Big Star Copywriting

Website copywriting guide - Shows an example of a website on a laptop screen

Your website is the shop front of your business. First impressions matter and the words you use hold significant influence – on traffic, search results, conversions, engagement, user journey, newsletter sign-ups and customer retention. In other words, your copy will affect the success of virtually every aspect of your online marketing. 

This website copywriting guide walks you through the A- Z of writing effective copy for your site. Instead of trying to cram a bunch of thoughts into a post or two, we’ve created a comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to understand how using the right words will turn your website into a powerful internet marketing tool. 

Contents:

Why should you write great website copy?

While you can share your brand story, products or services on social media, a website is just as important – if not more. Your website is a permanent presence online, your digital HQ. It gives your business credibility and provides an opportunity to reach new people. 

But a website without words is unusable. Your copy is there to tell customers who you are, what you do and why they should care. It plays an essential role in directing people to the right places, to shape their impression of you and to inspire them to take action. It can even influence the actions people take BEFORE they click on your site.  

The right words make all the difference. 

Your copy needs to be error-free. According to Market Splash, 59% of users are likely to steer clear of businesses with obvious linguistic errors in their website content. But that’s not sufficient on its own to guarantee success. Your website content also needs to be engaging, informative, persuasive and – importantly – optimised, so people can find you via search engines. 

The average time spent on any webpage is roughly 15 seconds, your web copy needs to convince users to stick around. 

The latter is harder to do. Venture Beat found that 70% of B2B marketing produced doesn’t attract any visitors. From copy that isn’t SEO-optimised, to words that lack value, brands can’t expect users to stop and stare if the words they offer aren’t at all enticing. It’s because of that that both B2B and B2C brands need to prioritise well-written content in 2023 and beyond. 

Your website's first impression matters. We can make it count.

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What do you need to do before you create your website? 

You can’t craft enticing website copywriting paragraphs ready to fill the blank pages of your site without a little groundwork. Your brand needs to be defined, and your website’s key functions need to be established. Before you create your website, and the content that goes on it, preparation is key. Here’s what you need to consider roughly in this order:

Your target customer – the first and most important thing: who is your market? 

Your brand – what makes you “you”? Vision, mission, values are all worthwhile to think about but what are the factors that make you different from anyone else? 

Your position – a strong position statement gives customers (with very short attention spans) a reason to choose you over other competitors. Are you the first to market? The cheapest? The best? Do you serve a particular customer, region, sector that others don’t? 

Keywords – what are the keywords that are going to drive the most relevant traffic to your site (your target customers) within the budget you have? 

These are the fundamentals you need to get started with. Let’s look at preparation in more detail: 

Pinpointing your brand

Authenticity is important. 88% of consumers say that it is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support. And authenticity comes when you know your brand, and what you stand for, inside out. Before you launch your first product or service, you need to pinpoint the ‘why’ behind your business strategy. Ask yourself: why are we creating this offer? What problem does it solve? And why will people trust you enough to hand over their cash?

Nailing your messaging 

Once you’ve got a good grip on the details that make your brand stand out from the crowd, the next thing you need to do is nail your messaging. Your brand’s messaging will determine how you position your brand in front of your target audience as well as decide how to communicate internally and externally about your business. 

Asana notes that brand messaging “is how your brand speaks. It’s streamlined communication about your business, informed by a strategy to convey your unique value proposition (your brand promise) to your target audience”.

To nail your brand messaging, you need to: 

  • Create a strong position statement that explains your purpose, where you are going and how your products or services solve your customer’s problems.
  • Write your brand story. From how your brand started to the moments where your business found its feet, your brand story is one you want to write – and write well. 
  • Develop a unique brand voice that stands out in a crowded marketplace. 
  • Create a style guide that details everything from tone to grammar. By establishing benchmarks and rules, you’ll drive consistency. 
  • Be prepared to evaluate and make changes. Speak to your customers, act on feedback and be open to change in line with social, environmental and economic conversations. 

How does your brand speak? It should be a streamlined communication, informed by a strategy to convey your unique value proposition (your brand promise) to your target audience.

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Nailing your brand messaging paves the way for effective marketing. But it doesn’t work alone. In order to effectively communicate your brand, its USP and values, you need to ace your brand story, deliver a consistent tone of voice and write an effective positioning statement.

Your brand’s position statement

Your brand’s position statement is a clear and concise declaration that communicates the unique attributes and benefits of your product, service, or brand. It outlines your business’s stance in the market and sets the stage for all your marketing communications. A clear position statement is essential for all businesses, helping you differentiate your brand from the competition and guiding your entire marketing strategy. 

Finding your brand’s voice

Your brand’s tone of voice is the personality and style conveyed through your written and spoken communication. It plays a pivotal role in shaping the perception of your brand, influencing how your audience connects emotionally with your message. To find your brand’s voice you need to understand your audience; from their preferences to their communication style, knowing who you are talking to is the first step to tailoring your tone to one that resonates. It’s an essential thought in all of your website copywriting.

Writing your brand story

Your brand story should be found on your ‘about us’ page; it reveals the ‘who’ and ‘why’ behind your brand, humanising your actions and making what you do a lot more appealing to potential customers. Your brand story should, in detail, tell potential customers what the core purpose is behind your brand, how and why it started, your brand values, goals and the unique offer it. 

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Creating a website plan and site map

Branding is an important piece of the website content creation puzzle. And when it takes approximately 0.05 seconds for a person to form an opinion about your website, looks are important. Reboot note that colours matter in marketing and choosing the right ones can impact how people perceive your brand. But colours, typography and logos are just one slice of the pie. While user experience and eye-catching designs are things you need to consider, your website content and website copywriting cannot be neglected. 

Have you ever been blown away by a striking website design to be let down minutes later because the website offers no information beyond a catchy headline and vague body of text? We see it a lot. First impressions are important but consistency rules. Your website’s content is what seals the deal for users. 

Planning for effective content helps set the foundations for a thorough, informative and useful website. Before you unleash your creativity on your website content creation, you need to create a plan and site map. Both will ensure important information isn’t forgotten, they will allow you to build pages around important SEO considerations and by planning in detail, design and web copywriting decisions can be made with intent. 

First impressions are important but consistency rules. Your website’s content seals the deal.

To draft a site map, you should: 

  • Brainstorm website content categories
  • Organise these categories into groups that correlate 
  • Structure your website content into pages and sub-pages
  • Start thinking about the content that will appear on each page
  • Sketch layouts to get a feel for the number of words you need on each page
  • Do your SEO keyword research
  • Draft website copy and find sample images
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Once your site map is drafted and your website content creation plan is clear, only then should you move on to your website copywriting. Fail to put in the groundwork before you or your team start writing and your words will fail to pack a punch. 

Tools to help you plan and organise website content

Planning and organising content for your website can be a complex task. However, there are various tools out there that can help you streamline the process, keep content consistent and make sure nothing is missed or forgotten. 

Trello: 

Trello is a visual project management tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to organise tasks. Create boards for different aspects of your website copywriting, such as blog posts, landing pages, and product descriptions. Collaborate with your team, set deadlines, and track progress in a visually intuitive interface.

shows a screen shot from Trello

Asana:

Asana is a versatile project management tool that facilitates content planning and collaboration. Create projects for different sections of your website, assign tasks to team members, and set due dates. Asana’s flexibility allows you to customise workflows to suit your content planning needs.

shows a screen shot from Asana - website copywriting in 2023

Page looking a little empty? We can fill it with words that earn their keep.

Airtable:

Airtable combines the simplicity of a spreadsheet with the complexity of a database. Use it to create content calendars, track progress, and manage content-related data. Its easy-to-navigate UI and customisable views make it easy to adapt to your specific content planning requirements.

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MindMeister:

MindMeister is a mind-mapping tool that can help you brainstorm and organize ideas for your website content. Use it to create visual maps outlining the structure of your website, content themes, and interconnections between different pages.

shows a mind map from MindMeister

Grammarly:

Grammarly is a writing assistant tool that helps ensure your website content is error-free and well-polished. Integrate Grammarly into your writing process to catch grammar, spelling, and style issues, enhancing the overall quality of your content.

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CoSchedule Headline Analyser:

Crafting compelling headlines is crucial for attracting visitors. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer helps you optimize your headlines for search engines and social media. It provides insights into the quality of your headlines and suggests improvements to increase engagement.

shows a screen shot from CoSchedule

Yoast SEO:

For websites built on WordPress, Yoast SEO is a valuable plugin for optimizing your content for search engines. It offers real-time feedback on your content’s SEO performance, helping you improve readability and increase the chances of ranking higher in search results.

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Google Analytics:

Google Analytics provides essential insights into the performance of your website content. Analyse user behaviour, track page views, and identify popular content. Use this data to refine your content strategy and focus on what resonates with your audience.

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“Planning for site optimisation sets a strong foundation for content creation, enhancing visibility, and ensuring your material aligns seamlessly with both user needs and search engine algorithms.”

Think about the technical stuff

We cover SEO in a little more depth at the end of this guide. However, the technicalities on your site are things you need to think of before you start writing. Take note of the following: 

How are you going to optimise your site? 

