Understanding what copywriting is and how to copywrite for your website, is the first step for you to know how to put together your text cognitively and communicate effective. And implementing a good copywriting is an awesome technique that will start helping you to engage and capture your audience to take the necessary action you want them to take.
- What Copywriting is – Web Copywrite Definition
- How to Copywrite for the Online Audience?
- Winning Note On How to Copywrite Specifically For The Web
People communicate very differently on the web to real life, and different rules apply for approaching and engaging with customers.
This guide on how to copywrite will give you an understanding on what copywriting is and how to engage with people in this new environment, how to use online tools to take full advantage of your PR resources and how to handle reputation crises.
In this definitive guide to web copywriting you will:
- Learn what web copywrite is and where it is found.
- Go through the principles of good writing in general, and writing specifically for the web.
- Learn the tones of writing for your website, email newsletter and blog.
- Discover all aspects of web PR and learn to use free tools to help you manage your online name.
- Learn how to engage with your online audience effectively.
What Copywriting is – Web Copywrite Definition
Online copywriting is any promotional-written-communication, as opposed to images, graphs or other content, that you publish online aimed at encouraging people to take action on a particular product or service.
In general, to copywrite is not the same as online writing. Explicitly, to copywrite is the art of creating persuasive text that advertises your product or brand.
To copywrite is to give details, recommends, influences, attracts and motivates. Any writing that you publish about your business, both online and offline, will fall under the category of copywriting: your website, brochures, promotional articles, emails and so on.
However, to copywrite professionally for the purpose of marketing is a specialist skill, anybody can learn to write effective, engaging content about their brand.
Where do I find Copy?
The real answer is Everywhere. Now there are just some of the places where you will find online copy:
All text on a website is web copy, from the home and contact section of the pages to the customer feedback and product descriptions.
Every business-run blogs are the embodiment of online copywriting.
3. Email promotions.
Any promotional messages sent by email, in the same way as newsletters and special offers, fall under copywriting.
4. Online adverts.
The text of any online advertising is also web copy, as it is a convincing writing used to promote any product or brand.
5. Marketing Articles and Press Releases.
If you write custom-made articles concerning your product, even the ones that are loosely related, you are writing web copy.
What are The types of Copy?
Web copy can be divided into two comprehensive categories.
1. Short Copy
Short copywrite consists of the small minutes of text that are sprinkled around your website, in your online adverts, your marketing emails, recommendations and so on.
Short copywrite is in general only a small number of sentences long and must be direct, to the point and action focused on.
2. Long Copy
Long copy, in contrast, is in the least long piece of writing, similar a blog post, email newsletter, press release or article. Long copywrite lets you to develop on an idea and build a brand persona, which make it easier for you to engage with your readers, but needs a strong headline and good approach to ensure it is read.
Both long and short copywrite have an essential place on the web and in your brand strategy.
How to Copywrite for the Online Audience?
An exceptional online copywriting is a must for any online business and must adhere to two main rules:
- It must follow the conventions of good writing in general.
- It must take on the distinct principles of writing for the web.
This section spells out these sets of rules, and make available the guidelines for writing for your website, email newsletter and blog.
Always think of it that your writing must be appropriate and relevant to your target market, particularly in your level of formality and use of slang or jargon. When in doubt, keep it polite and simple.
Common Rules of What Good Copywriting is
There are rules or principle you must adhere to, to be able to come up with a good copy for your work.
1. Start with a plan.
Before you start copywriting, take some time to plan precisely what you want to say and what goal do you want to get with your writing.
Think through how you want to offer your message – should it be a list, a blog article, a table or it could be even as an image as a substitute of text?
Keep your goal in mind as you write.
2. Keep it simple.
Simple copywriting is one a simply phrase that entails short sentences, well-defined and direct phrasing and keeping away from complex words or jargon.
Make use of few words as possible to ensure you make your point clear, and avoid stuffing your writing with pointless adjectives.
• Wrong: Our very exciting new service will completely and totally overhaul the way you understand and think about web design, CSS, CMS and customer subscription solutions.
• Right: Our new service will change the way you look at all aspects of web development.
Be active, not passive. Wherever possible, write your copy using an active voice rather than a passive one.
