After half a decade helping businesses create website content, I can safely say it's the most underrated aspect of a successful website.
Great website copy will not only drive a great user experience, it communicates brand and increase conversion rates across the board.
And with users able to navigate to a competitor in flash, we need to make the absolute most out of the short time a user spends on our website.
Understand the awareness level of the user
This is the core foundational principle that should underpin all copy throughout the website.
What level of awareness does the general user have?
If the business' offer is new, different or unique, website content needs to be more explanatory, giving the user clarity about exactly what is being offered.
If users have a clearer understanding of the offer, the focus of the content needs to move away from explanatory and focus on differentiation and selling points ie. a lawn mowing service
A lawn mowing service still needs to be clear about what they offer, but needs to focus on why their service is a great/ the best solution compared to the competition.
Utilise headlines to communicate value whenever possible.
Whether it's an overarching value proposition in the hero section of the home page, a service level value proposition on a service page or a section further down a service page, a headline needs to communicate as much value as possible to entice the user to continue engaging on the page.
Avoid vague, non-specific phrases that communicate nothing ie "Delivering great service at every level" or "Every day excellence for every customer".
If your headline could be moved to a different company's page and still work, you're on the wrong track.
This is especially important for the hero section of the services page or homepage, whichever page where users are first landing from clicking an ad.
Also known as 'body copy', paragraphs need to expand and deepen the communication of the key points of value the business has to offer.
Separate large chunks of text into small 1-3 sentence stanzas, and keep it the stanza to 4 or 5 stanzas max. Create a new section if needed, and continue.
Utilise dot points as often as required for short selling point communication.
As with headlines, specificity needs to be the overarching goal. Copy that is vague, cliche ridden or catch phrase-y will not communicate value.
Another important factor in website body copy is anchor text. Anchor text is text that has been linked to url and is now clickable. Anchor text is important for user experience and crucial from an SEO point of view, highly recommend reading up and improving your anchor text linking skills.
3. Calls To Action
From email list sign ups, to contact forms to 'download this pdf' and 'watch this video', websites are forever encouraging users to take a desired action.
The words we use on the buttons or anchor text to entice the desired action can have a big effect on the percentage of users who take said action.
The entire user experience has led up to this point, so consider what anxieties the users may have around clicking this button when drafting your call to action copy.
What is going to happen when the user clicks this button? Do we need to communicate more value? Is time an important factor? Is the user going to be worried about getting spammed? Should there even be a call to action here, as it may be too early in the user experience to push the user toward taking an action?
Calls To Action test shows a 26% improvement
This AB test from Marketing Experiments LLC is an excellent breakdown of the effect different calls to action can have on click through and conversion rates.
The test included 5 different calls to action with the difference in click through rates substantial.
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The difference between the best and worst performing options was a whopping 26%, full results in the graphic below.
The lesson here is to not to use "Get Started Now" as the call to action in as many contexts as possible.
The key lesson is test, gather data and optimise accordingly. I guarantee the results will surprise you.
4. Blog Content
I won't cover content strategy in this post, my tips here are focused on the writing itself.
Focus on removing unnecessary words and sentences for a tighter, faster communication of information.
Write about multiple, specific aspects of a topic, with short, clear value and explanation around each aspect.
A general, unstructured explanation does not provide a good user experience. Google with not reward these kinds of articles and neither do users.
An article focused around the right amount of chlorine for a backyard pool could include short paragraphs answering a range of questions on the topic, instead of 3 large paragraphs under a single heading.
News articles are an excellent reference point for improved blog writing. Journalists are experts at delivering information in the shortest number of words and sentences as possible.
Internal and external linking as another crucial aspect of great blog writing; head over to this excellent article by Verblio for internal and external linking best practice.
Thanks for reading and remember to cut through to the value of your offer at every possible stage of the customer journey. Emails, ads, landing pages, thank you pages; everywhere.
Keep at it and send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a hand writing your website content in 2022.