9 Evergreen Website Copywriting Tips

Website copywriting is a language you need to learn like any other. Because it‘s constantly changing, just like our customers’ needs and behaviours.

So, no matter your experience or skill, you need to regularly refresh your understanding of what makes cracking copy. 

If you don’t, that’s a recipe for mediocre content. And despite what 50 Shades of Grey’s success would have us believe, subpar words will crush your website’s performance.

But fear not! The experts (that’s us) are here to reveal the freshest website copywriting tips. Sear them into your brain to create consistently good copy that convinces and converts. 

1. Know your purpose 

Clear goals inform every aspect of copywriting for website content, from defining your tone of voice to phrasing your messages.

Your website’s main goal will likely be to drive sales. So you’ll want to focus on:

  • conversion copywriting
  • search engine optimization
  • creating a user-friendly experience 
  • having powerful calls to action

But you might also want to become an authoritative resource to build trust and be a brand people look up to. That means you’ll need to educate customers through expert insight.

These are just examples of goals. Spend some time thinking about what you (or your clients) want to achieve with the website.

You'll likely find that the path to achieving one goal intertwines with another. For example, by establishing trust with your audience through quality content, you'll also boost lead generation because increased trust translates to more sales. 

2. Know your audience (intimately) 

It’s not a new website copywriting tip: understand who your audience is to write words that resonate and drive action.

But have you ever been told to treat audience research like you’re crafting characters for a novel? 

Going beyond the bog-standard details helps you understand who your ideal customer is as a person rather than a list of facts. 

Then you can tap into their deepest desires, using website copywriting to convince visitors your offering is worth their time and money.

You want to understand: 

  • How your audience feels about the world
  • What they want more than anything
  • The experiences that have shaped them
  • Their best qualities and biggest flaws

Dig deeper and your audience will shrink - not a bad thing! As Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb once said:

“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”

A free website copywriting tool for audience research is Reddit. People love to get personal on the platform because they can be anonymous. Search main keywords in the subreddit search tool to find conversations about your topic. Then scan the top results for beautiful audience insights. 

3. Run voice-of-customer research

When you know exactly what’s on your customers’ minds, you can reflect their thoughts and emotions back to them, making your website copywriting more compelling than a Christopher Nolan film. 

It’s tricky to do this with customer personas alone. They’re helpful when defining your tone of voice but don’t tell you what’s on customers’ minds word for word.

Enter voice-of-customer (VOC) research. It uses qualitative data (non-numerical data such as language) and quantitative data (numerical data) to reveal the wants and needs of your customers. Information you can use to fine-tune your copy and create more effective customer journeys. 

Here are 10 ways to collect voice-of-customer (VOC) research:

  1. Interview customers
  2. Survey customers
  3. Hold focus groups
  4. Read customer reviews
  5. Listen to customer calls
  6. Monitor social media
  7. Ask for feedback
  8. Record live chat convos 
  9. Monitor emails 
  10. Monitor website behaviour

Use your audience research (see website copywriting tip 2) to create relevant questions for your surveys and interviews.

Once you have your research, look for recurring messages, words and themes then order them by importance.

And voila! You have words and phrases that mirror your ideal customers’ thoughts and feelings. VOC research also helps you spot gaps in your existing copy - a great tool when it comes to editing your content. 

4. Research the market 

Researching your market, analysing the information and applying it to your website’s copywriting helps you stay competitive and relevant. Because it tells you if:

  • there's a demand for what you're offering
  • there's a gap in the market you can fill
  • your audience has specific buying behaviours
  • there are trends you need to jump on
  • what your competitors are doing

The last point is fundamental. 

To make your voice heard, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition. 

There are tonnes of great resources to use for competitor analysis, such as:

  • SpyFu - allows you to research what keywords your competitors are buying
  • Google Trends - helps you keep tabs on trending topics in your industry so you're always ahead of the game
  • Google Alerts - tells you what your competitors are up to. You can also set up alerts for your own company so you're notified if someone else is talking about you. 

You can also monitor social media mentions featuring your competition to learn what they’re talking about (and what others are saying about them).

5. Define a tone of voice

Or rather, tone and voice. 

Voice reflects your brand's personality and identity. It should be distinctive and consistent, like Old Spice’s youthful and witty voice. 

Source: Old Spice

If you're struggling to come up with traits for your brand voice, think about what makes your business unique, such as your culture. Have a wider discussion with the team, brainstorm traits and pick out the ones that resonate the most. 

And consider your audience’s views and personality - embodying them makes your language more relatable. As well as dissecting your customer personas, tune into conversations on social media to pick up the language your audience uses and how they use it (e.g. do they swear to express anger or enthusiasm?). Jump to website copywriting tip 10 for more advice on voice-of-customer research. 

