11 Essentials of Effective Website Copywriting

11 Essentials of Effective Website Copywriting

People read differently on the Web. They scroll and skim. That means you need to write differently. You have to provide crisp, clean and clear content and make it interactive, easy to navigate and highly scannable.

If you’re getting ready to revise your organization’s website or you’re developing copy for a new website, follow these eleven essentials for writing the best possible content (for both readability and SEO).

Eleven Ways To Write Readable and Discoverable Content for Your Website

Employ these practical tips when you’re writing your website copy to encourage reading and inspire repeat visits:

1. Get Shorty

Minimal is the name of game for business website content. Keep your copy short. Break off paragraphs after no more than 3-5 sentences. Make your sentences simple and to the point. Don’t go overboard on the adjectives.

2. Link Within

You want to pepper in links to pages within your website throughout your content. Link relevant terms to their corresponding pages. If you’re talking about your “ten years of computer repair service experience” on your About page, link the term “computer repair service” to your Services page.

3. Exert Keyword Control

Include search keywords (terms people will search to bring them to your page) in your copy. But don’t overdo it. Your keywords should occur naturally in your copy because they are your main subject matter. Also, having some variety in your copy will make it sound less repetitive and more readable.

4. Think Thematically

Your brand message should be tied into all the copy on your website. Make sure your overlying theme (your unique value proposition) is reinforced on every page. You’re not just transferring information about your products or services on your website, you’re telling people what makes your organization unique and valuable.

5. Use Your Heads

To have a scannable website, breaking up your content is essential. One of the best ways to do that is through the use of headings and subheadings. Heads are your best friends. Design your headings and subheads to provide engaging and intriguing “sneak previews” of the copy below them. This will make it easier for visitors to quickly get the gist of your content.

6. Bring On The Bullets

Another great way to break up your copy and make it more scannable is through the use of bullet points and call outs. These elements make your content easier to digest and more visually appealing. Use bullets, boxes and sidebars and quickly summarize copy. For example: While you may have five paragraphs describing your services on a page, you can also include a call-out box with your services listed as bullet points.

7. Stay Focused

Keep your copy highly focused on the topic at hand. Each page of your website should present and discuss a single idea. Don’t get off track and start going into something else. If you want to reference another aspect of your organization, include a single sentence linking to that page—or include a call-out box.

8. Go Meta

Don’t forget to include Meta Data for each and every page of your website. For those who don’t know, meta data is information like titles and descriptions that exists on your pages behind the scenes. Meta data can help improve your results in search engines. Your titles and descriptions also appear in Google search results, so you can develop that copy to encourage clicks.

9. Appeal To Your Audience

Every website’s content should be different. You want to stand out from the competition. But, more importantly, you want to write copy in a way that speaks to the people you’re trying to reach. Use language and tone that appeal to your audience (casual? professional? humorous?). Craft every aspect of your website to engage the people you want to visit.

10. Remember Mobile

These days, you’re not just creating your site for computer users. You’re making it for tablet and mobile readers too. Moving into the future, more and more people will access your site away from the computer. Keep these users in mind. Make your structure clear and simple so it’s easy to navigate and consume content on tablets and phones. Use the tools available to make your website better to view on different screens.

11. Save For Social or Blog

Every organization should have at least one active social media account. Along with the SEO benefits, social media gives you a space to share content that doesn’t have a place on your website. Gone are the days of overstuffing your website. Cut any extraneous content from your website and post it on your social sites or blog.

Make the experience of extracting information from your website quick and easy for visitors. Put in the work up front to ensure your website copy is optimized for search engines like Google and Bing. The investment of time and effort to develop quality content will pay off by boosting your long-term traffic and engaging readers.

Shad Connelly

I'm a Pittsburgh freelance copywriter and communications consultant. I develop online marketing content to define your business and strengthen your brand. Reach me at info@shadconnelly.com.