Beautiful, user-friendly design, only gets you so far. To really get your website visitors engaged, you need to craft compelling copy that keeps them interested and gets them to take the actions you want them to. Creating good web copy can be tricky. There’s not a proven formula that will tell you whether or not what you’ve written is any good. There are things you can do, however, that will assist you in creating better copy. Here are some key tips to keep in mind as you start writing for your website.
Verbs, verbs, verbs
Where writing really shines is in the verbs. Jamming qualifiers, like adjectives and adverbs, into your writing might sound like a good idea but it isn’t. At the end of the day, adjectives and adverbs are like celery – they’re crunchy and don’t add much flavor. This is especially true of adverbs. Using a more descriptive verb trumps using an adverb nine times out of ten. Which sentence here sounds better:
- “He ran very fast to the store.”
- “He sprinted to the store.”
If you chose sentence #2, you’re correct. Verbs are what make your sentences do things and they’re also what tells your audience what to do. This is important if you want to guide your website visitors through your site and even help them become a lead or conversion. Being purposeful with your verbs and choosing ones that are powerful and resonate with your audience will always be more effective than bloating your copy with qualifiers.
People have short attention spans. This is especially true for web copy. Your audience won’t spend a lot time reading lengthy text, but they will skim it. What they want is to find relevant information, make a decision, and keep moving. You really only need to give your visitors enough information to know where to go next. This means you need to figure out the two or three most important things about your product or service, and communicate those right off the bat.
As the user continues their journey, you can start explaining more, but don’t throw too much at them all at once. It’s kind of like fishing. You need just enough to interest your audience to hook them. Then, as you reel them in, gradually give them more information.
Don’t forget the big picture
It’s easy to get hyper-focused on the minutiae of copy. Is this the right word? Does this sentence make sense? These are important things to think about, but they can also bog you down. Sometimes it’s helpful to step back and look at your website content holistically. Look at how all the copy works together from page to page and try mapping out your user’s journey. Essentially, a website is a “choose-your-own-adventure” for your visitors, so you need to make sure that you are providing clear choices, and each choice your user makes gets them to the information they want.
Want to convert more customers? Keep reading to find out how!
Strong calls to action are the crux of any good copy. You can have the most compelling writing in the world, but if you don’t give your audience something to do, then it’s all for naught. Luckily, calls to action aren’t hard to create, you just need to tell people what you want them to do.
The tricky part is knowing when to tell them to do something. There are no hard and fast rules for this, but knowing how a user moves through your page and what information they have at certain points in the journey can help you make those determinations. A/B testing is super helpful for figuring out where your calls to action work and where they don’t.
Taking the time to create good copy goes a long way to increasing your engagement and converting your audience into customers. Copywriting helps hone your website design and communicates everything that visual design can’t. It also propels your users through your site, guiding them to take action and convert into a lead or sale.