How to Write Really Effective Web Copy

Setting up your business site and creating web copy can be daunting. As well as thinking about keywords, you need to make sure your content is readable and as jargon-free as possible.

Web Copy Tips

  • People read differently online, as their attention span is shorter. You only have a few seconds to interest them before they click away.
  • Online readers skim pages to pick out information, and it’s easier to get them to the bottom of the page by using shorter paragraphs and lots of white space. Use headings and sub-headings and images to break up the text.
  • Most visitors will arrive via your Home page, so make it clear straight away what it is that you do. If you’re a business coach, say so. If you want to have a quirky job description, use that as a tag line. People are easily confused!web copy
  • People also arrive via your Services page, so set out what you can do for them. Remember that they want general information to help them decide to work with you, so don’t bombard them with detail. You can create sub-pages if you want to add more detail.
  • Highlight how your product or service answers customer pain points. Make this your focus. This is your opportunity to share your USP.
  • The About page is where you want to be creative, and where you might come unstuck. Try to avoid too much company background – just provide a potted history. While you want to celebrate your successes, don’t give too many statistics, as that’s not relevant to the buying decision.
  • Make the About page personal – use a photo of yourself (if you’re a solopreneur) or several of the key staff and add a few facts so that visitors feel like they know more about you.
  • Have a Call to Action on as many pages as possible, even if they just point to your Contact page.
  • Map out your pages first, either with paper and pen, a spreadsheet or an online planning tool. Work out how many pages you need, and add bullet points for the content you want to include, and pad it out during the writing process.

Final Checks of Your Web Copy

  • Rules on keywords change all the time, but we know search engines penalise keyword stuffing. Identify yours before you start and think about what terms people might use to find you. Ask friends for suggestions.
  • Make sure your keywords appear on all of your pages. If you use an SEO plugin (such as Yoast on wordpress.org) it will assess your copy for keyword use. However, don’t include them in every page just for the sake of it and use variations on the words as well.
  • Check all your web copy for spelling and grammar. If you write it in a word processing application first, check it again after you paste it into your site. Be aware that some sites may highlight UK spellings as errors, so ignore those suggestions.
  • Ask someone to proofread the draft version of your site before it goes live. They should spot any errors or auto-corrects that may have slipped past you. They can also check that it makes sense to someone who’s not an expert in your subject.

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