website copywriting

Website basics

Your complete guide to website copywriting in 2021

Learn how to craft compelling web copy that drives tangible results for your business.

April 20 · 8 min read

Copy is ubiquitous all over the web. It is ever-present on your website; it makes up the bulk of your promotional emails, product descriptions, and landing pages; it’s also important to your social media marketing. The point is you cannot have a complete online presence without a copy. And not just any kind of copy, but high-quality wordings that draw in readers and convert them into paying customers.

Is your website already up and running? Take a closer look at the copy. Does it live up to your actual work? Does it reflect your brand and get prospects excited about your business? Or is it generic and just plain boring?

Don’t worry if your website copy is dull and uninspiring. At the end of this guide, you’ll know how to craft compelling web copy that drives tangible results for your business. Let’s get to it.

What is website copywriting and why is it so important?

Put simply, website copywriting is the process of writing relatable and compelling content for your website and other online platforms to achieve set marketing goals. These include organic traffic, leads, sales, and other KPIs.

Compelling web copy can keep your visitors informed and engaged with your brand, which in turn leads them to take action, the kind that improves your business’s bottom line. As you may have guessed, great copy doesn’t just happen. It results from quality research of the target audience, a thorough understanding of the subject matter, and a certain way with words.

Without website copywriting, your web pages will just be dull, lifeless shells. Sure, you can put other forms of content there, such as images, infographics, and videos, but text copy remains the safest bet. Besides, using too many images and videos on a web page can drastically slow down the loading speed and ruin the overall user experience.

Copywriting is important because it is the bedrock for any sound SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. If you’re not writing copy for your website, then what’s there to optimize? The bulk of SEO best practices revolve around high-quality copy.

How is copywriting different from content marketing?

You’re probably wondering this, so let’s get it out of the way now. Copywriting is a subset of content marketing. The main difference is that the former is produced with a specific goal in mind — to make sales.

Regular content writing like blogs and informative articles aims to make sales too but in a more indirect manner. They’re primarily concerned with educating readers and establishing brand authority. On the other hand, copywriting is more direct and more precise — this is what we’re selling, here’s why you should buy it.

That being said, you cannot afford to overlook the other aspects of content marketing. A well-rounded marketing strategy must include everything from website copy and social media content to case studies and customer testimonials.

5 main goals of website copy

Yes, we’ve already stated that the primary goal of web copywriting is to drive sales. But in order to achieve it, there are certain secondary goals that must first be met. These include:

  1. Appeal to your target audience in a meaningful way — People should be able to relate to what you’ve written.
  2. Convey the value provided by your business — The value proposition should be clear from the get-go.
  3. Work cohesively with the web page’s visual elements — Copywriting isn’t just about the words but also making sure the entire user experience is topnotch.
  4. Persuade people to take action — Do you want people to sign up, add to cart, subscribe, call, fill out a form — whatever the intended action, your copy should motivate people to take it.
  5. Stay true to the primary goal — Every word, every line, every paragraph should have a purpose. There’s no room for meaningless jargon and fluff.

Types of website copywriting

Let’s take a look at the main copywriting projects to give you a clearer picture of what to expect when the writing begins:

SEO copywriting

SEO copywriting is all about optimizing your copy for keywords that people are searching for on search engines. This involved doing some quality keyword research to identify keywords with high traffic volume so you can optimize them in the copy. Optimizing web pages is necessary for ranking and also for improving overall domain authority.

As a general rule, every piece of website content should be keyword optimized. That way, you can get more pages to rank and attract more organic traffic.

Landing pages copywriting

Landing pages are web pages where your prospects land after clicking on your ad or link. It can be the homepage of your website, a product page, or even a standalone web page. The main idea behind copywriting for landing pages is to shed more light on the solution being proffered and drive conversion.

This type of web content is excellent for ecommerce stores where the landing page is usually a well-crafted product page that primarily focuses on value proposition and persuasive wording.

Email marketing copywriting

Email marketing is crucial to any successful digital marketing strategy. Being able to target prospects right in their inbox is an advantage that small businesses should definitely capitalize on. Emails allow you to build meaningful relationships and steadily nudge prospects towards converting into paying, loyal customers.

This type of copy is more informal and personalized based on the prospect’s sales funnel stage. It usually includes visual elements such as infographics and short videos. These help improve engagement and drive home your selling points in the email.