Before diving into web content creation, it’s essential to strategically plan for optimising your website. Do this by: 

  • Conducting thorough keyword research to identify relevant and high-performing terms in your industry.
  • Understanding your target audience and their search behaviour. 
  • Structuring your site architecture logically, organising content in a user-friendly manner, and ensuring easy navigation. 
  • Implementing on-page SEO elements, such as optimising meta titles, descriptions, and header tags. 
  • Leveraging tools like Google Analytics to gain insights into user behaviour and tailor your content strategy accordingly. 

Planning for site optimisation sets a strong foundation for content creation, enhancing visibility, and ensuring your material aligns seamlessly with both user needs and search engine algorithms.

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How are you going to track the success of your site? 

You need to track the effectiveness of your copy. Doing so will allow you to identify opportunities for improvements or changes further down the line. Setting up your site for tracking analytics involves a series of strategic steps to gain valuable insights into user behaviour. 

Begin by integrating a robust analytics tool like Google Analytics, placing the tracking code in the header or footer of your website. Configure essential settings within the analytics platform, including goals, conversion tracking, and e-commerce tracking if applicable. 

Next, implement event tracking to monitor specific user interactions, such as clicks on buttons or downloads. You can use UTM parameters in your URLs for detailed campaign tracking. Make sure you regularly audit and refine your analytics setup to ensure accurate data collection. 

Once set up, regularly analyse the gathered data to understand user engagement, popular content, and conversion paths. This insightful data will help you inform decision-making and allow you to continually optimise your website for enhanced performance and user experience.

Does your website deserve better? Let us help.

How are you going to plan for user experience?  

In the initial stages of planning website copywriting, prioritising user experience is paramount. Here are our top tips to consider before diving into your website content creation: 

  • Begin by understanding your target audience—conduct user research to grasp their preferences, behaviours, and pain points. 
  • Develop user personas to guide content creation with your audience’s needs in mind.
  • Structure your website in a logical and intuitive manner, ensuring easy navigation. 
  • Craft clear and concise content with a focus on readability, using headings, bullet points, and visuals to enhance comprehension. 
  • Implement responsive design to guarantee a seamless experience across various devices.
  • Conduct usability testing to identify any potential issues and gather user feedback for continuous improvement.
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How to manage the website creation process internally 

While many hands make light work, if your whole team is not on the same page, your website creation process can quickly become a little messy. Here are our top tips for managing the content development process internally: 

Establish clear objectives: Clearly define the goals and objectives of your website. Understand the purpose it serves in supporting your business objectives, whether it’s to showcase products, generate leads, or enhance brand visibility. Aligning the website with overarching goals ensures a focused and effective strategy.

Form a cross-functional team: If possible, assemble a cross-functional team with members from various departments, including marketing, IT, design, content creation, and user experience. A diverse team brings different perspectives and expertise, fostering a comprehensive approach to website development.

Conduct thorough research: Before diving into design and development, conduct thorough research on industry trends, competitor websites, and your target audience. Understand user behaviours, preferences, and pain points to inform the design and content strategy.

“While many hands make light work, if your whole team is not on the same page, your website creation process can quickly become a little messy.”

Develop a detailed project plan: Create a comprehensive project plan that outlines key milestones, tasks, and deadlines. Clearly communicate roles and responsibilities and ensure that everyone is aware of the project’s timeline and objectives. Use project management tools to track progress.

Maintain brand consistency: Develop and adhere to brand guidelines throughout the website creation process. Ensure consistency in messaging, visuals, and tone of voice. A cohesive brand image builds trust and strengthens recognition among your audience.

Collaborate on content creation: Encourage collaboration between content creators, designers, and developers. Content should be created with the user journey in mind, complementing the design and functionality of the website. Utilise tools for collaborative content creation and review.

Perform rigorous testing: Before launch, conduct thorough testing of the website’s functionality, performance, and security. Identify and address any issues to ensure a smooth and error-free user experience.

Establish post-launch monitoring: Implement post-launch monitoring to track website performance, user behaviour, and any technical issues. Regularly analyse analytics data and gather user feedback to make informed decisions for continuous improvement.

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Writing copy for your website is not a quick task. Don’t leave it to the last minute and definitely don’t hastily find words that ‘will do’. The basics won’t ‘do’ and you shouldn’t settle for less-than-great website copywriting. At a glance, here is everything you need to include in your website. 

The basic ingredients for a great website

In its simplest form, your brand’s website needs to include: 

  • A Home Page
  • An About Us page
  • A Contact Us page

But as we said, simple isn’t good enough, and both B2B and B2C websites need to contain a lot more information to be effective. 

Essentials for B2C websites

B2C websites, or eCommerce websites targeted towards the everyday consumer, will also need to write effective copy for: 

  • Category pages
  • Product pages
  • eCommerce pages such as the cart and checkout page
  • Important information pages like the Returns policy

Essentials for B2B websites

And B2B websites, while they may also include some of the above, should also have credible: 

  • Service and category pages 
  • Case studies 
  • Blog posts 

These next few sections will go into detail on how to craft copy for each of these pages. For great tips and our best advice, keep reading. 

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If your website is the shop front your website, the homepage is your perfectly curated shop window – welcoming, enticing and absolutely persuasive. Users spend an average of 5.94 seconds looking at a website’s homepage, according to CXL, and every one of those seconds counts. Here’s how to nail your home page web copywriting. 

Crafting captivating headlines and subheadings

Your headline is the key to your page – well, any page for that matter. They attract attention and entice the reader to keep reading, and in today’s social media-obsessed world, they provide ‘shareability’ too. Headlines are all-important when it comes to being a successful marketing copywriter.

Users spend an average of 5.94 seconds looking at your homepage – every one of those seconds counts.

Where does the website copywriting come in?

Having something to say or sell is not enough. You need to stop your audience in their tracks and get them to say, ‘This is for me, I’m going to keep reading.’ You can do this by addressing a fundamental problem, or pain point, for your target audience. Their goal is probably the desire to reduce the pain or problem, and to do so easily.

How to write headlines

Let’s say your target audience is faced with time-management issues (the pain). They never have enough time (the problem), and they want more of it to do things that are important to them (the desire).

There are many headline formulas that can help you write a great headline, but the essential techniques are:

  • State the outcome of achieving their desire: by stating the outcome, you are focusing away from the problem and thus relieving the audience’s anxiety. Reducing anxiety is a key motivator to keep reading e.g., Free up your time today, and focus on what’s most important.
  • Appeal to their need to improve: everyone feels like there’s room to improve. We all want to be better than we are today. ‘How-to’ style headlines work really well here. e.g. How to manage your time like a pro.
  • Pose a question that touches on the problem: Asking a question that is burning in the mind of your audience shows that you understand them. The fact that you might have the answer to the question persuades them to pay attention and keep reading. e.g. Feel like you’re always running out of time?
  • Add a ‘reward’ or benefit that relieves the pain: This website copywriting technique can be combined with any of the above, or stand on its own. The reward or benefit needs to solve the problem for the reader. This one is a classic direct mail technique. e.g. Get 5 free time-management e-books just for signing up to ABC.

Whatever you choose, your page needs to support the headline. This is why so many copywriters choose to write the headline first, giving them a direction for the rest of the content.

You’ve probably heard about how, when we’re online, we don’t read, we scan. You may have noticed this when suddenly finding yourself confronted with a long page of copy and no breaks – just endless paragraphs of undifferentiated text. It’s hard to read, and if you’re like me, you just hit the ‘back’ button.

Your page needs to support the headline. Many copywriters write the headline first, as a direction for the rest of the content.

Break it up with subheadings

We use sub-headings to create much-needed visual breaks in the copy and give cues to the scanning reader so he or she can quickly get a sense of the structure of our page, and to get a sense of what we’re going to talk about. I call this visually ‘thumbing through’ the web copy, as you might do with a magazine.

Feel like you’re settling for average content? We can change that.

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Create a reader’s outline

Remember back to your schooling? Someone, somewhere told you to always outline your writing before beginning. Well, I’m here to remind you to do that. The reasons are simple:

  • An outline naturally structures your ideas before you begin writing (that’s how I put together this post).
  • Each point of your outline is a potential sub-heading; the more separate topics you have, the more sub-headings.
  • Creating a structure first keeps you on-topic.

By using the points of your outline as your sub-headings, you speed up your copywriting. You are also doing the reader a tremendous favour. You are showing him or her the main points of your page.

How to write sub-headings

Here’s how we put together this post:

  • Wrote the headline – this gave us focus on the topic
  • Outline sections and main points
  • Filled in points to make in each section
  • Re-wrote the sub-headings to be more interesting, and relate better to the copy

How to write powerful calls-to-action

Website copywriters begin with a goal in mind (what do I want the reader to do?) and point everything toward that goal. We always begin each page by writing down three goals: 

1. Our goal (the action we want the reader to take)

2. Our reader’s goal

3. Some other desirable action for them to take.

The sweet spot of a call-to-action is when your goal and the audience’s goal are the same (which, they should be, by the way).

So, how do I write a call to action? We make sure to:

  • Be specific
  • Use action
  • Make it hard to say ‘No’

Let’s look at each one in-depth:

Be specific

SEO copywriting focuses on keywords. Here, you want to focus on your ‘sell.’ Being specific means that your call-to-action should tell the reader exactly what the offer is, and what action they need to take, and create some urgency. 

