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Parents often tell their children: ‘If you can’t say anything useful, say nothing at all.’ You could say the same of the text on your website. I firmly believe that poor website copy is worse than having no text at all.

I’m not a wordsmith by trade but I did have the privilege of working with a fantastic copywriter for a couple of years—and it helped me determine good website prose from bad. Here are a few tips on how to make your website words turn visitors into customers.

Avoid clichés

I avoid clichés like the plague. Seriously though, clichés won’t win you any customers or clients; it will only lose you some. Phrases like ‘first class solutions’ and ‘award–winning provider’ must be the most worn out terms in sales copy. Such generic trite is as useful as it is meaningless. Instead, try to think of what differentiates you from your competition—and what makes you unique.

Don’t write using ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘we’

Most web copy falls over because its writer spends far too much time talking about themselves and not the potential customer. As interesting as you may find your company history, etc your visitor only wants to know what’s in it for them.

Talk about benefits, not features

Following on from the previous point web copy should be centred around the benefits your product or service brings to the potential client or customer—not the features. For example, if you were selling a new wonder drug you’d want to mention what ailments it cures or alleviates—not what new active ingredient is in it.

Accept that you can no longer use keyword stuffing

If you’re otpimising your web pages for the search engines don’t stuff your keywords in to score some Brownie points with Google; it will make your text read awkwardly. Besides, Google has now gotten to the point where it can understand content written for humans much more effectively—so now keyword stuffing can only do you harm.

Don’t write lengthy passages of text

Website visitors are highly impatient; keep your content concise. Don’t write huge paragraphs—and make use of headlines and bulleted lists as they make the content easier to read and take in.

Never use pretentious agency nonsense

Some agencies fall into the trap of thinking that if they come across as pretentious and a bit different it makes for good copy. Trying to be overly wordy or snobbish won’t do you any favours.

Be approachable

Make it really easy and obvious on how to get in touch. Add plenty of calls–to–action (E.g. ‘Email us now or call us on…). Also it pays to appear human—as opposed to a faceless corporation. Give your text a personal touch by adding a person’s name, direct line and personal email to your contact page and elsewhere (E.g. Call 01234 567890 and ask for John).


Finally—and probably most importantly—proofread your text. Errors in grammar and spelling will only damage your credibility. Make sure you only publish text that is word–perfect. Don’t rely on your Word Processing software; only a human can make sure your web copy is as it should be.

Only the other day yet another Indian SEO company spammed me and they came out with this beauty (relating to their prices):

I sending our prices list and you can find from attachment file.

For help in saying something useful on your website call me on 07843 483 078 or get a free quote online.

Tim Bennett is a Leeds-based web designer from Yorkshire. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.