Website copywriting. You’ve heard the term before, but what exactly IS it? Simply put, website copywriting is the process of writing content for your website. This digital content will live on your website and is ultimately what potential consumers will engage with. What you’re reading now is an example of website copy and as you’ll see below, the goal of it is to be able to provide something useful to the person reading on the other end.
In this article, we will talk about how to write website copy, common examples (including what you should avoid), the best practices you should use, and much more. To skip ahead to a certain section, please feel free to utilize our helpful table of contents listed below:
Table of Contents
What is Website Copywriting?
Before we dive in, I want to provide a clear explanation as to what website copywriting is and why it’s important. As we mentioned earlier, website copywriting is the process of writing content for your website; but did you know that it can also be utilized outside of your website, too? Writing for the web (a fun term to describe the process of website copywriting) is essential to optimizing your digital platforms, whether they be your personal or company’s website, social media channels, or any other digital marketing platforms or mediums you plan to use.
Why is this important?
When the internet exploded onto the scene in the 1990s, consumers no longer had to rely on print media for information. Suddenly, they had options, and popular internet search engines like Yahoo and Lycos enabled consumers to have the ability to find products in a completely new and revolutionized way. As technology increased (and our dependence on it), search engine powerhouses like Google, which went public in 2004, completely revolutionized the way we did business. However, now, there was much more competition.
Today’s consumer has more options than they know what to do with. In fact, Google processes over 400,000 internet searches per second, according to the website Internet Live Stats. While having so many options is beneficial for the consumer, it unfortunately means that your personal brand and/or website is just one consumer click away from losing business to the competition. It’s because of this risk that having good content on your website is not only necessary to grab your consumer’s attention but to also tell the internet that YOUR website is the best one for them to visit. This can be done by a simple process called SEO. However, optimizing your content with SEO best practices isn’t enough. It only works when used in conjunction with content that provides value to the user.
What is SEO?
SEO, also known as search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your content in order to bring traffic to your website through organic search results. For example, if you typed into Google “What is website copywriting,” you were brought to our site. And while some of that has to do with our use of SEO, it’s also because this article provides an answer to your search query (and remember, Google processes a lot of them!)
In order for consumers to find your website, you have to write your website copy with the consumer in mind. This means thinking like them. Let’s say, for example, that you’re a store that sells shoes but no one ever seems to buy them. In order to increase sales, you have to think about your consumer and the different types of needs they have when it comes to footwear. What professions look for supportive soles? What types of activities benefit from long-lasting, durable shoes?
If you sell hiking shoes, you should include the phrase “hiking shoes” in your content, whether it be on the landing pages, blog posts or both. This is called a keyword phrase and it’s an important part of writing copy because it will help drive traffic to your website. So, next time someone types into Google “Where can I find good hiking shoes near me,” your page will have a better opportunity to show up in an internet search result. However, your site needs to be easy for the user to navigate. This includes:
- Providing relevant and helpful content
- Making your content easily accessible on the site
While SEO is important, it’s not the only thing you need when it comes to website copywriting. Think of copywriting like a recipe; it takes many ingredients to create the final product. Copywriting includes SEO best practices, such as keyword research and internal linking, in addition to the quality of content. Good copywriting all comes down to how you present the optimized content on your site. Remember, SEO is what will bring the user to your site but it’s your content that will keep them there. This means your site must be easy to navigate and provide content that is valuable to your consumer.
Copywriting is the process of writing content that not only informs your reader but prompts the user to take action such as clicking a button on the website to make a sale or read a blog post or sign up for one of your services. Copywriting should marry all the technical skills of website design by creating a website that is easy to use and functions well, in addition to the best practices of SEO.
How to Write Website Copy (For Beginners)
Think of the content on your website as a first impression in a job interview. Regardless of how useful your products may be, you probably won’t get any business if your content pushes the consumer away.
What should I avoid?
When writing copy for your website, there are several things you should keep in mind. The most important is to write content that is clear and concise. Oftentimes, one of the most common mistakes people who write website copy for the first time make is that they fail to think like the user. It’s an easy mistake to make, especially if you’ve been in your field for a long time. You have to remember that while you may be an expert in what you’re writing, the person on the other end may be completely unfamiliar with your industry or the types of products and/or services you provide.