• Passive: A large range of services is offered by our company to meet your needs.
• Active: We offer a large range of services to meet your needs.
3. Write for readability.
Readability in copywriting is just as simply and means “ease of reading”. There are a lot of ways to make your text easier to understand, like;
- Use bolding or italics to highlight key words.
- Short paragraphs to keep your ideas separate.
- Bullet points to outline important facts and subheadings to give your text structure.
Do not write entire words or paragraphs in capital letters – this is just the same thing as shouting online and has the same negative response.
A good number of web readers scan text, which means they run their eyes over it quickly without taking in everything.
If you’re to use these tricks to write copy, it will make your text more scannable and will make sure the crucial things stand out.
• Wrong: Our product has many features, like helping you to manage your digital documents, keep a list of your online contacts, archive your emails and manage your diary.
• Right: Our product features:
- Manage your digital documents
- Store online contacts
- Archive emails
- Manage your calendar
4. Be consistent.
Every single aspect of your brand ought to be consistent, and this is especially important with the way you copywrite. At all times, make sure that your copy communicates using;
- The same terms
- Tone and level of complexity, not to mention the small but vital stylistic elements.
However, you will use different methods for your website, blog and other channels, all your writing should have a feel that it comes from the same source.
An exceptional tactic of achieving this is to create a style guide for your brand.
A style guide spells out the typical terms, spelling and so on for your brand-related writing – for example, do you spell the word “internet” with a capital or lower case “i”?
You can refer to an editor to assist you create one, or you can download this detailed guide: www.techwr-l.com/files/examplestyleguide.pdf (note that it refers to US conventions).
The Yahoo Style Guide is also an excellent starting resource: styleguide.yahoo.com.
5. Be creative.
It is completely all right to let your own creative voice come through in the way you write your copy. You don’t want to sound like a duplicate of every other product or brand obtainable. A bit of brand personality is a good thing.
Likewise, be creative in what content you create – discover new angles, concepts and niches to explore.
Make use of correct spelling and grammar. You will look exceptionally unprofessional if you have loads of grammatical mistakes and spelling or typing errors in your writing.
If you keep your copy simple and consistent, you should have no trouble writing in the approved manner. Don’t think twice to consult a dictionary or grammar guide if you are stuck.
• Wrong: Our web tool have many useful featurs. You can customize your web site easiliy.
• Right: Our web tool has many useful features. You can customise your website easily.
6. Proofread your writing.
The easiest ways to test whether your writing is correct and clear is rather simply, just read it. This is what copywriting is
What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is the practise of reading a piece of text in detail and resolving any stylistic, grammatical or content mistakes that you find.
At the same time if you are not a language skilled person, you will discover that there are lots of small errors on your own. You can also consider hiring a freelance editor to check your writing for you.
A helpful tip-off is to leave the content for a day before you go back to proofread it – the time refreshes your mind and makes it easier to pick up any errors.
Related articles on content writing
- 7 proven tips to effective content writing
- How to write Blog post both for SEO and for your audience.
Principles On How to Copywrite for Online Audience
Although web copywriting is thought to abide to all the typical rules above, there are some additional technical and stylistic rules that apply to online copywrite.
One of the most essential things to take into account in copywriting is that web readers are active participants rather than just passive readers.
Users will click on links, navigate to new web pages, multitask when surfing pages, open many tabs and so on. They will not read a web page from begin to end, but rather create their own ride through it.
This is reason writing for readability is important. Keeping audience attention is very challenging, and your approach to writing for the web must take this into account.
1. Keep web copy short and simple.
The faster and more straightforward you can make your point, the better. Position the most important message obviously at the top so that it can be seen on top of the fold of the website – the part of the website that is visible without scrolling down.
Split your copy up into short, readable pieces – this will create space and makes it easier to read. Most of all, make sure you maintain a no-nonsense approach to your brand and product; online users will see through your marketing writing easily and will mistrust your message.
• Wrong: If you have ever had the problem of not being able to access your email on your cellphone, maybe you should consider trying out our product sometime.
• Right: Can’t access email on your cellphone? Download our product now.
