Why is website copywriting so important? And what is it?
In this blog, we connected with one of our fave copywriters, Tristyn of Sipsy Ink, to chat about how the copy on your website can hugely impact your brand experience and sales. So many of us consume words crafted by skilled copywriters every day (on billboards, websites, digital ads, newsletters, blogs, etc.) and don’t think twice about who the brain behind the words is. There are copywriters who specialize in different areas, but what I can promise you is this: There’s definitely someone jotting, editing, and forming all those paragraphs, slogans, taglines, and sentences. For a website, copywriting can be very misunderstood and underestimated, and may lead some of us to scratch our heads wondering, “What is website copywriting, and why is it important?”. I asked Tristyn to sit down and share some insight, hard truths, and tips of the trade with us.
I (Emma) first met Tristyn in 2022 when I was working on updating my own website and shop. As a fellow solopreneur and dog mom, Tristyn and I hit it off. What started as chit-chat and her support for my biz, quickly turned into regular catch-ups about all things storytelling, small business marketing, first impressions through words, sales copy, newsletters, website content, and so much more. Trust me, Tristyn’s expertise is worth having in your corner. Ready to hear from her? Let’s dive in.
Who is Tristyn and Sipsy Ink?
Hi! I’m Tristyn Sipsy, the owner and copywriter for creatives behind Sipsy Ink. I’m all about helping creative businesses ditch boring copy that sounds nothing like them (and way too much like everyone else) and finally getting words that work for their brand.
By work? I mean, by drawing attention with their sparkling personality, creating connections with dreamy clients, and causing legitimate action taking, such as directing traffic to their site, converting more leads, and making them more money.
What is copywriting?
The simple explanation? Copywriting is like a salesperson for your brand. Copywriting is the messaging that speaks to your ideal clients, empathizes with a current problem or challenge they’re facing, and explains how your brand has the solution to help them.
As a business owner, you probably use copywriting more than you might realize (which is why it’s so dang important for your brand). Your website, social media or Google ads, email sequences, Instagram captions, and even the messaging you use in project proposals all involve copywriting.
Copywriting vs. copyright: what’s the difference?
Oh yeah, this is the age-old question, especially for people outside of entrepreneurship or who don’t own a small business.
There is a huge difference between copywriting and copyrights. Copywriting is a form of marketing and selling. Copyrights are most definitely a legal situation that I can be of no use with!
How can copywriting impact a small business?
Copywriting is really a fancy term for communicating clearly. When you can communicate clearly, you can help your ideal clients better understand how you can help them and why they can trust you.
And one of the best parts about copywriting is that it works for you 24/7. So when you want to take a day off to go be with your family, your copy can still work for you and (depending on your offer) can make sales on autopilot.
How do brand design and brand strategy play a role in web copy?
Just like excellent brand design needs to start with brand strategy, so does web copy. Before we can get the web copy, we have to start with the strategy behind your messaging and brand voice.
So let’s take this example – I was just helping a home services business establish their brand messaging and voice. They really loved a cheeky, upbeat, somewhat irreverent voice – think like Wendy’s on Twitter.
But we needed to dial that back and get to the root of their brand strategy, including things like their target market and their ideal client. It turns out their ideal client is actually middle-aged, in their upper 50s, in a well-to-do suburban area.
Clearly, that cheeky irreverence wasn’t going to land with their ideal client. Instead, we went with something more friendly and helpful, like a great neighbor who’s always happy to lend a hand when you need them to.
From there, the web copy incorporated language that was built on their brand strategy!
Why is having great website copy important for growing a brand?
Having a great website, which includes both web copy and design, is like giving your ideal clients the best possible first impression from the get-go. Within 0.5 seconds, they’re going to have a general impression of whether or not they like what you’re offering and if they trust you to help them with their problem.
So your web copy and your design have to act fast to keep their attention. That’s one of the biggest reasons why having great copy and design are so important for a growing brand.
Not only that, but once you can keep their attention, your website copy needs to effectively communicate how you help your ideal client solve their problems. Without that, you might find that you have to work harder to make sales for your business!
Does thoughtful website copy mean a website will automatically rank on Google?
Ahh, as much as I wish that were the case… it’s not. ):
Thoughtful website copy can help get your business ranking on Google. Especially if you find a copywriter who incorporates keyword research and organically places those keywords into the copy (hint: I can help with that!).
But, there are many factors that go into ranking on Google. That includes things like your site speed, whether your site is optimized for mobile phones (both things that a designer can also help with), etc.
What are some common web copy DON’Ts?
The biggest web copy DON’T I have for you – and I mean this with all the love in the world – stop writing about just yourself. If you want to not only master the question of “what is website copywriting” but harness its genius for yourself, this is an important lesson to learn.
I see this so often when I’m writing web copy for clients. What they have in place consists of their business’s entire history of how they got started.
The problem with this is… nobody (meaning, your ideal clients) cares. Instead, they’re looking for:
- Whether or not you understand what they’re facing
- How you help them
- What their life will look like after you do help them
- Why they can trust you
And then down at the bottom of the list, they’re looking for who you are.
When you’re writing your copy, speak to all of those questions first. Then you can tell them (a little bit) about yourself!
What are some website copywriting best practices?
One of the best tips I can give is to really narrow down who your ideal client is. Get as specific as you can, including what they’re struggling with, what other solutions they’ve tried that haven’t worked, and how all of that is making them feel.
Then when you sit down to write your copy, write as though you’re sitting with that person in a coffee shop and having a conversation with them.
You can even voice record yourself talking first, then use that to help you start putting words on your screen!
What are the benefits of working with a copywriter?
The big picture benefit: there are so many business owners out there who started their brands…without realizing they’d have to learn an entirely new skill to sell more of their services or products.
And copywriting is a skill. It’s a combination of sales psychology mixed with the artistic means of writing.
When you work with a copywriter, you’re investing in someone who has already honed that skill! So instead of you having to learn what makes copywriting effective and practicing putting that into place, you can have someone do that for you.
But on a day-to-day scale, the benefits of working with a copywriter is having someone in your back pocket who can write in a way that sounds like you, has you standing out from your competition, and that sells your offerings.
If you’re interested in leveling up your brand voice and connecting right with your target audience through copywriting (we highly recommend it!), reach out to Tristyn here. And if you want to work with both of us at the same time (Emma on your branding, brand strategy, and/or website, and Tristyn on your web copy, newsletters, blogs, etc.), reach out to both of us – we love to work as a team!