Copywriting Tips Even If You’re Not A Pro Copywriter
I talked to a friend the other day who is launching a new website, and he was asking about how to write web copy that gets found by search engines and drive sales. Before we jumped into the nitty-gritty, I explained the 5 best website copywriting tips that I use when writing web copy for my clients:
- Write content that your customers are looking for and asking.
- Focus on formatting web copy for search engines and people.
- Use an active voice to speak to your audience.
- Write content for mobile consumption.
- Create each page on your website for a specific purpose
After explaining the overview he felt a bit more relieved, but he was concerned that he didn’t have the money to pay for professional copywriting services, but needed to grow his business. I told him that I work with companies and website copywriting rates vary, but he could get his content marketing efforts started even if he doesn’t have the budget to pay for a professional copywriter.
During our discussion we covered some copywriting tips that I usually don’t share, but he found them helpful, so I thought I would put together a list of copywriting tips that I shared with him so you can build web pages and blog posts that convert.
These copywriting tips will help you research, structure, and optimize your content to get found in search engines.
Even more important, you can use these tips to write great web copy that resonates with your target audience. When it comes down to it, you need to create content that gets found by the right people while formatting that content to convert.
Before we jump into specific SEO and copywriting tips, it’s essential to cover the basics. Your marketing strategy needs to focus on your target audience, and this means that compelling copy gets found by search engines and resonates with your readers.
You will miss the mark if your content has excellent keyword research but does not engage your customers, and you will also miss the mark if you have a compelling copy that doesn’t get found by Google.
1. Write Content To Answer Questions That Your Customers Search For
The ultimate goal of a search engine like Google is to provide quick answers to your customers’ questions online. Your business exists to address pain points that your customers with a great product or service.
Thinking like a copywriter means you need to write content that gets found by search engines (keyword research) while also fulfilling your company’s business needs.
- Why are people looking for your product or service?
- Why are they looking for your business?
- Why are they in the market for your solutions?
Great web copywriting begins with the questions that your customers ask online.
Even if you don’t have a large budget to pay for tools, you can find your target audience’s problems by looking at People Also Ask in Google.
You can take advantage of this website copywriting tip by searching Google for a specific term you want to rank for and then scroll down to the People Also Ask section. Once here, you will click through various questions that Google thinks your customers are looking for.
You can see additional questions and answers in People Also Ask as you click on questions in the box.
Along with the People Also Ask strategy, you should listen to questions your customers ask you.
Add these questions into your content and answer them to provide the best experience for your customers, and this approach will help you get found by search engines.
2. Format Web Copy For Search Engines And People
How people read your content is just as important as what people read your web copy. You can make website content more comfortable to read for humans and increase your online visibility with careful placement of keywords in your headers and subheadings.
Along with a thoughtful web copy format for your readers, you can also improve readership and help your web pages get found in search engines with a few simple website copywriting tips:
- Write attention-grabbing headlines that get found and get clicks.
- Use power words in the headers and titles of your content. Include strong call-to-action in each blog post to improve your content conversion rates.
- Make landing pages short and sweet if you are directing PPC ads to them.
- Include social proof on pages to help people trust your brand & message.
Even seasoned copywriting pros can get overwhelmed when thinking about writing a landing page or blog post. There is nothing magical about the ability to publish web copy that gets found by search engines and gets people to buy. The truth is that all copywriters (myself included) use a general template when writing specific pieces of content.
For example, when writing a blog post I:
- Type your desired keyword into Google. This is the first step to identify patterns in Google, your competitors, and find content gaps that you can build into.
- Open up the top 5 articles. Keep note of the title and meta descriptions, along with the companies you are competing against.
- Look at their headers and overall format. You can learn a lot about how your competitors work by identifying their patters. Do they insert a bullet list in the first paragraph? How long are their sentences? How many H2 and H3 sections do they have?
- Choose 4-5 H2 tags with your desired keywords. You need to break up your content to make content easier to read for your audience. Plus, H2 tags are a great place to insert keywords for Google.
- Write 150-200 words in each section. Don’t overthink writing. Break down the larger blog post into smaller sections with the H2 tag sections that you built out in the previous step.
- Add a 100-word intro and a 100-word conclusion to the beginning and end of your blog post.
