What is Web Copywriting?
What is web copywriting?
Web copywriting or website copywriting in its most basic form is writing content for the web or pretty much anything in digital form.
You have interacted with tons of web copywriting and didn’t even know it. Take a look at the list below for some of the most popular forms of web copywriting.
- Blog posts
- Attention-grabbing headlines
- Social media captions
- Landing pages
- Product pages
- YouTube video titles
- Scripts for YouTube videos
- Scripts for video ads
- Product descriptions
When it comes to website copywriting, there are so many different things that need to be written, but written in a way that resonates with your audience.
Why is web copywriting important?
For starters, roughly 5B people consume content online, which is 63% of the world’s population.
How people interact with online content versus a book or newspaper is totally different. The way you write content online also needs to be different.
When more than half the world’s population is consuming content online, you better believe the competition to keep them on a website or article is fierce.
Keeping people engaged with your content is where having a good website copywriter comes in handy.
The main reason why web copywriting is important is that you are fighting with your competitors to keep the eyes of your ideal audience or customer on your content.
Only a skilled web copywriter can capture the attention of your ideal customer and maintain their attention to keep reading.
Best practices for web copywriting
Let it be this if there is one thing you take away from web copywriting. You are writing one-to-one, not one-to-many.
The best way to think about it is to pretend you are having a conversation with your best friend about whatever it is you will write about. When people read content online, they want to feel like you are speaking to them through the screen.
When it comes to long-form content such as blog posts or articles, keep these tips in mind:
- Use shorter paragraphs to make it easier to read.
- Use bullet points whenever possible to break up the text.
- Make your content scannable by using H1, H2, and H3 headings for those that like to scan content.
- Write for humans and then optimize your content for search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Short-form content can be more complex to write than long-form since you need to capture attention and resonate with fewer words.
A few popular short-form content examples are:
- Email newsletters
- Captions for Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter
- Google ads
When it comes to writing short-form content, keep these tips in mind:
- Speak to your target audience’s desires
- Write exactly how your audience speaks
- Do not try to sell with short-form web copy
What does a web copywriter do?
A web copywriter spends most of their time writing, but it’s not just about coming up with something that sounds nice.
Top copywriters spend much of their time researching the product or service they will write about, researching their customers, and even interviewing current and past customers.
Some of the best copywriters in the world are very good at researching to figure out exactly why people buy that particular product or service and how they can write it in a way that speaks directly to them.
There are quite a few copywriting frameworks that will guide you into formatting your content in a way that makes people want to keep reading. We will go over a few of the top strategies further down this post.
To sum up, web copywriters learn about their audience’s thoughts, fears, and desires to persuade them to take action.
How to become a copywriter
The barrier to entry in the copywriting world is relatively low, which is excellent if you have the drive and are willing to learn.
The only downside to this is that you are competing with many not-so-good copywriters willing to get paid peanuts, but that is another topic to cover in a different post.
The core set of skills I recommend getting really, really good at is the following:
- Customer research
- Competitor research
- Content structure
- Selling skills
Other skills come into play with web copywriting, but these are the five core skills you should become very familiar with if you want to take copywriting seriously.
It’s also a good idea to remember that it takes time to become very good at copywriting. Copywriting isn’t a skill you can develop in just a few days or with a few clients.
Once you master copywriting skills, it’s something you will have forever and can be used in almost every aspect of any business.
Whether you want to use your copywriting skills for your own business or start a new career path, it’s a crucial skill to hone.
How to write customer-focused copy
The point of copywriting isn’t just to put some words down and hope for the best. It’s all about conversions and getting your customer to do something.
The only way this can be done is from my first bullet point skill above:
Write like your customers talk.
There are many ways you can do this, but I will cover the top five places I go to to get a solid understanding of how my target audience speaks.
One way around this is by specializing in a niche and becoming an expert copywriter in that field. For example, if you are passionate about real estate, you can write to that audience because you are part of that audience.
Niching down makes the research side of things a bit easier. No matter how well-versed you are in an industry, I don’t ever recommend skipping on customer research.
Let’s get down to the different areas and strategies for writing customer-focused copy.
Reddit Threads r/
To find the rawest and unfiltered opinions in your niche, Reddit is always my first go-to site.
To get the most out of Reddit you need to start by going to a subreddit where your target audience hangs out. For example, let’s go to r/CryptoCurrency
Then you will want to select TOP and choose a timeframe. Depending on what you are researching, you can choose from now, today, this week, this month, this year, or all time.
You will go through different topics create and see what people are commenting. Reddit is one of the best places to find unfiltered and unbiased opinions.
This is great for when you need to write copy that touches on your target audience’s pain points and desires.
It’s like a copywriter's dream of taking a peak into people’s minds.
I like to use Amazon reviews if I need to write copy for a product with a lot of competition behind it.
It’s a great way to see what people love and hate about any product. Plus, Amazon reviewers definitely do not hold back, especially when it’s a negative review.
