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5 proven ways to write captivating website copy

Woman holding flowers while thinking about her website copy
Your website is your digital shop window so it’s vital that the words you use engage with your reader.

The key to writing compelling website copy is to consider your audience’s needs from the very beginning.

Your website is your digital shop window so it’s vital that the words you use to describe your products or services are engaging and resonate with the reader.

If your audience is going to buy, you'll need to persuade them that your product or service will resolve their pain points and make their life better.

Here are my 5 pro tips to writing captivating copy for your website:

1. Empathise

Before you start to write, you should consider your ideal client. Think about who they are, what they care about and what their pain points might be. How can your product or service solve their problems?

Once you’ve identified their needs, brainstorm ideas of relevant potential content and note them down as bullet points, paying particular attention to ways your product or service exceeds their expectations.

When you start to write, keep your ideal client in mind at all times and speak directly to them. Be conversational and ask questions so they feel important and involved. Focus on ‘you’ rather than ‘we’ or ‘I’.

2. Be consistent

Having a consistent brand voice, which aligns your words, design, products and services, builds awareness and develops trust and loyalty.

If you’re a small business owner, sole trader or freelancer it’s vital to write in a consistent, authentic voice which encapsulates you and your brand.

Be natural, write like you speak and inject some of your personality into your website copy. If you have a good sense of humour then don’t be afraid to be witty if it’s appropriate for your brand and will engage your ideal client.

A woman planning structuring the copy for her website.
Every page you write needs a good beginning, middle and end so think about the structure before you begin.

3. Structure

Work out the order of your copy before you write and prioritise the messaging.

Every page you write needs a good beginning, middle and end and you want a natural flow between the paragraphs or sections.

Your body copy should start with a promise, a benefit or your unique selling point (USP).

You need strong headings and subheadings packed with keywords and use bullet points and pictures to break up the text.

Pose a question or use a transition word – such as but, finally or and – every so often to keep the reader interested.

And try to end on a line which is as good or better than your main heading.

4. Be clear and concise

Sometimes 500 words work better than 5,000 so don’t be tempted to overwrite. Your ideal client is busy and wants to get to the nub of what you do as quickly as possible so make sure your copy is clear, concise and uncomplicated.

Ditch jargon, technical speak and long words in favour of simple language and contractions (such as it’s, instead of it is, and you’re, rather than you are).

Break up long or complex sentences and generally use short sentences to make clear and simple points. Longer sentences can be used sparingly to break paragraphs up or to make a stronger connection with the reader. It’s important to vary sentence length every so often so the copy doesn’t become monotonous for the reader.

Woman editing her website copy.
Editing makes copy compelling, so rewrite, revamp and reshuffle your words until all the waffle is gone.

5. Proofread and edit

Once you’ve written a first draft, print a hard copy and read it out loud. Hearing the words being spoken will shine a light on clumsy sentence structure and issues with pace or readability.

Then check the copy for typos, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and missing punctuation and remove anything which is surplus to requirements. Typos hidden in plain sight on screen magically appear when you print them out, so it’s worth taking the time to do this!

It’s editing which makes for compelling copy, so cast an editor’s eye over your words and rewrite, revamp and reshuffle them until all the waffle is gone.

Finally, get a second opinion. Ask a friend, colleague or even a trusted client to read the copy. Does it connect with them? If it does, you’ve hit the jackpot!

Over to you

Now you’ve learnt the basics of writing compelling website copy you’re ready to revamp your own web pages. Need some more inspiration? Take a look at my website.

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