Great web copywriting isn’t just something nice to have.
Exquisite online writing skills are necessary for anyone involved in creating business for an online presence.
In addition to attracting visitors, great web copywriting helps strengthen a brand voice, differentiate you from the online crowd, and create a unique and distinct presence on the web.
You can’t do any of the above without this fundamental base: words. To put it simply. Words that appeal to your audience, attract their eyeballs, engage with their emotions.
It’s the vehicle for standing out online. Rather–it’s how you stand out online.
30 Actionable Copywriting Tips for Online Writers
Use these thirty online copywriting tips to boost your copywriting and achieve more online success with better, stronger, far-reaching online copy.
1. Provide context
In web copywriting as in journalism, answering questions like who, what, when, where, and why can help strengthen your copy. When you add context for people, places, things, or developments that you’re referencing within your text, you provide more value for your readers and create more balanced, informative content. To make this actionable, offer context on products you mention, recent events you cover, and third-party companies you reference. In addition to helping increase your readers’ understanding of the topic, these simple steps can also make your writing more informative.
2. Write in the active voice
Writing in the active voice makes for stronger online content and a clearer message. Writing in active voice means that the subject of your sentence does something rather than having something done to him or her. For example, “Jane kicked the ball” is active voice, while “the ball was kicked by Jane” is passive voice. Using active voice more often in your writing makes for clearer content and a more valuable message.
3. Write clickable (engaging) headlines
While 80% of people read headlines, only 20% of people will click through to your body content. In light of this, it’s pivotal to spend the time and energy that it takes to write attention-grabbing headlines. In addition to creating a more well-rounded content strategy, this approach also allows you to capture the attention of your readers and grow your company’s online presence. While writing clickable headlines isn’t something you master in a day, it is something you can learn with some ongoing education. By learning to craft compelling headlines, you can immediately improve your online content and help your business get found online.
4. Break up your content
While long-form web copywriting converts better than shorter content, big blocks of text can easily be intimidating to a reader. To ensure that you’re not scaring traffic away from your site with never-ending paragraphs and startlingly dense web pages, break your web content up into small and digestible chunks.
Paragraphs, subheads, and bullet points are all an excellent way to make your text easily readable and skim-mable for all of your readers. There are many ways to do this, including adding bold or italic text and creating numbered and bulleted lists. You can also use headings and subheadings to break up your content in an intuitive and easy to understand way.
5. Be as concise as possible
Too many writers torpedo their online content by being too long-winded. In online content, brevity is king and businesses who can be concise and informative at the same time are the ones who are likely to win the race. To boost your online content and ensure that you’re not boring your readers or driving them away with wordy material, be as concise as possible. Short sentences, short paragraphs, and targeted messages are ideal for capturing a reader’s attention and keeping it. By being concise throughout your content, you build value for your readers and ensure that they keep coming back to your content.
6. Eliminate jargon
Jargon is one of the most damaging things your company can include in online content. By peppering your text with jargon and industry-specific terms, you immediately make it unapproachable for a wide variety of readers. Luckily, it’s easy to get past this by eliminating jargon altogether and making your text approachable to everyone – even people who aren’t experts in your field. Once you’ve eliminated the jargon, take your readability one step further by using short words, cutting out unneeded adverbs, and keeping your text as simple as possible throughout. This can help ensure that your online copywriting is approachable to all readers and that your message doesn’t get bogged down in techy language.
7. Incorporate a sense of urgency
Incorporating a sense of urgency into your online content is a great way to grab your readers’ attention and keep it. By doing this, you can encourage your prospects to act quickly and convert in the way that you want them to. Urgency is especially useful when you’re running a promotion, offering an incentive, or providing a “customers only” discount of some type. Incorporate urgency into your online copy by mentioning that there are a limited number of spots for a webinar or that there are only so many products remaining on the shelves. This is a simple yet effective way to improve your online copy and drive your readers to action.
