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Web Copywriting Checklist - 16 Tips for Writing Effective Website Copy

Most website owners focus on getting traffic to their sites to generate sales, leads or subscribers. They figure the more traffic you receive the more sales you will make. This is only partially true because you still need to convert the traffic into buyers. Focusing your efforts only on getting traffic is like throwing mud at a wall. Some of it will stick. Your web copy must be able to convert visitors into buyers.

16 Tips for writing effective website copy

1. What’s your USP? Your unique selling position is what makes your website stand out from your competitors. When a person first visits your website they need to understand its purpose within the first paragraph. If it’s not clear to them they’ll leave and go elsewhere.

2. Stress the benefits Most people visiting your site ask “what’s in it for me” therefore provide the main benefits of your products or services within the first few paragraphs. Don’t make the mistake of emphasizing features instead of benefits.

3. Be specific Writing in general terms will only bore your visitors. Instead focus your writing on making specific points. It will help keep your readers focused.

4. Use headlines and sub headlines When people read content online they usually scan the web pages to find information. Use headlines and sub headlines to breakup the content and draw attention to the main points on the page.

5. Write short paragraphs Instead of trying to say everything in one paragraph break your content up into short paragraphs of five to 10 lines.

6. Use bullet points If you have several points to make in a paragraph use bullet points. It will make it easier to read by drawing attention to these points.

7. Include action verbs Text can be very boring to read. Use action verbs at the beginning of your sentences to grab your reader’s attention. Examples of action verbs include: Discover, how, get, etc. Another way to get readers attention is by asking questions i.e. “are you getting a lot of website traffic but not generating any sales?”

8. Write in a conversational manner Writing “corporate speak” or in third person tense (such as we or our) will only result in turning off your visitors. When writing your website copy imagine having a conversation with a person opposite you. Try to convey that familiarity into your content. It will help break down the barriers between you and your visitor.

9. Make use of images Sometimes an image says it better or a lot more than written text. Avoid using images just for the sake of having pretty pictures on your pages. Only use images to enhance your content.

10. Use white space A cluttered web page is very difficult to read. Make sure you include plenty of white space between all elements on the page. For example add 5 to 10 pixels of white space between an image and the content.

11. Use web safe fonts Not all fonts you want to use are installed on all computers. Stick with web safe fonts such as Arial, Georgia, Verdana or a combination of these three. Don’t use Times Roman font for the web. It won’t look good. Use it for print material instead.

12. Include your main keywords Search engines find your content by the keywords you use. Before you write any content do keyword research to discover how many visits a specific keyword is receiving each month. Include these keywords in your headlines, sub headlines and main web copy. Make sure you also include these keywords in the meta-tags for each page.

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