Effective website copy is key to converting clients and getting your content to show up higher in search engine rankings. For most businesses, these are crucial. If potential clients can’t find you OR if they can find you, but don’t connect with the messaging on your website, you’re not going to convert leads.
How then, do you write website copy that converts and works with search engines? Let’s dive in.
Don’t let keywords and optimization scare you. Start out by focusing on your ideal client. What problems are they facing? How do you solve them? Write the copy to the typical individual that hires you for your services. Is it a bride gearing up for the wedding of her dreams? Is it a small business that needs brand photos? Write the content as if you’re talking to them in a conversation — but skip the fluff. Use words like, “you” and “your” instead of “me,” “mine,” and “ours.” You should be talking about your client more than you’re talking about your services.
Let’s say you’re a photographer and your photos are to die for. You take time to photograph genuine interactions and then you spend countless hours editing the images until they are practically perfect. “I’ve been taking photos since I was 16 and…”
If that’s all that you talk about — your client is going to get bored. They don’t want to hear about you. They want to hear about how they will work with you — what the experience will be like for them. Don’t talk about the time you spend behind the screen editing photos. Instead, focus on what it’s like when a client has a photoshoot with you. Are they laughing, running around the wildflowers of a mountain, or are they confidently being posed to create a clean, curated image?
What transformation or experience are you going to deliver? Pull your clients in with that. And then seal the deal with the details — i.e. x hours of a photoshoot, x images, x timeline, etc. By the time you get into how it works and how much it’ll cost, they should already be sold just based on the emotional experience you described. You want them all in. Focusing on their experience will get them there.
Your website copy should get potential clients to a point of excitement and education. There’s a balance between complete mystery and overwhelming information. If your client can’t read your copy and get an idea of what it would be like to work with you, they’re not going to inquire (too much mystery). However, if you over-explain and make it sound too complicated (overwhelming information), you’ll also send them away. Successful website copy requires that details be simplified.
Explain your process precisely and clearly without overwhelming them. All general questions should be answered to the point that your clients can inquire or book with you, without needing to ask more than a question or two. Of course, custom packages and such may require a different process, but you can at least explain the benefits and how it works to get that custom package created. Do they need to have a phone call with you or fill out a form? Be transparent.
Clear, organized copy will convince your client that you’re the professional they should hire.
How do you write your captions on social media? Your website copy should be consistent with all other text from your brand. Your clients should be able to “see” the same brand from social media to your website to your newsletters. You may convince potential clients to click the link in your bio on Instagram, but if your website doesn’t match the voice they were driven to on social media, they may choose to go somewhere else. Are you casual, like a best friend, or are you providing professional advice? Either way, keep it consistent across all platforms.
The right keywords teach Google that you should be found for certain searches. If you’re a Fort Worth copywriter, but you never use those words on your website, Google won’t know to have your website pop up when someone enters those words in the search bar. Google’s goal is to show people what they’re looking for. Using the right keywords helps Google do its job!
If you’re DIYing your website copy, add your keywords after you’ve written the copy. I’ve found that this allows you to focus on the messaging and your client, without getting overwhelmed by technicalities. How do you know what keywords to add? First, just think it through. What services do you offer? If you were looking to hire your own business, what would you Google or look up on social media to find it? Are you an elopement photographer, a watercolor artist, or a Texas life insurance agent? Where are you located? Use specific keywords. The more specific, the better. You can use free tools like the Google Keyword Planner to create an effective list of words. Use a mix of words with mid to high search volume and low to medium competition for the best impact. For example, I might use keywords like, “creative copywriter” and “brand copywriter.”
Be careful not to awkwardly overload your content with keywords. Instead, slide them in naturally. If you already wrote about your services, just add in the specific keywords you’ve come up with. If it doesn’t sound natural, try to find another place to fit it in.
Don’t one-and-done your website copy. Read through it multiples times checking for flow, grammar, spelling, and consistency. Then, ask a few friends or past clients to take a look. Ask if it connects with them, if it sounds like you/your brand, and if there’s any crucial content missing.
Be sure to review your website copy on a yearly basis (at least) to double check that it resonates with your current target audience and offerings. Plus, you may have learned a thing or two, or discovered some FAQs you can answer on your website.