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11 ways to improve your website copy as a small business owner

Nobody today can deny the importance of well-written and strategic website copy. Making a website became so much easier than it used to be. Although, there are still so many aspects to take into consideration if you would like to build a well-performing website for your business: basic design principles, visual brand identity that reflects you and your business, user experience, website copy, and tech knowledge to make it actually happen.

Your website copy attracts, and keeps your target audience, leads them through your website and makes them take action. It’s not possible nowadays to create a beautiful design without a well-thought copy and strategy behind and hope that your potential client will choose you, just because you have nice graphics and layouts.

The questions you might want to ask are: Can your website visitors actually find what they are looking for? Is the information clear? Do they know what they should do next once they finished reading your copy on every single page? Is the information on your website valuable for your target audience?

When there is no clarity, when your website visitors cannot find the information they are looking for, and when you speak about yourself all the time, most likely your website visitors will leave and will never come back to your website.

It’s not always easy to write a copy for your website, you need to be concise, and clear, and lay out all the information in a strategic way.

Make your copy readable

You may have the most amazing messaging, and valuable information on your website, but when it’s hard to read and perceive nobody will spend hours trying to understand what is written. Our brain is lazy, it doesn’t want to burn thousands of calories to figure things out.

You want to actually make sure that people can see, recognize and read the content on your website. It’s a quite common mistake I see people make on their DIY websites.  There are several main tips that can improve the readability of the content on your website.

  • Make sure that your font size is neither too huge nor tiny. Use a font size large enough so that people could actually read it.
  • Make sure that links look like links, and that people can actually see that it’s clickable
  • Use small sections of text instead of a huge wall of text.
  • Use high contrast between the text and the background. Choose simple background over a very busy textured one.
  • Use short sentences
  • Don’t put your text close to the edges, it forces the eyes of your users to move too much, cuts the text, and looks not nice.
  • Use extra space between lines of text
  • “F” Pattern design – web users scan computer screens in an “F” pattern. They read from left to right, and from the top to bottom. You can adapt your copy for easy eye scanning. Down below I insert the image from the biggest user experience research website when they tracked the eye movement of website users.

Proofread before publishing your copy

Misspelt words and weird white space between words ruin people’s first impressions. If you would like to be seen as a professional, act as one. Research shows that grammar mishaps can negatively impact your sales and conversions—so double-triple-check your work. Make sure to proofread even if you’re a native speaker. Sometimes when you work on something for a long time, your eyes stop seeing the mistakes.

You want to have a fresh eye that can look at your text. But don’t worry, if you can’t afford to hire a proofreader or don’t have anybody who you can ask for help, there is much great software out there that can help you to check the spelling mistakes. I personally use Grammarly.

It can seem like something unimportant, but believe me in these small things your potential client can see your professionalism. So don’t let your ego dictate your action, that you don’t need it, that you know everything, and just do.

Put the important information first

Put the most important information in the first two paragraphs. When people land on your website they want to know who you are and what you can do for them. And to be honest it’s very annoying when they can’t find it right away. You can use simple headings and subheadings that explain in simple words what you do, and who you’re.

Very few people will read your whole copy. People scan information on the internet but do not read it. On the average web page visit, users read only 28% of the words.

79 per cent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 per cent read word-by-word. Your website visitors don’t have time and they hunt for relevant information or products. So make sure that they can understand the most important information on your website by just looking at it fast.

Only after reading the most important information, your website visitors might want to read background information and find out more details. So even if your prospects read one sentence, they need to understand the big picture of what you would like to say.

Keep it human

We all want our website to be easily found on Google. But it takes time for Google to actually start ranking your website and put it in front of your target audience’s eyes.

Taking into account SEO and making keyword research is important, but remember that you’re writing for humans, not for Google! And when people enjoy your website’s content and it gives a sign to Google that the content on your website is valuable so it improves your website’s ranking and more people can find it organically.

There are several things that will help you to make your copy more human:

  • Keep it conversational. Write as you talk, don’t use a complex academic vocabulary or language.
  •  Keep it simple – your copy should be easily understood by 12 years olds. You don’t want your website visitors to think too hard, they come to your website to find the information, not think and figure out what you wanted to say with your copy. You can use this tool to analyze your copy.
  •  Don’t be too abstract, instead, be direct and address your website visitors by the pronoun “you”
  • Don’t use cliché language and cliché generic phrases. Be specific, be personal. Mix your authentic unique voice with things your ideal client is searching for

Expect your prospects to land anywhere on your website

Usually, when people are searching for information and land on somebody’s website they rarely land on a homepage. More often they land on your blog page (that’s why it’s vital to have one), service or about page. If you would like to check where your website’s visitors are landing, you can easily do it on Google Analytics – Site Content – Landing page.

