Writing Website Copy that Attracts Readers
I grew up in the world of words, savoring juicy paragraphs that delighted the senses and went on for pages. As an English major, words were my thing!
But flash forward a few decades and I’ve learned something by becoming a copywriter for creatives. You don’t create website copy the same way you hammered out papers for English class. You need to learn a whole new set of rules, so that you can communicate clearly in a noisy world.
To help you knock your copy out of the park, I’ve got some action-packed, super easy writing tips that will take your website to the next level. Best of all, no English degree required.
Five Actionable Tips to Take Your Copy from Boring to Beautiful
1. Write copy that is simple and straightforward
You have seconds to keep a reader on your website, so make sure to create copy that is easy to read. Focus the most important information in your main headings, so when visitors skim your home page, they immediately know what it’s about.
In order to do this, you should clearly state how you help people or what you offer them.
To help with this, I’ve got a formula that will help you define who your reader is and what she needs from you. Just fill in the blanks and you’ve got a copy-ready sentence for your website.
“I help __________ (your reader) to do __________________ (what you help your reader with) so they can _________________ (what transformation your reader will experience).”
For example, if you provide resources for moms to share the Bible with their kids, you might say, “I help moms share God’s Word with their kids by giving them the confidence to teach the Bible.”
Here’s another example:
“I help women lose weight by giving them the motivation to take control of their health and reach their weight loss goals.”
One more example to drive home this exercise:
“I help divorced women heal from the pain of their broken marriages by helping them rediscover the unconditional love of God.”
Pretty simple, right? Now it’s your turn. By honing your message, you'll be more likely to keep readers on your website.
2. Keep your paragraphs short
I know your English teacher taught you to write at least three to four sentences per paragraph, but website copy is another animal.
Here’s a tip that you can implement right now: Avoid writing long paragraphs on any of your pages.
I don’t care how much your teachers harped on this. No long paragraphs. Why? Too many words will overwhelm readers and make it more likely that they’ll click away from your website. One sentence can stand on its own, is attractive to the eye, and gives your reader breathing room.
The easiest way to do this is break up your copy into short snippets and create ample white space. Make it easy on the eyes, so readers can scan your page and get the main idea in a few minutes.
3. Write like your reader talks
Stop trying to make your English teacher proud. Instead, you need to sound like your ideal reader. Relatable. Personable. Just like her best friend.
In other words, speak her language.
To accomplish this, do some research on how your ideal reader talks. Try hitting up websites where normal people hang out and search for your topic.
Use places like Reddit, Amazon reviews and Facebook discussions. Notice how people ask questions and respond with solutions.
Another great option? Do a survey of your readers and highlight any responses that express your reader’s problem or solution. As you get to know your ideal reader, you’ll figure out her voice, and you’ll write in a way to keep her coming back to your website.
4. Spice up your copy with some flair
This means sharing specific details about your life that are memorable. Pick out some little known facts about your life, a weird quirk, something most people don’t know about you, or even something you’re embarrassed about.
Your website needs personality and there’s nothing that will squash interest more than boring, forgettable copy.
If you say, “I just don’t have anything interesting to share!”
Then ask yourself: What is one thing most people don’t know about me? What is the craziest thing I’ve ever done?
For inspiration, check out other people’s websites. Study their word choices. What makes their headlines pop? Why would someone want to read more about this person? Figure out how their copy stands out.
One word of warning: don’t copy or compare your style to theirs. It’s easy to think they’ve found the holy grail of copy, but they haven’t. They’ve found what works for them and now it’s time to find what works for you.
5. Create a saved file of copy-ready phrases for your brand
As you’re going through each step to create great copy, be sure to take notes about your reader, how she talks, what her problem is, and how you can be the solution.
As you identify words and phrases your reader uses, come up with content that can be used across the spectrum of your brand, from websites and newsletters, to social media and book cover copy.
Next time you get writer’s block or feel stuck coming up with words, you can look at this saved file and immediately get some writing traction. It’s like your secret sauce for writing!
Once you master your website copy, you’ll be on your way to creating a dynamic message that attracts more readers.
Want to get serious about your message and craft copy that converts? We can create copy for your website that shares your powerful message and saves you time.