Blog copywriting

Blogging is the backbone of a winning SEO marketing strategy. Search engines love fresh content, and posting blogs regularly easily fulfills that requirement. Your website visitors are also usually on the hunt for informative content about your brand. Blogging allows you to address them directly and build a loyal following.

In this type of writing, you’re looking to educate your readers and provide more in-depth information on a particular topic. A secondary goal is to establish authority in the industry, which in turn leads to trust among your target audience.

Related: Everything you need to know about starting a blog in 2021

The web copywriting process

The process of writing website copy is relatively straightforward, provided you understand your goals and how to achieve them. Here’s a quick step-by-step breakdown:

  • Understand the project — What is the primary purpose of this web page? Are there any keywords that you should optimize? How much space is available for the copy? These are all valid considerations before starting any copywriting task.
  • Outline the value proposition — Why is this product or service so valuable to your target audience? What pain points do these solutions address? What differentiates your business from your competitors? Even if you’re outsourcing the actual writing to a website copywriter, you know your business best, so you’re in the best position to list down its value propositions.
  • Drill down on your market research — Your copy must be tailored to a specific target audience. The only way to accomplish this is to thoroughly understand the market. Some marketers even go as far as creating a buyer persona to have a clearer picture of who they’re targeting. This allows for a more streamlined content strategy.
  • Start with an outline — Some content writers prefer to do without outlines, but this can often lead to disjointed copy with no clear agenda. An outline is essentially a road map of how the copy should look. It’s like the skeletal framework of the page, which you then flesh out with relevant and engaging content.
  • Write your draft copy — This is where the main writing begins. The copywriter needs to be creative with their choice of language, style, and design elements. Don’t get too hung up on technical details. It’s all about telling your brand’s story and effortlessly carrying your readers along. When people relate with you, they’re more likely to trust you, and when they trust you, they’re more likely to do business with you.
  • Revise and edit — Look through your draft website copy and begin to weed out any irrelevant stuff. Perhaps you got carried away with wanting your creativity to shine in the previous step, but now’s the time to make any needed cuts and revisions. Clean up the draft as best as you can while also making sure the copy is free of grammatical errors, plagiarism, and other copywriting sins.
  • Publish, track, and tweak — After publishing your website copy, the next step is to track and measure its performance. You might need to make a few tweaks to your copy before it starts driving results. To save time, some marketers utilize A/B testing to see how the web copy will perform for a given target audience.

Copywriting for your website pages

Website copywriting has many different extensions — web content, online ads, email marketing campaigns, social media posts, etc. There might be tiny variations with the writing, especially in terms of the length. For the purpose of this guide, we’re focusing on the copy you write for your website. There are four main categories when it comes to website copy — the homepage, the about page, the service page, and the product page. Let’s look at how to write each one.

Writing the homepage

The homepage is the traditional landing page. This is where your website visitors get their first impression of your brand. Needless to say, it must be on point. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to writing copy for the homepage. For instance, the homepage copy for an ecommerce store selling physical products would generally differ from the copy for a service-based business.

Still, there are a number of universal truths that every website should follow when writing homepage copy. For one, the main goal must be to streamline the customer journey from arrival to action within the shortest time possible.

This means the reader should be able to get enough relevant information about the business right there on the page. The last thing you want is for people to land on the page and scratch their heads thinking, “What does this company do again?” Remove any unnecessary piece of content and structure the writing to visitors go down a very specific path and funnel.

Your homepage is also your primary brand-building page meaning your brand voice must be prominent and consistent throughout the copy.

Writing the about page

Web copy is about connecting with your readers and showing them the unique personality behind your brand. The About page is the perfect medium for this. It provides a brief, yet detailed overview of your business, the motivations behind your brand, and the human side of your company. Basically, your about page must be centered around building trust and credibility.

As much as possible, you want to avoid placing generic information on this page. Most of the time, people don’t really care much about your company’s history and mission/vision statements. They’re more concerned with what it can do for them. Imagine you walk into a McDonald’s. You don’t care about their company history and team management. You want to sate your hunger with some burgers and fries.