2. Be genuine and honest.
How you copywrite must mirror the authority of your brand, and must be sincere so that readers feel a personal link through the impersonal online medium.
At all times write copy correctly and be honest about your product; readers will instantly notice when your writing is hype rather than genuine passion.
Stay away from exaggerated words and clichéd “marketing speaks”; your audience expect your content to be frank, clear and true, and any sign that this may not be the case will drive them away.
A respectable way to copywrite and come as genuine as possible is to implement a friendly, open and modest tone.
• Wrong: Our amazing time management product will market absolute synergy throughout every aspect of your business! You will get 100% more productivity instantly!
• Right: Our time management product will help your employees work together more competently. Previous customers have testified a 20% increase in productivity after the first month.
3. Concentration on headlines, leads and captions.
Most times, some copwriters concentrate so much on the main body of copy that they fail to notice the “little extras” like the headline, the lead (the introductory line) and captions for your images.
It’s very important that you don’t ignore these elements.
The headline is the most crucial piece of writing on the page since that’s what draws people’s attention to read your content – or not.
Make every effort to keep the headline equally as short and as precise as possible.
Writing an eye-catching headline for your copy
- Keep it short, preferably under 10 words
- Be as specific as possible
- Use simple, unambiguous words
- Try to make the reader curious by using intriguing and emotive words
- Entice the reader by asking a question or making a bold statement
- Address the reader directly by using the pronoun “you”
- Headlines with numbers work well (e.g. “5 tips for…” or “The top 8…”)
- Headlines that suggest a benefit or reward are also effective (e.g. “How to…” or “Why you should…”)
- Be honest – don’t let your headline mislead the reader about the content of your article
The lead which is the first line of your copy, is very important because most readers choose whether they will read the rest of the text based on it and the headline alone.
There is a copywriting saying that affirms that the intent of the headline is to get the first line read, the purpose of the first line is to get the second line read, and so on.
Captions for your images are also important, as they help readers to scan the page for attention-grabbing message. The caption ought to be relatively short, define your image and point out its significance to the text.
- Bad headline: Great new offer! (Undefined, boring, sounds like a marketing trick.)
- Bad headline: Your business could be made more successful if you follow these steps (Indirect phrasing, long-winded without providing much indication of what the article is about.)
- Good headline: Double your Twitter followers in 3 steps (Well-defined, direct, promises valuable advice in an easily digestible capacity.)
- Good headline: Are you at risk from online identity theft? (Direct and captivating, creates a concern in the reader’s mind, triggers curiosity.)
For a good general idea of eight types of effective headlines, read how to write headlines that works by copyblogger.
4. Have a clear call to action.
When you copywrite, your copy with a call to action is a declaration that tells the readers just what you want them to do on your site;
- should they buy your product?
- Share your article?
- Follow you on Twitter?
The only and the most effective way to get your users to do what you want is to tell them directly.
So your call to action should be related to the goal of your marketing campaign and to how you measure conversion.
If you wish to increase your online social audience, the preferred feat will be to engage with your social networking profiles. If you want to boost your sales, you may want visitors to download your eBook for free sample.
• Wrong: There are many ways you can keep in touch with us. Browse our website to see more about us.
• Right: Sign up to our newsletter now to keep up to date with special offers and promotions!
5. Create value.
On the web today, there are hundreds of billions of articles on hundreds of millions of websites – what will make people read yours?
Don’t get engrossed with trying to write good copy for the web and overlook ways to make your content important and valuable to your audience.
Take into consideration what the users of your product may want to know about, in what way can you make their lives easier or in what manner can you entertain them.
Make available to them an adequate amount of information so that anybody who wants to buy your service or product can get what they need.
Online users can be to a certain extent sceptical and will want to turn to a lot of information before they make a decision and hand over their money.
It is good to consider taking one of two approaches;
Related Article: How to use Keyword in content writing for search engines.
- Becoming the niche expert in your field by writing on industry-relevant details and news (have a look at www.carblog.co.za, a blog for people interested in automotive news).
- Or to become an all-round teacher, somebody who educates people or beginners about the industry (for instance, www.goodadvice.co.za writes blog articles that teach general public on finance ideas).
