4 Tips for Writing Web Copy that Converts

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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There is one tool for successful inbound marketing that every marketer has access to.

It doesn’t require a monthly subscription or a deep understanding of analytics. It’s a tool that most people receive during their earliest years of school.

What is this tool? The ability to write web copy that converts.

Effective copywriting requires nothing more than an understanding of how to form a clear, coherent sentence. However, there’s a misconception in the marketing world that writing great copy requires an extreme degree of creativity or a sophisticated mastery of language.

While these skills will certainly help, it’s even more important that you maintain a focus on your audience and what you hope to achieve with your page’s copy. Follow these four tips for writing copy that converts so that you can turn visitors into followers and followers into customers.

Have a goal

If you do not have a goal for your website copy other than “writing great copy,” you are in trouble. Your copy is nothing more than a means to an end: it exists simply to help you gain conversions, subscribers and customers.

Make sure that your goal is clearly focused around what you want to achieve with your copy. Have an eBook or white paper that you want people to download? Tailor your copy around that. On the other hand, if you have an email list that you want your visitors to subscribe to, your copy should be focused on building up the value of the information that email subscribers will receive. Your web copy needs to be designed around what you want it to do, not around what you think sounds good.

Don’t focus on elegant or creative copy

When you have a goal for writing copy, it makes it easier for you to avoid one of the most common copywriting mistakes on the web: writing copy for the sake of good copy. Too many writers and marketers focus on “breaking the mould” with their copy: they believe that they need to reinvent the wheel and state their message in a way that no one else has in the past.

Legendary ad man David Ogilvy, who is known as the father of advertising, sums up this point quite concisely:

“When I write an ad, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

It’s nice to be creative, but it’s more important to sell!

Write snappy headlines

Your headlines are critical for getting attention on your website. With the huge influx of information and advertising messages that the Internet has brought on, headlines are arguably the most critical element of your web copy that must be optimised for success.

How can you write headlines that get attention without putting people off? Well-respected marketing guru Neil Patel says that the four keys to headlines are making them unique, specific, useful, and urgent. Headlines should catch attention, but don’t make them too excitable: you don’t want to sound like a tabloid.

Also, be aware that different types of content or offers may require different varieties of headlines. A headline for a call to action for an email subscription might only be a few words, while the headline on a landing page for an eBook may require some more substance.

Think like your prospects

Remember that what you think about your company, its employees, or its offerings is not the same as what your prospects think about these things. The people you are looking to attract as customers or subscribers with your web copy most likely have very different professional backgrounds and concerns than you do.

At the end of the day, however, they are still people. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What would they want to know? How would they want to learn about it? Does the information you are providing answer questions that they are likely to have? If you can answer these questions correctly, you are well on the path to writing great copy.

In the words of Advertising Hall of Famer Shirley Polykoff:

“Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer.”

Be sure that you are writing copy that allows you to get the most out of these online conversations so that you can successfully grow your business and follower base through inbound marketing.

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