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Like a good handshake, well-written website copy conveys professionalism, promotes trust, and engages the other person. The value of successful SEO copywriting can’t be overstated, but although some professional copywriters have an innate knack for content writing, the art of effective copywriting is one that can be easily learned. Following are some website copywriting tips to help you create masterful content.

1. Research first

A website’s intended audience should determine the overall tone of its content. Researching with analytics can help determine your audience’s internet behavior. Searching for similar products or services on the internet can help you determine how customers might perform a search for your organization. Also, look at the content on successful competitors’ sites; never plagiarize, but view competitors through a customer’s eyes.

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2. Tell a story

The human element can factor strongly into a consumer’s decisions, and everyone loves a good story. A website is often the first point of contact, so use it to build a relationship by telling the story of who, what, when, where and why. Write professionally, but don’t be afraid to add character and emotion so readers can see the human behind the curtain.

3. Keep it simple.

While you might be familiar with an industry’s jargon, potential customers probably aren’t. Write professionally but in a conversational tone, as though you were describing your business and products to an interested uncle.

4. Be accessible.

Hopefully, at some point the reader will be ready to become the customer and they need it to be easy. Whether leading them to a storefront or a contact form, give your reader an intuitive path to follow by placing links in prominent positions on every single page of your website.

5. Answer questions.

Anticipating an audience’s questions and answering them succinctly is vital to gaining their trust. At the very least, tell them why they should choose your products or service, where they can buy or sign up, and what to expect when they do. It can’t hurt to also tell them how they will be treated after the fact.

6. Make it skimmable.

Your reader has a very short attention span. According to a recent study, internet users typically read only 28 percent of the words on an average web page. It’s unlikely that the vast majority of internet users are speed readers, which means that most of a site’s content is being skimmed. So how do you make it easy for them to digest the pertinent information?

  • Use short paragraphs with lots of white space around them

  • Bold anything really important

  • Make friends with the bullet point list

7. Separate pertinent information.

Separating the most vital information on a page into boxes and headers showcases the content that is most likely to sell them on your products and services.

8. Use images.

Relevant images inform readers about a business and place a visual exclamation mark on important information. Images are also great for separating blocks of texts. Bonus: images containing useful or engaging information can prompt your readers to share it with their social circles, thus increasing your site’s exposure. Check out this blog post on using visual content.

9. Cite your sources.

Number one in your field? Really? If so, and you can prove it, then by all means do. The internet is flush with businesses claiming to be the best, fastest, or most reliable around. These overused terms are no longer useful unless they can be backed by credible sources. If your business stands out because it has longevity, has received notable awards, or can lay claim to rave reviews, let your reader know and show them valid sources.

10. Know your SEO, but don’t let it ruin you.

Yes, keywords, meta descriptions and H1 headers are all important. However, as algorithms come and go the only constant is good content. If you sell wedding cakes in Denver, you definitely want to use that key phrase along with variations, but those keywords should be written into your website copy naturally. Unnatural attempts at SEO will not only turn potential customers away, eventually you will be ignored or even penalized by search engines. Relevant and authoritative content floats to the top. Write for longevity.

11. Inform, don’t sell.

This one can be difficult but it’s worth taking the time to master. Although the screaming car salesman would have you believe otherwise, nobody wants the hard sell. Your potential customers can make their own decisions, and if you’ve written informative content and presented it in an appealing way, they will be more likely to choose you.

Effective website copy flows naturally and helps the reader in their decision-making process through a combination of information and emotion. These tips can help you create website copy that is moving and memorable without being lengthy or elaborate.