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Five Tips to Avoid Website Copy That Is Not Memorable

Five Tips to Avoid Website Copy That Is Not Memorable

Think of a website you’ve read that is bad. Maybe you’ve blocked it from your memory. You don’t want people to have that experience when they visit your homepage. But how do you avoid it?

Let’s start with what bad websites get wrong when it comes to copy (think if your site is making any of these mistakes right now) and then there are 5 writing tips at the bottom for ways to make your web copy stand out and stick with people.

What to Avoid in Website Copy

Don’t use jargon and buzzwords

Cliches and overused phrases create a bland and impersonal experience. This can make a site feel like it was written by AI.

Don’t write in passive voice

Active verbs grab people and hold them.

Don’t be self-centered

Is your website too focused on you? That may sound strange. But people don’t come to your website to learn about you. They come to your website to see if you can help them. Your copy needs to speak to your visitors’ problems, desires, and interests. Writing from this framework can be tricky. It requires fully understanding your persona(s).

Don’t confuse

It may seem obvious, but confusing language can easily sneak into web copy (especially, if it was written by committee, because too many cooks…). Here again, it’s important to think about your persona and know what their level of knowledge on the subject of your website is. Even technical websites should be written for an intelligent middle schooler because people don’t want to spend a ton of time trying to figure things out—even if they’re smart people.   

How to Write Good Web Copy

Keep it short

Brevity is both the soul of wit and the best way to counteract our society’s collective shrinking attention span. This scene from A River Runs Through It is a good lesson for any writer who wants to be read.

Keep it clear

This is most important with your links. Visitors should know exactly what they’ll get when they click something. This is key to effective CTAs (calls-to-action) and generating quality leads from your website.

Tell a story

Once again, start by knowing your persona intimately. Tap into how they’re feeling when they arrive at your site and how you want them to feel after visiting it. Then make them the star in the story of your website. Help them navigate through their pain points to reach the right ending.

Use testimonials/case studies

People connect with real people and real stories. Give your visitors examples of other people who’ve been in their situations and how things turned out for them.

Cheat with pictures and videos

Don’t write 1,000 words, find the right picture. Better yet, use the right video. Websites are a visual medium and even the best copy will lose out to a good image that conveys emotion immediately. Also, don’t discount the value of design.

Complimenting Copy 

Beautiful web copy will only carry you so far these days. You have to make sure your site is SEO optimized or you won’t be found. The good news is that as search engines have gotten smarter they’re much more interested in the intent of the person using them (not just simply whether your website is packed with the same words that got typed into the search bar).

So if you properly addressed your personas’ intentions with your copy you should be in good shape. This is assuming you got the technical side of SEO right, too. If you’re curious about how your site is doing currently, run it through our free website grader to see what you could improve upon.

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