Have a close look at exactly how both blogs manage aspects like terminology, assumed knowledge, familiarity with basic principles and levels of specific detail.
What Copywriting is vs Search engine optimisation (SEO)
As you copywrite, it’s important you implement SEO in your copy. SEO optimization is the most talked-about parts of online marketing. For now, here is a brief explanation for the sake of completeness.
But I have a comprehensive SEO tutorial that’ll help you optimize your website and content for both search engines and your audience. You can skip it for now and come to it later.
Search engines like Google have exceptional methods for determining which web page shows up first in their lists of search results. SEO is the practise of getting your page(s) as high up on SERPs as possible.
There are a lot of technical tactics in copywriting that will help improve your position on this list, but two of them are related specifically to how you copywrite: keyword optimization, and the order of your content on a web page.
Here is a basic coverage on these concepts so that you can keep them in mind just for the purpose of this guide.
1. What copywriting is and Keywords.
The minute someone searches online, one of the ways that a search engine identifies that your page is appropriate to the search query is that the same words – as keyword – appear on your web page as in the search word that was used.
As a result, the more often these “keywords” appear on a web page, the more related that page will be to a search engine for the query that was made.
2. Content hierarchy.
One more way that a search engine detects appropriate content is by considering the areas contents are on a web page. A number of areas are valued above others in terms of importance: for example, a search engine sees the main page header to be more significant than sub-headers.
In the same way, it also considers sub-headers to be more important than a paragraph of body copy.
For that reason, if your chosen keywords appear in these vital places, like your page’s main header, a search engine will see the page as more important for search queries relating to that keyword.
Defining your What Online Copywriting is
Everything about online copy writing ought to adhere to the rules spelled out above. Above that, every specific location has its own distinctions.
To really define the how to copywrite style, answer the following questions:
- What are your goal of this platform?
- Who are your audience?
- What are the kind of content do they want?
- What action do you want them to take?
How To Copywrite for your website
Your website is the open space for your brand online where people get to know you and your business and therefore you need to share content that’s both general and informative.
It has to be compelling to draw the attention of people who know nothing about your company but who are looking for a solution to a problem that your product is designed to solve.
Your website also has to offer valuable content to those who already know your offerings, since it is exceptionally valuable to encourage recurring visits. Think of your website as your office’s welcome desk – what do people need to find and learn?
It also be made up of principally short copywrites that is written to promote an action. Recall that your home page is your first, and possibly only, chance to make a good impression.
Anyone who arrives on your page would want to know precisely what you’re offering and what is valuable on your page, so point them directly to the best content.
This is a vital part of creating the smooth user experience using an optimized web design. Consider the following home page text (underlined text is a link):
Welcome to Emmelac Design!
Put your business online with our one-stop web design, web development and hosting services.
Want to learn more? Visit our Services page to see our packages and rates.
To get our latest news and special offers, follow us on Twitter – or sign up for our free newsletter.
Questions? Get in touch with us on 044 123 xxxx or email@example.com
Everything the reader wants to know about the most important information is rightly available and is not hidden in blocks of text.
The readers instantly know where to look for the content they are likely to need and are encouraged to join the brand community.
If you’ve appropriately anticipated what your audience want, they will click your links and explore your website.
In addition to the above, you’ll however need to at least share one paragraph of text either telling them what you do or solving a problem your target market has – this lets you to add keywords that are relevant to your business, making search engines see you as valuable to the search query.
Here are some other elements to consider when you Want to copywrite.
1. Your contact page.
Let your copy on the contact page be minimal by providing your details distinctly and independently. Don’t add any text that is not directly related to your contact details – your contact page must be as slimmed down as possible.
2. Your navigation.
The line-up of links at the upper part of your page, which drive visitors to other parts of your website, need to be very clear and noticeable.
Try to avoid unclear page titles for the reason that your visitors are much more expected to leave your site than to spend a long time browsing for what they need.
Likewise, stick to those terms that web users will be familiar with, like “home” and “contact”, rather than inventing your own.
- Bad: Main | Company | Work | Product | Customers | Details
- Good: Home | About | Our portfolio | Our product | Testimonials | Contact
3. About page.
Customers who will visit your about page are in general looking for two categories of information: your business testimonials and your company’s history.
