Writing Website Copy that Sells: Part 04 of the Copy Series

business woman writing in journal

You may not be a self-proclaimed wordsmith. But writing website copy that inspires action and leads to valuable purchases is 100% possible for non-writers.

So often, I come across AMAZING products and services on the internet and social media. But when I navigate to their websites or landing pages, I feel uninspired and, in some cases, confused.

Most times, I don’t understand why I need the product or what the product or services can really do for me. And that’s a huuuuge problem.

That’s why I created the Copy Series. It’s a four-part series that goes through writing website copy that (actually!) drives results and sells. In Part 01, we discussed researching your ideal customer. In Part 02, I lay out my process for creating an ideal customer avatar. And in Part 03, I go over how to plan and outline your website copy.

So if you haven’t already, I HIGHLY suggest you read through and complete the practices in the first three series before continuing with this post.

Copywriting is more than words on a screen or ad. There’s a TON of intention and strategy that goes into EACH word you see. And, in order to harness the effectiveness of great copy, you first have to complete the necessary pre-work before you break out your pen and paper.

But for the sake of this newest addition of the Copy Series, I’m going to assume you’ve already completed the practices in the previous posts. And today, I’m teaching you how to take all that preparation and turn into website copy that sells.

After reading this post, you’ll have the confidence, practice, and ability to write high-converting website copy that inspires action. You’ll also learn how to craft engaging headlines, sub headings, and body copy that connects with your ideal customer. And, even better, you’ll learn some highly valuable tips for organizing and highlighting the copy on your website.

01: Headlines

Remember those good ‘ol days of the newspaper, where your parents or grandparents would head out to their porch or nearby convenience store, grab their morning paper, and enjoy reading the latest news in the comfort of their coziest chair with a warm cup of coffee?

Or think about all those times you’ve waited in line at the grocery store and scanned through the magazine rack, reading all the highly-dramatic headlines promising tantalizing stories of the rich and famous.

Now think about the times you’ve landed on sales pages or websites. What did you do the moment the page loaded?

You read the headline.

Much like your parents or grandparents gravitating towards the sensational headline on their morning newspaper or much like yourself feeling compelled to pick up that magazine and see what latest escapades Brangelina is up to now, headlines on website pull your audience in and inspires them to continue scrolling.

If your headline is poorly written or, to be frank, if it sucks, your visitors will bounce.

So, here’s some tips to writing headlines that connect with ideal customer:

  1. Address a pain point: if your headline addresses some struggle your ideal customer is facing, they’ll immediately feel inspired to read the accompanying copy and continue scrolling through your page

  2. Clear over quirky: make sure clarity is your top priority when crafting your headlines. Your reader should have a clear understanding of what you’re saying and why you’re saying it

  3. Appeal to your visitors’ emotions: storytelling creates an immediate connection by appealing to your visitors’ emotions. Wherever possible, try weaving a storytelling element into your website copy. This is particularly effective on sales pages that feature a single product/services.

  4. Make sure your headlines stand out: Use an easy-to-read and bolded font for your headline. Try to avoid all caps, since it’s more difficult to read. And only use scripted fonts (you know, those pretty handwriting fonts that are all the rage right now) as decorative elements.

Also, when you’re writing the website copy for your headlines ALWAYS keep your main conversion goal in mind. And ask yourself: do these words support the action I want my visitors to take? If the answer is no, dig a bit deeper and find that golden place between clear, emotional, and actionable.

02: Subheadings

Subheadings are a bit of a controversial topic in the copy community. And my advice: use them sparingly when you have to support your main headline.

Let’s unpack that a bit, shall we?

When you write a headline, you want to keep it around 5-15 words long. So you don’t have a lot of room to fully express the entire idea. Subheadings are a great way to support your headline and offer more information to keep your visitors interested.

Typically, when I write a subheading, it hangs out below my headline in an italicized font. I want to clearly separate the two lines of texts. And I want to make sure there’s a clear distinction between my headline, my subheading, and my body copy.

Why?

Because 85% of your visitors are scanning your webpage. They’re going from the top to the bottom, and typically they only read your headline and maybe your subheading. So that makes your headlines and subheadings even MORE important.