You want to make sure that:

  • People know exactly on what page they are and what your site is about
  • Every page has a call to action, a button, and a link that leads website visitors – to check your services, read a blog post, listen to a podcast, book a call, join your newsletter or check your service page out.
  • state your main point again and again and then again but in a different way. People scan your text on the internet and some information might slip away. Simple repetition can make a big difference to your easily distracted readers.

Make a copy and design work together

Your copy and website design should work together. It’s as important as your website design. Your copy needs to look good on the page (no weird white space, line breaks, etc). Good design layouts and images can enhance your website copy and impact readability on your website.

Make everything simple:

  • Use simple backgrounds
  • Use enough white or negative space
  • Use bullet points
  • Use different font types and sizes
  • Use relevant photos and videos to beak up your copy and to keep your website users engaged
  • Break long text into small sections with headings and subheadings
  • Try to use italics, bold, CAPS, highlights

Don’t forget to check your text and design look great on mobile devices

Make your copy  valuable

Web users search for valuable information and products on the web. Can you help them?  You can attract people to your website by providing useful information.

You can use your blog to provide valuable information and anticipate answers to all questions and objections your potential client might have. Don’t forget to use relevant keywords and phrases your prospect is searching on the web to find a solution to her problem. Include links to useful resources or relevant pages on your own website. List important features and benefits of your products or services.

Above everything be helpful. Help your website visitors to complete the task easily on your website without tons of distractions and unnecessary information.

Make a copy on every single page actionalable

Every single page on your website should have a goal and your website visitors should know exactly what they should do once they finish reading the page. It’s your role to guide them through your website and to say what they should do next. Be a leader.

Create a clear call to action for every single page. Encourage your website visitors to take action. You can choose different calls to action for different pages. If you would like your visitors to discover more about your website, encourage them to see your blog or your service pages. On other pages, you can put a call to action where you encourage your prospects to contact you, book a call, join your email list, etc.

Remember that you create your website to help you to achieve specific goals for your business, not to put beautiful photos and graphics for people to look at. And people on the web are hunting for valuable information and services, so be a person who helps them accomplish their tasks on the web and find what they are searching for.

Know your audience

This one is huge! And it will help you to come up with great website copy effortlessly. We as human beings would like desperately to be accepted, liked, and loved by everybody. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s how we evolved as human beings because thousands of years ago being left alone were equal to death. It was easier to survive as a group. While it’s still important to collaborate, to build your tribe, you need to know your group of people.

It’s not possible to appeal to everybody. When you try to do it, it means that you appeal and speak to nobody. Know your potential clients. What they are searching for when they land on your website? How your product or service can help them to solve their problems? What do your clients care about and why?

It takes time to really start to know your target audience. Communicate with them, engage them in your content creation, and be patient. Don’t just guess and build a hypothetical “client avatar”. This exercise is kind of useless when you start out, it’s too theoretical and doesn’t help much. Take time to really dig deep and find out who you’re. It will help you to start getting clarity on the people you would like to work with.

Make your copy user oriented

Is your copy too generic? Too self-centred? Arrogant? Unspecific?

Don’t get me wrong, you need to feel good about your copy, but remember that you don’t write it for yourself or just fill in the empty space on your website. You create it to connect with your prospects, to make them trust you, feel excited about your services, and buy from you.

When you write your website always keep in mind your website visitors. Be honest, be vulnerable, and share your story to connect with them. Get them excited about your product or services. Describe what their life will look like after they finish working with you, and tell them how your offer will solve their problems by describing the benefits of working with you.

Try whenever you can use the pronoun “YOU”. Speak directly to them. Make them excited, and let them imagine how they will enjoy all the benefits of your products and services.

Constantly analyze your website’s analytics

Try, test, analyze, and improve. Don’t try to make everything perfect and get upset when it doesn’t work on the first try. Copywriting, design, and even social media strategies it’s not some exact science. Of course, there are some proven techniques, but nobody can guarantee that something will work 100%. And if somebody does it, run away from this person as far as you can.

You can though try and test everything for yourself. Check your website’s analytics constantly, it’s when  Google Analytics can be your best friend.

Knowing what is currently working vs. what isn’t is vital. It will help you to plan where you need to focus your energy as you remake and improve your copy.

If you have a brand new website and didn’t install Google Analytics yet, make it a priority. It’s a powerful tool that will constantly help to analyze and improve your website instead of guessing.

final words

A concise, clear well-written copy is a must if you would like to build a strategic and well-performing website for your business. A compelling and relevant website copy attracts your target audience, makes them want to hang out on your website, and takes action.

Website copy should work together with your brand strategy, website design, and user experience to bring the results you want for you, your personal brand and your business.