You’ve invested in website copywriting
Professional SEO website copywriting can make a huge difference to the performance of your website. It will help your prospects to find you on search engines, like Google. And it will make a persuasive case for why they should buy what you’re offering.
But you think your website copy has some issues
When you get your website copy and give it a first read-through, you might notice some things that seem off or not as you expected. Maybe it’s the content itself. Maybe it’s the formatting. Maybe you’re thinking it doesn’t sound quite right.
In this article, I’ll go through some of the common concerns clients have and why these things are often done intentionally.
Why your website copy seems off
Having been a website copywriter for 12+ years, I can tell you, this feedback is common. But there’s almost always a good reason why your web copy has been written in a certain way.
Without further ado, let’s dive in and look at some of the feedback I’ve had on my first drafts.
“There’s a lot of white space”
One of the first things you’ll notice about your website copy is that there’s a lot of white space. The paragraphs are short. And, rather than using an indent to denote a new paragraph, your copywriter will use line breaks to create white space between them.
This is intentional.
Website copywriters format the copy like this because reading on a screen is more difficult than reading a physical document or book. Giving the copy some space makes it easier to read and will encourage your prospects to read more of it.
“You’ve used a lot of headings”
Yes, there will be a lot of headings.
Online, people are more likely to skim-read. Relevant headings allow them to find the specific information they’re looking for quickly and easily.
Relevant headings with keywords are also good for SEO. They help Google to work out what your pages are about and give your site a better chance of appearing higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
“Why so many bullet points?”
Website copywriters tend to use bullet points for longer lists.
This is because bullet points:
- Make the list easier to read and digest
- Help to highlight what is often important information
- Break up the paragraph format and add visual interest.
“It’s too long”
SEO website copy needs to be a certain length. It has to be long enough to include all the relevant keywords and the keywords to support them. And it has to be detailed enough that Google can understand what it’s about.
But how long should it be, exactly?
Well, depending on which expert you listen to, it can be anything from 250 to 1500 words.
If you’re asking me, I’d say 300 to 750 words is usually long enough to rank, but, as always, it depends on how much those words need to say.
What matters most is that the words you have are well-written, that they’re not full of waffle and that every sentence counts.
“It doesn’t sound professional enough”
I had this feedback once and I had to really drill down into what the client felt wasn’t professional.
Turns out, it was the language. It didn’t have enough big words in it and it sounded too simple.
Trust me, the idea that using big words makes you sound more professional is a myth. In reality, big words and copy that’s too clever or complicated can repel your audience and discourage them from reading.
It’s much better to show you understand your audience and give them exactly what they need.
Your readers want copy they can read quickly and digest easily. Not copy they have to read and re-read multiple times just to make sense of it. No reader will ever complain you’ve made it too simple for them.
“It seems repetitive”
When you read your web copy page-by-page, you might notice it repeats itself.
But, remember, this isn’t how your audience is going to read it. Because people don’t read websites like they read documents or books. They navigate their own way around, looking at the pages that interest them and are relevant to them.
If all your pages have been optimised for different keywords, then different visitors will arrive on different pages. Some will come through your blog posts. Some will land on the About page. Some will enter via your product or service pages. And so on.
Repeating your key messages consistently over multiple pages means more visitors will see them and absorb them as they navigate their way through.
“It doesn’t use the right terminology”
The words and phrases your website copywriter has used in your copy might not be the ‘industry standard’ ones you gave to them.
There could be a couple of reasons for this.
Your customers aren’t using your terminology
Your website copy will have been written for your customers. If the majority of your customers come from outside your industry, they may not be using the same terms you use inside your industry.
How will your website copywriter know this?
A good website copywriter will do what we call Voice of Customer (VoC) research. This research is designed to find out what language your customers are using to talk about your products. If they don’t know the correct industry terms, they’ll use language they’re familiar and comfortable with.
Using the language of your customers will help customers to find you when they do a Google search.
Your terminology isn’t getting any searches
When your website copywriter does your SEO keyword research, they’ll usually be looking for keywords people are actually searching for. And if a keyword you’ve suggested is only getting a low number of searches a month, they’ll look for a better-performing alternative.
If a keyword is getting zero or low searches, it often means people are using a different term to search. In specialist niche industries, it can be normal to have a low number of searches. But if you work in a relatively new or fast-paced industry, it could mean your terminology is too new and hasn’t been adopted into common use yet.
“It’s all about the customer and not about us”
This is how it should be. No customer goes onto a website specifically to find out more about a company. Like it or not, they don’t care that much about you. They care about themselves and what you can do for them.
Your copy needs to satisfy your customers’ “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM). It should show them you understand their problem/wants/needs by giving them something they can relate to. It then needs to explain how you can help them and why they should choose you.
Copy that addresses the customer and focuses on their needs is far more likely to convert into sales — which is the whole reason you’ve commissioned the copy in the first place.
About the author
I’m Jenny Lucas, a freelance copywriter based in Leicester, UK.
I was originally employed as a creative conceptual copywriter, but now specialise in SEO copywriting, content strategy and article writing for the web.