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Design

Copywrite as The Basis For Your Website: Words, Words, Words

An extensive look at the role of copywrite on your website

Text is dismissed, scrolled past, relegated far below all the immediate and easily digestible communications lanes, with many digital companies betting on visuals and audios and whathaveyou. Text is content, only there to fill up space on your website. Many people actually believe that.

In reality, this content is what keeps everything together, that gives the necessary context to the visuals, that first finds the tone of voice and let it bellow thunderously. Content is king! In this article, we won’t be going through copywriting techniques and templates, and such. All those things are fine and dandy, but essentially, all of them boil down to "keep in mind what you’re writing about, who’s going to read it, and what do you want your text to achieve". Let’s step back a little and see how copywriting for the web works.

[...] I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product. When Aeschines spoke, they said, ‘How well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, ‘Let us march against Philip.’ 
— David Ogilvy, On Advertising

Eyes On The Prize: Focusing On The Product

All this content doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s about your product, so: if your product has an edge over the competitors, you need to lead with that. Yet what’s more likely, is that the product functionally isn’t too different from its competitors, and that’s what your brand positioning is for. Regardless, you need to take your unique value proposition, formulate it in simple terms, and start there. The rest depends on the market, the target audience, and the exact goals for your website. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for copywriting. For your product to stand out, your website needs a concept behind it, a succinct idea that ties everything together. And expressing that idea starts with writing it down. Your copywriting is going to define the website and how it looks. If you want to stand out, you need a copy that fits your product and has a concept behind it.

Taking It All The Right Way: Identifying Goals

No matter how many creative types are involved in the process, making a website isn’t freestyling. You start with zeroing in on what exactly it should achieve:

  • Is it a website for a B2B product with a longer sale funnel and you mostly want visitors to just leave contact info?
  • Is it a website for a B2C product, and the website should actively and effectively sell?
  • Does the website aim not primarily for sales or conversion, but to solidify your brand positioning?
  • Or something else?

Your website can solve a lot of tasks, but you can only focus on one as the primary goal. This decision informs the whole process of making a website, but it affects the content most of all. For example, a website that aims to solidify the brand positioning mostly changes the structure of its copy — the second screen of the main page becomes the about us page, where you can lay down your state of intentions with the required passion. But what affects the text the most, is the audience that is supposed to read it. Keep in mind that the target audience for your website isn’t solely the target audience for the product: it’s also your partners, your competitors, the media, your employees, your potential employees, all the way to your potential employees’ mothers. Also, keep in mind that your target audience probably doesn’t care all that much about how good and well are your company and your product. Tell them how it helps them. Give them a reason to care.

Prim And Proper: B2B Websites

A B2B website needs to be precise and practical in its content. If the product is already on the market, you need to present case studies, features in detail, all the data that might interest a potential user. However, if your product is a sophisticated tool, it doesn’t mean that you can fill everything up with minutiae and technical jargon. The person who chooses your product isn’t necessarily all that well-versed in the product niche that you offer, it might, for example, be a middle manager. That’s exactly why they need you, and they need you to be accessible.

On our website, we also feature a comprehensive guide to making a B2B website, that goes far beyond copywriting alone.

Laidback But Straightforward: B2C Websites

On the other hand, a B2C website can afford more stylistic flourishes in its copy, if that fits the brand positioning. You can keep it lighthearted, make a joke here and there, maybe even afford yourself a tangent at some point (again, if the audience and the market are right for such an approach). However, that doesn’t make it okay to pour down headlines with puns, references, double meanings — while a touch of wordplay here and there makes the copy far more engaging and memorable, too much of it and everyone will either simply dismiss it, or worse, find it annoying. No matter how much fun the copywriter had feeling entirely too clever.

Keeping It Together: Design and Content

There’s a surprisingly common misconception that a website either converts well, or it looks good. In reality, these goals not only aren’t mutually exclusive, they’re mutually beneficial. We could assume that one reason for this insidious notion is that often enough an agency creates a website having no idea what the copy on the website will be, and then the company just fills it up with no regard to the design. To get the most out of both design and content, they need to be in sync. They have to be in the same tone and aim towards the same goals. That leads to a website that is cohesive, coherent, and gets the job done.

SEO, LSI, WTF

Search engine optimization is a big topic that can’t be thoroughly examined in a single paragraph. Ask a professional. Do not attempt at home. And if your product is new (it’s been on the market for a year, if not less than that), you probably don’t have to worry about SEO all that much, at least yet. If, however, search engine optimization is a big part of your strategy and you plan on generating a lot of leads through Google? If so, then, unfortunately, you’ll have to take your nice round copy and shove it into a square-shaped keywords hole. Luckily, it’s not so bad anymore as it used to be: thanks to the search engines updating their algorithms, you can’t and you won’t have to just pile on keywords.

Outro

Good copy is the basis for everything: it informs the tone, the design, it informs how the website will perform. And what is a good copy? It’s straightforward information about the product. But leaving only the necessary doesn’t mean overly simplified — you’ll seem like a robot if you only speak in keywords. Keep it simple, but keep it human. And for goodness sake, don’t even mention the word "disruption".

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