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Are you in the process of launching a new WordPress website? If so, you might be more focused on the design and functionality of your site rather than the website content. While your website should look presentable and appealing to a specific audience, it also has to accomplish a goal. To achieve said goal, your website content must convince visitors to take an action or next step.
Since the average human attention span has declined to 8 seconds (shorter than that of a goldfish), your website copy must be compelling and actionable. Otherwise, it’s wasted space on the Internet. To write successful website copy, use our 12 quick tips.

1. Know What Your Audience Wants

Your website copy must resonate with the reader. If an audience reads your website and it sounds like you’re speaking to an entirely different group of people, they’ll leave! Having an in-depth knowledge of your audience’s preferences, needs, and desires will help you craft copy that connects with them.
Blindly writing copy without a deep understanding of your market is a risky path to take.

2. Write as Much as You Need

Often, people will tell you website copy needs to be short, sweet, and to the point. And, it does. However, what if your audience wants content with more details? A rule of thumb for compelling website copy is to write as much content as you need—no more, no less.
When determining how much copy to write, consider the following:

  • The industry
  • The target audience
  • The topic at hand
  • The goal of your content

All of these components will guide you to write only as much copy as necessary.

3. Make Your Content Scannable

61% of users said if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they would move on to another site. With this in mind, remember to make your website copy scannable. In fact, the Nielsen Norman Group found 79% of website visitors scanned content, while a mere 16% read it word-for-word.
Users should be able to quickly skim your website page copy and understand the context of the page as well as what to do next. You can create scannable copy by utilizing formatting techniques such as:

  • Headlines
  • Sub-headlines
  • Bullet points
  • Block quotes
  • Buttons
  • Bold, Italicized, and Underlined Copy
  • Image Captions

4. Write for the Audience, Not for Yourself

A big mistake website owners often make is writing content about themselves. While you need to inform visitors about your company, product, service, or purpose, you need to write for your audience. Instead of writing website copy to inflate your ego, focus on making your copy appealing to the reader.
Ask yourself:

  • What does my audience consider to be valuable information?
  • What do my website visitors want to know?
  • What questions might a visitor have?
  • What information will my visitors want up front?
  • What problems can I solve for my audience?
  • What type of content does my audience like to read?

While writing your website copy, always focus on your reader and how you can provide unparalleled value to them.

5. Focus on Benefits before Features

Another tip for writing compelling website content is to discuss the benefits before features. For instance, if you are selling skincare products, describe the advantages of using the particular product before diving into the ingredients. Start a dialogue about how the product nourishes the skin or annihilates wrinkles, rather than listing unpronounceable ingredients.
The benefits of your product, service, or company show readers the value they will receive. While features are tangible and finite, value derived from the benefits is irreplaceable.

6. Tell a Story through Your Content

Your website content should be compelling, not dull. The story told through your website content should be entertaining, informative, and most of all, aligned with a reader’s intent.
Even if your audience requires a more professional tone and jargon, you can write copy that captures their attention and reels them in. For instance, if you’re a manufacturing company, use case studies and storytelling to show how you helped clients with your products and services.
Storytelling has been part of our lives and culture for centuries. Take advantage of it in your website copy!

7. Use Urgency

When website visitors read or skim your content, they should feel encouraged to take a next step or action. To entice them to do so, use urgency in your copy. Language such as “Buy Now,” “Act Fast,” and “Get It Today” all create a sense of immediacy and remind users to act accordingly.
Now, urgency should only be used when necessary. Don’t use this type of language when it is not warranted. For example, if you are using website copy as part of an inbound marketing strategy, urgent language should not be used in the Attract or Delight stages. However, if you’re creating content with the intent of converting visitors into leads or leads into customers, then urgency is key.

8. Be Proactive

Another tip for writing compelling copy is to use an active voice. Using the past tense or a passive voice in website content doesn’t create urgency or encourage users to take the next step.
For example, instead of saying “Our company executed a data-driven strategy which led to significant results” say, “We execute data-driven strategies which generate significant results.

9. Write Helpful Website Copy

Write irresistible copy to helps a user achieve a task. Your website content should:

  • Guide visitors through your website.
  • Ease a user’s fears.
  • Solve a reader’s problem.
  • Answer your audience’s questions.

By helping users with their predicament or inquiry, they learn to trust your brand and website with their needs.

10. Always Use a Call-to-Action

A call-to-action (CTA) is arguably the most important part of your website copy. Even if you use all of the above tips, but lack a call-to-action, you’ll have a difficult time converting website visitors into sales or subscribers.
Just like the rest of your website copy, your CTAs must be actionable, direct, and helpful. Examples of common CTAs include:

  • Subscribe today for exclusive content.
  • Fill out the form below to contact us.
  • Call us today to get started.
  • Buy now to receive members-only discounts.

When developing a CTA, be sure to tell a reader exactly what they need to do next. Do not be vague or confusing. Your call-to-action should be a single, easy step a reader can take immediately.

11. Edit, Edit, and Edit Some More

The first draft of your website copy is not the final draft. Always proofread and edit website copy, and more than once! When editing your work, be sure to read from a website visitor’s perspective and ask yourself:

  • Does this copy help solve a problem for readers?
  • Can I make this copy stronger?
  • Does this copy elicit an emotion?
  • What “fluff” can I delete from my copy?
  • Am I using enough content? Too much content?

If editing isn’t “your thing,” enlist the help of an expert editor to help you cut down on unnecessary copy and develop a voice which resonates with your audience.

12. Optimize Your Copy for Search Engines and Humans Alike

Most website owners get so wrapped up in optimizing their website copy for search engines, they forget humans are the ones reading it. While keywords, internal links, and other SEO components are important, make sure your website copy sounds human. Stuffing your copy full of keywords, geographic locations, and other search phrases creates clunky, flat copy that does not convert.
With these 12 tips in your back pocket, sit down and start writing! Have you written web copy before? What advice would you give to new writers?

  • Machielle Thomas

    Machielle is a content enthusiast who has a passion for bridging the gap between audiences and brands through impactful storytelling. Machielle has also spoken at dozens of WordCamps throughout the years.

    Texas State University
    Previous Experience
    Brand Content, Content Marketing, Brand Lead, Operations Lead, Course Instructor
    Other publications
    Shopify, Contently
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