How to write effective web copy

Increase your audience engagement, and convert that to sales.

We guarantee this guide will help you improve your website...

  • Already have a website?

    No problem. Our guide below can help you improve your existing content, making it more effective and sales-oriented.

    Continue reading to find our extensive "5 steps to writing effective website copy" guide, or, watch the 2 minute summary video.

5 steps to Writing Effective Website Copy

As advised by copywriting expert Jesse Forrest in the video above - there are 5 steps to writing effective website copy. We have expanded on this idea, and have written you a starters guide to web copywriting. Feel free to share this page with your friends and colleagues!

Know your audience

Optimise above the fold

Write for website scanners

Shout about the benefits

Call to action

First, let's get into the right mindset...

Estimated reading time: less than a minute

For your business to succeed - your website will need to:

  • 1. Attract sufficient visitor numbers
  • 2. Retain those visitors
  • 3. Convert prospects into customers

Before you start writing any content whatsoever, you need to plan. Take a moment to consider your objectives, and then:

Identify the 3 main keywords or keyphrases which a potential customer may Google search in attempt to find a product/service like yours.

Identify your 3 main target locations, either towns or counties.

Next, an introduction to Search Engine Optimisation...

Estimated reading time: 1 - 3 mins

Having a great website with great content is, well... great! However, this is useless if no-one actually finds it. "Search Engine Optimisation" (SEO) is the process of improving your website to be more appealing to search engines. Doing SEO is a fantastic way to improve your performance in unpaid "organic" search results.

Firstly, focus on a niche

Since their "Hummingbird" update a few years ago - Google places greater emphasis on natural language queries, considering context and meaning over individual keywords.

A website that focuses on a particular topic is going to perform better than one containing lots of unrelated topics.

For example, imagine you are on a website which sells biscuits. Now imagine that you are about to buy their biscuits, however, as you approach the checkout - they suggest you check out their new brand of shoes. Yes, shoes. "What?", you ask. That doesn't make sense - which is the point. Not only does this confuse users, it will confuse Google too.

Secondly, focus on a location

Similar to focusing on a niche topic, exactly the same applies with locations.

Don't think "I work nationwide, so I shouldn't focus on any particular areas" - because this will alienate your website. The phrase "jack of all trades, but master of none" comes to mind.

Both Google and visitors like to associate a business with something or someone local. People are naturally much more likely to choose a local service provider - due to both convenience, and a subconscious trust in those from the same area. Google Search thinks the same way, because Google is programmed to please people.

Pick 3 locations...

  • Where do you currently get most of your business?
  • Where would you like to get more business?
  • And where else are there plenty of your target audience?

Here at Total Website Design, our answers are a. Worthing, b. West Sussex, and c. Brighton & Hove.

After establishing a target audience, focus on writing for them. Mention your locations naturally throughout your content - like we do.

We are based in Worthing, and specialise in designing easy to use websites

Ultimately, learn the essentials of web copywriting...

Estimated reading time: 4 - 6 mins

Know your audience

"You can't really influence or sell to anyone if you don't really understand them. So, the first step is to really understand your audience. It's so much easier to sell to a friend than a stranger - as we really understand them."

Put yourself in your customers shoes and start to think...

What do I want?
What will I search on Google?
What makes it the best?
How does the price sound?

Attention... Interest... Desire... Action...

Start with a strong paragraph, relate it to the customer. Next, demonstrate how your product is their solution.

Mention your "unique selling point" (USP) and prove why its the best. Encourage them to take action throughout the page.

Write for website scanners

"They're those people who when they land on your website, they start scanning and scrolling - and they're not really reading much. They're wondering what's this website about, and what's in it for me."

How do you get your point across if someone isn't really reading anything?

Our theory is simple...

If you were to delete everything on a page except for the headlines, bullet points and bold text...

Your message and the call to action should still be clear.

Try reading this page but skip anything which isn't a heading, bold, or bullet pointed.


Write a stand-out headline
Include lots of subheadings
Occasionally bold keywords
Short paragraphs
Include meaningful photos
Don't be afraid of white space
Bulleted lists occasionally
Use varied paragraph sizes

Optimise above the fold

"Above the fold" is everything that a visitor will see before scrolling on their device.

"The first impression that your website makes. It's what people see before they start scanning and scrolling. In this area you need to have your best information with a headline, perhaps a video, and some short copy to grab their engagement."

Sell yourself. Don't say "we do this with this"... say "our service guarantees to achieve this for you" followed by testimonials, case studies, statistics, photos and qualifications to back it up.

At the top of every page...

Include something eye-catching
Make the key selling point immediately clear and in-your-face
Make specific, provable claims
Backup your claims, including accreditation logos where possible
Encourage people to scroll down

For example...

See how we have optimised our homepage, this page, and other pages across our website.

Shout about the benefits

"Whats in it for me? That's the question that you need to be thinking when you're writing your copy. It's all about your visitor and what you do for them - its not about you and how great you think you are, its all about them. So, write with the idea in mind, what's in it for me?"

Have a special offer? Shout about it!

Are you the most affordable supplier in the local area? List your prices, shout about it!

Focus on your unique selling point
List 3-5 extra key benefits
Show what a great deal it is
Show how it helps them specifically
Demonstrate success stories

Showing examples of your work and including excellent testimonials throughout are great ways to:

Get the visitor excited
Invoke desire
Earn their respect and trust

Next, we close the sale...

Call to action

"Have an obvious and clear call to action. Don't leave it up to your visitor to figure out where they should go or what they should click on or what you want them to do. Make it clear, make it obvious - have a strong and obvious call to action, whether its a button, a form or a phone number and repeat it through your copy at different intervals."

Tell visitors where to go. What should they do or click on next?

In short...

Make it clear what to do next
Repeat that throughout
Have minimal options
Use a nice big red button
Focus each page on one topic
One point per paragraph
Add a sense of urgency

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We guarantee that our tips will help you write effective website copy for your website. Let's get started...

Contact us today

And finally, you are ready to start writing high-quality, engaging website content...

We hope you found this guide helpful. Good luck!

Related videos

5 tips for overcoming writer's block

Simple copywriting formula

4 Things You Need On Your Product Page

Frequently asked questions

Can you get my businesses website on Google page 1?

Depending on the quality of your websites content, and the level of competition in your area, yes. We aim to excel, as you can see from the successes in our portfolio.

See our portfolio

How much does your Digital Marketing cost?

Basic digital marketing and SEO is included free of charge for new website design customers.

We offer various packages, charged at our hourly rate - £60 for the first hour, and then £20 for each additional half hour.

Do you recommend a brand new website design?

Depending on the quality of your existing website, it may or may not be necessary to have a new website designed.

Contact us