Other common mistakes to avoid when website copywriting include:
- Using run-on sentences
- Being too vague with your company’s experience, mission, etc.
- Writing too much copy on every page (remember, websites only have about 10 seconds to capture a reader’s attention)
- Not adding hyperlinks to other useful content on your website
- Using exclamation points to convey excitement (this comes across as unprofessional)
Copywriting that is professional and authoritative helps to create trust with your user and establishes you as an expert in your industry. If you use slang or emojis in your content or have it filled with typos and grammatical errors, it conveys to the user that you do not care about the presentation of your website, and by extension, you must not care about the quality of your products and/or customer service.
Examples of Writing Website Copy (That Work)
One website that provides excellent website copy is Airbnb; the revolutionary travel website provides content that tells the user exactly what their mission is, where to find information about hosting, and call-to-actions that entice users to engage with their website. While the website does host beautiful images, it’s the content they provide that makes the user experience so rewarding. The copywriting they have on their website makes their services easy to understand and access; if you want to host your home or find a location that allows pets, all you have to do is scroll. Airbnb’s website even allows users to see how far popular tourist destinations are from their location automatically. This is an excellent example of thinking like your user. If someone is visiting Airbnb’s website, it’s safe to assume that they’re interested in travel, so even if they had a destination in mind, offering up additional travel locations that they may not have even thought of will most likely spark an idea. This means that the consumer will come back to book via Airbnb with one of the travel destinations they suggested.
Airbnb thought of the consumer’s needs before the consumer even did and that’s why it makes the list of excellent website copy.
Website Copywriting Best Practices
Knowing how to write website copy is vital to keeping consumers engaged on your site. Like we mentioned with Airbnb, good website copywriting includes:
Meeting the consumer’s needs
Like we mentioned with Airbnb, your reader needs an answer to a question, instructions on how to do something, and where they can find a product. Your content must be written with the goal of answering these questions as early on as possible.
Hooking the reader early on
When you open a book for the first time, how often does the first line make or break the story for you? Good hooks captivate the reader. They’re bold, witty, and showcase your brand’s personality and expertise, all of which help the reader decide whether to keep reading the page. A good hook is an opportunity to make a personal connection with your customer.
Friendly, easy-to-read content
Your website is how you converse with the consumer, so don’t be afraid to have your content sound like you. The best types of website copy are those that treat the consumer like an equal, all while being friendly, knowledgeable, and engaging. You’re more likely to make a connection with your reader if your content is memorable and matches your company’s branding and overall tone. Consistency provides the user with a clear understanding of what they’re ultimately getting.
WP Super Host staging sites gives you the flexibility to check for and fix errors
When you’re ready to start building your website and copywriting, WordPress provides the building blocks to help you. WordPress is one of the easiest content management systems for first-time users to utilize. However, when you’re a first-time user, you need (and want) the flexibility to be able to change your mind and address any mistakes before your site goes live to the public.
This is where having a staging site comes in handy. A staging site is essentially a copy of your live website and allows you to make any changes you deem necessary before consumers can access it on the internet. As we touched on earlier, copywriting isn’t solely about creating content that sounds good, rather, it’s about creating content that improves the user experience. Copywriting isn’t just a matter of writing pretty words; it involves every type of content, including video, photography, blogs, and call-to-actions. When you’re building your website on WordPress, the staging area allows you to see how all of these pieces interact with one another to present the overall message of your site. These staging sites allow you to check for bugs and errors, which can be especially handy if there are any typos or grammatical errors on your site.
The last thing you want is for your website to go live and have it be riddled with spelling errors. Our WP Super Host pricing packages come equipped with super staging areas that allow you to check for and fix these errors at your pace, all the while providing an automated backup of any changes you made.
Website copywriting sounds more daunting than it really is. At the end of the day, good website copy is one that engages and informs the reader. We hope the tricks and tips in this article provide you with the tools you need to get started, and when you do, remember that WP Super Host provides a wide range of features that will maintain the technical aspects of your WordPress site so you can focus on what matters most – captivating your audience with awesome content.