8 online copywriting tips for this digital age

9 min read
Mikka Wee

With so many companies taking their businesses online nowadays, creating a striking impression matters a lot. Despite the stunning visuals that make up most websites and social media platforms, great writing is what helps draw your target audience in. In this post, we’ll share some online copywriting tips.

Copywriting is all around you. It’s:

  • On the billboards when you go out of your house
  • In your subway
  • On that brochure stuck to your fridge
  • The text you read on social media
  • The call-to-action link on the brand website you are browsing

Copy is everywhere.

Especially in this digital age, copy is king. Your copy or text is the main vehicle you use to reel your target audience in and compel them to make a purchase. 

It’s worth noting that Google’s bots can’t “read” pictures, only words. 

With attention spans getting shorter and drop rates getting higher, it’s really important to find that sweet spot between straightforwardness and effectiveness (conversion power) if your objective is to close a sale.

Here are eight copywriting tips on how to improve your content for this mobile-first digital age.

Editor's note: Got questions about putting your idea online? Get instant answers on GoDaddy Asia Facebook Messenger now.

1. Define your target audience

As has always been a rule of thumb for both marketing and business, good digital writing requires that you know who you are talking to.

It doesn’t make sense to talk about crafting and baking to a 24-year-old software engineer who’s interested in heavy metal.

You want a compelling and engaging narrative to kick off your spiel to keep your audience hooked, and one of the ways to achieve this targeted copywriting technique is to create personas of your target audience.

For example, if you are selling anti-aging facial masks at a premium price point, you might want to create several online personas based on varying factors such as:

  • Socioeconomic status
  • Income range
  • Age group
  • Marital status
  • Skin concerns

The reason for creating these personas, despite them being fictional, is to humanize the people you are trying to sell your products to. As a result, this allows you to tailor-fit your copywriting to their expectations and interests.

Another tip in line with this is to do a competitive scan of similar brands that are catering to the same target audience as you are. Look for the most effective content pieces and learn from what they’re doing right.

2. Write headlines that command attention

Headlines are the first line of copy that your audience will read. Do not underestimate their power, as they can either draw readers in or turn them away.

Advertising legend David Ogilvy once said that for every five people who read the headline, only one actually reads the body copy. One of his top copywriting tips is to make the headline work the hardest in order to sustain the interest and fascination of your reader.

Here are some tips on how to create compelling headlines:

  • Use digits instead of words, putting them at the beginning of the headline so it will appear easily digestible.
  • Create a sense of urgency by using words such as Now or Today.
  • Inform the reader of how he or she will benefit after reading your post or article.
  • Use emotions to tug at your reader’s heartstrings.

Your headline should clearly state your intention and avoid being vague. Again, your online audience wants things direct to the point. Just keep practicing and do A/B testing  to find out what works best.

Online copywriting tips

3. KISS (keep it short and simple)

Digital writing has become a significant investment for most companies nowadays as it is key to the success of content marketing. All companies are vying for attention online, and as congested as the environment may seem, effective copywriting will always stand out.

One notable factor that has impacted web writing is how attention spans have shrunk to 8.25 seconds (even less!). 

People want things fast, snappy, and direct to the point, which is why we have seen social media networks such as TikTok gain huge popularity.

Online dailies have found design hacks to gain more audience reading time by:

  • Increasing their font sizes
  • Using bulleted lists wherever possible
  • Breaking down their stories into block quotes that act as summaries

Keeping things simple and direct to the point when it comes to your copywriting strategy helps your audience quickly scan your content to understand who you are and what you do. You want to convince your audience that you are worth sticking around for.

Another copywriting tip is to add quantifiable facts to your claims in order to strengthen your credibility. Facts are very convincing because they are concrete and can be proven. But be careful where you get them, as you don’t want to be lambasted for dishing out some #fakenews.

