To get users to take action on a landing page, you need compelling, action-oriented copy. The following content writing tips will help you create engaging copy that can initiate valuable conversions on website landing pages.
Know Exactly Who You’re Talking To
All other copywriting tips won’t improve your landing page if you skip this first step. To write compelling copy, you must first know exactly whom you are talking to.
Define your target audience’s demographics and characteristics, so you are aware of their habits, what they want and need, and how they speak. Your copy will be much more focused, clear, and direct when you have one target audience in mind, rather than a largely undefined audience.
To gain insight into who your current audience is, use Alexa’s Site Overview tool, which is part of Alexa’s Competitive Analysis Tools, to gather information about who is viewing your website or a competitor’s website. The tool provides a detailed look at the demographics of a website’s audience.
Put the Most Important Information First
One of the most powerful content writing tips is to include vital and important information right away. Online readers move around webpages quickly, so you only have a few seconds and inches of space to catch their attention. On a landing page, include the most pertinent information “above the fold,” which is the part of a webpage that is visible before a user starts to scroll.
Describe Features as Benefits
When writing sales copy, you should describe the features of a product or service by describing their benefits.
- Features are an element of a product or service.
- Benefits are how that feature helps the user.
An important lesson in how to write content for a website is learning to write about features as benefits. You describe the function of the product or service by explaining how it is useful and beneficial to the user.
When the iPod came out, it featured 1GB of storage. Apple didn’t list that feature in their copy. Instead, they highlighted the benefit of the 1GB storage with the tagline “1,000 songs in your pocket.” They showed the benefit of the feature, rather than focusing on the details that users couldn’t understand, comprehend, or visualize.
Speak Directly to the Reader
There are a few traditional writing habits you need to break if you want to write compelling website copy. One of them is writing in the first or third person.
When writing copy, you should use the second person, which means using language to speak directly to the reader. For this type of writing:
- Include words and phrases such as “you,” “your,” and “yours.”
- Use direct sentences that tell the reader to do something, such as “Sign up here,” “Take the first step,” “Try this now,” etc.
- You may occasionally use the word “we,” but try to focus more on the reader and less on you and your brand.
Also note that even if you are writing SEO content, always remember that the copy isn’t all about keywords. Speak to and write for readers, not just for search engine crawlers. (Here’s a refresher on SEO: What is SEO? A get started guide.)
Use the Words Your Target Audience Uses
When connecting with readers, use words that directly speak to them. Talk to them using the words they use.
One of the most important website content writing tips is to not use jargon, industry slang, or any other type of terminology your target audience may not understand or use. Speak to them in the language they know and use.
For example, Squarespace may confuse an audience by using jargon-filled copy that says, “Our tool is hosted on a CDN network and helps you customize CSS and use Typekit Fonts without embedding font kits.” But they can connect with readers by saying, “Our tools help you make a beautiful website.”
Format Text So It’s Easy to Skim
One of our content writing tips doesn’t have to do with words. It has to do with the way words are displayed.
In good online copy, the formatting of the text is just as important as the phrasing. The copy needs to be formatted in a way that makes it easy for readers to scan and find the information they need in a few seconds. (Formatting can even help by boosting landing pages and blog posts in search.)
Great copy is formatted using a combination of:
- Bulleted lists
- Short paragraphs and sentences
- Font formatting such as bolding and underlining
- Pull quotes
- Headings and subheadings
In this landing page example for MyFitnessPal, you can see how they use short paragraphs, blurbs, bolding, and color to draw the reader’s eye to the most important pieces of information on the page.
Utilize White Space, Graphics, and Images
Just as you use formatting to frame copy, also use non-copy elements to guide and engage readers. Break up copy using white space, graphics, icons, and images to draw a reader’s eye to important elements and avoid overwhelming them with text.
Avoid Passive Voice
In order to encourage your audience to take action, you need to use active language in your copy and avoid passive voice.
- In a sentence with passive voice, the subject of the sentence is acted upon, such as, “Basecamp was loved by early adopters.”
- In a sentence with active voice, the subject of the sentence takes action, such as “Early adopters love Basecamp.”
Sentences written in an active voice are more direct, easier to understand, and more concise than sentences written in passive voice. Therefore, they are more likely to resonate more deeply with readers.
You must infuse copy with strategy at the beginning and end of the page if you want it to effectively motivate your audience. So before you close a page of copy, try the following strategies:
- Incorporate scarcity. Use language that lets audiences know their access to the product or service may be limited.
- Add a sense of urgency. Encourage your audience to take action by putting a deadline on the offering or telling them what they may lose by waiting to take the next step.
- Finish with a call to action. Tell readers exactly what they need to do next to get closer to acquiring the product or service.
Put Your Content to the Test
Your online and SEO content writing doesn’t end once you write your copy. You can run tests to ensure the text is optimized to create the best results possible
Perform a test to check on-page SEO and make sure the landing page is optimized for search engines. To quickly identify errors and opportunities on your landing page, trying using our On-Page SEO Checker. Enter your landing page URL and target keyword to get recommendations for how to improve the page.
Perform A/B tests on all of your landing pages. The only way to really know which copy works best is to test it. Split test different variations of your landing pages to see which one has a higher conversion rate. Continue to tweak and update your page until you reach your conversion goals.
Put These Content Writing Tips Into Action
Are you ready to put these content writing tips into practice and start creating better optimized and more user-friendly landing pages? Get a free, 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan to access the On-Page SEO Checker, along with other competitive keyword tools that can help you target the phrases that will bring your landing pages the most readers.