Web Copy graphic

Your team is a leader in the design, manufacturing and aftermarket support of products unique to the applications and industries or markets you serve. However, what they know how to do is less important to potential customers than how you answer these example questions:

  • How can I solve my immediate production capacity problem?
  • How do I take my idea for a breakthrough technology to market rapidly and profitably?
  • How will your company ensure optimum quality, reliability and compliance with rigorous medical, military or aerospace standards?

By using personal pronouns when trying to answer customers’ questions, your company can quickly explain how engaging with you can help them to succeed.
So with that simple fact in mind, here are five best-practice approaches you can incorporate when publishing content online.

1. Focus Headlines to Convey How Customers Can Benefit, Instead of Highlighting the Features You Offer

It’s very unlikely that your web traffic will engage with an entire page. Most studies show that visitors will read a blog post for 15 seconds or less (TIME). They’ll quickly scan for the big type that offers clues about how you can help them. So give them benefits in that big type. Plexus gets this right on its homepage when they proclaim: “We’ll help you create the products that build a better world.”

Best-practice Recommendations

  • Write strong headlines that encourage website visitors to continue to read down through the page. Focus on benefits over features. 
  • Show the readers what’s in it for them. Instead of simply listing features, explain how each feature aids, enhances or advances a customer’s project. Give readers a clear idea about how your company will improve their situation.

2. Give Readers “Digestible Bites of Copy”

Business customers visiting your website are time-starved; they need information quickly. You can help them to find information and digest it faster by:

  • Breaking up long blocks of copy into short sentences (20–25 words) and paragraphs (2–3 sentences)
  • Creating bulleted lists 
  • Adding frequent subtitles and sidebars to highlight key details or related information

Here’s an example from American Electric Power (AEP).

Best-practice Recommendations

  • Customers may not read every word you share. They’ll scan and scroll rapidly, so be sure to incorporate frequent navigational aids and brief organizational devices.
  • Suggested word counts are merely guidelines; explaining one of your processes or solutions may require using 30–35 words. When possible, follow longer sentences with a shorter one and vary the length and pace of your copy. This technique can enhance readability and understanding. But above all, write naturally and get to the point!

3. Answer Customers’ Questions

Lots of businesses try to cram their webpages with technical terminology and jargon, or specific keywords that can boost their ranking on Google or other search engines. While that SEO strategy may have worked in the past, it is not as effective today. In fact, Google places a priority on webpages that are written with natural language because that makes the information on the sites more likely to answer visitors’ questions.

Instead, the copy on each page should clearly focus on straightforward answers to frequently asked questions. This format can make it easy for potential customers to find the answers they’re seeking. And Google can, too.

Best-practice Recommendations

  • If your offering is complex, describe it in a simple, actionable way. Show readers what’s in it for them. Gilbarco Veeder-Root, a manufacturer of convenience store fuel dispensing and point-of-sale hardware and software, writes about its solutions in the same ways that customers talk about them. Google can easily identify their use of natural language. Examples include:
    • Retail Fueling: C-stores are the forefront of electrification, providing frictionless integration that doesn’t require drivers to change their behavior.”
    • Fleet Fueling: Commercial fleets are making the transition to a sustainable clean energy future, and fleet electrification is leading the way.”
    • Charging Management: Maximize the profitability of your charging network with our state-of-the-art platform for service providers and fleet operators.”

4. Speak Directly to Customers, Not Internal Audiences

Websites are most effective when they’re created with a specific target audience in mind. Avoid the temptation to write for your internal audiences. Instead, use the same language you would use to speak with your readers in person. Roche does this at a high level for its tumor board decision support products. Here’s an example:

  • “The start of something exceptional”
  • “The best clinical decisions are the most informed ones. The NAVIFY® Decision Support portfolio is a fully integrated collection of scalable, secure workflow solutions and apps designed to empower clinical care teams.”
  • “Streamline and standardize clinical decision processes, address evolving expectations, and change how care is delivered with data-driven insights.”

Best-practice Recommendations

  • Choose words your customers use in conversation and in writing to describe their processes and outcomes. They’re often different from the jargon and product terms used by teams inside your company.
  • Keyword research can help you to identify popular terms and phrases used by customers via online searches.

5. End With a Strong Call-to-Action

What action would you like your web visitors to take on each page of your site? It could be completing a form, downloading content, or engaging with a certain section of the page. To support that, make it easy for users to engage. Here’s an example from Honeywell Intelligrated:

  • “How to Create a Safer and More Productive DC”
  • “Learn proven strategies to meet customer expectations, reduce workplace safety risks, monitor facility operation, and transition to more automated and efficient processes.”

Best-practice Recommendations

  • Use calls-to-action to explain how readers can benefit by asking for more information or reading a case study.
  • Place at least one call-to-action on each page above the scroll line (if possible) to make sure it’s seen.
  • Consider how to include multiple calls-to-action throughout a webpage in each section or subtopic. 
  • Use action words so readers understand exactly what you want them to do. Avoid “Contact us.” Instead, engage readers with words and phrases that invite action or hint at what they’ll receive in return for spending more time on your website. Examples include:
    • Learn more
    • Discover more
    • Register for the webinar
    • Watch the video
    • Download the white paper
    • Get your copy
    • Talk with our specialists

What to Remember When Writing Website Copy

Shifting the emphasis from a focus on your offerings to how you can address their challenges can make all the difference. Highly effective website copywriting enables customers to quickly understand how you can become their business partner and not just a supplier.