Website Copywriting: Your Top 6 Questions Answered

Meet Joanna, the owner of a small but growing consultancy practice. Her passion for helping businesses thrive is clear in everything she does and her top-quality service makes her clients beam. But, there’s one critical element holding her back – her website copy.

The words on her website don’t reflect what makes Joanna and her brand special. Potential clients visit her site and leave without really understanding the value she brings. Joanna isn’t seeing engagement or business growth through her website, and can’t see why her message isn’t translating into the success she wants.

Unfortunately, this scenario will be recognised by lots of small business owners. It can be difficult to effectively communicate your brand’s story and value through website copy but – when done well – your website copywriting will help you reach the right people, and encourage them to spend money.

Creating Effective Website Copy for Your Small Business

I’ve written a number of blog posts in the past about different elements of website copywriting, so in this post I’m going to pull some of those together in answer to the questions asked of me, of Google, and elsewhere online. I hope this helps.

Why is website copywriting important for my business?

Your website copy is crucial for a number of reasons.

Maybe someone has met you, or had a recommendation, and is thinking about buying from you. For them, it’s important that your website copywriting reflects your brand identity and everything that is great about you.

Equally, if your website is the first time someone encounters your brand, your copy needs to make a strong first impression and capture the attention of anyone visiting. In fact, in order to grow your business you might be relying on your website to draw people to you. In this case, search engine visibility is key and using the right phrases and language for your audience will make a huge difference to how effective you are.

Once on your site, you’ll need to direct visitors through your content – showing how you can help them, convincing them of your credibility, and giving them confidence to act by clicking, booking, or buying.

Great website copywriting connects your business with your target audience and gives them a reason to buy from you. In fact, we all ask an awful lot of our websites… to show people who we are, to reassure our audience we know who they are, and how we can help them. I go into this in more detail in my blog Strengthen Your Business Website: Helping Your People Through Their Buying Journey.

How can I improve my website’s copywriting?

Funnily enough I’ve written a few posts which look at this so I’ll make this brief…

This post, How to Write Your Website Words, encourages you to follow 7 steps to clarify your content. The steps are – thinking about what you want from your website words, identifying what your audience is looking for, who they are, what you need to show them, how to ensure they’re engaged, telling the reader what to do next and then checking it. If you’re reviewing your existing web copy, going through these steps will help identify things you might have missed in the past.

It’s also worth mentioning my post Small Business Websites – Helping You Get the Website You Need. This post looks slightly wider, giving you a checklist for website elements that are crucial for success. I’ve also created a separate checklist focused just on your website copy which you can download at the end of this post.

What does a website copywriter do?

A professional website copywriter will help you get the copy you need for your business website.

Whether you’re looking for somebody who will write your copy for you, or guidance in creating the words you need for yourself, an experienced website copywriter can make a huge difference to the success of your web copy. You can expect a copywriter to help you understand the elements involved in reaching the right people, communicating your message, directing your reader through the site, and more.

How do I know if I need a website copywriter for my business?

Many business owners write their own website copy and – if that’s your plan – that’s great. But be aware that it can be very difficult to identify what your website needs from the perspective of your audience rather than writing for yourself.

Some copywriters – myself included – provide tools and support to guide your website copywriting: plans, focused messages, language guides, accountability. This should take away the stress of your blank page and give you the confidence you need to get started.

Of course, you may just want someone to take this job off your hands and create the effective copy your website needs. In this case, a website copywriter is what you’re looking for.

What should I look for in a website copywriter?

When you’ve decided to work with a website copywriter, how do you choose the right person for you? There are a number of things to consider:

  • Experience and Portfolio: If you can get recommendations that’s great, but you’ll still want to look at some examples of work from the writer to review their style.
  • Versatility: While I mentioned checking out portfolios to review a writer’s style, it’s also important to consider whether their work accurately reflects the brand they’re writing for in each project. You don’t want to end up sounding like everyone else they’ve worked with.
  • Industry Knowledge: Whether or not you feel industry knowledge is important will likely depend on your industry and audience. If you are a specialist with strict rules of governance (such as legal and financial industries), or in an industry with specialist technical language, someone with previous experience may be preferable.
  • SEO Knowledge: It’s important your copywriter has a good understanding of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and what your aims are for your website, to ensure your site performs.
  • References and Communication: It’s important you can work effectively with the copywriter you choose. What do you think of their communication? Can you get references from previous clients? Ask the questions you need to, to feel confident in working with them.

What should I expect when working with a website copywriter?

When working with website copywriting services, you’ll find they each have their own way of working but I’d expect each to include the following.

Initial Consultation
An opportunity to ask you some (potentially difficult) questions about your business, who you are talking to, and what you’re hoping to achieve with your website. I provide a questionnaire, then discuss the questions with new clients, ensuring we get a clear picture of your target audience, your business and brand voice, as well as specific goals for the project.

Research and Planning
Professional website copywriters often spend more time on planning and research than they do on writing. It’s essential to really understand your industry, audience and the subject of your work.

Great Communication
At every step…

Drafts
Your copy is unlikely to be perfect first time. I provide two drafts to clients (if needed) ensuring they are happy with their final words.

Collaboration
To work well alongside you – and anyone else involved in your website project. While your website copy is important, it’s only part of the website story and an experienced website copywriter will know how to support the other parties involved in the project – developer, designer, photographer.

Don’t be like Joanna, get your website copy working for you.

This post was built around questions posed about website copywriting. By focusing on these, my aim was to give you the information you need about creating effective website copy for your business.

If I missed your question, or you have anything else to add, leave a comment below or get in touch – I’d love to hear from you.

And don’t forget to download my website copy checklist, you can review your copy and see if it’s doing everything you need it to.