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All style and no substance. That’s about the worst criticism you can have levelled at your website.
Dazzling web design is all well and good, but unless it’s backed up with perfectly optimised website copywriting, your website becomes about as useful as a fax machine.
Remember, it is ultimately a tool to help you sell. Sure, you want it to look nice, but its main purpose isn’t artistic, it’s to draw in leads and convert them. That’s what SEO content writing in professional hands (hello, that’s us) can do for your website.
Before we dive into how to perfect your website content, let’s take a closer look at why optimised website content writing is so important for your bottom line.
Why you need optimised website content writing
Optimised website copywriting does two things for your business:
1) It helps people find you on Google – this means you get more leads
2) It helps people find the information they need on your website as quickly as possible – this means you get more customers.
Together, this is what makes optimised website copywriting so great. You don’t need to be knocking on doors or jamming up phone lines. Leads and customers will come to you without you having to lift a finger, especially if you have a website copywriting service taking care of all your content for you.
Just consider these numbers.
Over 86% of the UK population buys stuff online. Want a bet that includes some, if not most, of your target demographic?
The percentage of all retail purchases in the UK that now happen online has more than trebled in the last 10 years, whizzing past 30% in 2021. That trend continues to rise.
But perhaps you’re thinking, “I’m not in e-commerce. I don’t have a digital product. So why should I care?”
Because your website is still essential to growing your customer base.
Gone are the days when billboards, newspaper ads and TV commercials held all the sway over consumer decisions. Today, consumers start their search for a product, a service, or frankly, pretty much anything online.
So whatever you’re offering, your target customers will most definitely check out your website. They want to see that you really know your stuff, understand their pain points and can solve their problem. Your website, therefore, needs to hold the answers to all their questions and smoothly counter their objections to converting.
But if your website doesn’t even appear on page one of Google’s search results, you’ve already lost any chance of tempting those leads into becoming customers.
This is why your website copywriting needs to be optimised for search engines – that little ol’ thing called SEO.
Of course, ensuring leads can find you after a quick Google search is just half the battle.
Once leads land on your website, you need them to stick around and convert. This is no easy task given that, on average, across industries, half of all people who land on a website leave after visiting just one page (in marketing-speak, that’s called a bounce).
This is why your website copywriting needs to be optimised for conversion.
You’ve got a matter of seconds to convince a visitor to stay. In fact, the average time spent on any webpage across industries is just 54 seconds. With less than a minute to impress, every word needs to pack a punch.
But this isn’t just about catchy headlines and intriguing subheadings.
You absolutely need those to hook your visitors, but then you need to wow them with some superlative website content writing. This is the stuff that digs deep into their pain points and presents your product or service as the perfect solution. This is what convinces your leads to finally click buy, book now, get in touch, or whatever your call to action (CTA) is, and it takes more than a minute.
While most people visiting your website at any given time won’t convert, just over 2%, on average, will, and these folks are going to make you, or rather your website, work for it. The average time a visitor spends on a website before they convert is about 15 minutes.
That’s 15 minutes spent reading your content. With that amount of scrutiny, there is no room for fudging, fluff, contradictions, typos or the occasional filler copy that was accidentally left in.
Your website copywriting, therefore, needs to work on multiple levels.
It needs to please Google.
It needs to make a great first impression on visitors in seconds.
And it needs to provide a satisfying customer journey that lasts minutes.
It isn’t surprising then, that many businesses looking to rock a high conversion website turn to professional website copywriters.
Website content writing for Google
When someone searches online for what you’re offering, you need to make sure that your website content has Google thinking, “Oh yea, this is exactly what that user is looking for”. That’s how you convince Google to show off your website on page one of its search results.
Now, there are lots of different things Google looks for in a website before it decides to serve it up to its users in answer to a search query. Truth be told, no one knows exactly what Google is looking for – it keeps the precise details of the dark art of page ranking (its algorithm) under wraps.
But Google does give us major pointers on what is important, and keywords are a big one.
Why are keywords important when copywriting for websites?
Keywords are individual words or phrases that people pop into a Google search when they’re looking for a product, service or answer to a question. A website without keywords won’t catch the attention of Google, and that means next to no web traffic as you won’t rank for organic searches or make the cut for paid ads.
Your challenge, therefore, is to figure out what keywords are relevant to the products or services you’re offering.
