9 Important Features of Successful Website Copy
By now, you know the basics of writing strategic, on-brand website copy… but where does it go? What are some key features you have to be aware of and double-check that you’ve included? All fair questions.
Here are 9 of the most important features of successful website copy…
1. Remember it’s about the client
When most people write website copy for themselves, they’re tempted to say “we do this for these people.” Phrased that way, you are the star of the show… which isn’t to your best advantage. Yes, I know it’s your company, but your website copy should not be about you — it should be about your clients.
There’s an easy solution. Take what you have and flip it.
BEFORE: Inspired Interiors designs relaxing, organized spaces for busy families.
AFTER: Your busy family deserves a place to feel relaxed, restored, and inspired.
The first? Bland as boiled chicken. The second makes your reader think, “Really? My busy family?” Yes, yours!
If you can change all of your we-do-this’s to you-get-that’s, you will be more successful at attracting your target clients.
2. Address your client’s problems
In 3 Surprising Things You Need to Know about Your Target Clients, I help you really hone in on your client’s external, internal, and philosophical problems. (Based on Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller, which is a great read.)
When you write website copy, you MUST address your client’s problems. I touched on this in the Strategic Word Choice post, but this is work you have to do FIRST. Before you can even have a brand, even. You can’t serve people if you don’t know who they are. Once you do know, speak to them.
BEFORE: Your busy family deserves a place to feel relaxed, restored, and inspired.
AFTER: You’ve just moved into your dream home, unpacked all those boxes, and stocked your fridge with family favorites, but it still doesn’t feel like home… yet.
In the first version, you’re simply stating the benefits your clients receive, which, again, isn’t all that compelling. You have to really describe the dilemma your clients face. Show them you feel their pain. Then, you can move on to solving it.
3. Solve your client’s problems
Now, you get to describe the solution to your client, and no, you’re not the hero here. (Sorry!) Let’s look at the problem again…
PROBLEM: You’ve just moved into your dream home, unpacked all those boxes, and stocked your fridge with family favorites, but it still doesn’t feel like home… yet.
SOLUTION: What if your home made your daily routine easier? What if your rooms were designed for less clutter and more family moments together? What if you stepped through the door and felt instant peace and relaxation?
You’re not saying “We design spaces that save you time” or “We design spaces that bring your family peace and relaxation.” You’re painting a picture of what life could look like, and the reader knows this is exactly what you’re offering.
4. Extend the invitation
Although the nice people on your website will know that you’re offering the peace and mental freedom you’ve described (or whatever your solution to their problem is), you still have to extend an invitation. Literally invite them to work with you.
Ready for a home that inspires you? Let us take the work off your hands.
Yes, you can feel relaxed at home again — and we can help.
5. Call to action
In website copy, your calls to action are usually buttons. As a designer, you want your first call to action (on your home page) to be a link to your services page. If you’ve built their excitement for your solution, by all means, show them the way!
Slight tangent here, but this is where many website designers will disagree. Should the first button be to book a call with you? Or should it lead to your services? Or somewhere else?
As a copywriter (not a website designer), I don’t think your first button should lead to your contact page or to booking a call. Yes, I know you want more clients, but do you really want to chat with someone who potentially knows nothing about you or your services? I’ve taken those calls before, felt the irritation of time wasted, and realized it was completely my own fault.
This is why I suggest linking to your Services page first. Create an experience for a potential client. Excite them. Educate them. Then invite them to work with you. (Mic drop.)
6. Get more specific
Before I dive into more of the important features of your Services pages, I want to mention specificity. I wrote an entire post about this topic in our Branding & Word Choice post, but I’ll repeat it here…
Being vague is not going to help you attract more people — specificity is. If you target client can’t recognize themselves in your copy, they will go elsewhere, to someone who does sound understanding.
It’s the difference between “removing your coat” and “hanging up your blazer” after work. It’s such a small change, but the difference. is. HUGE. Everyone takes off their coat after work… but not everyone wears a sleek blazer to work and takes pride in their wardrobe. Think about it. ;)
7. Share your process on your services page
I’ve worked with a LOT of designers, and I’ve noticed a big trend in their target clients: clients who can afford full-service design usually (but not always) fall into certain careers. These are the C-Level executives, the doctors, the pharmacists, the lawyers, the bankers, the TV producers, etc.
Another good point? People in these careers are accustomed to budgeting money responsibly (again, a generalization, but mostly true) and work in environments that are highly organized.
What am I getting at here? Share. your. process.
Show them that you have very structured, organized and efficient steps. Create trust in your ability to manage their project, any construction, their budget and timeline. Defy the common misconception that designers just style pretty things, and show them you’re a professional who’s going to have their back.
8. Be transparent about your pricing
If you’re thinking “But Jaquilyn, I don’t want to scare people away!” — hear me out. Yes, listing your starting prices is scary, especially for a full-service design package, but if someone can’t afford your rates, you do want them to self-edit.
Otherwise, it’s not a good fit, time gets wasted on both sides, and if you do work for them at a lower rate, you will go cray-zeeee feeling undervalued and under-appreciated. Not fun.
Another strategic screening process — in your contact form, you can include a drop-down menu for your potential client to select their estimated project budget. If their budget is lower than any options you’ve listed, they probably won’t reach out. Everyone’s happy.
Side Note: If you do get a lot of calls for one-off design consultations, another option is to create a lower-tier service, such as a Virtual Design Date. Just be sure to clearly define what is being delivered in the service, and price your time high enough that it’s still worth your while. You want yourself to be happy.
9. Adding in your unique voice
If you’ve done everything I’ve suggested so far, you’re probably already doing more than your competitors. High five, friend. Now, the last piece — making it all sound like YOU.
This is where tone comes in, and to create tone, you need punctuation. I know, it sounds like we’re headed back to our lunchbox-toting days, but it’s actually something few people in the industry know how to do really well.
I’ve written an entire post here about using punctuation to create tone. Take a look, edit your existing copy to be a bit more you, and you’re good to go.
Now is the part where I wish you luck with all these awesome tips that will benefit your business. Or, if you’re thinking, no WAY am I doing all that, hey, that’s what we’re for. You can check out our fabulous copywriting services here.
See you next week!