The point is, you should still look to push your value propositions even on your About page. Be personal but don’t get carried away with flowery language that you forget to add value to the reader. Here are some ways to go about it:

  • Showcase your strengths — Let people know immediately what you’re bringing to the table.
  • Be transparent — It’s tempting to want to embellish a little (or a lot) when it comes to writing about your company, but it can quickly backfire, especially when some of the stuff you wrote can be fact-checked.
  • Stay social — Rather than write boring episodes about your team members, you could include short blurbs and a link to their social media accounts. This keeps things neater and allows readers to directly connect with the people behind your business.
  • Keep it short — The main content itself doesn’t have to be some long story about how you came to be in business. Keep it short and if you need to add more content to flesh out the page, you can always include testimonials and case studies.
  • Let the copy evolve along with your company — This just means keeping the copy up to date to reflect the current state of the business.

Writing a product page

Product description pages are common in the ecommerce space. The copy here needs to be amazing and compelling enough to make the user click the ‘add to cart’ button. You want to start by clearly defining the product’s features — size, color, dimensions, materials, and so on.

Next, you want to showcase the benefits. The copy should appeal to the reader on an emotional level. After all, emotional convictions are among the driving factors of brand loyalty. For example, even though there are much cheaper smartphones on the market, many people will still opt for Samsung or Apple phones because they connect with these brands on an emotional level.

Outside of the copy, the other content elements on the page need to be on point as well. Include high-resolution product images and how-to videos. These can help move the prospect further along in the sales funnel by providing them with a more reliable idea of the product’s size, appearance, and benefits.

The pricing information is another area to pay close attention to, especially if you’re selling high-ticket items. People will often check out the pricing before checking out the features of a product. Make sure the information is easy to find, along with any applicable discounts.

Lastly, be sure to include clear call to action (CTA) buttons, as well as any relevant customer reviews to provide social proof for the page and therefore improve conversions.

Read more: Guide to writing compelling product descriptions

Writing a service page The writing process is similar to that of a product page though the approach will need to be tweaked. For instance, it can be a lot harder to describe the features of a service since they’re not exactly physical. Instead, you need to harp on benefits and user-inclined processes.

The first step is to properly explain the service, why it’s needed, how the service is rendered, and more importantly, how it brings about tangible results. This example of a well-written service page copy captures this perfectly. From the first statement, you already see the value proposition shining through.

As you scroll further, the page breaks down the benefits of each tool so you immediately know what you’re paying for and what to expect.

Our top website copywriting tips for improved content marketing results

1. Utilize headings

Online users mostly scan through a page instead of reading word for word. Well-written headlines allow you to draw attention to the most important aspects of your web copy and give the user a general idea of what the page is all about.

2. Use bullet points

Bulleted lists help break up the copy into bite-sized points that the reader can easily assimilate. This helps improve user experience, which in turn can boost engagement and ultimately, conversions.

3. Put the most important information at the top of the page

Once a user lands on the page, they want to be able to see the information that matters most to them right away. Make sure that important info is the first thing they see on the page. This way, they don’t have to scroll down too far to find what they need.

4. Maintain a consistent brand voice

Talk to your customers, not at them, all the while being consistent with your brand voice. Speaking of voices, be sure to use more of an active voice for the copy as it is more likely to inspire the reader to take your desired action.

5. Keep paragraphs short

Lengthy paragraphs are clunky and difficult to scan, especially when viewed on a mobile device. This can discourage the user from wanting to keep reading. Break the copy into bite-sized pieces instead so the messaging is easier to grasp.

6. Write in the lingo of your audience

Go for words that your target audience can easily identify with. There’s no sense in using complex jargon as today’s consumers will not hesitate to ‘bounce off’ the page if they feel the lingo is too ambiguous or confusing.

7. Publish your copy the next day

Content strategists swear by this trick: after writing and revising your web copy, let it sit overnight or at least for a few hours, then return and give it a final polish before publishing it. Proofing your copy with fresh eyes can reveal some slight tweaks that need to be made or entire sentences that need to be replaced, and so on.

Wrapping up website copywriting

Your website copy can make or break your small business’s online presence. It must be exciting and be directed towards a specific audience if it is to yield quality results. The good news is once you get the hang of it, the writing process becomes much easier. You can even start to create a new copy from templates that you’ve made from successful writings.

Enjoy professional copywriting services with B12

B12 is much more than your average web design platform. We offer a full lineup of business solutions and digital marketing tools to create a powerful online presence for your business and serve your clients. Among these tools is our professional copywriting service.

When we build a website for you, we don’t just send you a bare template. Our experienced copywriters provide high-quality website copy that projects your brand authority to both your site visitors and search engines. We also offer blogging services to help improve SEO and climb up the search rankings.

Sign up on B12 today and we’ll get you started with a free website draft.

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