpot staff writer Madhu Murali.
"This gives me a fresh perspective on the piece each time I read it and get a better idea of a reader's POV," he says.
When rereading, you’ll likely spot clunky sentences, awkward phrasing, and grammar mistakes more easily. This approach can turn good copy into great copy.
Break up the copy.
No matter how good your copy is, if it’s long and bulky, you’re likely to lose your reader’s attention.
Eye-tracking studies reveal that website visitors often skim articles instead of reading every sentence. As such, break up your paragraphs – especially if your traffic mostly comes from mobile devices.
This can be also done through subheaders, bullet points, and images, as shown in the example below.
Avoid overuse of buzzwords.
When using buzzwords, the goal is usually to use words most likely to stand out to readers. Sometimes, people get carried away a bit and you end up with a convoluted sentence with no substance.
In this case, less is more. So, keep your copy straightforward and jargon-free – unless you have data to prove that it works for your audience.
Focus on benefits.
As straightforward as this seems, many companies fail to apply this principle to their web copy.
They focus on what their company does and what products they offer, instead of writing from the reader’s perspective. What can they gain from using your software? Start from there.
So, instead of saying "We do inbound marketing," try something like "Increase your web traffic and leads with engaging content," which immediately outlines the benefits.
Don’t overlook microcopy.
Microcopy refers to the short text on a website, such as a call to action and the label on a form field.
The text that doesn’t seem to come up in conversation very often, but it’s little details like these that can make or break the user experience on your website.
Don’t overlook your competition.
It’s always helpful seeing what your competitors are doing, as it can inform your own strategy. Copywriting is no different.
Review your direct competitors’ websites and take note of their copy. What’s their tone? How do they present their products and services to consumers? What CTAs do they use (and on which pages) to drive traffic through to the bottom of the funnel?
Now that you have all these tips, you can step your copywriting game up and increase those conversions.
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