If you’ve ever sat down at your computer and tried to write your own website copy, you may have noticed that it’s, well, really stinking tough!
Many people fall into one of these two traps:
Here’s the trick to nailing your website copy. Lean in closer, this one’s important:
You need high-quality frameworks to guide you. Every page of your site serves a unique function and therefore, demands a unique approach.
And unlike templates, frameworks help you master the elements that need to appear on each page while still giving you the space and freedom to make it your own.
So grab a mug of coffee and get comfy. We’re walking you through each page of your site to help you overcome writer’s block and finally tackle your website copy.
First things first, avoid these mistakes when planning your website copy:
There is an essential paradigm shift that needs to happen before you can start writing. You need to realize that your website copy is not about you, your business, or what you’re good at. Instead, it’s about your customer:
Before you write a word of copy, it may help to imagine the reader’s response: “What do I get out of this?” If you can answer that question in your website copy, you are well on your way!
You can’t see the forest through the trees, and similarly, you can’t plan out your individual website pages without understanding the site as a whole. Take some time to jot down goals for your website so you can track them going forward.
Conversion goals: Do you want to drive newsletter sign-ups, a phone call, or a booked service? Each one is VERY different. Pick one primary conversion goal and enforce that across your site. You can have more than one CTA, but this is your primary one.
Traffic goals: Look through your Analytics to understand where traffic is coming from. Then decide if this is the right mix or if you want to change it up. For example, should people come from social? Form search? This informs your understanding of the user journey (see below).
Brand goals: Do you have a messaging doc or style guide that keeps your brand voice uniform? If not, it’s worth assessing your current voice and deciding how you want to present your brand on your website so that it’s consistent across all your marketing channels.
Think of your marketing strategy as a big wheel. If each channel and promotion is a spoke, then your website is the hub, the center of the action. Take a moment to map out all of your main marketing efforts–the platforms that are important to you and any launch funnels or ads you’re running, and how they intersect your website.
Similarly, your site itself is its own mini-marketing funnel, with prospects at all stages of the customer journey–from TOFU to MOFU to BOFU (top of funnel, middle of funnel, and bottom of funnel) needs.
Think about how your offers work together as a whole and how you want to present them on your website to meet these needs.
Ask yourself these questions:
offers and site navigation reflect to meet people where they’re at.
First things first, create a folder for yourself in Google Drive and set up a new document for each page of your site:
If you’re starting with your existing copy, copy and paste it to the bottom of each doc so you can grab what you need when you’re ready (instead of having to sift through it all as you go).
Let’s walk through how to set up each one.
Otherwise known as the top nav, menu, or navigation menu, these are the top-level links that show up a the top of each page of your website.
The trick to planning your navigation bar is to surface the most important information in the least number of ‘clicks’, meaning make sure there’s easy access to the most important pages. If you have multiple service pages, you can do a drop-down under “Work with me” OR have a top-level Service page that links out.
Finally, don’t forget about your footer! This is another static place to house links that maybe aren’t quite nav bar worthy but still important (for example, you can list each service page in the footer to make the more accessible).
Keep it clear. It’s tempting to get clever and abstract with your menu items, but remember that you’re writing for your audience, and they need to ‘get’ what each page is without a lot of thought.
Your homepage is the first thing that visitors see when they arrive at your website. It should make a strong impression and quickly communicate your what/why/how.
Depending on the type of business you have, you may want to focus on different elements, so take a peek through these 5 common homepage frameworks for service-based businesses.
But at a minimum, include these sections for your homepage copy:
Your headline should be short and attention-grabbing, while your subheadline provides more detail about your value proposition.
You need to convey what you do, who you do it for, and how you do it. You can do this with a value proposition statement, through visuals, or with one “How we work” type of section.
Include testimonials that reiterate your messages. Link out case studies and don’t be afraid to add stats that will be meaningful for your audience (clients served, dollars made for clients, the impact of your service, etc.)
Link to your primary CTA from the hero section and again at least one other place on the page. You can also include CTAs to read the blog, sign up for your newsletter, or grab a freebie.
Your About page is an opportunity to tell your story and build trust with your audience. It should provide insight into your company’s history, values, and mission.
Include these sections or PRO TIP! Grab my free About page guide and page builder.
Tell your visitors about your company’s history and how you got started BUT (and this is key), your focus is on the reader. Tell them what you once struggled with (or the industry gap you observed) and how you fixed it to better serve others.
Why do you do what you do in the way that you do it? Think of this like your mission statement but instead of “we do this like this,” you’ll want to make your why about serving others “We believe in helping you achieve this, because…”
You can also include your process or values here, especially if they reinforce your why.
Remember, it’s about them, not you! Include pictures of your team with short bios that build TRUST and likeability. It’s ok to have some fun here.
Always. For this page, include testimonials that build trust, speak to your process, or reinforced your reliability.
Include a call to action that encourages your visitors to learn more about your company or get in touch with you. For example, a free guide, popular blog posts, an invitation to follow you on social media, or an opt-in for your newsletter.
Your product or service pages are where you showcase your offerings and convince your visitors to make a purchase or sign up for your services. The following elements should be included in your product or service page copy:
When people arrive here, they likely already have a higher level of awareness about your brand and what they need, so meet them where they’re at by answering that question “What’s in it for me?”
What’s the special way you do things that makes it so darn effective? Are there phases, timelines, or a special framework you’ve created? Walk your reader through that.
You’ll need to let them know what’s included in your service. Pack it with value! Every part of what you do is important, like:
It’s hard to see our own genius, so I recommend writing out each and every step of your service, start to finish.
For this page, focus on results and transformation. Highlight stories that demonstrate the direct impact YOU had on their business, goals, or output.
Be crystal clear about what action you want interested prospects to take. Should they hop on the phone, fill out an application, or check out online? Knock out any lingering hesitations they may have.
Oh, how I love a good FAQ when it’s done well. Emphasis on WHEN. Include questions that overcome objections rather than focusing on logistics and timing. Make your reader feel assured that this is right for them.
Your blog page is where you provide valuable content to your audience and establish your company as an authority in your industry.
Include the following:
Tell your reader what they’ll get from your blog. Let them know the type of content you cover and your style (Are you salty, informative, educational, or sarcastic? Let them know!)
Break out your content in visually compelling ways. Include a search bar (if you have a lot of articles), list the most popular content, or group by tag/category to make browsing easier.
Your contact page is where visitors go to get in touch with your company. It should provide clear and concise information about how to contact you and what to expect.
That delights and reminds your reader about urgency. Now is the time to act!
Link or embed your calendar, application form, message form, or whatever other next step works for you. Keep it easy, and only include essential information to reduce friction or form fatigue.
Another small but mighty trust builder. Include your address (or city/state), email address, and office hours. Let them see that yes, you are a legitimate and active business.
Congrats on your beautiful website copy draft! Once you’ve nailed your frameworks and have a working draft on paper, here are some next-level tips for making your copy work even harder for your business:
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