Are you thinking about updating your website copy? Or planning to add a new page to your site? Here are 5 website copywriting tips to make the process a little easier.
1. It’s 90% about them and 10% about you.
It’s your website. Why wouldn’t it be all about you, right? Nope.
Imagine you’re a guest at a cocktail party. Who are you going to talk with longer? Someone who talks about themselves the whole time, or someone who shows an interest in your life?
It’s the same with a website for a creative entrepreneur, writer, artist, healer, or changemaker like you. Of course people need to understand that you know what you’re talking about, but mostly they want to know if you understand them.
Always keep your ideal audience in mind as you write. If you’re a visual person, try putting up a photo of someone who represents your ideal reader. When you feel stuck, look at their photo and write directly to them.
To see this in action, take a peek at the landing page for The Institute of Equity Centered Coaching. They offer equity certification programs for service-based entrepreneurs, coaches, and industry leaders. Right at the top of the page, they ask their reader four questions and then close with, “If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, you’re in the right place.” They make it super clear who their programs are for and speak directly to their ideal customers.
2. Spell out the benefits.
Whether you want your reader to come to an event, buy something, hire you, or take action on an issue, you need to explain why it’s valuable to them. And that “why” should be easy to understand. If you take a peek again at the landing page for The Institute of Equity Centered Coaching, you’ll see that pretty much all of the copy that follows the top paragraph (that we just looked at above) addresses the benefits of their programs.
3. Create headlines that shine!
The first time someone comes to your website, you have very little time to grab their attention —15-20 seconds. Think about how quickly you scroll through a site on your phone, or tablet. What makes your eye stop? Headlines!
When you review your website copy, try reading just the headlines. Can your ideal audience understand what you do and how it will benefit them without reading anything else? Take a look at the home page for The Adaway Group, a consulting firm that brings together multi-racial teams to work on projects related to equity, inclusion, and social justice. If you skim the page and read all of the headlines, you can quickly tell what the company is about, what they do, and the benefits of their work.
4. Make it easy to take action
You’ve written with your audience in mind, made your benefits clear, and added fantastic headlines. Now your readers are ready to take the next step. Make it easy for them. Add Call to Action buttons (CTAs). Check out the home page for Bombilla, a branding and design agency on a mission to spark change through creativity, collaboration, and community. After almost every section, they have a button that leads their reader on a journey.
For example, let’s say you started on their home page, read the top headline and became intrigued. You don’t even have to scroll down to learn more. There’s a button right at the top to take you to About Us. Then, one of the first buttons on the About Us page takes you to View Services. And if after you check out their services, you’re ready to contact them, guess what? The only button on that page is Contact Us. Neat huh? You want your CTA buttons to take your reader on a journey that will fulfill the purpose of the site, or page.
5. Go light on the copy
My final website copywriting tip (for now!) is to write less than you think you need. As we talked about with #3, most of us have low attention spans from years of scrolling. We have less patience for wading through a lot of information. Having good headlines, clean design, and concise copy can help engage your reader.
Take a look at the home page for Jen Hewitt, a printmaker, surface designer, textile artist, teacher, and author. There are about 150 words on the home page, including the header and footer. Even with so few words, it’s easy to quickly learn about Jen’s work and to take action.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you start to write your website copy. Try to remember to: 1. Write for your audience, 2. Spell out the benefits, 3. Use headlines, 4. Add CTAs, and 5. Write less.
I hope these tips will make the process a little bit easier!
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