And, in terms of scanning, the more times you use subheadings the less emphasis they hold. So I reserve my subheadings for times I truly need to support my headline. That way, I can still grasp my readers’ attention, since anomalies in design typically draw the eye. 

Here’s an example:

  • Headline: Imagine having a stunning website that doesn’t break the bank
  • Subheading: Our service packages are designed for small business owners with tight budgets. And we offer no-additional-charge installment payments.
  • Body Copy: Drive more results in your business with our customizable service packages. You choose exactly which services your business needs. That way, you can stay on budget while building a professional and high-converting website.
  • List Copy: here I’ll list out the service packages available
  • CTA: Book Your Free Consultation

In the example above, the subheading supports the hook in the headline. It gives a bit more information and calls attention to additional benefits. Also, note how the headline speaks to a financial pain point, which we already know is crucial in writing website copy that connects with your ideal customer.

You’ll also notice I provide body copy, list copy, and CTA samples. Below, I address each of these aspects in further detail!

03: Body Copy

I want you to think back to a time you landed on a web page that was filled with paragraphs of small text. Now, I want you to remember what you did when you glanced at that overwhelming web page.

Did you read each word? Or, more likely, did you try to scan the site, realize it’s wayyyyy too big of a pill to swallow, and then got the hell out of dodge?

I’d do the same. Actually, I’ve DONE the same.

And you don’t want people to bounce off your website. You invest in marketing. You spend hours building content to drive traffic to your site. And you’ve spent your hard earned money on building a website.

So you want to make sure it converts.

And step one of website copy: less is more. Avoid long paragraphs, sentences, words . . . avoid long anything on your website. Instead, keep your paragraphs no longer than three sentences long. And try to avoid including more than three paragraphs in a single section.

Because remember, if you can’t easily scan it, your website copy needs work.

Also, when it comes to body copy, bolding is a HUGE asset—if done correctly. Keep your bolding to a minimum, and only do it if you really need to stress or call attention to a specific detail. Remember what we discussed about subheadings: the more prevalent and anomaly is, the less attention it’ll draw.

And ALWAYS write your body copy in the tone of your ideal customer. If you need a refresher on deciding which tone to use when writing your website copy, refer back to Part 03 of the Copy Series.

04: Call to Action

Let me ask you a quick question: why did you create a website?

Was it to showcase your work? Maybe it was to list your products? Or perhaps it was to drive awareness about a new service you’re offering?

If you’re nodding your head to any of the above questions, I want you to pause. Because you didn’t create your website for any of the above reasons.

You created your website to generate leads and purchases.

That is the WHOLE intention of your website—to make you more money. So when writing your website copy, you need to decide what action your visitors will take to lead to that intention.

Say you’re selling handmade jewelry. You have beautiful pictures of your pieces, inspiring product descriptions, and a branded design. Well, if you don’t have an Add to Cart button or even a Buy Now call to action, no one will buy your jewelry.

Similarly, if you offer coaching services, but you don’t include a method for your visitor to connect with you, you’ll lose that lead.

That’s why your call to action is SOOOOO important. It tells your visitors exactly what action they need to take next.

I recommend you start each section and web page with your main conversion goal (and action) in mind. And make sure each piece of your copy builds on your primary action.

Here’s a few suggestions for your CTAs:

  1. Use a bright, high-contrast color for your buttons

  2. Don’t be vague (example: Download the Free Guide, Add to Cart, Book a Consultation, Subscribe, Visit the Shop, Follow, etc.)

  3. For service-based businesses, include a contact form at the bottom of your homepage or any page where you’ll gather leads

Your CTA is prime real estate. So be very intentional about each button you place on your website.

05: Lists

Remember how I said about 85% of your visitors will scan your web page?

One of the best ways to stop the scan is to create lists. The eye will naturally seek out lists on a website. And, even better, you can fit any type of list seamlessly into your design.

Icon boxes, checked lists, stylized lists, carousels, flip boxes are all ways you can break up heavy text to keep your visitor engaged and make them eager to continue their scrolling.

Over my years as a copywriter and designer, I noticed that simple, checked lists garner the most results. Because they’re easy to scan, simple to navigate, and they reduce cognitive load. When writing your website copy, test out different variations and find a type of list that works best for your brand.

06: Benefits

Your business is unique. It offers a value that is special to the boss babe (that’s you!) who created the offer and sustains the small-but-mighty biz.

