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Common-sense copywriting tips for your website

Standing out in a crowded online space is tricky. With opportunity comes competition, so while your website has the chance to reach millions, the copywriting has to be compelling to compete when there are so many others out there. Here are a few helpful tips designed to guide you through creating a website that’s written so well it can’t be ignored.

Think about who’s reading
When you’re writing a website, just consider who you want to talk to and want they want to hear. You’ll be talking to existing customers and potential customers, so you’ll need your words to resonate with both. Do it well, and the latter could have a positive influence on the former. Also consider how they’re arriving – be it via links from other sites, social media, search engine or email.

Tell it straight
It’s tempting to flex your literary muscles and write long, flowing sentences. But average readers want sentences no longer than 35 words. So be creative and entertaining, by all means, but keep it concise, get to the point, and keep adjectives and adverbs to a minimum. It’s also important not to include too much jargon. It can be alienating, and it’s much better to come across as relatable and human, not cold and super-corporate.

No need to spell it out
Your audience doesn’t really want to hear how amazing something is – just describe the features and benefits clearly and let them make up their own mind. If you do it well, they’ll feel as engaged as you hope they will. Being descriptive and clear in your product information also helps the SEO of your website, and offers potential customers the details they need to make an informed decision, so it’s very much a win-win.

Spread the love (word-wise)
You probably have a few go-to adjectives or superlatives you like to use in your copy, which is natural, but it’s good to mix things up when you’re writing your website. Variety is important, as it adds extra depth to your writing, which makes it that bit more readable. That goes for all kinds of words, not just adjectives – you’ll find an online thesaurus a handy resource for picking alternatives.

Use the Inverted Pyramid model
People don’t have long attention spans these days, so be sure to take care where on your page you place the most important copy. Essentially, it means putting the most essential information at the top of the page – including a killer headline and intro – before easing them into the more detailed bits, then keeping other details that may not be so pertinent, like more general or background information, down at the bottom of the page.

Mix up the media
Words are powerful, and this is a copywriting article, but it is important to break up your beautiful copy with images, video or infographics. But they actually help your words to work harder as they make all that copy more palatable for the reader, while also reinforcing any statements or stories. And it’s important to know that our brains pick up visual information 60,000 times quicker than text, so images are handy tools for getting information across.

Don’t forget the CTA
If you’ve hooked people in, enticed them to read more, and got them all invested, don’t leave them hanging with no direct call-to-action. It’s usually a button on a website, with a very simple message or word that displays clearly where to head to watch, read, buy or get in touch. They can usually be customised easily on web templates, and they really are essential for compelling your audience to engage further.

It takes time to get the copywriting honed on your website, but it’s your shopfront; often your first impression, so it’s always worth putting in the hours to get it just right, so your product or service is always shown in its very best light.

This article was written by Lee Rowlett on behalf of WooContent.