There are hundreds of millions of websites and billions of web pages out there. In order to compete for your specific niche, you need to write some killer web copy. It needs to be relevant, actionable, and useful for your end-user. It also needs to rank well on Google’s search results, otherwise, your work is in vain. So here are 10 killer tips for writing compelling website copy.
Write For Your Niche
In order to stand out and avoid being buried in a mountain of websites, you need to target your niche. What that means today is targeting your customer in as many ways as you can.
Target Your Ideal Customer
You need to create web copy by thinking of all sorts of customers that are visiting your site and want your product. It could be stay-at-home moms, aspiring bodybuilders, or college students. You need to create copy for your website specifically for them.
Target Geographical Niches
You can also target customers that are living in certain areas. Remember, they may search for your business by using phrases like “near me” or “nearby”. Customers want the most convenient and nearest solution they can get. So, capitalize on that and create web content for queries including the name of a city, a town, or neighborhood.
Provide Actionable Content, Not Marketing Content
When people click on a web page or landing page for a product or service, they’re expecting solutions to their problems. Soap removes dirt and bacteria, a knife helps you cut vegetables, and a pair of spectacles improve vision. How well you can market your product or service depends on how much you emphasize its actual value.
Focus On Providing Value In Your Webpages
Marketing language and calls to action are all fine. However, they don’t necessarily provide actual value. They simply direct the customer to the purchasing page or subscription page. Unless there’s actually valuable information on the page, new customers may not be persuaded.
Google obviously factors into this too. Its algorithms and search protocols have been consistently improving to disregard SEO if there’s no actionable or relevant info. That’s how they continuously improve search results for end-users.
Keep The Most Enticing, Relevant Info At The Top
When you access a web page, think about what you do. You start to look for what you need. If it’s not at the top or a few scrolls down, you probably give up and search for something else. Google has remedied this partially. Now the webpage scrolls down to highlighted text on the web page; however, it doesn’t always work.
Remember, you need to make it easier for the person and Google to find what they’re looking for. Google’s algorithms are good at finding relevant content, but there’s a reason they still rank search results. The most direct and relevant web pages eventually win out. So always put the most relevant information at the top of the web page.
Make Your Copy As Readable As Possible
If you’ve ever come across a web page for a service or product, they’re very well-formatted and simple. This is not unintentional. They’re making sure that as many people as possible can understand their content and even skim through it. That’s exactly what you need to be doing.
Don’t Use Technical Jargon
You’re writing web copy for the average joe. Even if it’s for someone that is technically literate, you need to convey value, not confuse them. Using unnecessarily verbose language does no one any good. Simplify your web pages to widen your scope and appeal to as many customers as possible.
The better that your customer understand your web page, the more chances they have of buying your services or products. For help, use an editor like Hemingway or Grammarly.
Format Your Content For Readability
It’s not enough that you should write web copy that includes simple words and no technical jargon. You should also make your web copy easily scannable and skimmable. What this means is structuring content.
This doesn’t just include spacing out paragraphs and shortening sentences; though that is essential. It includes placing content under headings and sub-headings and structuring them to retain the customers’ focus.
Also, get rid of any repetition and fluff. Reading the same things over and over again can give anyone a headache. Prioritize useful information and directness over beautification and description.
This way, not only will customers find your web copy more useful, but Google will as well. It will prioritize your content for its focus when it matches the web user’s query with it. It may even offer up your content as a snippet.
Spend Time On Keyword Research
Conduct Surveys To Determine Brand Value
You need to know the voice of the customer before you market to them. You need to know how people perceive your products with some certainty. After you determine that, you can market your brand to change their perception or capitalize on it, based on data.
There’s often a disconnect, especially with small businesses or new businesses when it comes to customer perception. It’s analogous to how people think their customers behave or how they think they use their products without data. Perception can sometimes be completely demolished by the data and that’s what you need to ensure doesn’t happen. Hence, instead of forming the perception first, let data guide your perception.
Conduct Surveys For Brand Value Research
Brand value research is primarily qualitative. It means that the responses which are necessary to create the profile are in-depth and personal. However, a quantitative survey serves the purpose of writing persuasive or effective web copy better. So you should include these things in your quantitative survey:
- Direct yes or no questions.
- MCQs which have clearly defined answers.
- Minimal room for subjective comments.
- A small space for customers to contribute their own thoughts which can count as qualitative data.
With a more focused brand value research survey, you can gain more insights into writing better web copy.