Action words

Action words (aka verbs) tell your reader what they are going to do (or should do) to solve their problem. Or, to put it another way, the action word states what action they need to take next. Copywriting shouldn’t ignore design, however. I find these things work even harder for you if you put them on something that looks like action will happen when they click it – like a big button.

Make it hard to say ‘No’

This one’s a bit trickier than the other two, but no less important to get right. You need to make your offer hard to resist. Like taking the action is going to be so ridiculously easy, they’d be crazy not to take the action. Your set-up in the page copy is going to go a long way to convincing the reader that you have what they want. But it’s the call to action that gets them doing something.

How to nail your home-page copywriting

The first question we get asked in almost every conversation about web copywriting we have is ‘How long should a page be?’ We usually answer it this way: ‘As long as it needs to be and no more.’ We’re not doing this to be flippant – it’s simply true. If you’ve followed this web copywriting guide this far, you’ve probably noticed that we continually refer to the user’s needs. We do this because what they need dictates your content; how you write it, and yes, how long it is. If they need less, write less. If they need more, write more.

Copywriting as service

This is your home page, so you’re going to want to serve up the website content that is of interest to your readers. Just as you’d never ask your house guests to choose from 100 different drinks the moment they walk in the door, nor should you put all the sections and areas of your site on your home page. 

Be polite and keep your website copywriting to the 3 or 4 areas that your customers/readers desire or need. As with all good customer service, less choice is actually more. Your visitors can get access to everything via the navigation (hopefully), so your real job is being a copywriter tour guide, directing your visitors to the most important (to them) information.

If you’ve followed this web copywriting guide this far, you’ve probably noticed that we continually refer to the user’s needs. We do this because what they need dictates your content; how you write it, and yes, how long it is. If they need less, write less. If they need more, write more.

Keywords

SEO copywriters will tell you to focus on your keywords. Which sounds great, except when you’re not sure what your keywords are. So, here’s a better approach. Find out what your target customers need, then interpret the words they are using in search engines to actually look for the solution to their needs (these are keywords). 

Ideally, these keywords are actually what you have on offer. Use those keywords on your home page. Put your main keywords in your heading, and subheadings, in your body copy’s first paragraph, and peppered throughout the page. Not too many though: it should read naturally – we’ve all seen pages that are overstuffed with keywords. It’s not going to work for Google and it’s going to alarm your customers. Use keywords in your links. Name your sections after keywords.

Have a point

The biggest problem with many home pages is that they lack direction. They are an equally weighted collection of similar sizes of information with no preference given to any piece in the hopes of pleasing bits of the audience. This is the wrong way to approach copywriting. And worse, it’s horribly boring. The right way to write a home page is to focus on one target customer and weigh the information towards them – have a point that you are directing them towards. A goal. Now get going and serve your customers’ needs.

Examples of really great homepages

Lacoste heritage

shows a website copywriting of Lacoste brand

Winning Adobe’s Site of the Day in April of 2023, Lacoste Heritage caught the eyes of the judges for its useability and overall design. As you scroll down the page, the website’s imagery is on-brand, there are multiple interactive links to explore, and the concise snippets of text scattered throughout the main page keep users engaged as they are directed through the brand’s story. 

Evernote

shows Evernote website homepage

Evernote stands out as a strong example of a B2B website homepage as it clearly communicates its core strengths, emphasising its proficiency in simplifying work processes and enhancing organisation through note-taking and schedule management. 

This straightforward messaging is crucial for a B2B audience looking for solutions that directly address their professional needs. The overall design of Evernote’s site is effective and its user-friendly layout, intuitive navigation, and visually engaging presentation enhance the user experience, making it easier for B2B clients to understand the value proposition and explore the functionalities offered by the platform.

Hyer

shows a plane on the Hyer homepage

The personalised aviation company, Hyer, was named Website of the Month in May 2023 by CSS Design Awards for its crisp and clean website that appeals to prospective customers at all stages of the purchasing process. The site has a catchy headline and a no-nonsense call to action. It’s simple but it works. It’s a great example of a website homepage. 

Mubasic

shows the homepage for Mubasic website

Mubasic won the website of the day in August last year, crowned by Awwwards. Their authentic tone and clear voice ensure their victory, as they proudly boast a website that clearly showcases their mission and values. It’s easy to navigate, approachable and utilises unique uses of copy to stand out from the crowd. The page ends with a customer form and clear contact information. These gentle CTAs align with the rest of the website’s vibe, making it an easy, hassle-free way to funnel in new users.

Mailchimp 

shows copy and text on the Mailchimp homepage

Email platform Mailchimp is well-known for its email automation software, and its website makes it clear that the goal of the platform is to grow both business audience and revenues with the help of automated tools and expert advice. They know they’re good at what they do, and their confidence is contagious. With the goal of outperforming your last campaign, it’s pretty tempting for users.

Up to now in the website copywriting guide, we have mainly been talking about the anatomy of copywriting home pages. We have talked about satisfying user goals, and if you have done your copywriting homework, you’ll have told your site visitors about your products and services, maybe you even said a bit about your business as an introduction.

But copywriting is normally about ‘them.’ Now you get to talk all about you. This is your story, so make the most of it.

Why About Us works

You still need to consider your users (readers) when copywriting any web page – even an About Us page. After all, they are the people you would like to tell your story to. Even the name ‘About Us’ positions your content for your reader.

The About Us section is a great SEO opportunity. These sections not only contain a lot of good keyword information about your brand, but also your company, recruitment, and history.

Clicks not converting? We’ll give you our expert help.

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Copywriting an About Us page

We begin as we always do by figuring out our page’s goals. Yes, you need them here too. Only, they’re a bit different. Instead of directing users to a goal such as signing up for your product or service (although this is perfectly acceptable too), ask yourself this: what do you want your reader to take away from your story? For example, do want them to feel convinced you’re the right fit for doing business? Do you want them to be satisfied that you have the longevity and experience to do a great job?

Understanding your goals gives your website copywriting direction – much better than a directionless About Us. Next, you follow the construction we have covered for home pages: heading, subheadings, links, body copy – it’s all here again, except this time it’s all about you.

Ask yourself this: what do you want your reader to take away from your story? For example, do want them to feel convinced you’re the right fit for doing business? Do you want them to be satisfied that you have the longevity and experience to do a great job?

One mistake I have seen companies make is to put everything about themselves on one page. This can make your content too long depending on the size, history and complexity of your organisation. Instead, you might consider writing your About Us page as an introduction to further types of information.

Consider these kinds of pages for an About section:

  • Our story
  • History page
  • Team/people pages

Remember who you are copywriting each page for, and what you want them to take away after finishing the page. Follow the pattern we are using for the Home and About Us pages, and you’re on your way to telling your story.

How to tell your brand story

For our whole evolution, we have told each other’s stories; from the fireside to Firefox (couldn’t resist the pun). We believe that stories have always been a great way to sell us something, and we happily convert to eager customers because we relate to the values, characters and messages of the story.

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Your brand as a story

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the website copywriting services we provide is using the art of storytelling to create a compelling page to read and one that also serves as a sales tool for your business.

We want to hear about your difficulties and the lessons you have learned from them. It makes your copywriting and your message so much more compelling.

Merely telling people about your successes makes for boring reading. A great storyteller weaves obstacles, failures, and sometimes outright danger in front of the hero.

We want to hear about your difficulties and the lessons you have learned from them. It makes your copywriting and your message so much more compelling. Think about it: would you rather invest in something that comes from a place of passion, where the business tried, got it wrong, worked tirelessly to fix it and came out with something great? Wouldn’t you rather deal with someone who has gone through the worries you find yourself in; people you can relate to, and learn from?

Web copywriting and the anatomy of a good Our Story page

You already know the basics of storytelling because you do it all the time when you meet someone new and tell them your ‘story.’ When it comes to your copywriting, you may never have thought about a business or sales message in this way.

A great story has a:

  • Protagonist – This is your business. We get to know the protagonist (hero) first before we embark on the journey of the story. Begin by telling us a bit about your business, where it began, when, and why. What it was (is) concerned about.
  • Antagonist – This is the person, or forces that our hero is up against. Often, seeming bigger and more powerful than the hero. The antagonist in your story is the business problem you eventually solved. We probably know this antagonist, because we are facing it ourselves (that’s why we’re reading your website). Tell us why you ended up trying to tackle it.
  • Plot – This is the bulk of the copywriting, encompassing everything you were up against to get where you are. Tell us about how you set about to achieve your goal, how you tried, got it wrong, and tried again. Let us know what you were thinking, and feeling. These are the compelling things we’d like to know. Yes, you had some successes too along the way, and should share those. But…
  • Climax – When everything seemed close to ending in failure for solving the problem you set out to tackle, you succeeded. And the outcome of that success is…
  • Conclusion – Your solution, product, service, or insight that makes your brand what it is today. This is a great place to finish with a strong call-to-action to your solution.

Examples of excellent About Us pages

Moz

shows the moz homepage - website copywriting in 2023

Moz’s story is open and honest. Its tone of voice is human and humble and thus speaks volumes when it comes to the value it can bring to customers. This feeling aside, their ‘about page’ is easy to navigate. It incorporated clear headers, concise sections of text and graphics that make reading the page a lot more interactive. 

