Web Copywriting Basics

Writing for the web is a skill that, when mastered, can help improve your conversion rate. There are many differences between writing for the web and writing for offline content.

I actually wrote this post a few years ago for another blog project that I didn't keep up so I'm reusing it here. I'm interviewing two Adelaide based Professional Copywriters, Anna Peterson and Michael Soinenen, in the next few weeks so it will be interesting to compare their tips and insights to my researched article.

Your website content is what attracts, engages and ultimately converts your visitors. People behave very differently on the web than they do when consuming other media. The information, structure and navigation or your pages is very important to make customers of your visitors. Every page should end with a call to action to channel your visitor towards a conversion.

  • What to Write About: Information; key words; SEO
  • Structure: Make your content scannable
  • Navigation: Internal links; external links
  • Call to Action: Drive conversions
  • What to Write About
People come to your website for information. If you don’t have what they’re looking for then your competition is only a back button away. Market research is important to determine what your customer’s needs are and what language and keywords they are using to explore and satisfy those needs. Try to write information rich articles with a specific focus to help satisfy your customer’s needs.

First and foremost your content is for engaging and then converting your customers. The second most important reason to have good content is to make your website findable in the search engines. Each webpage should be optimised for a small number of keywords or key phrases, which are determined through market research. I will discuss search engine optimisation at greater length in future posts.


Unlike book or magazine readers, website users typically scan webpages rather than reading all, or even, most of the words. Therefore it is important to write your pages using a structure that is easily scanned so your customer can get an idea of what the page is about in only a few seconds. Here are a few tips to make your content scannable:
  • Intuitive headlines and titles to make it clear what the page is about.
  • Bullet points and checklists.
  • Illustrate some content with pictures and diagrams with unique captions explaining them.
  • Simple sentence structures.
  • Start each page with a conclusion and a short summary of the remaining content. Eye tracking studies have shown that users typically scan a webpage in an ‘F’ shaped pattern. In addition, content that is above the fold, or before the user has to scroll, is much more likely to be read than content that the user must scroll for. Structure your page so that the most important information is at the top and towards the left of the page.

  • Maximise the space at the top of your document by including links to other sections of the document using anchor links.
  • Split long articles into multiple, hyperlinked pages as users aren’t willing to read large documents on the web.
  • Keep your page clean and simple by linking to background or explanatory information for those who want or need it.
  • Treat your hyperlinks as keywords as they will stand out and draw the eye of your scanning customers.
  • Linking to useful external sites can help increase your credibility
  • Put relevant, but less important links at the bottom under a ‘See Also’ heading
Call to Action

Every page on your website should end with a call to action. The call to action should be a step towards completing a conversion. My call to action for this page is for people to subscribe to my feed so they can receive my new internet marketing articles as soon as they are published.

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