A/B Testing Is Essential
A/B testing is a simple way to determine which version of a webpage works. Two webpages are tested with generally one or two design elements different and the data does the work. The page that generates the most engagement, in terms of clicks, time spent on the page, etc. wins.
Design Elements For A/B Testing
While this seems easy enough, there’s a lot more to it. You need to know which elements to test and which ones to pick. For landing pages, regular A/B testing is required to determine the highest ROI. Design elements that are commonly tested include:
- Statements vs. Questions as Headlines (more on that later).
- Length of the headline.
- Long-form vs. Short-form copy.
- Word choice and language.
- Points of view (first person or third person).
- Background color.
- CTA positioning, etc.
Remember to send approximately equal traffic to either version of the page you’re testing. Splitting traffic between more than two pages can actually contaminate the experiment. 50/50 traffic splitting usually works the best.
Allow Enough Time For Testing
Also, remember to allow the test enough time (a week or two weeks) to accrue a large enough data set. Otherwise, the numbers you bring in will be useless for a large enough extrapolation. You don’t just need to see which page performs better, but which one performs better in the long run. If a page spikes early but levels off after, and the other one maintains steady traffic, the latter wins.
Include Stats And Original Data To Boost Authority
By now, you must’ve heard of Google E-A-T in a thousand blog posts. It’s the changes that google made to its search algorithms to include a preference for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Hence, great keywords don’t matter as much as the authority and actionable info. Nothing screams actionable and relevant info better than stats and original data.
It’s fine to rely on others’ data for a while. In fact, it even helps boost your authority on particular subjects as well as your preference for accuracy. However, that’s never going to get your full authority on that subject. Unless you come up with your own stats, they don’t have to come from a particularly huge study. You can do surveys, use your own website or company’s analytics, or quote different customers.
That original data will help convince more customers that you’re reliable and unique. When they don’t see your stats, reports, or studies anywhere else on the internet, or sourced from you, you benefit.
Write Powerful Headlines
A powerful headline has been the pre-requisite for selling anything, including a news story. That’s why they emphasize is on thinking about the headline so much. It’s the line that hooks the customer, whether it’s a newsreader or a prospective client.
There are certain things you need to abide by to secure yourself a great headline.
- Be Succinct: Now this doesn’t mean you should reduce your headline to three words or 5. It just means you should say what you want to say in the smallest space possible. People respond to small headlines that have a lot of meaning. If they see a headline, they have to spend at least 3-5 seconds just reading, they won’t be interested. They have very little time in their lives as it is. There are a lot of distractions on the internet, don’t fall prey to them.
- Do Your Research: This point harkens back to the keyword research. Remember that effective keywords make great headings, sub-headings, and titles. Hence, they can make great headlines too. Also, if you include keywords in your headlines, you can capitalize on what people want to know. In this endeavor, it’s smart to use a question or a powerful statement as a headline. Appeal to the customer’s needs and show them the way to a solution.
- Don’t Try to Be Smart: This is a sin that many headline writers commit. You should try to appeal to as many people as possible with your headline. Sneaking in obscure references and using advanced vocabulary in the headline won’t yield much more than certain people going “Oh!” It’ll most probably backfire and decrease your ROI. So don’t do it.
- Don’t Go for Blind Headlines: These headlines are vague and dubious. Be direct and focused with your headlines. Don’t just intrigue your customers, channel their curiosity. That’s something that won’t come with a vague or confusing headline. Consider hiring a website copywriting service to help with some great headlines.
Use CTAs To Establish Urgency
CTAs are required whenever you’re writing a killer web copy. They imbue a sense of urgency, excitement, and FOMO (fear of missing out) within your prospective customers and clients. Remember that you need to make your product seem indispensable and unmissable. For that, a CTA is extremely important. Not only does it direct your customer’s attention to what they should buy, but it links them to it.
The other reason that CTAs are extremely important is that it shows your customers the best way to contact you. Whether it’s filling out a form, calling a number, or clicking on a link, you get to the customer. It’s the amalgamation of your entire web copy. If you’ve written something so good that the customer has scanned it, you should give them a way to subscribe.
Remember, there’s nothing more off-putting than finding out about a product or service and then being cut off. You’ve been to those websites where they can’t shut up about a great product or service and there’s no link. So instead of worrying about being verbose, you should be direct. And there’s nothing more direct than a simple call to action.
Using these tips, you can write very compelling web copy and rank high on Google’s search results.