Copywriting Basics for Business Owners

copywriting for websites

With any website, the more you can make it interactive and user friendly the better it will be.  Take a moment and consider your favorite website.  When you’re sitting on the couch in the evening watching television, what website do you surf?  Why do you surf it?

Conversely, when you’re looking for information on the web, what sites turn you off?  What websites do you leave immediately?

Chances are the difference between a website that causes you to linger and spend hours of your time exploring and a website that is forgotten as soon as you click away, is the level of interactivity available.

It doesn’t matter how modern and interactive the web gets, you still need to know this stuff.


Copywrighting That Sells


Use attention-getting, benefit-driven headlines

What is the one thing your prospect really wants from your product? Highlight that in your big, bold headline.


Break up your copy further by using bolded subheadlines to show separate sub-sections of your sales page. It makes it easier to read and can grab the attention of someone who is scanning and about to leave your page.

Bullet points

Bullet points are also your copy’s best friend. Bullet points are easy to scan and read. Use bullet points to tap into the pain your prospect may be facing, illustrate benefits and more.

Write directly to your audience

When writing copy for a sales page, email or anyone else, imagine your ideal prospect on the other side of the screen. Say “you” and focus on your reader more than yourself.

We all know Internet users have a short attention span, so it stands to reason, if you’re talking about yourself…they will just tune out. But if you’re talking to them and about them, they’re more apt to listen.

Know and continue to learn about your target

Even though we think we have a good understanding of our target market, there is always so much more to learn. Keep studying them, asking them question and tracking subjects and products of interest to them to grow your knowledge.

Include enough information to make a purchase decision

Sometimes we might worry about copy being too long, but it’s not length that’s important. It’s about providing enough information on your sales page that fully illustrates the benefits of the product, answers many of the frequently asked questions and even overcomes many of your prospect’s objections. Don’t be wordy as that’s not necessary…be useful and complete.

Be casual

Obviously, there may be some markets where a casual approach is inappropriate, but you’ll generally find that if you write how you speak, you can connect with your audience effectively. Avoid jargon in most cases and speak in plain old simple English.

Short, non-complex sentences, short paragraphs

Just as you want to avoid jargon, you want to keep your sentences simple and break up your paragraphs as well. Short chunks of text are easier to read, scan and grab the attention of your visitor.


Keep your visitor reading through your sales page by including transitions between paragraphs and sections of your page.

Some examples of transitions:

o   And most importantly…

o   As you may already know…

o   As you may have noticed…

o   Aside from that, one thing’s for sure…

o   Bottom line is…

o   Here’s exactly why…

o   I’ll let you in on a little secret…

o   I’m sure you’ll understand…

o   In fact…

o   Just imagine…

o   Let me ask you this…

o   Let me explain…

o   The next step is…

o   Today, more than ever…

o   To prove it, here’s…

o   You’re gonna love this

Power Words


Power words are part of an emotionally-charged language that is used to influence your reader. People react and buy with emotion, and these are words that help elicit emotion. They are often action words and create a mental picture for your reader.

Power words can be used everywhere in your copy. Here are a few examples:

  • action-oriented
  • advanced
  • all-in-one
  • amazing
  • breakthrough
  • complete
  • easy to understand
  • free
  • important
  • improved
  • latest
  • limited
  • low-cost
  • no strings attached
  • on demand
  • proven
  • responsive
  • save
  • time-tested
  • transform

Of course, how you put this together on a page is very important. Pages need to be well-designed to keep the user’s attention.

Keep Design Simple

The more information, ads, bells and whistles you display, the less likely your reader is to take action. Keep them focused on one topic and a specific conversion goal at one time. Whether it’s to sign up for your list, grab a freebie or a buy a product, keep it focused.

As much as possible, keep the items on each page relevant to the actual topic of that page. This generally means keeping a tidy side bar or not having one at all. For sales pages, you may find your best choice is to remove sidebars.

White Space

Give a generous portion of your web design to nothing at all…white space. Having a clean design and plenty of space in margins makes it much easier for readers to concentrate on your content and sales message and content.

Limit Navigation

It’s natural instinct to want to showcase all our great content and information, but excessive navigation simply causes confusion and lack of action. If necessary, use sub-categories to eliminate the need for large and complex navigation systems. Navigation is important and people want interactivity on the web, but use it wisely and never overwhelm.

If you are trying to create navigation that makes it easy for search engine spiders to make their way through your content, use a site map or place the more complex navigation at the bottom of the page, where it doesn’t serve as a distraction for your visitor.

And don’t forget the extras. These are becoming more crucial elements to modern-day copy and content.


Use images to illustrate content and images. If they are virtual products, create virtual cover images or use other images that illustrate the benefits of the product. Images can create visual appeal, draw the eye in at key points of your copy and more.


Whether it’s a slide show presentation, demonstration or you talking to the camera, video is everywhere. It can demonstrate things text can’t and can also create a more personal connection with your visitor who can see you as a flesh and blood person. If you’re using it with sales copy, test different lengths, but you’ll likely do well with a short introductory video that gets your visitor interested in learning more about the product. Content videos can be longer, but experiment to see what keeps your visitor’s attention best.


Audio can also provide an introduction and create familiarity with your audience. Try a short introductory audio recording that invites your reader to learn more about your product or explore your website further. You can also use podcasts and webinars to deliver content-rich information.

With any website you have a few goals


  • You want to drive traffic to your website
  • You want to keep people at your website
  • You want to encourage people to return to your website
  • And you want them to make purchases.

These tasks are all still accomplished by the content that you provide.  Whether it is in the form of an advertisement placed on another website, information in the form of articles, tutorials, ebooks, reports, or blogs, or it is sales material you want to accomplish two main goals:

1.  You want to grab your prospects attention.  This is most often accomplished with a compelling benefit driven headline or subject line.

2.  You want to provide them a benefit.  This means that the content must provide quality information.

The ability to interact with your customers makes marketing, and marketing copy easier, more interesting, and significantly more effective that offering your prospects a standard brochure and hoping that they buy.