Nike

shows website copywriting text on a Nike advert

Nike refers to their heritage in their ‘about page’, using brazen quotes to capture the attention of users. It’s bold and fearless; the website’s tone cuts right to the point and refuses to float around its values. The brand’s story shows it clearly knows its audience and makes its mission to support them obvious as you land on the page.

Xero

shows a graph of cumalative growth on Xero website

Tailored for small businesses, Xero’s ‘About page’ strikes a balance between data-driven insights and a customer-centric approach. The page incorporates hard growth data, social proof, and real customer testimonials to put customers in the hot seat; the inclusion of numbers and awards adds credibility, and reinforces Xero’s industry leadership. 

Crucially, with strategic calls-to-action at the bottom, Xero guides visitors toward primary conversion goals: joining the team or becoming a customer. This intentional design not only provides valuable information but also prompts visitors to take the next steps aligned with Xero’s core business goals. It’s a great example of guiding your customer journey through well-written website copy. 

Airtable

shows members of the team at Airtable

Airtable’s ‘About Us’ page focuses on its people first, and product second. Their ‘meet the team’ segment takes centre stage on their page. They don’t just highlight the big players, they include short introductions from every single employee at the company. It’s a great way of showing potential customers what is important to their brand – their people. 

Tech companies could easily be faceless and clinical, but Airtable goes above and beyond to humanise the brand. And if they take pride in the staff they have on their teams, it says a lot about the effort they put into their products. 

Trello

shows company logos on a blue background

Simple and straightforward was clearly the brief for whoever wrote Trello’s ‘about us’ page. It tells their story in a fluff-free manner, listing the most important moments of Trello’s brand story. Just like their product is easy to use, their About Us page is easy to navigate, serving everything you need to know in an orderly fashion. And for the most part, Trello lets its social proof do the talking. In addition to press and customer logos, which many other companies include, Trello goes further and publishes quotes from press coverage and testimonials that explain the tool and sing its praises. 

Let’s talk about email signups

For the majority of smart marketers, email is still the killer app. Why? Because once you have that email address, you know you have a customer. They may not have bought from you yet, but they are in your funnel. You start marketing to your new customer, providing valuable communication and offers to try to convert that lead into a sale – copywriting becomes a powerful tool.

For the majority of smart marketers, email is still the killer app. Why? Because once you have that email address, you know you have a customer.

And the way you get that almighty email address is by asking for it. Thus, the email sign-up box. We always recommend you have this on your website, and your home page is a great place to start.

Anatomy of a signup box

There are many tried and tested ways of getting more sign-ups to your email marketing list. But the three most important are, in reverse order:

  • A big friendly sign-up button call to action (such as ‘get your white paper now’)
  • An exciting offer – what’s known as a lead magnet
  • A headline

Let’s look at each in more depth:

Buttons

Last week we discussed copywriting calls-to-action, and I briefly mentioned how putting your main call-to-action into a button increases the chances of someone taking action. The reason is simple: a button actually looks like something you can interact with – you want to click it. It’s a big shiny button that practically forces your reader to press it. (Who wouldn’t want to press the big shiny button?)

Offers

Does it need to be exciting? Yes! To your prospects. I used to be sceptical about doing this, but then I read more about the psychology of reciprocity. Reciprocity is the tendency for humans to reciprocate when given something (like a gift). This can be as simple as a smile: you smile and then I smile back, and it extends to gift-giving in all its forms; it’s human nature.

The better the offer in favour of your prospect, the more likely you are to get a sign-up.

shows an Acer laptop on a table

Research backs this up, and it’s why so many marketers give away excellent content for ‘free’ – the reciprocation is the exchange of information for your email address and the tacit agreement to receive future marketing. The better the offer in favour of your prospect, the more likely you are to get a sign-up.

Headlines: 

To get a signup, you need to get their attention first. In a way, the email sign-up box headline is a combination of all the website copywriting techniques and pieces we have discussed so far – your headline here needs to attract attention, be relevant, communicate the offer and act as a call-to-action to ‘look over here.’

Lost in the maze of content creation? We know the way out.

The different types of signup boxes

The traditional – and most used – signup box would pop up on your screen in the first few moments of viewing a website. These are great, and they work, but there are different types of signup boxes that could be more effective, depending on your goals and the type of website content you create. Look at these:

1. Traditional Inline Forms:

The classic inline form is typically embedded within the content, allowing users to subscribe seamlessly without disrupting their browsing experience. It’s a clean and unobtrusive method, often found within blog posts or at the end of articles.

2. Pop-Up Boxes:

a. Pop Overs: These appear prominently on the screen, usually in the centre or at the side. While they can be attention-grabbing, it’s crucial to strike a balance to avoid being intrusive. b. Pop Unders: These emerge beneath the current browser window and are revealed when users close or minimize the active window. Pop unders are less intrusive than pop overs but can still effectively capture attention.

3. Slide-In or Slide-Out Boxes:

These boxes appear from the corner or side of the screen, providing a dynamic and engaging experience without covering the entire page. Slide-in boxes can be timed to appear after a user has spent a certain amount of time on the site.

4. Full-Screen Overlay:

This approach involves a newsletter sign-up form taking over the entire screen temporarily. While attention-grabbing, it’s crucial to use this method judiciously to avoid frustrating users.

5. Exit-Intent Pop-Ups:

Employing tracking technology, exit-intent pop-ups appear when the system detects that a visitor is about to leave the site. This strategy aims to capture the visitor’s attention before they navigate away.

6. Sticky Bars:

These are persistent bars fixed at the top or bottom of the screen as users scroll. They remain visible, offering a subtle but constant reminder to subscribe.

7. Gamified Forms:

Adding an element of gamification to your sign-up process can make it more interactive and enjoyable. This might include quizzes, spin-to-win wheels, or other engaging formats to incentivise newsletter subscriptions.

Choosing the right signup box

The choice of newsletter sign-up box depends on various factors, including the website’s design, user experience goals, and the target audience’s preferences. It’s essential to strike a balance between capturing leads and providing a positive user experience. A/B testing different formats and analysing user engagement metrics can help tailor the approach to best suit your website’s unique needs.

Tools to use to create signup boxes

Creating visually appealing and functional sign-up boxes is made easier with the help of various tools and platforms. These tools offer a range of features to design, customize, and integrate sign-up boxes seamlessly into your website.

Mailchimp:

Mailchimp provides a user-friendly interface for designing and customising sign-up forms. With its drag-and-drop editor, you can easily create visually striking forms that match your brand aesthetics. Integration is seamless, making it a popular choice for email marketing.

OptinMonster:

OptinMonster is a powerful lead-generation tool that enables you to create various types of opt-in forms, including pop-ups, floating bars, and slide-ins. Its user-friendly builder allows for customisation without requiring extensive coding knowledge.

Omnisend: 

Omnisend is an omnichannel marketing automation platform that includes tools for creating engaging sign-up forms. It allows for personalised and targeted communication with your audience, integrating seamlessly with e-commerce platforms.

Great examples of signup boxes

Neil Patel

shows a pop up box - website copywriting in 2023

Neil Patel uses a full-screen overlay signup box to encourage users to sign up for a 7-week action plan to get more traffic on your site. This works well as the majority of site traffic on Neil Patel’s site is likely to be content marketers or business owners looking for tips and tricks to help them improve their website marketing. 

Coconut Lane

shows a popup box from Coocnut Lane

We all love a discount – especially when there are multiple on the cards and definitely when, as the brand admits, everyone wins. Lifestyle brand, Coconut Lane, uses a ‘wheel-of-fortune’ style game to entice users to sign up. You can’t spin the wheel without inputting your email; for those who love to gamble and get excited about winning, it’s a no-brainer! 

Vogue

shows a list of stories from Vogue website

Vogue keeps their signup form centre stage throughout your entire browsing experience on the site. Nestled under their navigation menu, it encourages users to sign up to read more exclusive articles. 

What exactly are FAQs? Why would you list them all together? Why not provide help at the right places? If these questions are so frequently asked, why aren’t they answered on the home page?

Many FAQ pages are a dumping ground for content that no one in the marketing department thinks is exciting. It’s where lazy content managers put content, they can’t find a better place for.

What do most FAQs consist of?

  • What are your hours?
  • What is your returns policy?
  • Where are you located?

These should never have to be questioned.

– Your hours should be on every page. No one should be able to miss them.

– Your returns policy should be prominently linked from ordering pages.

– Your address (postal) location should be on every page and a map with driving directions (if applicable) on your contact page.

My ideal FAQ page

In the copywriting services we provide, I make a distinction between FAQs and Help content. If you think people might ask about your checkout procedures, shipping or returns, put all of those answers in a friendly ‘Help’ section on your checkout area. Even better would be to include contextual help at each point in the purchase cycle.

You’ve probably seen the little question mark (?) next to form fields. That’s contextual help.

I see FAQs as a way of answering the doubts in the mind of your audience; doubts that might cause them NOT to buy.

For example, on a legal website, I read recently, the page content focussed on why you would want to make a legal will. The page had the usual information on it: security for loved ones, your wishes expressed, etc. The Frequently Asked Questions About Wills page did not repeat this copywriting at all.

The FAQ page focussed on answering the lingering questions in the minds of the audience: what if I need to change my will? What if I have another child? What happens if my spouse and I split up?

