Is your website not converting in the way you’d imagined when you first launched? Do you ever feel like your website copy just doesn’t really sound like you?
Sounds like it’s time to evaluate and elevate your website copy!
As a copywriter for creatives, one of my favourite ways to work with creatives is through intensive sessions and day rates. We always ensure we tackle these elements, amongst others, to really ensure we elevate your website copy.
Here are a few of the things to pay attention to when you want to give your copy some extra attention …
If you’re a personal brand, it’s time to write how you speak. There’s no need to use confusing words and jargon to sound more ‘professional’ or ‘smarter.’ Your people don’t want to hear that. Your people want to listen to your voice.
So with that… write how you speak!
And please, please, PLEASE write in first-person.*
Just look at the difference in how personal it is! Here’s an example from my About page…
“After graduation, I pursued a career in marketing, spending the first half of my 20’s climbing the corporate ladder. With time, I realized that the ladder wasn’t allowing me to rise to the future I dreamed of – the confines of a 9-5 were unsuited to my personality and my creativity. I craved the infinite freedom to be my full authentic, creative and unique self.”
Now, look how awkward and stiff it would have sounded had I written this paragraph in the third person…
“After graduation, Lauren pursued a career in marketing, spending the first half of her 20’s climbing the corporate ladder. With time, Lauren realized that the ladder wasn’t allowing her to rise to the future she had dreamed of – the confines of a 9-5 were unsuited to her personality and her creativity. Lauren craved the infinite freedom to be her full authentic, creative and unique self.”
With the first person’s use, you immediately make the text sound warmer, more personal… more you.
*This will change if you are a large company with multiple employees. You can still write in first-person (‘we’) though you would not write how any one individual within that brand speaks. In this case, you’ll want to ensure you’ve developed a strong brand voice guide for your company to keep this consistent. When in doubt, consistency wins here.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital to ensuring that your website is found and understood by Google.
SEO involves researching and optimizing around selected keywords. When we do keyword research, we want to consider how our ideal client or customer would search.
While SEO is essential, and you want to be optimizing around select keywords that will allow search engines to find and crawl your site, you still want to be writing for the human first.
For a more extensive introduction to SEO, I recommend Moz’s One-Hour-SEO free resource.
Spelling mistakes and grammar errors on your website can seriously hurt your credibility, which is why I always tell my clients to install Grammarly (a Free Chrome extension).
Another grammar no-no I often see in website copy is the lack of conjunctions – you need to be using these to improve your copy’s readability and flow!
(wondering what I mean by this? Instead of using ‘cannot’ use ‘can’t.’ Instead of ‘will not,’ use ‘won’t.’
Consider your network – your business besties, your fellow mastermind attendees, and so forth. Who is someone who perfectly fits into your ideal client avatar? Who could really be one of those dream clients?
Ask them to read your website and ask how it speaks to them. Find out if any things rub them the wrong way or hold them back from taking action in terms of the clarity and intrigue of the copy, the user experience, and so forth.
Offer to return the favour! This is a great way to get some additional feedback on your website.
The storytelling approach is so popular that there are entire books dedicated to writing copy with it.
But today, let’s keep it simple and go back to those English class school days… think of those core elements we learned about story…
… The cast of characters
… The hero’s journey
… The obstacles they overcome
… The guide that helps them overcome
These are all extremely important because they align with your ideal clients’ story and journey.
By writing in this way, with your reader presented as the hero of the copy and you as the guide to empower them through it, you’ll be really also speaking to the more emotional and fundamental aspects of your people.
Tapping into story is a tale as old as time. Think of early humanity, who even found ways to share their stories, whether in drawing or gathering around the fire.
It’s how humans connect.
This is a HUGE one. One of my favourite website copy tricks is to play with formatting to really grab attention or make individual pieces of copy really stand out! This makes it easier on your reader as they skim through your website – it will ensure they really read what’s most important. And let’s face it… consumers are more busy and distracted than ever before. So let’s make it easier on them!
Here are a few examples:
Bolded text to truly emphasize a certain word or phrase
Underlining to make certain words or phrases stand out or to easily make your reader’s eyes jump to a certain piece of text.
Pull words and phrases from testimonials, from past clients, and from potential ideal clients. This can be found in the messages they send to you, in the conversations you have, or maybe in how they discuss their pain points on their own social media.
Using your ideal clients’ own words and reflecting these pain points back to them will appeal to them at a deeper level and truly resonate on another level with your reader.
The simplest and one of the most effective ways of elevating your website copy right now? Read it aloud.
Reading aloud allows us to audit how the copy really flows and can present opportunities to condense the text or format it to improve readability.
You can also use a text reader and listen to it if you prefer!
My pre-copy playbook is precisely what you need to see where you’re at with your copy, plan for how you want to elevate it, and even evaluate if it’s time to work with a copywriter.