Tips for writing effective website copy

“A picture is worth a thousand words” – well to a point. Images are powerful, catch the eye and communicate quickly. But they can’t do the whole job. You still need words to get the whole picture over to your customers and potential clients.

People read web content in a different way to books, especially if they’re viewing your site from a mobile phone or tablet. Your web content has to be easy to skim, so that a reader could scan the page and get the gist quickly.

So, how do you find the right words to write good website copy?

1. search engine optimisation (SEO) 

Golden copy is worthless if no-one can find it. Before you start writing consider search terms and the strategic use of keywords throughout your website copyTry to use a keyword in the main headers and sub-headings. But make sure that keywords in your copy read naturally – don’t just stuff them in. 

2. be clear

Plan and outline the specific aims of your website – for example, to launch a new product, showcase your organisation’s credentials or promote an event. Work out the points you need to make and any calls for action required. Make sure that your words communicate them. (The same rule applies to navigation through the site – menus and pathways should be straightforward and easy to follow.)

3. structure

Use the following techniques to structure your page: 

  • Subtitle under the main title as a quick intro to what’s on the page.
  • Subheadings to help break up the text.
  • Short paragraphs breaks the page into easy to read sections. 
  • Bullet points provide easy and effective display of information.
  • Short sentences are easier to read.
  • Hyperlinks to other pages (or external resources) help users get what they want from your site.
  • Bold and italic draws attention to important words and phrases.

It’s a good idea to make a checklist of information that must be covered to make sure nothing is overlooked, for example, contact details, ordering information, delivery details. 

4. keep it simple

Make your words punchy and to the point. And use plain English – keep gobbledygook and jargon out.

5. watch your word count

You don’t need an essay. Information overload can overwhelm your audienceFor SEO a recommended minimum word count is 300 words per page. There’s no maximum as such – you might need to go up to 2,000 words for an in-depth blog post. The key is to make every word count, ensure your copy does the job without padding and unnecessary information.

6. make it interesting

Attention spans are very short. The more engaging your content the more likely your reader will stay with you to the end. 

7. write for your audience

Understand who you are writing for and get the tone right. 

8. get the picture?

Words alone won’t do the job. Consider your copy in relation to photos and illustration. Imagery will bring your website to life as well as reinforcing your message. The visual impact using graphic design, navigation, colour and typeface choices all contribute to making your website attractive, fit for purpose, and successful. 

need help?

Your website copy can bring your organisation to life, communicate your personality, guide visitors to take the actions you want them to take, and create an outstanding impression of your business. Don’t let bad website copy get in the way of reaching your potential customers.

It may seem like a good idea to cut costs by doing it yourself – after all, who understands your business better than you? But we have found this can take much longer than hiring a professional copywriter – waiting for good copy is one of the most common reasons website launches are delayed in our experience.

A fresh external eye can enlighten and invigorate your website copy – so why not get in touch? Trust us, it’s worth the investment!

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