Just take a look at this one.
This review gave three detailed reasons why they were unsatisfied with the product.
Amazon reviews don’t always need to be used solely for physical products. Let’s say you want to create a course on how to lose weight. You can mine some Amazon reviews on books to see what people wanted more of or what they didn’t like.
Check out this review on a weight loss book.
In this review, 900 people found this helpful, which is a clear indicator that there is some strong copy you can take to put towards your weight loss guide or course.
If you have access to customers that purchased from you or your client, conducting customer surveys are incredibly powerful.
Not only do you get direct insight into why your customers buy, but it also shows them that you care about your business and customers. It’s a win-win.
You can start your customer surveys with a few great questions:
- Why did you choose to purchase [Your Product]?
- What made you think to yourself, yes, this is definitely for me?
- Did you try other products similar to this one? If so, what didn’t you like about them?
- What would you change or improve about this product?
Don’t be afraid to have an organic conversation with your customers and let them speak freely. You can use what they say in your web copy or find new ways to improve your product.
There is only one platform I recommend mining for ideas when writing web copy: Twitter.
Think about it; there is so much noise and conversations happening in all industries. The only downside is that it can be time-consuming to find the right thread, but when you do, it is all worth it.
Let’s cover how to do this. I open up Twitter and search for a product or service I need to write web copy for.
Then you need to scroll through all the posts and look for tweets with quite a bit of activity. I usually look for tweets with a lot of comments and reposts.
Product hunt discussions
Using Product Hunt discussions is an amazing way to learn how your target audience describes what you sell in their own words.
Often we are too close to what we are trying to sell and end up missing the mark when it comes down to writing the web copy. Usually, we over-complicate things that end up confusing our target audience rather than getting them to make the purchase or sign up.
Most of the posts on Product Hunt are from people who have gone to Google but couldn’t find the answer to their problems.
Head to Product Hunt discussions and find a topic that aligns with what you are trying to learn. Go through all of the replies and see what points others bring up.
You will often find responses that give you just enough information to write web copy that touches on their pain points and desires.
Now that I have gone through my top five places to go and see what your target audience is saying and thinking, it’s time to dive into some irresistible web copywriting formulas and strategies.
Copywriting Strategies and Formulas
These web copywriting strategies and formulas I’m about to review can help you get writing faster and improve your existing web copy.
If you need help structuring your web copy to grab your customer’s attention and keep them scrolling, you will want to go through each of these strategies.
Let’s get started!
The AIDA formula
AIDA is a proven copywriting formula that has been around for decades. Heck, it has probably even brought you to take action without knowing it.
The AIDA formula can be used with the following:
- Sales pages
- Squeeze pages
- Email newsletters
- Blog posts
- Video sales scripts (VSLs)
- Social media posts
- And many more
Typically, you will structure your content as the above.
- Attention - Grab attention with a powerful headline.
- Interest - Pique the interest of your target audience with a pain point or something they are struggling with.
- Desire - Let them know you know what their desires are by solving their pain points.
- Action - Ask them to take action with buying or signing up.
Benefits over features
Have you ever heard of this saying?
Features tell benefits sell.
Many new web copywriters confuse features and benefits and only use features. Causing a lack in conversion rates.
See a few examples of features vs. benefits in a project management application in the image below.
You can see how features and benefits can be confused, but the difference with using benefits is that it evokes emotion in your potential customer.
When you can start to make your target audience feel an emotion as they are reading your copy is when the magic starts happening. You begin to attain higher conversion rates and more sales.
Strong Call to Action (CTA)
Having a strong CTA is the difference between a page that converts versus one that struggles.
You have to understand that your target audience is very busy, plus they don’t have the patience to figure out what they are supposed to do next.
Imagine you spent a solid 5 minutes on a sales page and can’t figure out how to sign up or make a purchase. You will probably hit that exit button or back out of the site altogether and continue your search on Google.
You must tell your customer exactly what to do.
Take a look at Evernote’s CTA, it’s front and center, and there is no confusion about what you should do next.
You must ensure your CTA is visible, easy to find, and straightforward on what will happen when they click that button.
Clear and unique selling proposition
The unique selling proposition (USP) is at the root of every product you see. Even though one may seem similar to another, there is one thing that makes it unique.
The best way to find your USP is to ask yourself one question:
Why should they buy from me?
You might have unbeatable pricing, or maybe you can deliver results faster than anyone in your industry.
Whatever your USP is, you must make it known in every aspect of your web copy. In a digital ocean, you need to ensure your product or service stands out from the others, even if it’s just one thing.
Web copywriting is a high-demand skill that every online business needs. A skill that, when used properly, you can stand out from the billions of other websites on the internet.
Even when I tell people I am a copywriter, they think of copyright infringement. Two totally different things, but they sound the same.
Anyway, I truly hope you can better understand web copywriting and how it can help your business or career.