8. Utilize keywords naturally
While keywords used to be one of Google’s primary ranking factors, search engines are getting smarter on a daily basis. Today, Google will de-rank content that relies too heavily on keywords, stuffs them into content, or utilizes them in an unnatural way. In light of this, be sure that you’re writing your web copy for people first and search engines second. If you’re planning on targeting keywords throughout your content, they should be incorporated in a natural way throughout. This can help ensure your company isn’t inadvertently damaging your SEO by writing keyword-stuffed keyword that’s chunky to read and worthless to customers.
9. Write in positive voice
Just like active voice, positive voice is a powerful writing tool. Positive voice helps your readers feel more trusting and optimistic toward your product, good, or service. The reason for this is that online copywriting that uses negative voice leaves readers with negative feelings. Because of this, it’s important to alter the text to use positive rather than negative voice. For example, “Don’t make these SEO mistakes” should become “Learn to avoid common SEO mistakes.” While this is a simple change, it’s one that can make a world of difference for your online copy.
10. Embrace multimedia
While text will always be relevant to readers, it’s critical to learn to balance your text with images, videos, and graphics. This helps vary your content and create a more exciting, well-rounded experience. While it’s important to maintain a blog, it’s also important to ensure that you have a substantial presence on sites like Periscope, YouTube, and Pinterest. This keeps your content exciting and provides value for your readers.
11. Write to one consumer
Developing your voice is a huge part of honing your online copywriting. One of the best ways to do this is to write to one consumer rather than your company’s entire “Target audience.” When you write to a single customer just like you would write to a friend, you personalize your copy and provide more value for everyone who reads it. Remember that today’s consumers don’t want a hard sell. They want a relationship and a conversation. By providing them with this, it’s easy to differentiate your brand and improve your copy.
12. Craft quality CTAs
The CTA is one of the most important aspects of your copy. For the copy to perform well, your CTA needs to tell people what to do in an efficient and inviting manner. While this may seem overly simplistic, the fact of the matter is that if you don’t tell people what to do next, they’re likely to avoid taking any action altogether. By crafting a compelling CTA, it’s easy to drive the type of engagement you want while also giving your readers something to think about at the end of your copy.
To be as efficient as possible, your CTA should feature the following things:
- Actionable language
- Copy that runs parallel to your landing pages
- A value proposition
- Time-sensitive language
- Large, visible formatting
- Contrasting design
- Clickable buttons
- Prominent placement
By incorporating these elements into your CTA design, you can ensure that it performs well with the reader and drives the action your company wants.
13. Become a storyteller
With all of the buzz about storytelling and marketing that’s been flying around lately, it seems obvious that telling a story is one of the best ways to engage readers and provide unique value. The fact of the matter is, however, that it’s not enough to simply weave tall tales. Instead, your company needs to be able to draw readers in and engage with them on a deep and profound level. Contrary to what many people believe, storytelling isn’t reserved for certain portions of copywriting. In fact, storytelling can be a helpful tool in everything from website content to blog posts. To use this tool effectively within your corporate copywriting, use storytelling elements to beef up a brand persona and engage readers with products, goods, and services – like Progressive has done with Flo or Geico has done with its signature Geico Gecko.
14. Match your copy to buying cycles
The best copy in the world isn’t much good if it doesn’t apply directly to the person reading it. In light of this, it’s critical to align your target audience, content, and buying cycle with one another. This ensures that your company’s content will be relevant to the person reading it and that your readers will always have access to personalized, specific material. For example, customers in the early stages of the buying cycle will appreciate broad, informative content while those further down the funnel will appreciate more specific content that helps them make purchasing decisions.
15. Appeal to emotions
Readers aren’t emotionless robots. They want writers to appeal to their emotions and give them content that’s worthy of connecting with, laughing about, or thinking deeply about. This is one of the main reasons that storytelling is so effective. Because storytelling connects with readers on a deep, emotional level, it remains one of the most effective forms of business copywriting.
16. Include research
Your customers are smart people, and they’ll catch onto inaccuracies quickly. In light of this, it’s important to back up the claims you make within your copywriting with well-sourced research wherever applicable. This lends authority to your writing and helps you establish your company as a leader in the industry.
