There are about 1.7 billion websites on the internet today. Even if only a fraction of those are active, that still means there are billions of posts and pages all trying to grab users’ attention.
The key to standing out among all that noise? Good website copy.
Of course, good visual design and user-friendly navigation matter too. Copy isn’t everything. But even if you have all those other factors in place, they can’t possibly make up for ineffective website content.
The content is the most important thing on your site — the other design stuff is there to support it.
However, what does good written copy look like? How can you know if you’re writing good copy for your site? I’m here to help: here are the keys to writing copy that everyone with a business site needs to know.
1. Keep It Simple
The first, and maybe the most important rule: keep it simple.
If the last writing project you took on was a university term paper, you might feel tempted to write with big words and long sentences. But on a business website, short sentences and simple phrasing will serve you better.
Think about it: online users are constantly bombarded with things to read. They’re often scrolling on their phones, which means long paragraphs can look like walls of text that become too hard to read. They want something simple and straightforward that gives their eyes and brains a break.
That’s where good copy comes in. Write content that’s clear, concise, and to the point, and your readers will stick around.
2. Speak to “You”
Notice how I’m addressing you as, well, “you” here? That’s because the second person is a valuable part of good copy.
When you write for a business site, you should present it as a conversation. Rather than speaking to some random, generic person, you’re writing directly to the person who’s reading the post. Addressing them as “you” makes sense, because that’s how we normally speak in conversations.
This also keeps your tone simple, laidback, and informal. Your readers don’t like to feel like they’re getting spoken down to. Instead, they want to feel like they’re in a conversation with an equal.
It may also help to design customer personas before you write. That way, you’ll have a specific “you” in mind that you can develop content for, making the use of “you” feel even more natural.
3. Know Your Purpose
Good content doesn’t just exist to fill out space on your site. It always has a purpose.
Ultimately, of course, your content exists to grow your business. But what does that mean in terms of content? That’s for you to decide — and you should decide your purpose before you start writing.
For example, maybe your company makes handmade, organic snacks. Before you can sell your products, you need to convince people that buying handmade and organic is best. There’s your purpose.
That purpose will drive your content — before you even start using it to sell your products. Your content needs to do more than just try to get people to buy products or services. It can grow your brand, reinforce your expertise, educate, and so much more.
4. Know Your Value
While knowing your purpose is important, so is knowing your value. What is it that your company offers? How will it change people’s lives for the better? And how will your content reflect that?
Remember, your product or service isn’t really your business’s value. The value is what your product or service does in someone’s life.
For example, maybe you’re offering fitness coaching videos. The videos may be the product. But the value that you’re truly offering is a convenient path to a healthier life.
Not all of your content needs to speak about this value directly. However, knowing your value will drive your content strategy, so be sure to dig deep and think about it before you start to write.
5. Offer Something Beyond the CTA
With that in mind, good copy also offers value on its own, independent of the value of your product.
Even if someone doesn’t actually make a purchase after reading your post, that post should benefit them in some way. This means that your post needs to do more than just build on a call to action (CTA). It needs to have its own purpose that’s connected to your brand, but that can still stand alone.
There are many ways to create posts that offer this independent value. For example, maybe you can educate people through your content.
To use the fitness example above, your posts could offer value by explaining new trends in workouts and diets, and whether or not they work. These posts will benefit readers right away, while also positioning you as an industry expert. Eventually, your content will build trust and interest that entices readers to buy your fitness videos.
If all of your posts are built around selling, your brand will seem pushy, which will drive customers away. But if you build posts around offering value, people will keep coming back for more.
6. Avoid Unnecessary Length
If you’re invested in SEO, you might feel driven to write posts of a certain length to keep Google happy.
However, adding more length to posts that don’t really need it will backfire by driving the quality of your content down.
Focus on value and quality, not word count. Don’t “stuff” your posts with needless paragraphs and sentences to hit a certain length. Say what you want to say using the number of words it takes to say it. No more, no less.
Still Worried About How to Write Good Website Copy?
Writing good copy may not be intuitive. But with practice and these tips, anyone can learn how to do it.
Still, for a business owner who’s tight on time, writing copy can seem like an intimidating thing to add to your busy schedule. Don’t worry — that’s where I can help.
Firstly you can take a look at my guide for high-converting homepages with an example wireframe packed with hints and tips. Secondly, you can find out more about our Website Design Experiences and One Day Website packages which include in-depth strategy calls to discuss your content and custom wireframes so you know exactly what to write!