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Website copywriting: A guide to writing effective copy on your website

April 3, 2023

Website copy plays a very specific role in your website design. Often, copy comes before design in order to accommodate calls to action, CTAs, and storylines. Your website copy should be structured around the customer journey. If your reader doesn’t see themselves in the story, they won’t connect with your brand.

At Carrboro Creative, we leverage professional copywriters that work with our clients in order to create a web experience that converts visitors to customers. Our process involves a deep understanding of your business and who you serve. Our approach takes care of you every step of the way. When we develop copywriting for your website, we use proven techniques to create copy that converts. 

If you’re ready to tackle your website copy for your brand, here’s a guide to help you get started.

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Content Writing vs Copywriting

Content creation is vital to any digital marketing plan. But not all content creation is the same. There is content writing and there is copywriting. Their differentiator is the purpose behind them. 

Content writing is intended to educate and entertain with high-quality and valuable content. You find content writing in blogs, social media posts, e-books, and newsletters. While content writing might contribute to sales, that is not the goal. 

On the other hand, copywriting is designed to persuade readers to take action in relation to your business’s sales process. Copywriting is used on website pages, ads, and sales emails. 

Another key difference between content writing and copywriting is that the latter is created to evoke an emotional response. When creating copywriting, you tap into the psychological tension that exists in your target audience. That is, the pain point or problem your customer or client is trying to resolve. The cornerstone of copywriting is a deep understanding of their feelings and the promise of a certain emotional outcome. Good website copy motivates action by resonating emotionally with the reader. Savvy marketers leverage feelings such as pride, a sense of belonging, personal gratification, and even FOMO in their copywriting to persuade audiences to take action. 

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The purpose of copywriting on your website

The short answer to this is to get people into your sales funnel. Copywriting, as mentioned above, is purposed to persuade the reader to take action in relation to your sales process. The subtle nuances between copywriting and content writing make all the difference between simply telling your audience what you are about and convincing them that you are the only one they need in their life. 

If there is only one guideline you follow when writing your website copy, it should be this: copywriting is not about you or your brand. It is about your target audience. 

Talk to them and about them, not about you. We call this avoiding the “we-itis” where you focus on selling your business to your audience. Avoid using sentences like, “We are a great company, and we do this!”. Instead, talk to your audience and include their thoughts and feelings in the story. Use phrases like, you need, you’re feeling, and you’re looking for…. 

This kind of language allows your audience to see themselves in the story. An old saying goes, “More powerful than I think I can, is I can see myself.” Good website copy lets the audience imagine themselves in your offers and the promised outcomes.

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Including your audience in your copywriting

We cannot stress this enough, effective website copy is about the audience. 

Creating the customer journey

Good website design is structured around the customer journey. Your website homepage should introduce you as the expert and the solution to their problems. Let them know you understand them and their challenges. Then show them what it looks like on the other side of working with you. A well-constructed customer journey directs readers to the next step clearly and quickly. Do not confuse them with too many options. 

Understanding your audience

Understanding your target audience’s buyer persona will help you understand what type of information they need before they make a decision. Do they need facts and results? Or do they need promises and guarantees? Maybe your customer needs social proof before jumping on board. Your website copy should include all these narratives in order to reach the different types of customers.

Connecting through shared values

We make most of our consumer choices based on how we feel, how we see ourselves, and the validation of our values. The superiority of the product quality often plays a secondary role in our choices. Brand velocity is your ability to connect with customers through shared values and validating their membership into certain groups. Targeting emotions created through needs deficits or pain points and problems through your content accelerates relationship-building with your target audience. 

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Your guide to creating copy that converts for your website

Write for humans

If you research website copywriting, you’ll find guides that help you optimize your homepage for SEO. You will learn about keyword research, H1 text and, indexing of pages for web crawlers. While SEO is an important part of your digital marketing strategy, don’t let it distract you from who is actually reading your website. 

Trying to write for the web crawlers will leave your copy sounding bland and detached. Focus on writing for your audience. Your website copy should be easy to read and reflect your brand personality. 

Know your keywords

But still do your keyword research! Each page on your website should be optimized for one keyword. Understanding searchers' intent will help you find the right keywords to optimize each page for. 

Know your target audience

In case you haven’t heard it enough already, your audience is the star of the show! Conduct meaningful market research to understand your audience’s pain points, desired emotional outcomes, buyer personas, and values will help you create content that resonates with them on an emotional level. 

Use a consistent brand voice

Consistency in branding is key, and that applies to the tone of your writing as well. Leverage characteristics of your brand personality, or brand archetype, to define your brand voice. Stay consistent by using vocabulary, phrases, and tone that your brand personality embodies. Speak as your brand, not yourself.

Keep it simple

Less is more when it comes to copywriting. Deliver your message clearly and simply. Avoid using too much jargon that doesn’t resonate with your audience. Stay clear of repeating yourself just to get more keywords on a page.

At Carrboro Creative, we equip our clients with a Website Copywriting Acceleration guide to help them create website copy that converts. The guide includes page-specific templates to structure your copy and tips to tell your story and persuade readers to take action effectively.  We also provide professional copywriting services to those who would rather leave this task to the pros! Contact us today to set up a free consultation

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