There’s no denying it – good content drives conversions. If you’re a company targeting a niche market, this is especially true – inbound marketing targets the right audience, at the right time, driving potential customers to your website.
But once they’re on your site, how do you grab their attention and push them to make a purchase? What makes for good content online? In this article, we’ll be looking at some key tenets for how to write your website copy effectively.
Tenet One: Understand How People Read Online
You may be the only person who ever reads every word on your website’s homepage. This is because people don’t read websites, or indeed even most articles online, like they would read a book.
The web is an overwhelming content machine, and our brains have learned to do a preemptive skim for the most relevant information, and then maybe go back in for seconds if they find something interesting. No one understands this better than the Neilsen-Norman Research Group – world leaders in studying user experience.
Way back in 1997, they pioneered a study that revealed only 16% of people read every word on a webpage. Continuing their eye-tracking studies in 2020, they published an updated version, revealing similar insights. Web design changed, UIs (user interfaces) became friendlier but, in 23 years, reading habits remained unchanged – online, people scan.
For how to write your website copy, the takeaway here is: no matter how interesting or artfully crafted your text is, if it’s not laid out in a way that scans easily, you’re going to struggle to hold a potential customer’s attention.
Tenet Two: In the Story Your Copy Tells, Your Customer is the Protagonist
When you’re thinking about how to write your website copy, you want your company to stand out from the crowd. And what better place to showcase its credibility and brand values than your website, right? Unfortunately, not quite.
Most people aren’t interested in your brand’s story or even the unique features of your product. They are interested in their own needs. They are interested in how those features benefit them. And no one likes to feel like they are being sold to.
Your product/service solves a problem. Customers are interested in finding a solution – even if they don’t know they have the problem yet. But you also need to earn their trust, that you’re the one to solve this problem. Your website needs to proactively address the problems your target customer may be facing, and offer resources as well as offer a solution in customers’ lives. By writing compelling, knowledgable content, you can demonstrate your value to readers, and provide them with the information they’re looking for – they will then return to you as a thought leader in the space. So in short, focus on building a relationship with the customer, and demonstrate that you understand their needs.
Tenet Three: Less is More
This relates to Tenet One because concise copy scans. That’s not to say you have to dumb down the content of your blog posts. So – how to write your website copy to be friendly to the busy customer’s gaze? Try the following:
- Breaking up your sentences.
- Writing in objective statements often – level with your reader. They don’t want to read a thousand-word ad. Stay informative, link in resources, and remember pumping your work full of too much hype and ‘coulds, woulds, and shoulds’ will undermine your reader’s trust.
- Sectioning your work clearly with headings, bullet points, etc.
- Straightforward punctuation wherever possible. Don’t distract your reader with needless complications.
- Stay away from the passive voice (the printer was sold for forty dollars), it is harder to understand than an active one (he sold the printer for forty dollars) and sounds ambivalent, not an ideal feeling to evoke when you’re selling something.
Tenet Four: Make Your Content Mobile-Friendly
Your website host will almost always have a responsive design to reframe your content for mobile devices. But it’s also crucial to know how to write your website copy for mobile devices. Be sure your font size is comfortable to read on a mobile device.
The content writing tips in tenet three all apply here, but you should also be making use of short descriptions and ‘read more’ buttons.
Tenet Five: Create Synergy Between your Graphic Design and Wording
The question of how to write your website copy is only half the battle – pairing it with the right graphic design is key to delivering a compelling, impactful message. Ultimately, your entire website must function as an advertisement for your brand.
You want to channel the reader towards buying. Using graphic design effectively means understanding the tone of your website, and pairing copy effectively with imagery. The effects of the background colour, font choice, and amount of white space are all elements that directly affect your visitor’s experience, and therefore, their likelihood of becoming a customer.
If more than one person is writing copy for your site, consider creating an in-house style guide on how to write your website copy, to make sure everyone is writing in the same voice and understands the brand’s image the same way.
Tenet Six: Be Aware of SEO and Optimize Your Keywords
No guide on how to write your website would be complete without saying: be aware of SEO. Know and use high-performing keywords related to your post’s subject. Link to relevant articles.
Taking a couple of small steps to optimize your keywords can have a massive impact on the amount of organic traffic your website receives.
Lastly, Consider Outside Help
While it may seem counterintuitive to hire an outside marketing agency when you are operating on a small budget, ultimately, as a startup or small business, time is often your most valuable resource. Content marketing agencies work by growing your reach to drive sales.
Consider hiring a content marketing agency to delegate the responsibility of creating frequent, relevant content. Your marketing partner will develop a content marketing strategy to help grow your sales, or simply provide you with a pre-agreed amount of quality content, quickly. This will allow you to keep to your vision for your brand, and also be sure the work you need done is ready in time.
Nituno was founded specifically to help B2B start-ups find success. We are experienced marketers and advertisers in this space. If you’re looking for well-planned, search engine optimized copy, get in touch with us today.