They reassured the reader that other people have these questions too (they are frequently asked) and they provided a way of counselling the potential client – just like a real solicitor would. That’s great website copywriting.

If you want to have really successful FAQs, what I am talking about is erasing the doubts in the mind of your audience; doubts that might cause them NOT to buy.

Writing great FAQ questions

If you want to have really successful FAQs, what I am talking about is erasing the doubts in the mind of your audience; doubts that might cause them NOT to buy. The best way of finding out what those FAQs are is to listen to your customers – what feedback have they sent you? Or if you’re not at the coalface, what objections are your sales team fielding? And if you still don’t know – ask your customers directly – by calling them up, emailing them – or indirectly through surveys. 

By articulating, and then persuasively answering these questions (doubts) for your audience, you greatly increase the likelihood of a sales conversion.

Great salespeople use great FAQs

Great web copywriters are salespeople. If you know any salespeople, tag along with them when they sell; their ability to use ‘FAQs’ to make the sale is astonishing.

They think of the barriers to purchase that their customers might have. They formulate and then use ‘other people’ as a way of explaining the benefits. They give examples.

To continue with the legal example I mentioned in the last post, great salespeople will answer questions for their clients before the question even comes up:

  • if you need to change your will, that’s not a problem. All you need to do is…
  • if you have another child, all you need to do is…
  • if the worst happened and you split up, all you need to do is…
  • one of my clients set up a trust for their children by doing this…
  • others in your situation often do…

These answer the often unspoken questions for the customer, and they give them reassurance that they are not alone in their feelings or worries. Reassurance, anticipation, reflection, solving problems, helping. These are great ways of closing a sale.

Using text as a dialogue

Crawford Killian, author of the classic “Writing for the Web” said ‘Every web text is really just half a dialogue, with the reader providing the other half.’

By understanding this dynamic, you come to the true power of FAQs. You are providing a copywriting service that fills in both parts of the dialogue. By anticipating and articulating your reader’s questions, (and providing great answers), you gain credibility and authority.

How to do it

Take a look at your sales pages and your product pages. Read them carefully. In the case you make, have you overlooked any lingering questions that might come up? Is there another level of barriers you should overcome?

By anticipating and articulating your reader’s questions, (and providing great answers) you gain credibility and authority.

If you sell software, look for specific examples that you can state in the FAQs, such as ‘Does the software sync with my iPhone,’ or ‘How can I integrate my Outlook with the software?’

If you sell a service, focus on specific situations, such as ‘What if I need to change our arrangements,’ or ‘Will you keep my copywriting project confidential?’

Remember this: FAQs aren’t a shortcut. They are a powerful sales tool when they answer genuine concerns for the reader.

shows the word 'AUDIENCE' on a white board

Writing great FAQ answers 

To me, that last function of great answers – to give the reader the ability to take action – is what takes FAQs from ‘okay’ to great. Here’s why.

Empowering people creates trust

Great website copywriting creates trust because you give power to your reader. It’s one thing to answer a question. It’s another to answer it and provide the ability to resolve the issue right there in the answer.

With a hyperlink in the copy, you can literally empower action through your words and encourage the reader to solve their question with a click.

Anatomy of a powerful FAQ

I’m using this example of a legal website because it’s both a service and a product – wills.

What if I need to change my will?

It’s easy to change your will, and you should change it as events in your life change. If you store your will with us or use our Easy Change Wills, we won’t even charge you for most types of changes. 

Here’s how our Easy Change Wills work: simply contact us by phone on 01234 567 890 and we’ll make the necessary changes in your will. We will send a copy to you by post to initial and sign. Pop it back in the postage-paid return envelope, drop it in the post, and you’re done.

Let’s break it down:

The question is relevant to the customer and addresses a potential barrier to purchase. They want to know it’s going to be easy to change things, and that it won’t cost them a bundle either.

In the answer, we make sure to answer the unspoken question (needs) of the reader: show how easy it is; how much it costs; how it works. This isn’t the place to leave anything to the imagination.

We also provide a link to the product in question, and a link to begin the process by contacting the legal advisor.

The goal is to use the power of the hyperlink to give an actionable outcome for the reader – to empower them to do something about their situation. This creates trust and demonstrates that you have the reader’s needs in mind.

Great FAQs can support your sales pages, and create a powerful bond with your reader.

Examples of FAQ pages to inspire your own

YouTube’s FAQ page is easy to navigate, simple and covers a vast range of questions asked by its users. Their option to describe an issue in the search bar also boosts the usability of the page and helps users find an answer to their question swiftly. 

shows a screen shot on Google - website copywriting in 2023

Dropbox’s FAQ page is fun and appealing. It provides a variety of questions with short answers, links to in-depth tutorials and articles, and resources and support tools to help users quickly find solutions to their queries. Like YouTube, it also has a search bar to cut browsing time. 

shows a search box on DropBox website

One final point, Google now provides its own “FAQs” as part of any organic search. If I type in the phrase “copywriting service” I get a list of “People Often Ask” questions with a drop-down containing the answer. 

shows pop up common questions listed on the google homepage

These are questions that are already being asked by search engine users – and are found by Google on the sites it feels are relevant to this phrase. You can use these as a guide for your SEO – and for inspiration for your blog articles. 

When we were talking about writing a post on website copywriting for Contact Us pages, our CEO something to me that set the proverbial wheels in motion for this topic.

“What the heck* do you do about the form thing?”

(*he didn’t use the word “heck”)

This is a great question because it speaks to two distinct problems with contact pages.

Everyone assumes that if someone is going to the contact page, it’s job done. Which is wrong, and we all know it. But for some reason, contact pages get overlooked anyway. Too bad for the customer.

A form is seen as either a barrier to a sale or a ubiquitous bit of web technology that we’re all used to. We include a form anyway but don’t really want to. Too bad for the customer.

So, rather than debate endlessly the merits of forms and how to make them more user-friendly, I’m going to take a lateral step and hit for the chin. 

Is your organic traffic tanking? We can show customers the way.

For a great example of a well-written contact form, take a look at Moz: 

shows a blue and white contact form on Moz website

Let the customer contact you in the way THEY want

Give them everything you’ve got. Every possible way of connecting with you. Why?

Because that’s good customer service. Web copywriting is all about directing people toward what they want. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve pointed out to a B2B service business that there’s no phone number or email address in their header – why not? You want people to get in touch, and you want to make it easy for them to do so – in whatever way they want to. 

Choice shows confidence and integration.

A lonely form, all by itself with no other way of reaching you says ‘Keep Out – Danger!’ Not the kind of message that makes sales or wins friends.

Putting it all out there for your customers to use as and when they want to says ‘I’m here, and I’m ready to speak to you however you’d like!’ HubSpot do this really well: 

shows a contact page on hub spot

Contact ingredients

Here’s what we think needs to be on a Contact Us page:

  • Introduction that lets the customer know you care, that they can choose how to contact you, and when they can expect that you’ll respond to them
  • Contact form with intuitive fields and buttons that say what to do (rather than ‘submitting’) i.e. Contact Us, Send, Send question, Make contact – If you’re stuck, hire a copywriting service for ideas
  • Full postal address
  • Map showing head office location (or link to one)
  • Phone number (and free phone if available)
  • Mobile number (if available)
  • Email address(es) of relevant contact person/people
  • Skype ID (if you have it and use it)
  • Twitter @ name linked to your page on Twitter
  • LinkedIn link
  • Facebook page link
  • Other social network contact links

Just one more thing.

If you are going to use a form, please please please do something more with the ‘thank you’ message than saying ‘the message was received.’ This is a prime place to do some great website copywriting and keep on engaging your reader, rather than creating a dead-end.

The key to writing successful web copy for B2C websites is to know your audience. Your customer personas are something you should already have in your arsenal, and utilising these will be essential at this stage. While working on your website copywriting, your user’s intentions need to be front of mind. Think about why they are likely to stumble on your site, what they desire, and how you can aid them in the buying process. This section of our website copywriting guide will take a look at the important website content categories you should not miss. 

The key to writing successful web copy for B2C websites is to know your audience.

Category pages

No matter what your business sells, whether it’s a copywriting service or a great shoe polish product, you likely have only a few things that you are known for (or want to be known for). Those few things are the pillars of your business. They hold up your business.

Website copywriting for these pillar (category) pages takes special consideration. These pages function as essential sales tools. They are the primary information structures on which the rest of your content is held.

Pillar content answers questions

We don’t mean FAQ-style question/answer (although FAQs can be good pillar content), what we mean is that your pillar content is your most important customer-centric information that addresses a fundamental customer need or question.

Copywriters always try to answer these needs. But as the name implies, your pillar content is the big, sturdy content that all the rest of your web copywriting will point to. Copyblogger calls this kind of content cornerstone content which is a nice way of thinking of it.

If you make software, a trial version of your software is your pillar to which all other content will point. If you are in legal services, your pillar content could be a guide or other specific page dedicated to the one legal service that is your focus. In a very real sense, your pillar content is focused on your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

SEO and pillars

Throughout this guide, we have emphasised the search implications of all your website copywriting efforts. With pillar content, a focused and polished approach to search engine optimisation is even more important. Your pillar content should have your most important SEO terms, and if Moz is right that social network = rankings, you should be integrating/sharing this content through your social network immediately.

shows a piece of paper with the words MARKETING STRATEGY' in captials

Focus, focus, focus

Pillar content will attract visitors to your site. It represents the best of what you have to offer. It is the main piece of your website copywriting project. It’s Pillar content.

