One of the biggest mistakes I see biz owners who invest in a new website make is to skimp on professionally-written website copy. Are you guilty? Believe me, as attractive as saving those dollars now sounds, it’s a good investment to make.
Not only does a professional copywriter have the experience to help you craft this unique narrative, but they can also offer some outside perspective. When you work in your business every day it’s hard to stay objective. You get so wrapped up in your own processes and thoughts that it’s hard to write for your audience in a way that puts them first.
But what happens when you don’t have the funds to invest in a copywriter? You can do it yourself! Writing copy for your website, however, is a lot different than it was writing research papers back in college. It’s less about explaining and more about telling stories. Less about hard and fast grammar rules and more about making a connection. Here are 10 guidelines to help you.
1. Inject your personality.
Be friendly without making it all about you. I love how Method’s fun and bold personality shines through the copy on their website.
2. Lead with the customer’s pain, follow with the benefit they get.
People generally don’t like pain – they want to make it go away. Tell them how you can help them with that.
3. Avoid ambiguous, fluffy or boilerplate language.
If anyone can say it, it isn’t worth putting on your site. Skip the generalities and say something bold and unique! Check out one of my favorite brands, Love Beauty & Planet, who does a great job with the copy on their website sharing their unique story.
4. Break up copy into manageable bite-size chunks.
Use big headings, frequent paragraph breaks, blurbs, and bullets. Kinda like I’m doing right here! Check out Werk for another great example of how you can break your copy up.
5. Know your audience and speak to them.
Avoid formal jargon and technical terms. Use your audience’s language and they’ll love you for it. Billie’s got the right idea! Check out their website for a great example of user-centered copywriting.
6. Tell a story.
Readers like things they can relate to. When you can paint a picture for them and share an experience it helps to gain their trust. Hop on over to d.light to see how to do it right!
7. Find a balance with keywords.
Good copy should flow naturally and be search friendly. You don’t and shouldn’t overstuff your copy with keywords. Digital marketing guru, Neil Patel has got the scoop!
…But again, don’t force it and ruin your user experience. This will hurt your conversion rate. You should only add keywords when it is natural and makes sense for the user. – Neil Patel, neilpatel.com
8. Don’t write copy just to fill a space.
Say only what is needed and ditch the rest. Add value where you can but don’t drone on and on. People have short attention spans.
9. Answer the questions: who, what why and how.
The TOMS’ website does a great job of answering these important questions on their improving lives page both with their copywriting and spectacular web design. Check it out!
10. Spell check!
Seriously, I really shouldn’t have to tell you to spell-check your copy, but since we all get busy and forget sometimes, I thought you could use just one more reminder! Or try a free tool like Grammarly if you want to get real fancy 😉
What do you think? Do you feel ready and equipped to write your own website copy? Let me know in the comments or reach out to me for help!
I help female entrepreneurs and business owners create brands that command the spotlight. I love working with women to help them create beautiful, one-of-a-kind brands that give them the confidence to take their business to the next level and get them seriously noticed. I’ve worked with coaches, authors, influencers… you name it, and I bet I can help you too.
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Kristin Pruis • November 28, 2018