Make available to them both by giving a quick summary of your starting point and services (don’t go into too much detail here; rather, save it for a dedicated page), and besides include a lengthier but non-compulsory story of how your company came about.
So making use of a personal angle is engaging and it shows that you are a real, and a trustworthy person to do business with.
Don’t be scared to reprise key information on your website. Use the same keywords and key catchphrases to give emphasis to the selling points of your business, and be steady in your use of terminology.
Repetition also offers a clear link between different pages, which makes navigation easier for the user.
Writing copy for your email newsletter is a different thing compare to that of your website as your newsletter is targeted at people who have by this time taken an action to connect with your brand.
The main purpose of your email newsletter is to keep your customers engaging with your brand on a regular basis and to also update them on every news about your business.
It’s also a good way to share the extensive content you create for your blog, if you have one.
And if you don’t a blog, you can come back to create one following this guide on how to start a blog now.
So, let continue…
Since email is sent to a person’s email box, you should be more intimate and informative than your website.
Furthermore, keep in mind that people have some degree of time to read emails and most times don’t like doing it, so make sure that your newsletter is short and entertaining and that it addresses up-to-date, and relevant issues.
You should make available links back to your website for those who would want to read more content or find out more about your brand.
The newsletter subject line, like the article’s headline, is the most important part of your copy because it will define whether your email is opened.
Keep it consistent and evidently branded so that readers know what to expect when it arrives in their inbox.
You will learn all about setting up email newsletter in this email marketing campaign guide.
How to Copywrite for Your Blog
A blog is an online magazine or an article depot that is brought up-to-date on a regular basis and that centres to a certain extent closely on a specific topic.
You will learn more in this guide about how and why you need a blog for your business, but here are some helpful hints on writing great blog content.
- Write about topics that you’re an expert on.
Before creating content for your blog always think first and foremost about what your customers will be interested in reading, not what you want to tell them.
For example, if you’re a tax consultancy, blogging about the different types of tax software is expected to be more advantageous than blogging about your own services directly.
Remember that your blog posts ought to add value to people who reads without asking them to do anything in return. A blog shouldn’t be used to deliberately sell your services, but rather to add value to your target audience and market.
- Pay more attention to specific topic or angle and stick with it.
From the time when you are writing a corporate blog, place yourself as an expert in your industry and write important, up-to-date and educational articles about your field or an aspect within it.
- Writing long copy for your blog, but keeping the individual articles short.
Write short, frequent entries that centre precisely on one idea rather than longer, more detailed ones. Smaller articles are very easy to read and reference later on.
Moreover, structure your content precisely by using subheadings, bullet points and paragraph breaks. On average, your blog posts can be between 300 and 400 words long.
You will learn more from this guide titled Blogging SEO – it explicitly explains how to optimize your blog post for search engines.
- Personal stories and case studies.
Your personal testimonies and case studies will make your articles enjoyable while reading and are an excellent way to showcase customer experiences with your product. So, answer these question and use it as a guide as your case studies. What problem did you solve? How did you improve someone’s life or business?
- Write advice articles that your readers can learn from are very popular.
Blog topics like “5 ways to do…” or “4 reasons why…” are persuasive, well-structured and provide value to the readers.
- Encourage audience engagement in your blog post.
You can engage your readers by asking your readers what they think of the topic you’re talking about so that they’re inspired to leave comments.
A blog that has lots of reader engagement is likely to be more interesting to other readers, and also inspires current readers to come back to your blog in future.
Related Article: Effective ways to create viral content for your Blog.
Winning Note On How to Copywrite Specifically For The Web
In this definitive guide to what web copywriting is, you have: Learnt what web copywrite is and where you can find them and also we’ve walk through the ethics of good writing in general, and writing explicitly for the web.
Getting to know your audience will help you understand the tones of writing copy for your website, email newsletter and blog. In this guide also you’ve discovered all aspects of web PR and understand how to use the free tools to help you manage your online name.
With the full understanding of how to copywrite, engaging with your online audience effectively will be a work over.
I hope this guide added value to what you’ve known about what copywriting is, share with you families and friends.