Do yourself the favour and focus on these pages. Write them well. Re-write them. Get them right. Get feedback. Make them the best they can be.

Your pillar content should have your most important SEO terms, and if Moz is right that social network = rankings, you should be integrating/sharing this content through your social network immediately.

Great category page examples

H&M

H&M employs a distinctive “New Arrivals” section on their website, a clever strategy to attract more visitors. This dedicated space keeps interested shoppers informed about the latest additions to the store since their last visit. In addition to this unique feature, H&M follows essential best practices for category pages. This includes the use of high-quality images, the organisation of categories into subcategories, and the incorporation of filters to streamline product searches. The implementation of these filters allows users to shop with minimal clicks, eliminating the need to navigate through multiple pages to discover new items.

shows a shoes and accessories page on H&M website

HP

HP is a renowned player in the information technology sector, offering a range of high-end laptops, desktops, and printers. Mirroring the quality of their gadgets, HP has dedicated considerable thought to the design of their online store. The product category pages on their website boast clear and well-defined entries, enhancing the overall shopping experience for customers. HP prioritises convenience and addressing the specific requirements of potential buyers.

Taking a closer look at HP’s e-Commerce category pages, such as the “Desktop Computer” section, reveals meticulous design considerations. Each page presents a visually appealing collage of desktop computers and accessories, featuring high-quality images accompanied by concise descriptive phrases highlighting unique selling points and use-cases. Also, as you scroll down the page, a top menu bar conveniently displays available subcategories, each represented by a distinct icon. This intuitive design choice makes navigation seamless. Clicking on these categories unveils a variety of options for different desktop computers, providing users with a comprehensive view of the available products.

shows a range of different desktop computers on the HP website

Product descriptions

You have a great product. You have spent ages dreaming about your idea, finding investors, putting it into design, prototyping, and finally getting your first product shipped to you, ready for the ‘real’ world.

Now you need product copywriting for a page on your website that tells people about your product and convinces them to purchase it. But where do you begin?

Let’s go back for a moment and think about that time when you were dreaming.

Begin with a story

In an influential interview with Business Week on his book Elements of Persuasion, Robert Dickman explained why storytelling and selling work together in the business world. In a business context, “a story is a fact wrapped in an emotion that compels an action which transforms our world.”

We like this idea because it succinctly explains the chief elements of persuasive website copywriting, and why telling a story is the greatest way we humans have of getting others to follow along with our vision.

We respond to emotion, and by focusing your story on the problems that your product solves – why you made it in the first place – you will be knocking down doubts, building up reasons to believe and creating an emotional link between your reader’s needs and your solution.

Product copywriting should focus on the pain

Why did you develop your product in the first place? What need does it fulfil? What problem does it solve? This is why you made your product. That is your prospect’s pain point too.

As a product copywriter, you need to focus on that pain, understand it, and then make a promise to your readers that can take their pain away.

Structure of a sales page

The structure of your page will have many similar elements to the pages we have already discussed in the Website Copywriting Dissected series, and they all need to work together on this sales page to get your reader interested in purchasing. Beginning from the top:

shows a range of skincare in black containers - website copywriting in 2023

A headline grabs attention and makes a promise

(Address that pain point and promise to change or remove the pain).

Begin your product copywriting with an opening paragraph that explains the pain, re-states your promise and persuades the reader that you have a genuine solution (and to keep reading).

Give details in your story that build rapport and create credibility (and believability). Be genuine in your sentiments, and expose early trials and how you overcame them. As a species, we love hearing about the adversity others face and how they succeed in the end. This is good storytelling.

Good copywriters give emotion to the facts. We tell a story that reveals the truth behind the product and your offer.

Find emotional reasons for your design choices, explain your ideas, and tell the reader all the difficulties you had in bringing the product to fruition.

Give details in your story that build rapport and create credibility (and believability). Be genuine in your sentiments, and expose early trials and how you overcame them. As a species, we love hearing about the adversity others face and how they succeed in the end. This is good storytelling.

Don’t forget to use subheadings

Subheadings make it easier to read a page online. They also give you a way of outlining your main points and stopping page scrollers in their tracks.

  • Include the features of your product that relate to this story
  • Add benefits too; explain how your product removes the reader’s problem

By this point in your product copywriting, you are building a persuasive case for your product. But there is still anxiety in the mind of your audience, and now is the time to address that.

Testimonials are a great way to help reduce anxiety in the purchaser and build the credibility of your business. 

Add in some additional proof that your product actually works. A case study, white paper, video, demonstration, and others discussing using your product in their testimonials go a long way to providing this proof.

shows a white watch on a white table

Now it’s time to make your offer

Make it your best offer. An offer they can’t refuse.

Provide a way for the prospect to enjoy a risk-free purchase, smashing down that last barrier to going through with the purchase. Maybe it’s a free trial or free credits. Maybe it’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Whatever it is, make sure you give a solid close and a clear button that says what you want them to do: buy, try, sign up, download, or add to the cart. A good call to action.

Product description examples to keep top of mind

Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon explains why the Kindle Paperwhite is the world’s thinnest and lightest e-reader in this product description example. It’s a prime example of, when you know you’re the best at something, it’s crucial that you prove it. 

shows a man in a campervan on his kindle

IKEA

IKEA write simple product descriptions for their products on their website, but they don’t fail to pack a punch. It shares design details, use cases and carefully places keywords to boost SEO efforts. Drop down boxes on the page also reveal more details, customer reviews and measurements. 

shows website copywriting for IKEA

For more product description examples, read this blog.

Where B2C marketing focuses on emotion-driven purchasing decisions, B2B focuses on logical process-driven purchasing decisions. As customers, we shop for ourselves; our needs, wants and desires. But as businesses, we shop with a specific goal that needs scratching, and because of that, we tend to be a lot pickier.  

Writing great service pages

Copywriting a service sales page is a lot like website copywriting a product sales page. You need to focus on your target audience and what it is they need; what their pain is. That’s why you offer a service in the first place. you solve the problems and pains of your clients and do something for them that they cannot do or do not want to do themselves.

Just like a product sales page, you need to tell your story, relate to the audience, outline the benefits, and give testimonials and proof that your service is worth it. Only more.

That’s why you offer a service in the first place. you solve the problems and pains of your clients and do something for them that they cannot do or do not want to do themselves.

Nettly’s service page breaks down their service offerings on their service page. It shows you what to expect, what their services include and what they intend to do: 

shows a contact page onthe Nettly's website

Selling a service isn’t easy

Often, as a copywriter, you can’t rely on snappy pictures of a service to support your writing. There are likely no ‘demos’ of a service and almost every job will be different, so there’s no way to really summaries all that your service offers.

Instead, your web copywriting should focus on telling even MORE stories to engage the reader and connect them emotionally to the solutions you’re highlighting and offering.

Struggling to keep up with the demand? We can write content blazingly fast.

You really need to give your audience a lot more in every aspect of your writing, answering all the usual 5 Ws of good copywriting (Who, What, Where, When, and most importantly Why).

Why is this? Why do we need to put so much more effort when selling a service?

Sendible do this well: 

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Your customer will have to have a relationship with you

In most respects, offering a service to a customer involves forming a relationship. And all relationships are built on trust.

This is why copywriting services pages must engage the emotions of your target audience and begin the process of building trust – and building your relationship – even before the actual sale occurs.

And just like in teenage dating, the opinions of other people matter. A lot.

This is where the testimonial comes into its own as a copywriting device on your service sales page.

This is why copywriting services pages must engage the emotions of your target audience and begin the process of building trust – and building your relationship – even before the actual sale occurs.

What kinds of stories work well?

Find ways to tell the stories of your customers; of how you helped them overcome the kinds of issues you know your target audience can relate to. Tell stories of how you work with your customers, how it benefits them, and how it benefits the work you do together.

Use website copywriting to tell stories about your history and how you came to offer the service.

Remember, we like our stories to include tales of triumph over adversity. We enjoy relating in ways that make our own issues seem less complicated.

Above all, we like stories that give us hope.

Give your readers hope that you can help them, and you will have a customer.

Remember, we like our stories to include tales of triumph over adversity. We enjoy relating in ways that make our own issues seem less complicated.

Testimonials and case studies 

When it comes to web copywriting, there’s almost nothing better than someone else singing your praises.

When they’re presented in the right way, testimonials allow you to say what you want to say about your business or product, but through the much more believable words of someone else – one of your customers.

How to get good testimonials

Asking your clients and customers for a testimonial is often quite easy. A quick email asking them for a testimonial is flattering to most people, and they’ll be happy to oblige. The difficult part is getting them to write or say the ‘right’ things. Instead of just asking for a testimonial generically, I suggest you try this old copywriter trick: ask the right question, and get the answer you want.

Ask for exactly what you want.

If you want your customer to say how much your product made their life easier, then ask them this question: how did MySuperProduct make your life easier?

If you’d like them to say how easy it is to use, ask them a question that leads to the right answer: I’d love to hear from you about how easy you find using MySuperProduct.

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Try a review instead

I’ve heard many people say they don’t ‘read’ testimonials or that they believe their customers don’t read testimonials. But then, I ask them if they’ve recently read a review, and nearly everyone says ‘yes!’

