As a content marketer, you know that writing copy for websites is a weighty responsibility. Your website copy is often your readers’ first impression of your product or service. Whether it’s your landing page, sales page, or about us page, engaging web copy plays a major role in persuading website visitors to convert to customers.
In this article, we’ll share a foolproof framework for writing web copy as well as nine actionable tips for writing good website copy.
How to write compelling website copy (step by step)
1. Set the page goal
The first step to hitting it off with your website copy is knowing the goal of each of your website pages.
For example, your About Us page should share your brand story and build a rapport with potential customers. However, for your product page or landing pages, the goal is likely different. So for the latter pages, you would have less of a storytelling narrative and more of a user benefit or data proof approach.
Before you start brainstorming website copy, think about what you want each particular page copy to accomplish. Then make sure that every word you write is working toward that goal.
2. Design a buyer persona
Doing extensive market research will help you design a buyer persona. This is a profile of your ideal customer detailing their interests, preferences, location, and other pertinent information to help you better understand them.
You can also learn about your audience by running surveys, seeing what they discuss on social media, and following industry trends.
Knowing your audience helps you write website copy that connects with them. When you know your audience, you can write in the language they use and speak directly to their challenges taking their circumstances into account.
3. Use the PAS formula
The Problem-Agitate-Solution (PAS) formula works to draw out customers by pointing out a problem customers are struggling with. You then highlight how painful and frustrating said problem is by agitating. And then, you provide the readers with your solution, clearly outlining how it solves the problem with minimal effort. Here’s an example:
- Problem: Running a successful freelancing business is hard work, without having to deal with annoying admin tasks.
- Agitate: Completing assignments on deadline, meeting with clients, promoting your business, and sorting through finances. And you still have to check email, schedule meetings, and keep track of your appointments?
- Solution: [Business] offers you fully trained virtual assistants for any kind of business at every budget. Now you can outsource all those non-billable tasks and actually focus on growing your business
This formula gets right to the heart of your target audience, especially when you use their language and speak to their specific concern.
5 examples of converting website copy worth emulating
We’ve seen the three key elements of writing website copy that converts. Now let’s see five businesses using this structure to create compelling web pages.
MailChimp has a clearly defined audience: small business owners. They speak directly to that audience on their homepage and highlight the solution they’re offering, which helps them “grow sales.” What else do small business owners want?
On their Features page, Canva uses the PAS copywriting formula and helps potential customers visualize how Canva fits into their personal lives.
HelloFresh puts their homepage to excellent use (their goal is obviously to hold their audience’s attention). That sentence “Take the stress out of mealtime” is probably the exact phrase a frazzled customer needs to hear when they need a break from meal prepping.
In a highly competitive market, WordPress uses their homepage copy to set themselves apart as “the world’s most popular website builder” — and they have the stats to back it up. They clearly know their market and how to appeal to their audience.
Wave makes it clear, right off the bat, that their software is free. As an invoicing software for freelancers on a budget, they know their target audience. They’ve also designed the page to boost conversion rates by including a call-to-action to create a new account.
9 tips for writing good website copy that connects with customers
Now that you know the basic structure of effective website copy, we’ll share nine quick tips to help with writing copy for websites.
1. Lead with a powerful headline
Great headlines grab attention while sharing the brand’s purpose in simple terms. No matter the web page, craft a headline to make readers stay by keeping it short and purpose-driven. Add a brief subheading that summarizes your brand goal. Here’s an example from HelloSign’s homepage.
2. Harness customer reviews
Not sure how to describe what your product does for customers? Read their reviews! Customer reviews can be a treasure trove for copywriters looking to write vivid descriptive copy.
3. Speak directly to your audience
Use first-person pronouns like “we,” “our,” and “us” when referring to your brand and “you” when referring to the user in your website copy. This creates a sense of connection and helps you speak to the customer, not at them. See how Instacart does it.
4. Be specific
Writing vaguely about your product or the customer’s pain point weakens your PAS framework. Instead, write specifically about the issues your customers face and mention exactly how your product will fix this.
On their About Us page, Ilia harnesses the power of language to show customers what their brand is about: “vibrancy, vivid washes of color, and a fuss-free philosophy.”
5. Keyword optimization
Your writing should appeal to humans, and also not neglect search engines. Including the right keywords when writing copy for websites can be the key to massive search engine traffic.
6. Highlight user benefits
Customers like to know what’s in it for them. So, show them! Kloudio keeps their customers’ benefits front and center on their homepage.
7. Be data-driven
Don’t be afraid to show off your impact in figures. Using case studies, testimonials, sharing how many customers your business serves, or even your range of products can convince a customer to commit. DepositPhotos highlights the size of their content library to stand out.
8. Optimize your CTAs
Make your CTAs useful and accessible by stating exactly where the click takes readers. For example, a CTA button that says “Start my free trial” is more effective than “I’m ready to go.” Although snazzy microcopy sounds fun, it can make your website inaccessible for visually impaired and non-tech savvy users.
9. Keep it simple
Finally, few things beat simplicity and clarity in writing copy for websites. Use clear, direct language and short sentences. Blue Apron’s homepage tells website visitors straightaway what to expect.
Tools that help make writing copy for websites faster and easier
You’ve got the know-how for web copywriting down, but to help you write website copy faster and with less stress, we’ll share five game-changing tools.
Jarvis can help you write high-quality website copy in less time. It’s especially useful for high-volume website copywriting that demands skilled support. Here’s Jarvis’s PAS template at work. We only entered the information on the left.
2. Keyword research tool
Use a keyword research tool to ensure that your website copy is optimized for search engines. Popular options for tackling SEO are Ahrefs and Semrush. Yoast SEO’s WordPress plugin can also evaluate your content to make sure that you’re hitting the right targets.
Because simplicity is essential to persuasive website copy, you need to be sure that your content is readable. Readable is an online readability score calculator that uses the Flesch-Kincaid scoring to determine whether your content is easy to read even for weaker readers. It also works as an effective spell-check and grammar checker.
4. Stock images
If your brand doesn’t have real images yet or prefers to use vector illustrations, then you’ll need a good stock image source. Depositphotos, Pixabay, and Shutterstock are great websites to start with.
Finally, you’ll need an online thesaurus for when words eventually fail you. Use this tool to find synonyms and related words to make your website copy sharper and more appealing.
The key to writing A+ copy for websites
Writing copy for websites can be a challenging but rewarding task. Remember that every web page should have a goal. Buyer persona research is crucial, and the PAS framework is hard to beat. But even when you understand the basic copywriting framework, you may need more help from a skilled assistant.
Jarvis is an AI writer trained to assist copywriters and content marketers write better content in a shorter period. You’ll also find useful training to get the best out of Jarvis for copywriting and content marketing.
Want to spend less time second-guessing your copy? Sign up with Jarvis today to get started.