Writing for the web … the words on your page can make or break a business. It’s true. You can do everything else right — great web design, easy navigation and even kick ass SEO. But if your website doesn’t convert, it’s all for nothing.
Here are some quick and easy web writing tips to help your pages convert. Here’s the great news. You don’t have to rewrite your entire website (don’t panic!). Try to breathe new life into your pages with these seven copywriting tweaks.
Use you and your instead of we and our
For example, which of these two sentences makes you more likely to learn more about a company and their products?
- “We sell great gadgets and our online prices are low.”
- “Save your money! Order premium products online for less.”
Highlight the benefits not the features
This can be a tricky one because understanding the difference between benefits and features isn’t always black and white. This is how I remember it:
- Product benefits answer the question “What’s in it for me?” and “Why should I care?”
- Product features are things that make one product different from another.
So if we’re talking about sneakers, some features might include white shoelaces, black souls, a funky new logo design. Whereas benefits would be things like shoelaces that won’t fray and souls that won’t slip when wet.
Or if we’re talking about a water bottle, features would be the various colours and sizes, and a screw top lid. But the benefits would be that it’s made with BPA free material and it’s shock absorbent so it won’t break when you drop it at the gym.
Less is more
You’ve probably heard me talk about this one a lot, and that’s because it’s still one of the most common issues I see. Stop fluffing up your copy with useless words that do nothing more than boost the word count. If you can convey a message in five words vs 10, use five. Here’s an example:
- It’s a widget that is quite small in size and sort of bluish-green in colour.
- It’s a small turquoise widget.
Use enticing calls to action (CTAs)
This is such an easy fix, yet it’s so often overlooked! What makes you feel more likely to take action:
- “Order” or “Buy Now”
- “Send” or “Get the Free Widget”
- “Submit” or “Enter to Win!”
Tell a story
Stories sell products and services. Consumers are more likely to buy from brands that they feel connected to in some way. The best way to connect with people online through story telling. Give your brand a personality, show the human side behind the corporation. Which of these two examples makes you feel more connected–and therefore interested in learning more?
- I was chatting with a friend the other day at spin class and she complained to me how bored she’s with her workouts. “It’s the same thing every time, and I’m started to dread coming to the gym.” Her comment stuck with me as I went about the rest of my day and night. As I closed my eyes and began to drift off, it hit me! … and that’s when XYZ Fitness was born.
- XYZ Fitness was founded in 2011 by Jane Doe. The company provides a variety of personal training sessions and workout classes on different days at different times so you don’t get bored.
Don’t try to be a comedian
No one thinks you’re funny. Unless, of course, you’re actually a comedian and people do think you’re funny. For everyone else, remember this: there’s nothing worse than being forced to read a really bad joke just to get to the information you want.
Ask a rhetorical question
What’s the secret to great copywriting? Asking a rhetorical question. Why? To provide answers, of course. When people shop and search online, they’re seeking answers to solve a problem. That “problem” could be anything from how to cure a rash to wanting to know the current mortgage rates at a specific bank. If you sell products, those products solve your customers’ needs. For example:
- Want to learn how to write persuasive copy that gets ranked by Google? You’ve come to the right place.
- Are you ready for winter? We’ve got snow tires for any car, truck or SUV.
- Hungry? Two can dine for $9.99!
- Looking for inspiration? blah blah blah
- Tired of the same old thing? Offer the solution here.
Do I really need to add more web writing tips? Na, you get the idea.