Does your website copy do these 7 things

Does your website copy do these 7 things? (most websites don’t)

Almost no website is perfect. There. I said it. And, better yet, most people know this about their own sites and their website copy. Whether you’re a small brand or a Fortune 500 company. There’s almost always at least one improvement that could make a difference. (I am no exception here, and I own that).

However, there’s also value in getting something out there to give yourself some legitimacy and to act as a wayfinder for prospects to see that (1) you’re the real deal, and (2) to give them an inkling of what you do and how to get in touch with you.

And, here’s the thing: if someone is on your site, they’re already interested in learning more. The trick is figuring out how to engage them and keep them wanting more…and then to guide them to the next step along the path. The way to do this is through your website copy

Oh, and did I mention? Unless people are SUPER invested, you have less than 8 seconds to capture them. Sometimes close to 8 seconds (think rodeo bull riding), and sometimes a heck of a lot less.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER! Does your website copy hack it?


I started the First Impressions Project as a way to highlight what I can do for people, to build my skill at providing concise feedback (ahem, still need some work here), and to help people along the way with suggestions for their website copy. I’m doing it at no charge, after all! It helps me, helps them, win-win!

So after 6 weeks and over 20 First Impressions Audits, (probably over 40 since I do them in batches), it’s not all that surprising that I’m seeing some common threads.

First and foremost, business owners know they need to change up their website copy but aren’t sure where to start. Do they need to burn it all down and start from scratch? Or, can they get a huge transformation with relatively small tweaks. And either way, knowing the first step is one of the biggest battles (another big battle is deciding to pull the trigger and make it happen.)

Sometimes, you really do need to start over, whether it’s with an updated theme or design, or with fresh copy, or both. And sometimes, some adjustments to messaging, and a bit of reorganization does the trick. It may not be perfect yet, but it will work better for you. So with that in mind, here are the common threads that most websites need to improve.

Talk About the Transformation

It’s fine to explain what you do and the services you offer, but better to focus on the end result. What is the transformation people experience after working with you? How does their life change? Focus on that! If people can see what their life will look like end state, they’re more likely to say “I want THAT!” Most websites don’t do a good job of this, so nailing this in your headline will help you stand out.

Headlines Matter

First impressions matter, but so do headlines. We skim. That’s how we consume content. So make it bite-sized and readable. Make it intriguing, and then keep them wanting more. Use headlines in the hero area, then use them strategically to guide the reader through your copy.

Focus on “You”

Most sites focus on I, me, and my instead of you, and in some cases, we. “We” being a collaborative effort, instead of the royal we as a company. Your clients have an easier time picturing themself working with you, if you use YOU language. Usually some pretty simple changes here can reframe the entire client experience.

Focus on the Client Journey

What action do you want clients to take? Book a call? Opt into your mailing list? Make that be the very first call-to-action, and make it insanely clear. (Spoiler alert: this should be above the fold if possible, and if not, very close to it.) Next, you’ll want to think about how you want them to consume content on your page and organize it according to what makes the most sense. Your home page shouldn’t have all the information, but it should act as a wayfinding guideline for your site.

Use Specific Language

Most sites use vague and ambiguous language. Clever is good, if it’s also clear. If not, then clear wins. Every. Single. Time. Get hyper specific on who you serve and what you offer.

Make it Easy

Make it insanely simple for your clients to take action. In fact, make it so obvious that it’s impossible to miss. And, if they do miss it, make it easy for them to get in touch. Keep your navigation simple, but be sure to include your contact page. Then include a form and an email address. Different people have different preferences. So unless your inbox is overflowing with leads, make it easy.

Break it up with White Space & Images

No one, and I mean no one, likes reading big blocks of text. Lengthy paragraphs are for textbooks and research papers, not website copy.  If your reader sees giant blocks of text that stretch clear across the page, they’re probably not going to read it.

So break up paragraphs into 3-4 sentences max (usually 1-2). Use plenty of white space to separate your content and elements. And, break everything up with images.

Your reader will thank you, and you’ll keep them engaged longer.

Does your site and its copy stack up?

What about your site? Take a few minutes to assess it now. Do you have a few questions? If so join the First Impressions Project, and I’ll get your audit done just as quickly as possible.

Apply to First Impressions Project

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2 Responses

  1. Great advice! I think a lot of businesses are so focused on making themselves look good on their website that they forget the main purpose of the site – to reach the potential client and share how you can make an impact on THEIR lives. They aren’t going to be drawn in by your awards and accolades as much as they are going to be attracted by the solutions that you are offering for their problems.

    I love that you mentioned that EVERY site can improve in some way. It’s so true – We’re always learning, growing and improving and that should never stop. Thank you!

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