7 ways to craft engaging website writing

7 min read
Shweta Saxena

Having a website has become a critical requirement after COVID-19. With the number of online interactions steadily increasing, it’s important for business owners to be conscious of their website writing.

After all, your website is the online face of your business.

But many businesses struggle with writing for the web and don’t know where to start. In this article, I’ll review seven effective ways to help you write engaging website copy that works.

7 website writing techniques to boost clicks

Website writing should be unique and targeted to your business. It’s important to think about the tone and messages you want to relay to your specific target audience.

Below, I’ll break down seven website writing techniques you can use to make the words on your website work harder for you.

1. Think before you ink

So, how do you start with website writing? You don’t.

Unless you’ve already done a lot of research, you have to know your audience really well before you start. Here are some of the questions you must answer before writing a word:

  • What is their biggest problem with products/services like yours?
  • What do they want/what are their desires?
  • What motivates them?
  • What are their objections with respect to products like yours?

Answering these questions will help you create text that serves a purpose for your business and audience. Without these answers, you could be sending the wrong messages to users who come to your site — resulting in missed sales opportunities.

Related: Types of marketing research to learn about your customers

2. Convey your message with clarity

The top part of your homepage is the most important section of your website. It’s also known as the ‘hero section’ or ‘above-the-fold’ section.

I see many businesses wasting this crucial space by writing their own company name or redundant words like “WELCOME.”

It takes .05 seconds for visitors to scan and decide whether they like your site or not.

Within that time, they’ll also determine whether they’ll stay or leave. If they’re not hooked in the first few seconds, you may lose them to competitors.

The most important words on your entire website

So, what goes in the hero section? Here are three questions you must answer in the above-the-fold section to help provide clarity to those who visit your site: 

  • Who is this site for?
  • What you help with/how do you help?
  • What are your benefits/why should they choose you over competitors?

Take some time to really think about these answers, as these will be the first thing users look at when they land on your website.

3. Write text that resonates

In other words, you need to inject your customers’ opinions, objections and everyday language into your website writing. This will help ensure your copy speaks to them on a personal level that resonates.

Copy is not written, copy is assembled.” -Eugene Schwartz

To do this, professional website writers often use a technique called “voice of the customer.” This helps them find words that potential prospects might use in everyday conversations.

For example, do most people call it body lotion or moisturizer? While defining their desires, do they say “I want to up my game” or “I want to be good at it.”

This process requires deep research using methods like:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Comment or review mining

When they read the words they themselves use on your website, they’re able to relate to the writing on a deeper level.

4. Use complementing visuals

According to a study, people remember 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read. Visual images (photos, infographics, illustrations, etc.) are powerful tools to communicate your message effectively. They can also tell stories, show feelings and help them visualize benefits.

Notice how Airbnb uses an image-heavy header section to give a glimpse of the benefits users can expect.

Screenshot of Airbnb header
The large photo helps visitors to the Airbnb website imagine themselves in this setting.

Here’s another example from Less Accounting, where the prospective customer can imagine their happier self after using this product. The image completes the text written on the left side and directs the reader’s attention to the text by having the woman looking in that direction.

Screenshot of Less Accounting header with examples of ad copy and graphics

5. Include a call to action (CTA)

70% of small businesses do not have a CTA button on their homepage. Should it be required? Certainly!

CTAs can help guide your visitors through the buying process and improve your conversion rate.

Having a CTA button alone won’t cut it, so you’ll need to incorporate good website writing as well. Avoid using words that over-complicate the message. The CTA button should be short, simple, and speak the same language as the copy surrounding it.

Take a look at how well Eventbrite has utilized their CTA copy below.

Screenshot of Eventbrite header with example CTA
The CTA button on this page invites clicks with two words: "Get tickets."

6. Delete the fluff

The key to effective website writing is editing your work. Here are a few tips to make your copy tighter and crisper:

For example, in place of “ran quickly” you can sub-in action verbs like “hurried” or “jogged” to sound smoother. Another example could be replacing something like “spoke softly” with “whispered” or “mumbled.”

7. Fine-tune what you've written

The most important part of website writing comes after the copy has been written. It might sound ironic, but testing your copy can give you insights that no research or interview can give. You’ll know what users are resonating with by testing the following:

The best way to test different elements of your copy is by conducting A/B or split testing.

However, it is advised to test one or two-element changes (at most) to see which drives the most conversions. Pick the winning copy, then test again. And again.

There are many A/B testing tools that can help you do the job.

Biggest mistakes businesses make with website writing

When writing for the web, many businesses try to model their site after their favorite company or competitor who’s doing well. They want the glossy picture and fancy crossheads, but there’s a couple of problems with this approach:

  1. You don’t know whether it’s working for them or not:  Yes, they’re doing well, but is it their web writing that’s getting those results?
  2. No two businesses are alike: Your goals are not the same. Your audience is not the same. Your offer is not the same.

For example, as a project management startup, you might like to model your web writing after a successful business like Basecamp. But their message may not be appropriate for your business.

Look at how their messaging has evolved from 2012 to 2021.

Screenshot of Basecamp header from 2012

Their message as a startup was not the same as today (below). They’ve had a chance to establish their authority and grow a loyal fan base, which leads to different goals and results (notice the yellow call to action button).

Screenshot of Basecamp header from 2021

Writing for the web is ever-evolving

The pandemic has accelerated the eCommerce industry and revolutionized the way companies do business. The eCommerce industry is growing leaps and bounds in India, which testifies that consumers like to shop from the comfort of their homes.

Therefore, businesses should also move online to meet customers where they are. Godaddy’s Website Builder tool makes this simple. You can even create your website with a few clicks, drags, and drops from your mobile device.

Using essential elements and exercises for website writing can help your website succeed in the long-run.

From research to fine-tuning, you now know how to conquer them all using the techniques above. You’re also aware of the biggest mistakes businesses can make with website writing.

Now’s the time to create your website, write good copy and embrace the future of online business.