How to write website copy

How to write good copy for your website

By Mark
Last updated
10 June 2022

Your website is constantly being judged.

It’s being judged in different ways by different people from visitors, browsers, shoppers, customers, not to mention Google and other search engines and even your competitors.

The one common goal they all look for, whether they know it or not, is high quality, helpful, engaging and valuable website copy.

With users spending an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written copy, the fact that good copy is often neglected or treated as an afterthought can be your biggest mistake.

Why write good, if not great copy for your website?

Let’s back track here, good isn’t quite GOOD enough, and here’s why you need to be writing GREAT copy for website.

Ask yourself, would you prefer to trust an elaborate site with low quality copy, or a simple site packed with engaging and informative copy that answers your questions and ticks your boxes?

We’re not saying ditch great website design, we love a beautifully designed website, but without engaging high quality website copy, the design can be wasted. Great copy and great design are a winning formula when it comes to user experience and the success of your website.

Your website is the ‘worlds’ shop window to your business and should also be your top salesperson. Even the best salesperson can’t sell with just an image, it needs to be backed up with words and in the case of your website, authentic and genuine copy.

This example from Gousto demonstrate this, with a sleek and simple design backed up with copy answering potential customer’s questions. Add to this mix, a reason why you should try Gousto plus a great offer to get you started, and they’ve ticked a lot boxes.

Gousto pic for great copy

Write great website copy

The benefits of good copy

Investing in great copy for your site has virtually endless benefits and quite literally affects every aspect of your online business. It can even inspire customers to visit your bricks and mortar store if you have one, in addition to increased ecommerce sales.

Taking your copy to the next level can:

  • Attract new visitors
  • Connect with existing customers
  • Respond to users’ questions
  • Get visitors to spend more time on your site
  • Increase website and brand trust
  • Generate online sales
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Collect consumer feedback
  • Improve your SEO
  • Gain better search engine rankings
  • Establish your authority
  • Cultivate customer relationships

If you have a beautifully designed website or not, with poor content, users won’t stay. Creating great copy for your website will portray your business in a positive light and let you stand out from your competitors.

How to write great copy for your website

How exactly do you write great copy? It’s certainly not all about quantity, but more about quality and understanding your customers and knowing what they want.

The recipe for good web copy should include:

A consistent tone of voice

This ensures all your communications are on-brand, it’s 'how' it sounds when you say it. You should also use your customers language, give it personality, appropriate for your customers to connect and engage with them.

Harrys demonstrate they understand their customers’ problems when it comes to shaving and speak through their copy with a clear, straightforward tone of voice, which is consistent throughout their website.

Harrys-website-great copy

Show that you understand your customers problems

Writing for users’ intent

It’s essential when creating content to always keep the user in mind, throughout the entire customer journey. This starts with what keywords visitors will be searching for, to answering their questions and solving a problem. Getting the balance of using sufficient detail to educate users, while not boring them is fundamental.

Provide value to visitors

A customer can interact with your brand 20 times before they actually purchase anything.  That can be through social media, website copy, marketing, reviews etc and each one leaves an impression.

Good copy should provide value to visitors, for example, people read blog posts to get information, help or answers. Using blog posts to address the pain areas or questions that your audience want to know is a great use of copy.

This example from Candymail shows how a blog post was written on the subject of a question that many customers were asking. Not only does the blog answer the question, but it also resulted in the No. 1 spot on Google for the search term “How hot are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?”

Cheetos Website Copy

What questions are your customers asking online?

Using keywords for SEO

While the above example, demonstrates how good copy works for users and search engines, take a look at how Air BNB appears in a Google search. Their copy has all bases covered, from local holidays, UK places to stay and how to become a host.

Researching keywords for your content is essential before you begin crafting website copy. Making your copy work for you is paramount for both search engines to drive traffic to your website and users when they arrive on it.

Find out more about how to write SEO friendly articles.

Airbnb Website Copy

Make sure your copy covers all bases

Make your website copy scannable

People don’t read your content word for word, even the great content. They scan the page to pick out important words and phrases or at best skim through articles. Copy that has long sentences and big paragraphs will put people off straight away.

Furthermore, content looks twice as long on mobile, which means how you write makes even more of difference to those reading it. Here’s some top tips for scannable and easily readable content: -

  • Structure content using different sections
  • Use short paragraphs
  • Make important words or sentences stand out
  • Create catchy headings (including keywords)
  • Subheadings help keep readers engaged
  • Bullet lists stand out well
  • Use images/graphics/video to break up content

Ensure your content is easy to scan by structuring it properly to help readers find the important bits quickly.

What can you add to great copy to make it work even harder?

Add call to actions

A call to action tells the reader what they can do or need to do next. Through carefully created and engaging call to actions you’ve got the opportunity to convince visitors that your products or services can help them.

To do this, you add relevant links to copy, pointing to other pages within your website which are useful, relevant and persuasive. You need to be clear but specific and you can always add a certain amount of urgency to help drive the user to take action.

A call to action can be in different formats including; -

Speak to us, we don't bite

Typical examples are of course ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Add to Cart’, although a call to action can be longer and really has endless possibilities.

An added bonus is that good internal linking help search engines to understand your website better.

When should I write my copy?

That’ll be RIGHT NOW!

When it comes down to what the purpose of your website is and encouraging visitors to take action, we know that web copy is just as important as design. To get the highest possible conversion rates a website needs a combination of the two.

Copywriting is more than just writing, it’s about ideas and problem solving for both potential and existing customers.

If you can write good copy for your website, the rewards are huge. Customers will line up to visit your site, spend more time there, engage more and ultimately spend more!

With great copy comes trust and authority, it can build relationships and get people talking, sharing, and buying.

What does your website copy really say about your business?