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Website Copywriting 101: A Quick Guide

Here’s what you need to know when it comes time to write copy for your new site.

Website Copywriting 101

By Drew McCullough

Writing website copy is an art and a science. As a copywriter, your goal is to produce engaging content that invites readers to spend time on the page, provides a return on their time investment and encourages action — while making search engines take note as well. We have a few ideas on how you can write website copy that makes readers take notice, think and act.

Know Your Audience

Don’t write a word until you know exactly who you’re writing for. Your website launch plan should include defining your key audiences — and that might include a few different groups. If you’re a writer for a travel-related website, for example, you might need to balance speaking to families as well as couples looking to book a romantic getaway. If you’re in healthcare, the way you speak to patients will be very different from the way you speak to your physician audience. With this information in hand, you’ll be able to craft website copy that aligns with each audience’s needs.

Write for the Space — and Reader’s Time

We’re writers, so much like you, we hate to say, “No one’s going to read that.” But if you make your copy too long and without purpose, well, they’re not.

Are some readers OK reading extensive copy on a website? Sure, those folks are probably out there. But generally speaking, people are short on time and attention, and your website copy should reflect that.

Ideally, as you’re building or refreshing your website, you’ll determine the purpose and content needs of each page as well as a visual approach. As a copywriter, you should be working from these page-specific wireframes or perhaps a general page template with various modules. This way, as you write — with purpose — to fill each copy block, you’ll be better able to keep content tight and focused on the page goal.

Balance the Needs of Readers and Robots

We believe in the value of artful writing for humans, but here’s where the science comes in: Search engine bots are looking at a few key pieces of data on every page as they crawl the internet to help them figure out what the content is about. To be indexed and hopefully rank within a search engine’s top results, you’ll need to make sure you’ve covered the SEO basics in your website copy.

On each page, determine a target keyword that you’re optimizing for. This phrase should be sprinkled into your title tag, meta description and on-page copy. The images and files on the page should be named with consideration for the keywords as well.

Tip: Page titles and meta descriptions should be different for each page.

When it comes down to it, we suggest prioritizing users over search engines. Keyword stuffing will annoy readers (and search engine bots won’t take too kindly to it either). Instead, focus on creating original, high-quality content — duplicative content is another red flag for search engines.

Encourage Action with Clear CTAs

If you don’t tell readers what you want them to do, they’ll decide the action for themselves. And often, it will be to leave your site — and maybe move on to a competitor’s website. When writing copy for your website, be sure to include calls to action (CTAs) in various places throughout your site to inspire your audience to take action.

The “right” CTA will depend on your content marketing strategy and objectives. Maybe you want them to register for an event, download an ebook, sign up for a newsletter, schedule a demo or apply for a job. Whatever it is you want them to do, make it clear what that action is — and use your website copy to convince them to do it.

We Create High-Quality Content

It’s what we do. And we can help write strategic content for your website that drives users to convert.

LET’S CHAT

Drew Mc Cullough Overlay Blue
Drew McCullough Editor

Drew comes to Casual Astronaut with a decade of media experience that includes everything from producing videos to writing blog posts to editing print publications. He’s covered sports, science, general news and business throughout his career, which has helped him hone the ability to connect with a wide variety of audiences on a wide range of topics.

A sports junkie at heart, Drew is a former online sports producer at the Arizona Daily Star. Although he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and his master’s degree from Arizona State University, Drew is a Wildcat through and through. Outside of work, he can be found cheering on the Seahawks or frolicking outdoors with his wife and their son and dog.

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