A great review is practically the same as a testimonial – it’s a customer’s or client’s honest endorsement of your product or service.

If the idea of soliciting a testimonial makes your blood run cold, try asking your customer or client to review your product or service. Even better, get them to do so publicly on your Facebook page, LinkedIn page, blog, or through your on-site rating or review system like TrustPilot or Google Reviews.

Formats and social

There are numerous opportunities beyond the classic written testimonial that are incredibly engaging for today’s savvy customers. Video testimonials many of the available social tools act as testimonials. Finding ways to add them or curate them onto your website will help give credibility and act as testimony to the value of your product or service.

If the idea of soliciting a testimonial makes your blood run cold, try asking your customer or client to review your product or service.

Things like adding a ‘Like’ button to your site or product page make it really easy for your customers to both endorse your product and ‘testify’ to its value.

Case studies – do people actually read them? 

Website copywriting isn’t always about the direct sell. In fact, when it comes to case study copywriting, you need to be more subtle.

Copywriters use tactics and strategy to persuade and inform readers, sometimes leading straight to the solution, and sometimes providing more indirect routes to the ultimate goal – a sale. Case studies fall into the latter type of website content. 

The case for indirect selling

In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory. ~ Sun Tzu, from ‘The Art of War’

We’re not saying that selling is war, but Sun Tzu’s point about strategy is important. For some prospects, the direct approach fails to convince because of their scepticism, lack of familiarity with your business, and good old distrust. In these cases, we must win over the minds of our prospects with indirect web copywriting techniques. We must provide content which shows a solution to a known problem. 

“But I don’t want your solution for someone else’s problems.” 

I’ve heard many salespeople throw that one out when I am talking to them about case study copywriting services. That stance is approaching the solution directly. No. You don’t want someone else’s solution. What the case study is there to do is to convince the prospect that your company has solved a similar problem for someone else. 

Indirectly, this means you can also solve their problem. Their mind is won over by the indirect method of showing what you can do so that they believe you can also do the same for them. What we’re aiming to get prospects to think, is not that you already have the solution at hand. We want them to think: “Someone else hired them and were successful as a result. I want to be successful too and solve my problem. I’m going to hire them too.” Never underestimate ‘me too’ in your copywriting.

Writing your case study title

Case studies are no exception to the value-led content marketing cycle. What case studies need to address is not just who you worked for, but what challenge you needed to solve, and that’s where a great title can make or break your case study.

Constructing a convincing case study title

The point of a case study isn’t to say how great your customer list is. The point is to provide an indirect method of showing your chops – how good you are to work with to solve problems.

Don’t simply write out your customer’s name and project. To find a great title that’s going to attract attention and get read, you need to choose a topic that is based on a specific problem. Your website copywriting needs to shed light on that problem.

Here are a few examples to start you off:

  • The online database helps ABC Co streamline scheduling
  • How we solved the procurement bottleneck for ABC Co
  • Guidelines save time in the ABC Co communications lifecycle

When approaching your case study copywriting this way, you make your point from the title onwards. It will be easier for you to write when starting from a solid place like this, and it will be more interesting for your reader too. Provide the ‘conclusion’ or the hint at the conclusion in the title, back it up with a good lead and follow on with providing more detail in the piece.

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In fact, if you’re doing it right, the target may not even need to read the whole case study to be convinced that you are the right business to work with. They will be able to see from your case study titles that you have solved issues for others.

One further title technique to consider is that when you are sharing this case study through social channels, you might want to add ‘Case Study’ to the beginning of the title (Case Study: Online database helps ABC Co streamline scheduling) to further differentiate the kind of content you’re providing.

Your content shouldn’t just talk. We can make it sing.

Writing the body of your case study

The basic outline for copywriting a case study should hang around the problem (not you). You can be more clever with the naming of the sections (like ‘insight’ and ‘innovation’), but essentially, the pattern for a solid case study is:

  • background to the problem
  • solution to the problem
  • results of the solution

However you word it, just stay focussed on the problem you identified and solved for your client. In the background, explain the problem’s symptoms and pain points. If you can, also reveal here some numbers around how the problem was affecting the client.

In the solution, outline how you went about solving the problem. Include false starts and failures – this all adds up, showing how you care about resolving issues and working hard to get the right answer.

In the results, try to follow up on the numbers to show an improvement. But it’s not just hard numbers lovers that copywriting services. Also reveal how your client feels now, how the change is affecting the business, and how it is improving intangible things like customer sentiment.

Stick to the facts

Keep your case study copywriting factual. The more objective you are and the more you can show real information, the more convincing your case study will be. It’s not always possible to include statistics or figures that give away too much proprietary information. However, you can still approach the results in an objective way.

  • Per cent improvement
  • Actual increases
  • Testimonials
  • Before/after comparisons
  • Screenshots

The more objective you are and the more you can show real information, the more convincing your case study will be.

Putting our advice into action

Take a look at this case study we wrote after working with onefinestay to create consistent website copy. As you scroll down the page, we share details of the entire process, from introductions with the brand, the pain points they experienced prior to working with us, and the positive results the brand saw after our collaboration. 

The case study includes quotes from both sides as we describe the timeline of work and ends with a testimonial from onefinestay’s content manager. Case studies need to be descriptive; they need to tell the whole story. But most importantly, they need to show that your services actually work and are worth investing in. It’s a prime example of practicing what you preach.

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We’ll dive into blog content in more detail later on, but the top-of-the-funnel content has to be mentioned when talking about B2B website content creation. Top-of-the-funnel content targets topics that your ideal customers are interested in. This includes content that may not directly relate to your specific tool or product. The goal of this type of content is to educate or inform – not sell. 

Whether contained in a blog, or in some sort of lead magnet that requires an email to download (take a look at ours for some inspiration), giving out free content which is helpful to your target market helps to build trust, but most importantly, drive them into the funnel. More on lead magnets in the next section of this guide. 

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People will give you their information in exchange for yours.

Let’s get this straight about the kind of email copywriting service I’m talking about. This isn’t the annoying, waste-of-time, spammy stuff that we’re all familiar with (and which I think is where the anxiety comes from – no one wants to be ‘that guy’).

What I’m talking about is a value exchange. Your great content for their email address (and attention). Here’s an example:

Let’s say you are a food producer making a local niche product that sells well on your website and in the shops. Your position as the producer makes you an expert in your field. You know how to make something very specialised, desirable and, in this case, tasty. Your customers like your product. They recommend it to friends and family. You get business.

Get over your anxiety – you are an expert.

Now let’s say those same customers see on your pack that you have a recipe for using your product in a new way, and they can get it on your website. Excited, they go online and find your website and they see the recipe. They read it and think it looks great, and then they notice something else.

It’s not the only recipe.

You have a recipe e-book with 100s of recipes in it. And better still, it’s free when they sign up to your email list.

Desirable information sells

Your information is a conversion tool: your customer, or potential customer, who likes your brand/product/service and sees you as an expert, will give you their email address (sign up for your list) to get expert information from you. It’s an exchange.

I like how Copyblogger explains why people will go through with exchanging their email addresses for your content in their email marketing 101 series:

“Your subscribers need to know they can trust you … that you’re not a soulless self-promoting spam-bot.”

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“Your information is a conversion tool: your customer, or potential customer, who likes your brand/product/service and sees you as an expert, will give you their email address (sign up for your list) to get expert information from you. It’s an exchange.”

That is, you need to provide something of value and you could offer any sort of valuable content:

  • e-book
  • white paper
  • case study
  • checklist

So long as your audience finds it valuable, then your web copywriting can highlight all kinds of incentives to get you an email address. They get something of value, you get a captive audience. This brings us to our next point…

Do you need a blog? Short answer: yes. Out of 1.9 billion websites in the world, there are more than 600 million blogs. They’re undefeated as the best content marketing tool you can hold in your arsenal. And there’s a lot to be said on blog copywriting – too much, in fact, for this website copywriting guide. But we will look at it briefly because when you make your site, you’ll need to make sure you factor in space for a blog in your site’s navigation. 

Why you need a blog

We could talk about this all day. Blogging can be incredibly important for your brand’s marketing and your site’s SEO.

According to the CMI, 90% of businesses used blogs to help market their products last year. But why? If you are unsure that blogging is going to be worth your time, here are five stats that are likely to change your mind:

  • Looking to boost your domain authority? Websites with a blog are shown to have 434% more indexed pages.
  • Businesses that blog experience twice as much traffic as businesses that don’t.
  • Almost half of all internet users take the opinions of bloggers and vloggers into account.
  • 70% of consumers prefer blog posts to ads.
  • Blogging can help your website get up to 55% more

How frequently should you blog?

Building an in-depth website content development strategy includes finding great topics to write about in your blog. But when it comes to how often you should blog, well, how long is a piece of string? Quality over quantity wins the race always. Google rewards content that answers search intent, as they note in their latest Helpful Content System update, where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience. Therefore, blogs with little value, unhelpful information, or vague descriptions don’t tick this box. Longer, SEO-optimised blogs, that are insightful, unique and thorough, are what you need to prioritise. If you can write one a month, then great, but if you can publish these more frequently – and with the help of a copywriting agency this can be done – then even better. 

