5 Reasons You Need Good Quality Web Copywriting
Posted on 24.01.2022
If you own a website or are thinking about getting one, you’re probably focused on design and development: how does the site look? How is the navigation structured? How big and visible is your company’s logo on the homepage?
Website design and development are very important – a website’s visual design helps grab your visitors right from the get-go. A well-developed website will have a better core web vitals score, which will put you at the top of your Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
But having a website that looks nice and works well only goes so far. At the end of the day, your website is a communication tool, and on the internet, most people communicate with words. Investing in good quality web copywriting is a crucial part of a complete website, for a number of reasons.
First, a quick overview:
What Makes Web Copy “Good”?
As digital marketing experts, we like to focus on three major factors when it comes to web copywriting.
- Is it relevant?
- Is it readable?
- Is it engaging?
In the broadest sense, relevant content is content that includes the keywords and key phrases that you want to target. For example, this article is optimized for the keyword “web copywriting”. It contains the keyword in body text and in headings, and it’s (hopefully) informative on that topic.
This article explains the principles of web copywriting in detail, and it doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about anything else.
Readability is pretty self explanatory. How easy to read is your copy? To quantify readability, we often measure the reading grade level. That is, the minimum school grade that you need to have to read and understand the copy.
There are a few different metrics for determining reading grade level. Most of them calculate it as an average of the number of syllables per word, and the complexity and length of sentences and paragraphs.
For content in English, the current gold standard is a grade 9 reading level. Most adults can read at a higher level, but people generally have a shorter attention span for online content. Website copy is meant to be skimmed.
The reading grade level you aim for will be determined partly by your intended audience. An audience made up of only aerospace engineers will probably be comfortable with more complex language than a wide sample of the general public.
Knowing your audience is the foundation of good web copywriting.
Finally, is your copy interesting? Do people want to read it?
Different people have different ideas of boring and interesting. You don’t have to write the next New York Times bestseller. But you do need to make sure your copy has a pleasant flow, that your audience can relate to it, and that they come away feeling like they learned something rather than just wasting their time.
The tone of your web copywriting will be dictated by your target audience and the subject matter, and with some topics there’s just no room for jokes or wordplay. You may not be able to make the copy fun, but you can always make it informative.
Now you know what makes good copy. But how does good web copywriting help your business?
Web Copywriting is Crucial for Search Engine Optimization
As we’ve talked about in previous articles, current SEO strategies are broadly divided into technical and on-page SEO. Technical SEO is usually covered in the development stage. On-page SEO mostly comes down to the content on your website.
You’re probably aware of the importance of keywords in web copy. And keywords are certainly still a major factor in optimizing your website to appear in search results.
Of course, just because a block of copy contains relevant keywords does not mean the copy is good. Google and other search engines have gotten a lot more intelligent over the past decade. It’s no longer enough to simply have a word appear multiple times on your website. Now, search engines can analyze the quality of your website copy.
Well-placed headings help to break up large chunks of text and make them more visually readable, which can reduce your overall reading grade level. Headings are also weighted more than body text by Google’s algorithm, so keywords in headings will do more for your search rankings than keywords in body text. Headings that are well-worded, logical, and include keywords are a must.
Finally, the word count of a blog post or article matters, because if it’s below a certain threshold, Google won’t be able to accurately analyze its relevance to a given search term. In general, blogs and articles should be between 1,500 and 2,500 words.
If you’re not sure, a good way to get a ballpark estimate is to find articles on the subject you plan to write about, and shoot for a word count that’s on par with what’s already out there.
Web Copywriting Makes Your Social Media Shine
Social media has become a huge part of digital marketing. Everything you’re posting on social media is content. You want that content to reflect the quality of your brand and attract users to your website.
Poorly-written or boring content will likely be ignored by users, and the algorithm will respond by showing your post to fewer of them.
The purpose of marketing via social media is usually to get people to come to your website. If someone clicks on a call-to-action link and arrives at your site, you want them to be enticed to stay a while and potentially make a purchase. Copy that’s engaging, readable, and relevant is going to keep users on your site, and even encourage them to share it with others.
On the flip side, text that’s boring, overly complicated, irrelevant, and packed with jargon is going to turn users away – or worse, send them running to your competitor’s website.
Web Copywriting Helps You Appeal to Your Audience
A big part of developing good content is aiming it at a particular audience. Too many website owners don’t think about their audience, assuming that as long as the content on their website is readable, it will be useful to anyone who visits.
The fact is, different people interpret language differently. Some words have different meanings and connotations to different groups of people.
If you’re an expert on a particular subject, you might try to optimize your copy for a set of highly technical, industry-specific words. The audience that you want to engage might be searching for completely different terms because they don’t have your insider knowledge. In this scenario your web copywriting isn’t serving you, because you’re not reaching the audience you want to sell to.
The language conventions, phrasing, and tone that will appeal to your audience will depend on a variety of factors including their age, gender, cultural background, country or region, industry, and level of knowledge.
This just serves to further showcase how crucial it is to know your audience, before you even start drafting your copy.
If you don’t know who you’re talking to, how are you going to know what to say?
Web Copywriting is a Way to Boost your Website’s Authority
“Authority” is a term that gets thrown around in web circles a lot, but what does it actually mean?
It’s a term that can broadly apply to a lot of different aspects of a website. But in terms of web copywriting, authoritative content is content that positions you as a knowledge leader in your field.
Authoritative content should not only be highly relevant, readable, and engaging; it should also educate a reader, and ideally provide new or leading-edge information about a given topic.
Web copywriting that focuses on developing your website’s authority shouldn’t just regurgitate information from other websites. Highly authoritative copy is often written by people who are either themselves experts on the subject, or have access to subject matter experts who can provide first-hand information.
The good news is that you’re probably a subject matter expert when it comes to your business, so you probably have a lot of high-authority information.
The key is being able to take that information and craft it into optimized copy. Not every business owner is a great writer – not every business owner has time to do their own web copywriting. This is where hiring an expert web copywriter can be a really solid investment.
Web Copywriting Rounds Out Your Branding
Your website is going to be the first impression of your business for a large percentage of your customers. Web copywriting represents your brand voice.
When a customer visits your website, what impression do you want to give them? Ideally, you want your brand to seem relevant. You want to be approachable, and clear about what you can offer the customer. And you want your brand to be interesting to visitors.
Having a visually pleasing website is definitely a big part of this first impression, but a visually pleasing website with no copy isn’t going to rank anywhere, so no one’s going to see it. Make sure your copy is written with an understanding of your brand’s unique voice.
Once again, it’s important to think about your audience. Put yourself in their shoes.
- Are you speaking to the general public, or a more technical audience? Simplify your language accordingly.
- What kinds of products or services does your business provide? How does this affect your tone? The tone of copy for a counselling office is going to be quite different than that of a heavy industrial equipment supplier.
- What’s your brand story? Are you a brand-new startup? A generational family business? A national corporation? The level of formality of your copy may vary depending on how established you are.
Just like different colours on a website can create a different impression of your brand, your word choice and the overall tone or your copy can appeal to (or turn off) a potential customer. All aspects of your web content should be considered.
Web copywriting is a foundational element of digital marketing, and of building an online presence in general. Writing is something that many of us do every day, and so it often gets taken for granted. Anyone can write, but good quality web copywriting requires a bit more finesse.
If you’re struggling with your web copywriting or you want to improve your existing copy to amp up your digital marketing, contact us today! Our expert in-house copywriter can help you build better copy for your website, blog, or ad campaign.