And your customer benefits when you sell any product or service. So when you craft your copy, you need to clearly express the benefits that your customer will gain from your offer.

And what better way to lay out your benefits than with a handy list that will draw your visitor’s eye? 

If you don’t know how to express the benefits of your product or service, I have a quick exercise for you:

  1. Grab a pen and paper or open a Word or Google doc

  2. On one side of the sheet, list out all the features of your product/service

  3. Now, on the other side, write out the benefit of each feature.

If you’d like a PDF worksheet of this exercise with some bonus material, you can download it here. And you can dive deeper into understanding the benefits of your offer and writing website copy that inspires action.

Once you have your benefits, place them into a list on your webpage. And remember, your list doesn’t need traditional styling. You can play around with the design and make it an icon section, a carousel, or slider. Just make sure it’s easy to navigate and fully responsive across devices.

07: Testimonials

You know what my absolute favorite thing in the world is (well, in the business world)?

Gushy, positive, and heartfelt reviews.

And these testimonials are GOLD for your website. Because your visitors need social proof that your product or service upholds the value you profess.

In today’s technological world, we’re hardwired to constantly look out for and avoid scams. So when you have real words from real people telling you how much they loved your product or service, that tells your visitors that what you offer is, in turn, real.

No scams. No risks. Just a whole lot of value.

08: Email Subscription Form

On average, a single has to interact with your business SEVEN times before they make a purchase. So that means they’d have to see your ad, interact with your online presence, or view your organic posts seven times before they felt comfortable buying from you.

And it’s VERY difficult to place your content in front of the same person that many times, especially since organic reach has plummeted.

Cue your email list.

Unlike social media (who owns your followers), your email list is yours. You can reach as many people on your list as you’d like. You have control over what they see and when they see it. And you don’t have to deal with that pesky, super-frustrating algorithm.

So putting your content in front of that same person seven times gets a whole lot easier.

If you don’t have an email list, then I highly recommend you get started. There’s tons of content out there to help you build your list. My favorite list-building superstars are Jenna Kutcher and Amy Porterfield.

So if you have no idea how to start your email list, I suggest browsing through their posts or listening to their podcasts.

On your homepage, place a very obvious subscription box with a clear call to action and a lead magnet that will inspire your visitors to subscribe. And a huge bonus points if you create a popup. From there, you can continue to nurture these leads in their inboxes through value, promotions, freebies, and more.

And with this link, you can get 50% off my FAVORITE email marketing software!

09: Contact Form

I shudder every ? single ? time I land on a website that doesn’t have a contact form.

And yes, it happens more often than you’d think.

As I mentioned earlier, for service-based businesses, include a contact form at the bottom of your homepage, services page, and contact page. Because the whole point of your website is to generate leads, it’s important that you make it very easy for your visitors to acquire more information or book a free consultation. 

And in addition to your contact form, also remember to include the number and email address of your business on your contact page. Nowadays, most people prefer filling out a form. But, occasionally, you’ll get the people who prefer phone calls, especially if they have an immediate request.

You want to make it very easy for people to reach you. And when you create the copy for your form, make sure you tell your visitor what will happen when they send that form. In addition, ensure that your form is easy to fill out.

10: Instagram Feed

Now, this is another controversial point in the website world. I recommend you have an Instagram feed plugin on your website with copy that invites your visitors to follow you.

Yes, social media reach is down. Yes, you gotta fight the algorithm and deal with the whims of Mark Zuckerberg. But social media is also a great place to present your offer, provide value to your audience, and create a stronger connection with your ideal customer.

So I recommend you put an Instagram feed at the bottom of your about us page. Another great place it works is in the footer of your website. That way, it’ll have a consistent presence across all your web pages without calling too much attention or distracting from your main conversion goal.

Final Thoughts

You made it! Now is the time to give yourself a big pat on the back for finishing the Copy Series and learning all the tips to writing website copy. 

Creating high-converting copy takes a lot of work. But the payoff is HUGE. Your conversion rates will improve. Your engagement will increase. And your connection with your ideal customer will deepen.

And just a quick reminder: if you haven’t done so already make sure you check out Part 01, Part 02, and Part 03 of the copy series.

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to get 10 FREE stock photos every single month!

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