How often you should blog, well, how long is a piece of string? Quality over quantity wins the race always.

We’re in the process of writing a more comprehensive guide on SEO copywriting, but as this guide is on web copywriting, it still needs a mention. Yoast notes that as ‘search engines crawl web pages, the content of your website should be fine-tuned to the — ever-changing — algorithms of search engines’. But the reality is that there’s a lot to learn when it comes to SEO. We can share the basics, but it takes a well-versed individual to help rank your content in search. 

How does Google rank website pages? 

According to Ahrefs, these ten things should be at the top of your list: 

  1. Backlinks from high-authority sites
  2. Content freshness 
  3. Authority on the topic 
  4. How well your content answers search intent
  5. Content depth and length
  6. Page speed 
  7. Page security
  8. Mobile-friendliness
  9. User experience
  10. Content accuracy 

Making the above a content priority when writing is essential in keeping your audience happy and your readers engaged. Before you start writing, you need to decide who you are writing for, and what you are going to write about and start building your SEO-optimised content around these answers. 

Optimising your site for SEO

Search engines award website copywriting that provides its users with value. And great content is at the heart of SEO. But well-written copy aside, there are things you can do to give your content a better chance at survival on the web. Here goes.

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Keyword research

You need to conduct thorough keyword research to find the keywords that fit specific user search intents. You can do this by using tools such as Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush. 

Create high-quality, relevant content

Your content should provide value and relevance to your audience. High-quality, informative, and engaging content is more likely to rank well. Address your target user’s search intent and ensure your content answers their questions or solves their problems.

Tired of guessing when it comes to SEO? Our experts can take the reins.

Get your on-page SEO right

  • Title tags: Optimise your page title with the primary keyword, ideally towards the beginning. Keep it under 60 characters and make it enticing for users.
  • Meta descriptions: Craft compelling meta descriptions that summarise the content while encouraging users to click. Include relevant keywords.
  • Header tags: Use header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to structure your content logically. Incorporate keywords naturally in headings where appropriate.
  • Keyword placement: Incorporate your primary and secondary keywords naturally throughout the content but avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Internal and external links: Include relevant internal links to other pages on your website, as well as external links to authoritative sources.
  • Image Optimisation: Use descriptive file names and alt text for images to help search engines understand their content.

Optimising your site for mobile users

Ensure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. Search engines prioritise mobile-first indexing, so a mobile-optimised site is crucial for SEO. And the proof is in the pudding. While over 55% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, 92.3% of internet users access the web using their phones. We are glued to our devices, and having a mobile-friendly site is a must. 

Site speed and user experience

According to Portent, the first five seconds of page-load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. The same study revealed that website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time. If users are more likely to leave a website quickly, due to slow site speed, your website’s bounce rate will increase. A higher bounce rate will impact your site negatively, and search engines will punish your site’s rankings because of it. To optimise your site speed, and ensure a positive user experience, you can reduce image sizes, leverage browser caching and work with a website provider that creates responsive, user-friendly website designs. 

While over 55% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, 92.3% of internet users access the web using their phones. We are glued to our devices, and having a mobile-friendly site is a must.

Off-page SEO and backlinks

Lastly, off-page SEO factors like backlinks from reputable websites and social signals can significantly impact your search engine rankings. Engage in ethical link-building practices and promote your content on social media platforms.

Commissioning great copy for your website

Great website copy is the backbone of an effective online presence. It communicates your brand’s message, engages your audience, and drives conversions. To ensure your website copy stands out, consider commissioning a copywriter to give your site that helping hand. 

Finding a great copywriter

The quality of your website copy largely depends on the skills, specialisms and expertise of your copywriter. Here’s how to find a great copywriter:

  • Referrals: Ask for recommendations from colleagues, industry peers, or your professional network. Personal referrals can lead you to talented copywriters.
  • Freelance platforms: Explore freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr. These platforms allow you to review profiles, portfolios, and client reviews to find a suitable copywriter.
  • Content agencies: Many content agencies have experienced copywriters on their teams. Research and choose an agency that specialises in your industry or niche.
  • Online communities: Join online writing and marketing communities or forums where you can connect with writers and get recommendations.
  • Portfolio review: Always ask to see a copywriter’s portfolio. This will give you insight into their writing style and past projects. Look for versatility and a good match with your brand’s tone and voice.
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How to brief website copywriters

Effective communication with your copywriter is essential to get the results you want. When briefing copywriters:

  • Set clear objectives: Clearly define your goals and the purpose of the content. Describe your target audience and the desired tone or style.
  • Provide background information: Share essential information about your brand, products, and services. This helps the copywriter understand your business better.
  • Keyword strategy: If you have specific keywords you want to target for SEO, share them with the web copywriter.
  • Content guidelines: Specify the format, word count, and any special requirements for the content.
  • Deadlines: clearly communicate deadlines and expectations regarding revisions and feedback.

Assessing work and how to give good feedback 

To ensure that the copy meets your expectations, follow these assessment and feedback guidelines:

  • Review for clarity: Check if the content is clear, concise, and effectively communicates the intended message.
  • Grammar and style: Ensure that the web copy is free from grammatical errors and adheres to the desired style guide.
  • Relevance: Verify that the content aligns with your brand, addresses your audience’s needs, and supports your business goals.
  • SEO best practices: If you’re targeting SEO (and you should be), assess if the content incorporates the relevant keywords naturally. 
  • Engagement: Evaluate how well the content captures the reader’s attention and encourages them to take action.

A quick note on providing feedback:

  • Be specific about what you like and dislike.
  • Use a constructive tone.
  • Suggest improvements or changes based on your objectives

Using AI to write website copy 

Should you use AI to write website copy? Technically, you could. And if you need minimal content that doesn’t need to hold a lot of value, then yes, it works. But if you want accurate, search-intent-driven copy that will engage your reader, we’d give it a miss. There are limitations to using AI to write copy, and most of the time it’s not that accurate. Here’s why you should avoid it if your words need to pack a punch:

  • It struggles to sound human
  • It doesn’t produce unique insights
  • It can be pretty repetitive
  • It often beats around the bush
  • It gets things wrong
  • It’s formal, literal and neutral

When we write, we write with our personality. And it’s your brand’s personality that sets you out from the crowd. AI-generated copy falls flat. Don’t succumb to robotic website copywriting that struggles to say anything rather interesting. Our advice? If you don’t want to write the words yourself, get a copywriter on board instead. 

How to edit content

Editing is crucial for refining your website copy – and it’s good to be good at it. Follow these steps when editing:

  • Read aloud: Reading the content aloud can help you identify awkward phrasing and errors.
  • Check grammar and spelling: Use proofreading tools like Grammarly to catch grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • Clarity and flow: Ensure that the content flows logically and is easy to understand.
  • Consistency: Maintain consistency in tone, style, and terminology.
  • Remove redundancy: Eliminate unnecessary words and sentences to make the content more concise.

A/B testing involves comparing two versions of a webpage to determine which performs better in achieving specific goals, such as increasing conversions or engagement. This iterative process allows you to make data-driven decisions, improving user experience and overall site performance. Here’s how to A/B test your site effectively: 

  1. Identify goals: Clearly define the goals of your A/B test, whether it’s improving click-through rates, increasing form submissions, or enhancing user engagement.
  2. Select variables: Determine the elements you want to test, such as headlines, call-to-action buttons, or overall page layouts.
  3. Create variations: Develop alternate versions (A and B) of the webpage, each incorporating a single change. Ensure that only one variable is altered to accurately measure its impact.
  4. Split traffic: Divide your website traffic between the original (A) and the variation (B) to compare performance.
  5. Gather data: Use analytics tools to collect relevant data on user interactions, conversions, and other key metrics.
  6. Analyse results: Assess the performance of each variation based on your predefined goals. Identify the version that outperforms the other.
  7. Implement changes: Implement the successful variation as the new standard and iterate further for continuous improvement.

Tools to help you A/B test your site

  1. Optimizely: A comprehensive experimentation platform, Optimizely enables users to A/B test various elements, personalise content, and optimise for specific goals.
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  1. VWO (Visual Website Optimiser): VWO provides a user-friendly interface for A/B testing, split URL testing, and multivariate testing, along with advanced targeting options.
Shows a web copywriting example from VWO
  1. Unbounce: Known for its landing page A/B testing capabilities, Unbounce allows you to optimise landing pages for conversion.
shows a website copywriting example from Unbounce
  1. HotJar: HotJar offers insights into user behaviour through features like heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys, complementing A/B testing efforts by providing qualitative data.
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Work with us

For examples of great website copywriting, we have compiled a list of some of our favourites. We recommend using these as inspiration when writing your own or commissioning your website copy. It’s important to remember that what sets these brands apart is their distinct brand identity, tone of voice and consistency across their online presence. To nail your website copywriting, you need to be in it for the long haul and your marketing team needs to put in the groundwork to bring your brand to life.  

However, if the latter is feeling a little tricky, and you’re slowly being swept away by the waves of content marketing, reach out. We’ve been writing highly effective website copy since before the iPhone. Our team are well-versed in SEO and our website copywriters can strike gold with a whole variety of topics and specialisms. We can work with your in-house team to meet content deadlines, or we can take the reins and help you develop a content strategy that drives results. If you want to find out more, get in touch. We’d love to help. 

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