I know my job as a freelance copywriter should be to keep all my secrets to myself and get you to hire me as a professional writer for your website. But I’m all about helping out. I know how hard it can be thinking up ideas and words that sound right for your business and what you’re trying to sell. That’s why I’ve decided to give away some handy website copy tips for those of you trying to keep your budget low.
#1 If you can’t write well and you don’t know how to structure website copy, perhaps it’s best to leave it to a professional. However, if you only have a few lines of text on an image-based website, then by all means give it a go yourself!
#2 If you are selling products or services on your website, stop talking about features and start talking about benefits. Nobody cares what’s inside your fruit juice; they do, however, care about what it can do for them. It’ll boost their immune system, make their hair super shiny, and help them lose weight? Hell, shout that from the rooftops.
#3 The best tip I could give you as both a writer and an online consumer is – write naturally. SEO-filled content that repeats itself over and over in an attempt to reach 4% keyword density is contrived and horrible to read. It will simply put your readers off and make them head on over to another website that cares more about the reader experience than getting found on search engines.
#5 Stop using the same tired old phrases. If you find yourself using ‘efficient’, ‘innovative’, ‘unique’, ‘one-stop solution’, ‘professional’, or any other phrases you read every day online and in advertisements – head to the thesaurus, and quick! You don’t want your customers to have read it all before, you want to say something that will catch their attention and get them to stick with you.
#6 Don’t make false claims. I see it every day online: websites and companies that claim they are the ‘top’, the ‘best’, the ‘most popular’, the ‘biggest’ etc. Any superlative they can think of, they’re it. Most customers aren’t stupid; they can see right through that sort of sales/marketing jargon. You need to show them the proof. Have you won awards in your industry? Well, get a logo or link to your award. Do you have some great testimonials? Have a space dedicated to customer testimonials. Real life examples will impress customers far more than empty words.
#7 This is one that is the easiest and yet, most commonly forgotten in website copy. Spell check. Using Word or Open Office allows you to spell check your work and will even highlight when you’re grammar is a little off. So why are there so many grammatical and spelling errors floating around the internet? I’d say it’s because people think they can write their own copy when they simply don’t have the basic literacy skills to know when what they are writing is wrong. This is when getting a few people to proofread your work is essential. Nothing puts readers off more than a shoddily written website with elementary grammatical errors. Does it show a business has high attention to detail if they can’t use spell check?
Hopefully my little nuggets of wisdom will help you out if you’re thinking about writing website copy for your business. But, if you think you’d rather have some professional help – hire me. Send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.