February 9, 2024

How to prep for website copywriting

Looking for website copywriting services? In this blog post, we discuss website copywriting, and what to do before you start.

How to prep for website copywriting

How to prep your website copywriting

Attention spans are fleeting. Online competition is fierce. With those crucial facts about the world today in mind, the importance of website copywriting, for both human eyes and digital crawlers, cannot be overstated.

Your website is often the first point of contact between your business and potential customers. It’s also what search engines like Google use to rank your business in search results. So, the words you choose are pivotal for your visibility.

But hold your horses! There’s a lot to do before you start writing.

In this blog post, we cover the foundational work for the words you choose. How much do your keyword choices matter? Do writers really need to know what the website looks like before they get started? Do you know what impression you want to give people when they land on certain pages, and what you want them to ultimately do on said pages?

Our team of experts provide website copywriting services daily to a broad range of clients. Below, we share some of the basic questions you might want to ask your team before starting.

What keywords are we focusing on?

Keyword research is a big deal. Start by considering how your customers talk about you, your services / products, and then use online SEO tools like Semrush or Moz to see what’s realistic for the size of your business to compete in. Avoid complex internal terms or words that aren’t used externally by the people who would be searching for a company like yours — you can even research your competitors and the key words and phrases they’re targeting as a place to start.

What’s the website’s structure?

Most websites have these core pages:

  • Home
  • About
  • Services / Products
  • Blog
  • Contact

Do you have any other core pages that need to be included? What pages are in the next layer of your site hierarchy — for instance, what services are you offering? There should likely be a page for each. Do you perhaps need separate pages for potential customers and others for investors or collaborators? Using your keyword research, are there any SEO-optimised pillar pages you might like to create, either as a page of its own or as a regularly updated blog post?

It becomes a lot easier to break down and distribute what can turn out to be a lot of work once you know the different sections of a site that need working on.

What does each page look like?

Once you know the structure of your website, casting an eye over wireframe templates are the next step to take. These show the layout of each page that your website designer has in mind — including the sections in which writers will need to plant some words. There is, of course, a back-and-forth here to make sure the right space is designated to each area, but the visual will prompt either a first draft or conversation about needing more / less space.

Different pages are likely to look different, too, not just with the words and photos — the services page and its subpages, for example, will look different to the layout of and content required for a contact page. This gives some sense of what each section is surrounded by, the rough or exact length of copy required (so you don’t throw 1,000 words into something that only has space for ten), and those two things can determine things like urgency or purpose of the copy. (For example, an incredibly short section needs to be clear on what you want the person visiting the page to do — discussed below.)

For each page wireframe, create a written document template with sections, word counts, and meta details. That way, you have your boundaries set and ready to work with.

This is how we work at Transform and is, of course, what we’d recommend.

Our team of writers work holistically with our sister agency, Transform Digital, to finalise the wireframe, tweak the web copy, and welcome a natural back and forth that results in something that both reads and works wonderfully.

How do we want to sound?

If you don’t yet have a defined tone of voice (TOV) for your business, it’s worth spending some time here, too. With the rapid developments in AI today, this is even more prescient, as you can provide AI tools with your TOV details to tailor the copy you’re writing. This is, therefore, something to get right, ideally with the right people — senior stakeholders — in the room.

Here are some questions to ask in TOV discussions.

• Who are you talking to?

• What do they need / want / care about?

• What tone will they respond to best?

• Funny or serious? Casual or formal? Mocking or respectful? Enthusiastic or matter of fact?

• Are there other brands or organisations that capture the TOV you’re aiming for?

• Use them as a reference point for the rest of the discussion.

What do we want people to do?

Your website is just one step on a visitor’s journey of getting to know you. So, what do you want them to do? Get in touch, make a purchase, or something more niche depending on the page and your position on it — like scrolling down, clicking on a video, downloading a document?

Calls to action (CTAs) are a vital step, for your individual parts of website pages, pages as a whole, and your website more broadly — if you don’t define what it’s there for in the first place, it won’t do what you want it to do (at least, not on purpose).

Let’s start writing!

Don’t worry — you’ve done all the leg work, this part’s going to be easy for a writer.

Here are a bunch of brief tips.

• People won’t read it all. Check your copy is clear, concise, and easy to skim.

• Include the most important information as early on as possible.

• Every word should count. Short sentences, short paragraphs.

• Break your copy up with bullet points, image, graphic design, and video.

• Include headings (with your keywords in H1s and H2s).

• Use an active voice, not a passive one.

• Keep returning to: keywords, TOV, CTA.

Website copywriting services with Transform

We’re here to help with all your website copywriting needs. Whether it’s all the preparatory work mentioned above or the writing itself, or both, our expert team have decades of collective experience to offer in a broad range of sectors and mediums.

Get in touch today.


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