How To Write Website Copy That Sells

Originally Published: 6 December 2021
Last updated: 4 December 2021
Written by: Nick Jolliffe

Reading Time: 5.38 minutes

How To Write Website Copy That Sells

What is the point of your website?

That seems like a daft question, but it’s something you should ask yourself when writing the copy for each page. For most people a website is there to do 2 things. First, to validate you and your services, and second, to win new business. This is known as ‘conversion’ – the rate at which people who visit your website go on to buy from you. The tricky bit is moving them from visitor to customer. How do you do that? With web copy that sells – and here are a few things you need to know about how to write website copy that sells.

Know Your Audience

First things first, you need to know who your reader will be. This is a fundamental step not just in web copy, but in marketing in general. If you don’t know who your audience is, then you will never be able to craft copy that speaks directly to them, appeals to them and inspires action in them. This is one of the reasons that buyer personas are so critical in marketing – they help you to refine your message to get the best results. For example, if your business sells beauty products online, you know your audience is more likely to be women, and you can craft your web copy using language that appeals to women and addresses feminine issues in a relatable way. Knowing your audience means you can understand what words they would use to describe both your services and their problems, so that you can include them in the copy and create that essential connection.

Research Your Keywords

Keywords are absolutely essential to successful web copy for more than one reason. Firstly, they are the cornerstone of SEO, so if you want to show up on the first page of Google when someone searches for your services, you need to be using the right keywords. There are plenty of tools out there that can tell you which keywords people are using to find services like yours, and including these in your copy at a rate of around 1 per 100 words will improve your search rankings significantly. Secondly, you need to discover the kind of language your audience uses. You see, keywords are supposed to be the terms and phrases your audience uses, not yours. When you speak the same language as your customers, your copy will be more compelling and clearly convey your value in a way that appeals to them, which in turn improves your conversions.

Take Your Time With Headlines

It might surprise you that human beings don’t just read copy straight down from beginning to end – and studies have shown us this time and time again. When someone lands on your web page for the first time, they’re going to scan the page to check they’re in the right place, and find the bits of your content that are relevant to them. So when you’re writing your web copy, spend some extra time crafting interesting, eye-catching headlines and subtitles. Ideally, your headlines should capture the reader’s attention right away, clearly communicate what each section will talk about and make them want to read more. It’s always a good idea to write a few different versions of your headlines and subtitles, consider and test them out, and select the ones that perform best. You can also use online tools like headline analysers to help you make these decisions.

The ‘So What’ Test

One of the most common mistakes businesses make in their web copy is talking far too much about themselves. We get it, you want to sell yourself and how great you are, but we’ll let you in on a little secret. The key to selling yourself is to not sell yourself. Not so hard anyway. While it’s perfectly understandable that you want to highlight your achievements and accomplishments and how amazing your product is, that’s not the reason visitors come to your site.

Because customers are, inherently, selfish. They don’t really care about your company (yet), they just want to know how you can solve their problems. Yes, hopefully in the future they will become fiercely loyal to your company and care very deeply about your successes, but when they first visit you their thoughts are on themselves. So all of your web copy should be benefits-driven, focusing on what the benefits are for the customer rather than the swanky features you can include. If you’re not sure your copy meets the mark, try using the ‘so what’ test to whittle it down. This is where you read a section or line of your copy, and ask yourself, ‘so what?’ By answering that question for every line you can get down to the real benefit of what you’re saying – or tweak it until you do.

Test, Test And Test Again

The only real way to know if your web copy is selling as you want it to is to test it. This is easier than you may think and allows you to optimise your web copy further and further, increasing your chances of success. But how do you test web copy? The simplest and most effective method is A/B testing. This is essentially where you choose which elements you want to test the effectiveness of, and put both of them live using an A/B testing tool. This tool will randomly deliver one version of your web page to some users, and another version to others. After some time you can gather enough data to see which version had the most impact and highest conversion. We generally recommend you only test one or two things at a time, otherwise, it’s difficult to tell what the real impact is. Some of the things you can test include:

  • Headlines
  • Intro copy
  • Sub-headings
  • Images
  • Body copy
  • Calls to action (text and position)
  • Copy length and style

At Lion Spirit Media we work with our customers to see the full picture of their marketing and how all of the pieces can fit together. In the case of crafting web copy that sells, we combine our knowledge of content marketing, SEO and web design to create web pages that are compelling, effective and fully optimised, so you can achieve the highest conversion rates possible and add to your pride. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with the team today.

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