You also need to get a handle on keyword intent, that is, the reason behind a user’s search query. This allows you to tailor your content to meet their needs.
You can’t just go with your gut with keywords. You need to do some actual research, which is where keyword research platforms come in, such as Semrush and Ahrefs. It can get pretty technical, but a website copywriting service will already be a dab hand at using these platforms.
With your extensive list of keywords to hand, you need to map them out across your website.
You’re already competing against tens or hundreds of other businesses, so you should avoid competing against yourself too – yes, that can happen. If you have two or more pages optimised for the same keywords, Google won’t know which page should take star billing. Consequently, the wrong one may end up presented to search users, potentially turning a warm lead cold.
Now you know which keywords are assigned to which pages, you need to make sure these keywords appear in the right places.
A solid webpage should have a clear, intuitive structure, including headers and subheadings, as well as relevant imagery. This structure should be marked out for Google’s bots to read, which is where HTML tags come in, such as H1 for headers, H2, H3 and so on for subheadings, and image tags. Your keywords need to feature in all of these places.
Do all of the above and you’ll be sending Google a clear message: my website has the answers your search users want.
Why you need more than keywords for optimised website copywriting
As we’ve already mentioned, Google judges far more than just the keywords on your website before it decides whether or not to present it to search users.
But it wasn’t always this way. Back in the bad old days of the noughties, content farms reigned supreme. They churned out low-quality webpages that annoyingly ranked highly on Google because the content was merely lengthy and continuously updated.
Then along came a panda.
The Google Panda update, to be specific. This update saw Google boost the rankings of high-quality websites that offer useful content, over the fodder content farms create. The Panda update still stands today. So when it comes to website content, what does Google consider high quality?
Simply put, content that genuinely pleases humans, not just bots and algorithms.
In fact, the Panda update was based on a rigorous set of questions that were originally posed to actual people who were tasked with rating the quality of different websites. Google subsequently released the questions that guide the Panda update to make life a little easier for content creators.
So what does this mean for your website content writing?
It means that your website should not have:
- Duplicate, redundant or overlapping content
- Vague, overly broad or unsubstantial content
- Factual, spelling or stylistic errors.
It also means that your website content should be:
- Well-edited with attention to detail
- Original, insightful, clear and authoritative
- Able to instil trust.
Needless to say, machines can’t (yet) create content that ticks all of these boxes, but experienced website copywriters can, and they’ll also have a handle on the other half of website content creation – optimising for conversion.
Website content writing for conversion
Are you already ranking on page one of Google’s search results but still aren’t getting the conversions you’d like?
Odds are that you’ve pleased the AI overlord (aka Google’s search algorithm) but haven’t quite convinced its human users.
This is where buyer personas come in (those ideal customers you want to attract). You need to have your buyer personas front of mind when creating your content. This will allow you to hit the pain points of your ideal customers and compel them to convert with your copy.
So, what does this look like in practice?
High conversion website content writing focuses on four things:
1) Headlines with clear value propositions
With just seconds to spare before a visitor decides to stay or leave, you need to provide instant reassurance that they are in the right place and that you have something great to offer them. No fancy words, puns or riddles, just a plain-speaking headline that gets to the point.
2) A convincing display of trust
Why should someone who has potentially never heard of you trust you? Because other people do, of course. Social proof matters, so pepper your website content with testimonials and don’t relegate them all to a testimonials page that no one will bother clicking on.
3) The perfect balance of pain versus benefits
Website copywriting is all about tapping into your customers’ pain points. But you need to strike the right balance between agitating the problem and providing relief with your solution.
High conversion content gets this right by tuning into a target audience’s state of mind. You may be able to go heavy on the pain in SaaS, but in healthcare and legal services (where your target audience is likely already feeling fraught), pain-focused copy can turn off leads, while benefit-led copy drives conversion. A website copywriting service with specialist industry experience is a big help here.
4) Compelling calls to action (CTAs)
Leave behind those bland, uninspiring calls to action that we all so often ignore. Learn more. No thanks. Explore now. Discover how. Tell me more. Now that sounds more like it. Of course, you can’t just spitball ideas for CTAs and hope for the best, you need to test them. What may sound good in your head could fall flat on its face in reality.
Speaking of CTAs…
If you’re ready to ramp up your conversions with a website that wows with its words, our website copywriters have you covered. Whether you’re starting from scratch or need a refresh, let’s get on it. Book your discovery call today.