Website Copywriting – Best Practices and Examples
It’s well known that good copy can make websites clearer and more impactful; from describing a product to the creation of your brand voice. If you find yourself asking, what is good copy? and how can you achieve it? – this article is for you. These best website copywriting practices will make your copy site-ready.
Why You Need Good Website Copywriting
The design of your website could be perfect, but without copy it is not going to get your message across. Here are some of the ways that good UX copywriting can benefit your site:
- Organic Traffic. Drive more organic traffic to your website by using clear and emotive language. This can be through changing meta descriptions and titles, aiming for google snippets, or making your site the most informative around.
- Conversion rates. With copy you can perfectly position your products and services, and craft an irresistible call to action – both of which will increase conversion rates. Not sure why your product isn’t selling? It may be because people don’t fully understand what your product is, or how it could benefit them.
- Brand voice. Copy is the heart of your brand voice. The tone of writing on your website directly impacts how customers view your brand. Good copy can increase brand loyalty, just as bad copy could prevent people from returning to your site. For example, if your tone is inviting, people are likely to return, but if your tone is cold, people might feel alienated and shop elsewhere.
The Best Website Copywriting Practices
The ‘best practices’ below apply to all website copywriting , but it is incredibly important to bear the context of your writing in mind.
Knowing your audience, and their intention, is always the best place to start. This context helps you to give your writing direction and focus. For example, your writing may need to be emotive if it is about the brand values, but short and sweet if you just need to move people onto the next page. The context will affect the tone, sentence length and style of your writing.
Who, What, When, Where, and Why
The ‘5 W’s’ may seem like an overly simple technique, but is a handy way of structuring your copy – especially when you need to provide a lot of information at once. If you’re hitting all the W’s, plus a call to action, you can rest assured that your writing is always informative.
The V&A website is a great example of the W’s displayed in short simple sentences, early on in the website. The purpose of this page is to answer questions, and move people on, so simple sentences are a great way of ensuring people can scan the information quickly. If you wanted, you could probably get the same information in a few lines, displayed as an introduction to your page.
Identify your audience. Make them feel
If you can make your readers feel an emotion, they are more likely to remember you, more likely to engage with your message, and more likely to stay on the site for longer periods of time. It’s a no brainer, right?
Here’s the catch; to do this, you need to identify your target audience.
Calm’s landing page is a perfect example of this done well. They have identified who their audience is (the stressed out general public,) and why they are on their site, (to feel calm). The copy on Calm’s landing page is inviting and simple, and by asking a question they give the impression that they are listening to their user’s needs.
All these elements of writing, (the question, the simple language and the inviting tone,) are emotive; they invoke calm, relaxation and relief.
Bear in mind SEO
You could be the best copywriter in the world, but if no-one’s using your site, good writing won’t get you anywhere. This is where SEO comes in.
The example below is from one of Factory Pattern’s clients: Hetty’s Kitchen. Our keyword research found that the keyword ‘brownie shop’ would get us the most hits. We added the keyword into the pre-existing copy, and organic traffic flooded to the page.
Good copywriting isn’t about proving yourself to be the next Shakespeare, it’s about communicating effectively. People usually scan websites quickly, so the easier to understand the better.
Good copy is all about getting to the point. Yes, you want to be emotive – but emotive doesn’t work if people don’t understand your writing. Plain sentences are the best way to go.
Innocent Drinks are a brand that have mastered simple communication and narratives. This screenshot is from their main page. The sentences are simple, easy to understand, and do not use any adjectives – they simply get the point across.
Not all website copywriting needs to be this simple, but bear in mind that it’s better to over-simplify than over-complicate copy.
We hope these copywriting tips helped inform you on the best practices for copywriting, and how to achieve them. Good copywriting practices will help your website’s organic growth and limit your bounce rate, plus so much more.