[Beginner – 105] Rules and Tips for Writing Web Copy

Writing web copy that sells requires you to invest time in perfecting the art of writing. Even though you are writing for sales purposes, your copy has far less to do with what you are saying—and far more to do with how you say it. Whether you are looking to elevate your current web copy, or are writing web copy for the first time—the below tips are essential for increasing your conversion rates.

What Is Copywriting?

Copywriting refers to written content, crafted for the purposes of marketing and advertising. While increased sales is the primary goal of copywriting, writing web copy that sells is a true art form that requires you to balance engaging with your reader, and promoting your product or service.

When it comes to online marketing, you invest a significant amount of time and resources into driving traffic to your website, blog, landing pages, social media—and other online platforms. Once you successfully drive traffic to one of your online platforms, converting your visitor to a sale—most often comes down to your copywriting skills.

While web copy must be SEO optimized with keywords, the art of writing must not be ignored.

Begin With A Compelling Headline, Supported By Relevant Subheadings

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” David Ogilvy
Headlines are even more important in the online world, where you have less than 20 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention—before they continue to search elsewhere for the information they are looking for. Opposed to reading the copy from start to finish, many website visitors will first read the headline, subheadings, and part of the first paragraph.

This means that your headline must successfully communicate the topic at hand, while still being thoughtful and creative. It must be supported by relevant subheadings, which will further define what information the copy contains—while grabbing the reader’s attention.

When creating headlines and subheadings look for ways to include relevant catch phrases, relevant trending topics, a clever series of compelling and engaging words, numbers, quotes, and statistics. Below are a few examples:

  • Ok Headline: Why You Should Use Us For Your Next XYZ Project
  • Great Headline: Want To Know Why We Are The Preferred XYZ Of Over 10,000 Happy Clients?
  • Ok Headline: Introducing Our New Line Of Beauty Products
  • Great Headline: You Asked, And We Listened—5 New Beauty Products For Youthful Looking Skin

Make It Easy To Read

When you are reading a handheld book or publication—multiple paragraphs are a non-issue, but when reading web copy, it needs to be broken up into bite sized chunks that are easy to read. As mentioned above, you can do this by utilizing subheadings. Also ensure that each paragraph has no more than 2-3 sentences. When appropriate incorporate:

  • Quotes
  • Numbers
  • Statistics
  • Lists
  • Bullet Points
  • Images—Photos, Charts, Graphs
  • Video

Get Creative

“There are not dull subjects. There are only dull writers.” H.L. Mencken

Creativity is key to creating web copy that sells. Look for ways to incorporate humor, elicit emotions with a bold or shocking statement, and engage your readers on a personal level. The article should be aimed at solving your client’s wants and needs, and/or celebrating their interests and beliefs.

For example, instead of just posting photos of your latest line of footwear, you could post content about the evolution of footwear—with your selections being a modern option.

The images and videos you select for your article play a vital role in the creativity level of your copy, but you must not rely on them fully. Also look for ways to speak to more than one sense with videos that have audio, or infographics that have both text and imagery.

Stay On Track

While the most successful web copy will offer more than pictures of your products and links to your sales site—don’t let your focus on creativity take you too far off track. One of the most effective ways to successfully engage your reader, and convert your reader to a sale—is to tell a story that they can relate to, and which offers your products or services up as a solution.

Whether your copy is for B2B or B2C, makes no difference—you must find a way to relate, engage, and highlight your unique solutions.

With that being said, some (but not all) of your web copy—can be completely void of any sales related information. This is because copy plays a vital role in driving traffic to your primary sales site. While some of your blog posts, social media comments, and an online copy can have little to nothing to do with your products or services—they should always support who you are as a brand, and be relevant to your target audience.

For example, if you sell kitchen appliances, you can post recipes on your blog or social media. While the recipes may not utilize any of your appliances, they are relevant to your target audience.

Add A Call To Action

A vital part of any web copy that sells, is a solution-based call to action. The call to action should be relevant to both your target audience’s needs and the copy it is added to. In other words, don’t just add “Click here to order now!” to the end of every piece of copy.

Instead, add a call to action that will entice your reader. A few examples are:

  • If you are tired of wasting your valuable time, call us today to discuss how we can lighten your load!
  • Place your order before midnight on ADD DATE, and receive 20% off!
  • Click here to view the latest spring collections

Write With Balance

From start to finish, creating web copy that sells requires thought and creativity. You must know who you are as a brand, the unique features of your products and services, the latest industry trends, who your target audience is—and what they want and need. Then you must deliver a message that balances each of these elements in a simple and engaging manner.

While industry specific terminology is acceptable, a copy must be written in a manner that anyone who finds their way to your web copy can understand.

As you can see the tips above are centered far more on creating an engaging consumer experience—opposed to sales heavy copy. From the moment someone sees your web copy, to the moment they read your web copy, your thoughtfully selected words must create a desire to first keep reading to learn more—and more importantly, the want and need for your product.

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