- Take a day off after each draft– don’t edit and write on the same day. People only think of copywriting as writing words, but the truth is that 80% of your time will (and should) be spent editing your content.
- Put through Grammarly, edit 2 times. I use Grammarly to catch grammatical and spelling errors. Using Grammarly means that I can spend more time editing the voice and message of a blog post while spending less time focusing on the easy stuff.
- A final run-through, add images and screenshots. Internal links, etc.
This is just a simplified approach to blog copywriting that I approach each project with. There are other details that I left out, but the most important thing to see is that writing content is less about inventing something new, and more about finding patterns in search patterns. Once you find a few patterns, you can inject pieces into your content to
3. Use An Active Voice To Speak To Your Audience
It’s only one part of the goal to get your web copy found in search engines because the real work begins when your customers land on your site. Conclusion this means that you need to carefully craft your content around concise messaging, meet your brand voice, and drive engagement at every level.
This website copywriting tip focuses less on how machines and algorithms understand your content and more on who your customers are. A few ways to optimize website pages to drive engagement and sales include:
- Use an active voice on CTAs: Use language on CTAs that direct your audience to take action. For example, “Click Here To Subscribe” is much better than “Subscribe” on a button.
- Avoid passive voice: Limit the use of “ing” in your content because this type of copy will confuse your reader. Rearrange your sentences to make your content easier to read and understand.
- Avoid jargon: You need to make your web pages educational, approachable, and helpful for your customers. Unless absolutely needed, you should limit the use of jargon because this type of content can confuse your audience and take away from the overall marketing strategy.
- Use power words: You can gain readers’ attention by placing power words in your headers and strategic placement in the body of your website content.
4. Write Content For Mobile Consumption
As you create landing pages and blog posts, you should always think about who your website visitors are and how they consume your content. Conclusion: there is a lot of research showing that mobile consumption is on the rise, and over 53% of all Internet use was done on a mobile device.
As technology and your customers’ needs shift toward mobile use, you will need to adjust your digital marketing strategy to boost conversions.
Still not convinced that you need to write your web copy for mobile users?
Take a look at your Google Analytics account to view the breakdown of the types of devices used over the past year. In most cases, you will see a steady increase in mobile device usage compared throughout the year, even when you compare Year Over Year usage.
Here are some excellent copywriting tips that you can use to make your content easy to read on mobile devices and improve your conversion rates:
- Use short paragraphs: A mobile device will have a smaller screen than a desktop or laptop computer. This means that your copy will drop down to additional lines, and this can lead to large blocks of text. You should limit each paragraph to no more than two sentences to ensure lots of white space.
- Write short sentences: You should write short sentences to ensure your readers can consume your mobile devices’ content. Short sentences increase consumption among readers with short attention spans and keep your website content concise.
- Use bullet points: Your customers consume content on their mobile devices while they are on the move and hold their phone in one hand. This means that you should use formatting strategies like bullet points to make your content easy to scan.
- Add images & white space: Add pictures and white space in your web content to break up large text blocks. This practice provides a way to draw the eyes of your readers to specific areas of your page.
- Bold Words: Add bold text for important keywords and other information that you want to stand out for mobile consumers. Due to the reduced screen size, you will need to draw attention to details with bolded text (but don’t overuse this strategy).
5. Create Each Page For A Specific Purpose
A little-known secret in the copywriting community is that websites don’t rank- web pages do. When you search for a specific keyword in Google, you will be presented with an individual page from the website.
Here is a general overview of how to think about each page on your website as you build content around your customers:
- Start with your homepage: Your homepage is the most powerful page on your site because it sits at the top of the directory, and it is the most trafficked page. You should structure your web content on the homepage with the intent to get people off of your homepage and onto other pages on your site.
- Testimonial pages: You can show off the great products and services you offer with examples of past clients who love you! Regardless of your industry, it would be best if you used testimonials and testimonial pages to prove your value and build a relationship with your audience.
- Case studies: Be sure to write detailed accounts of how you worked with past clients. Each case study should have lots of details to show the problems customers have and how you help fulfill the need.
You Don’t Need To Be A Copywriter To Make Amazing Web Copy!
My friend and I enjoyed the conversation, and after our discussion, he realized that he could make amazing content without needed to be a professional copywriter. If you are in the same situation and you need to make web content that ranks and converts then you can get started by using the above tips!