web copy questions

There’s a reason why your high school English teacher always told you to create an outline before you wrote your essays: improv doesn’t work so well when it comes to writing.

Sure, you may be able to throw together a brief email or a bio without having to give it much thought first. But if you try to take this approach with the copy you write for your website, landing page, or online ads, you’ll regret it down the road. After all, when you try to write web copy without having a plan in mind, you’re bound to miss something important or end up with a page that doesn’t convert so well.

How do you set yourself up to write web copy that generates conversions, boosts your income, and makes your brand soar? Be sure to ask yourself these 8 key questions before you get started.

 

Want a website, landing page, or online ad that converts?
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1. Who is your audience?

You’ve got competitors who are breathing down your neck. (We all do.) That’s why you can’t afford to write generic, mediocre web copy for your website, landing page, or ad. Instead, you’ve got to write tailored copy that resonates with your audience because it feels like you wrote it just for them. How do you accomplish this feat? By taking the time to identify exactly who the audience for this particular webpage, landing page, or ad is.

Know your audience’s age, gender, and geographic location? That’s great! But don’t stop there. Spell out the specific characteristics that define your ideal customer or reader. What are their favourite activities? What are their values? And what’s their go-to coffee shop drink? After all, writing web copy for a 54-year-old man who’s obsessed with crossword puzzles is very different from writing web copy for the 22-year-old YouTube beauty vlogger. When you know exactly who your audience is, it’s a whole lot easier to write copy that makes it feel like you get them.

2. What action do you want your audience to take?

If you want your website, landing page, or ad to convert, you can’t let the copy on it wander aimlessly. Instead, you have to make sure it’s focused on your #1 goal: getting people to follow your call to action (CTA).

Your CTA is what you want your audience to do after they finish reading your webpage, landing page, or ad. Do you want them to sign up for a free resource? Follow you on social media? Buy a product? Book a service? Once you know exactly what you want your audience to do, you can write web copy that’s focused solely on persuading them to take this all-important next step.

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content upgrade tip

3. What does your audience need to know?

You now know what you want your audience to do once they read your webpage, landing page, or ad. What’s the next step? Figuring out the information you need to give them if you want to convince them to act. No matter what kind of web copy you’re writing, you’ll have to tell your audience what’s in it for them. But if you’re selling a paid product or service, you may also need to include information about features, money-back guarantees, and social proof.

Related: 7 characteristics that make your website copy persuasive + free checklist

 

 

Want a website, landing page, or online ad that converts?
Use my copy planning worksheet to craft copy that boosts your subscribers, sales, and growth.

4. What’s your audience’s key problem?

Let’s say you own a beauty brand that sells 100% natural skincare products. There are multiple ways to market your products because they address several different problems. For example, you could highlight the fact that they’re gentle enough for people with sensitive skin. You could focus on how they don’t contain synthetic ingredients that irritate people with allergies. Or you could play up the fact that they’re environmentally friendly. Which angle should you choose? It depends on which issue is most important to your audience.

If you want your brand or offer to seem relevant to your audience, you have to frame it as the answer to their main problem. And to do this, you need to know what their problem is. If your audience is mostly made up of people with sensitive skin, your web copy should focus on framing your products as gentle skincare solutions. But if your audience is most concerned about choosing environmentally friendly products, your web copy should highlight the sustainability of your skincare line.

When you write web copy that’s tailored to your audience’s key problem, it’s more likely to resonate with them and persuade them to take action.

 

web copy questions

5. What sets you apart from your competition?

What does your competition highlight in their web copy? And how does this differ from what you have to offer? Once you know what’s unique about your brand or offer—your unique value proposition—you know what key benefit or feature you need to communicate in your web copy if you want to stand out.

6. What words or phrases might your audience use to search for you?

Think of the words and phrases your audience might use when they’re searching for you (or a brand like you) online. Embedding keywords in your web copy will help you get noticed in search results. And even if you aren’t concerned about search engine optimization (SEO), there’s a good reason to be intentional about the words you use: when you use the same language your audience uses, they’ll be more likely to understand your web copy, see you as a relevant brand, and buy from you.

Related: The Ultimate Guide: SEO Basics for Blog Posts

7. What’s the right tone?

No matter what kind of copy you’re writing, it should always match your brand’s voice—the personality that defines your brand. That is, if your website contains witty copy and casual language, your landing page for a marketing campaign shouldn’t sound like the legalese in a 63-page corporate contract.

But maintaining consistency with your brand voice doesn’t mean that all of your web copy should sound the same. Your tone—the expression of your voice in a particular context and with a particular emotion—can and should vary depending on the type of web copy you’re writing. After all, the tone you’d use in a fun blog post wouldn’t be the same as the tone you’d use in something more serious, like a privacy policy. So before you write any kind of web copy, identify the right tone for your copy first.

 

 

web copy questions

web copy questions

8. What copy inspires you?

Need some inspiration to help you get started and figure out what will work? Identify successful brands you love and study their web copy. You never want to swipe someone else’s copy word for word. But paying attention to the copy elements other brands include, the phrases they use, and the way they structure their copy can help you figure out how to create your own.

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Take the time to plan before you write web copy

Effective copy isn’t successful because it’s funny, slick, or written by a poet. It works because it was written strategically for a particular audience and in a particular way. That’s why you don’t need to be a master wordsmith to write web copy that converts. You just need to create a solid blueprint first so that you know exactly what you need to craft and how it all fits together.

 

Want a website, landing page, or online ad that converts?
Use my copy planning worksheet to craft copy that boosts your subscribers, sales, and growth.

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8 key questions to ask yourself before you write web copy + free copy planning worksheet
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