All your efforts to hook your reader will be for nothing if you don’t ask them to take some form of action. Strong verbs such as “Drive,” “Create,” “Explore,” and “Shop” help move readers to action. The use of active verbs is key to creating buttons that get clicks.

4. Don’t be a robot. Remember, you’re human!

Smart copywriting may communicate details about your brand and products, but what keeps the audience hooked is having that relatable human voice.

Remember, the hero in your digital writing should always be the customer, because they are the ones you have to convince to buy your product.

Humans are social creatures and you can build on this tendency by having a dedicated feedback or review section on your website. You can use Google My Business, for example to get a good mix of positive and negative feedback. Negative feedback is not always a bad thing as a lot of people actually doubt solid five-star reviews.

The copywriting here comes with how you respond to these reviews; thus, increasing your credibility as well.

5. Always invite conversations

No list of copywriting tips would be complete without engagement; make sure everything you write encourages interaction. An invitation for readers to participate is a great strategy to get them to interact with a certain post, article or content piece.

Asking for opinions or allowing readers to share their thoughts in a public space helps build brand affinity. 

Because of how well this type of format increases engagement, Instagram came out with a function in their Stories feature where people can take quick surveys with a single touch. Contests and quizzes are also excellent ways to get the conversation going.

Conversations not only build brand loyalty, but they also show your target audience that their opinion matters to you. And what better way to get data than through your readers themselves!

6. Psychology is your best friend

Psychology is all about the study of what makes people do what they do, making it a marketer’s best friend. Just a little dose of psychology can go a long way.

Using techniques such as Scarcity and Loss Aversion — highlighting anything that’s available within certain time or quantity limits — can create a shift in purchasing decisions. Examples of which are:

  • Last item in stock!
  • Free shipping ends tonight!
  • Last chance discount today!

By using copywriting tips like these, your audience will feel a need to make a purchase before the opportunity is gone.

This technique creates a sense of urgency, compelling people to take action and discouraging them from waiting to buy another time.

This is one of the most effective copywriting strategies to apply to your brand writing, especially since it encourages instant conversion. No one wants to miss out on an amazing deal.

Online copywriting tips

 7. Don’t forget about your SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a copywriting tip in that it helps more people find your well-written articles.

By adding select keywords related to the topic of your content, you improve your chances of appearing as a search result in a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.

Technology is always improving, and algorithms continue to shift. This means that search engines are becoming smarter with the data their audience types into the search bar. 

Here are some tips on how to keep an SEO-forward mindset in your copywriting.

  • An enticing headline is key — and it should include the keyword.
  • Do not stuff your article with keywords. Keep it to one mention of the keyword for every 100 words of copy.
  • Include links to other relevant pages that are on your website, and make sure they open to separate windows. This invites readers to spend more time within your website.
  • Don’t forget the social media share buttons. These let your readers share your article to their own social media channels, turning them into advocates of your brand.

Never be complacent. Make it a habit to frequently do a competitive check and analyze what your rivals are doing. It helps to have a benchmark when it comes to content quality and copywriting standards so that you can make yours better.

8. Choose compelling visuals to support your copy

Copywriting tips like these can lure your audience into reading, but you’ll need to give them breaks from all the text to prevent visual fatigue.

If you have the budget for it, invest in a graphic designer or a photographer to create high-quality visuals that are in line with your brand and support your content.

Otherwise, there are resources aplenty such as free stock image websites (e.g. Unsplash, Pixabay) and tools such as Over by GoDaddy, which allow you to design templates and create stunning logos and infographics to accompany your written text.

Take these copywriting tips to the bank

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to copywriting. A lot of it has to do with trial and error at the start, finding what works and what doesn’t.

The goal is to come up with text that is both engaging and effective and support it with photos, videos and visual images. Together, these will increase your website’s traffic and ultimately lead to conversions.

As a starting point, simply begin by using the copywriting tips mentioned above, especially about finding the right voice and tone for your target audience. And always be open to adjusting and improving along the way.