17. Link to quality sources
Google (and your readers) want to know that you’re using reputable sources to write your content. This is why it’s so important to link to quality sources throughout your copy. In addition to helping you build authority, this also helps you connect with thought leaders and make your copy more reputable.
18. Stop selling
Today’s customers hate being sold on anything and using pushy language or obnoxious sales tactics is only going to push them away. Instead, use value and relevance to draw readers in. Focus on building the relationship first and making the sale second.
19. Pay attention to detail
In copywriting, it’s wise to sweat the small stuff. Simple things like a misplaced button, bad grammar, spelling mistakes, or even using the wrong words can have dramatic effects on the conversion rates of your copy. Luckily, you can avoid them by reading current research on what converts well and what doesn’t, proofreading all of your material, and conducting A/B testing on your company’s buttons, CTAs, and links.
20. Don’t make false promises
Today’s readers have superhuman BS detectors. If you promise something you can’t deliver on, they’re going to abandon your company for one that’s more transparent. Because of this, it’s important to ensure that you’re only making promises you can fulfill.
While many writers rely primarily on adjectives in their online writing, a wiser choice is to show rather than tell. While it’s one thing to report that your company is intuitive, funny, and relatable, it’s entirely another to show your readers why this is so through research and demonstrable evidence. The latter approach is much more lasting and much more powerful.
22. Use power words
Power words can completely overhaul your writing. By addressing readers with “you” rather than the impersonal “one” or using right now words like “Instantly” or “today,” you can transform your online writing and craft a more compelling and engaging experience for your customers.
Need to grab a list of power words? Grab our free 120 power words download here!
23. Add interest
Let’s face it: the subject matter that some companies specialize in isn’t thrilling. Accounts payable, for example, or adult diapers. Your job as the corporate copywriter, however, is to add interest to these topics to draw your customers in. This helps produce better content and ensures that the subject is interesting and engaging, no matter how dry the subject may be at its core.
24. Showcase your personality
As a company, you have a unique personality, and one of the best things you can do for your copywriting is to inject that personality into the material you write. While some subjects require straight, educational content, some are just asking for a shot of humor and unique perspective.
25. Think of the audience first
If you’re not writing for your audience first and foremost, you’re missing out. By writing to give the audience what they want, you create valuable content they’ll want to engage with. This, in turn, can help improve your conversion rates and produce happier customers.
26. Make your copy beautiful
Who said a blog post can’t also be a work of art? When you intersperse your content with beautiful design elements such as custom visuals and graphics, you provide more interest for your readers and create compelling copy they’ll want to come back to.
27. Don’t try to be TOO clever
While injecting your unique personality into a piece is one thing, trying too hard to be witty or clever is entirely another. When you do this, you cheapen your company’s content and make it impossible for readers to derive real value from it. Instead, seek to be informative and helpful. If it doesn’t come 100% naturally: the wit can wait.
28. Survey the competition
To create great copy, it’s wise to keep a running tab of things you love or were moved by. This can include emails, blogs, articles, websites, or graphics from other companies in your industry. While it’s not advisable to copy anyone else’s content, it can be helpful to keep a careful eye on what else is out there to boost your content strategy.
29. Employ productivity hacks
One of the biggest challenges facing copywriters is distraction. When you’re having a tough time getting the job done, don’t stress. Simply focus on creating a space for productivity, instead. An excellent way to do this is to use a website blocker that keeps you off of email and social media for a set period. Alternately, you can set a timer that helps you focus on a set task for a period of time of time.
30. Offer examples
Today’s readers are example-oriented. They want to know why something works and where it’s worked in the past. To provide them with unforgettable content, ensure that you’re offering specific examples throughout.
While copywriting is a learned skill rather than an inborn talent, these 30 copywriting tips can help you improve your business copywriting on a daily basis.
Have a favorite copywriting go-to tip you always use? Share in the comments below!