Tone is how you express yourself in different situations. You can adapt tone depending on the emotional state of your readers. For instance, a privacy notice is probably going to be more serious than a contact me page. When it comes down to tone, it’s all about the context. Common sense will point you in the right direction.

6. Consider the customer journey

From the moment a visitor lands on your website, their experience should be easy and enjoyable. If it isn’t, they’ll leave. It’s as simple as that.

Design has a lot to do with your website’s ease of use. But so does copywriting. 

Copywriting elements that negatively impact the customer journey include:

  • Information overload
  • Vague calls to action
  • Overly long headlines 
  • Missing information
  • A lack of trust seals

Consider these when editing your content. 

You can also spot problems in the customer journey by mapping how a customer behaves while visiting your site. 

Use website analytics to identify:

  • where customers are on your site
  • how much time they’re spending with you
  • when they leave

This will help you understand how customers are travelling through your website, how they feel during their time there and your main drop-off points.

From there, identify copywriting-based obstacles in the customer journey. Then you can come up with ways to tackle them, such as simplifying headlines or reducing how much detail you have on your homepage. Speaking of which … 

7. Choose quality over quantity

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads,” said Dr. Seuss.

We couldn’t agree more, especially when it comes to headings and subheadings. Simplicity is key to engaging copywriting for website content. Strive for words that are clear and concise to strengthen your message and get the desired response from your visitors.

Simple messages can pack a punch when you also adopt conversion copywriting techniques:

1. Focus on the outcome of the benefit - communicate how your product or service will help readers achieve their goals, rather than focusing on all the things it features. 

2. Use contractions - changing ‘you will’ to ‘you’ll’ and so on will make your copy more direct, persuasive and faster to read. 

3. Use powerful verbs - replacing adverbs like ‘very’ and ‘really’ with stronger verbs gives your language more power and clarity while eliminating fluff. 

4. Write to one person - using ‘you’ instead of ‘they’ closes the gap between you and your reader for a more intimate and emotive experience. 

When it comes to detail - the body content on each page - loop back to your audience. 

Would they prefer top-line stats and quick facts? Or paragraphs of detail? Where you put that information also depends on your reader. But it’s rarely all over the home page; its job is to pull visitors in quickly and encourage them to explore the rest of your site.

8. Run the 'so what’ test

Remember when you were knee-height and your favourite hobby was asking a parent: Why? 

Well, it’s time to be that tiny interrogator again. With this mindset, you can get to the heart of your customers’ biggest drivers and create website copywriting that induces epic emotional responses. 

Ask ‘so what’ for every point you make. This strips your copy of fluff until you’ve hit the nail on the head. Like this:

  • We help retail business owners drive performance through innovative software
  • So what?
  • We help them improve productivity and process efficiency
  • So what?
  • We help them become more profitable and agile
  • So what?
  • We help them make more money without increasing their workload so they can spend more time enjoying life 

See how we moved from the surface-level benefit to more emotional and impactful perks? All by simply asking, so what?

By using the ‘so what’ test for your website copywriting, you can understand your customers’ needs and problems on a much deeper level. Inject this empathy into your copy to hook readers and strengthen your key sales points. 

9. Hire a professional proofreader 

Whether you’re writing the content yourself or investing in website copywriting services, getting a professional proofreader in on the action is essential.

This is no article or email. Your website is the ultimate window into your business. Even tiny errors can have a big impact on that critical first impression.

Sure, you could proof it yourself and then get an app like Grammarly to check it over. But both strategies have big limitations:

  1. When you’re close to the content, it’s harder to spot mistakes
  2. No app can compete with a human when it comes to the nuances of language

Whereas a professional proofreader can:

  • Go beyond what a computer can check
  • Give advice on structure and flow
  • Provide a fresh perspective 
  • Give you peace of mind that nothing has been missed

In the process, you ensure professionalism across your site while saving time and effort. Why hesitate? 

Who needs website copywriting services ...

 ... when you’ve got these tips in your arsenal? 

Just kidding! Hiring an expert copywriter is still a smart move for many reasons. But to do the best job, your copywriter needs a thoughtful, well-researched brief. Now you have the info needed to provide just that. For a quick reminder, our 9 website copywriting tips are:

  1. Know your purpose
  2. Know your audience
  3. Run voice-of-customer research
  4. Research the market
  5. Define a tone of voice
  6. Consider the customer journey
  7. Choose quality over quantity
  8. Run the ‘so what’ test
  9. Hire a professional proofreader

And if you do fancy giving copywriting for website content a go yourself, you’re in a great place to get started. 

Take your learning a step further by reading:

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