User experience (UX) design is the collective effect of a person’s journey through your website or app. In UX design, each of the elements on a page or screen is carefully crafted to guide the user toward their goal. A few critical components of UX design include:
- Sitemap and navigability
- CTA buttons and forms
- Layout and whitespace
- Design and imagery
A frequently overlooked component of great user experience is the copy that sits on the page. How copy is delivered, how much of it there is, and how impactful and useful it is, all play a role in a website’s overall UX. Here are seven tips to create great copy for your website or app:
1. Write the copy before designing the page
It is much easier for a designer to craft a page around the copy, than it is for a copywriter to try and shoehorn their words into a design. Having the copy first ensures that every element on the page supports the message you’re trying to deliver. This is the most efficient way to complete the project. It also ensures that no design elements are wasted and that there is no need to go back and create new ones.
2. Make the font legible
If you want to create a high-converting landing page, you need to have legible writing — especially in your headlines. If the words on your page are impossible to read, chances are users will leave before they even get to the good stuff. Use a legible font size (14 to 16px is generally a good starting point) and make sure the contrast between the text and background is high enough to be easily readable.
In general, black or white text on a colored background is the easiest to read. If you must use a patterned background, make sure to include a solid-colored block over the pattern and place the text over that.
3. Write for humans first, not SEO
SEO is an important component of any content marketing strategy, but stuffing your pages full of keywords will only serve to alienate your human readers. Write first for the people who will be using your site or app, then worry about SEO second.
Keyword stuffing looks like this: “Our Chicago-based law firm specializes in personal injury law, car accident law, and Workers’ Compensation law.” Instead, try something like this: “If you’ve been in an accident, our experienced team of personal injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.”
Your copy should be natural, engaging, and informative. It should flow easily and sound like something a real person would say. If you can do that, high search engine rankings will be much easier to earn. If you need help writing conversion-oriented copy, there are plenty of agencies like CopyPress that you can outsource to.
4. Break your content into smaller paragraphs to improve readability
Nobody wants to read a wall of text. Breaking your content up into smaller paragraphs makes it easier to digest and more visually appealing. In general, shorter sentences are better than longer ones. If a sentence is too long, consider breaking it up into two or three shorter ones.
A good rule is to keep your paragraphs to no more than three or four sentences each. Another way to break up your content is to use subheadings. Subheadings help readers skim through your content and pick out the parts that are most relevant to them. When used correctly, they can also help improve your SEO by giving search engines an idea of what your page is about.
5. Focus on the headings first
The headline is the most important part of your page. 70% of Americans only read an article’s headline before sharing it on social media, so it’s crucial that your headline is attention-grabbing and informative.
Your headline should be clear, to the point, and make use of powerful words like “free,” “new,” “unlock, “and “discover.” It should also be specific enough that readers know what they’ll get by clicking through to your article. Spend some time brainstorming headlines before you start writing the rest of your copy. Once you have a good headline, the rest will be much easier to write.
6. Make your CTA buttons more engaging
A call-to-action (CTA) button indicates the next step a user should take on your site or app. Most CTA buttons have one or two words, such as, “Subscribe,” “Buy Now,” or “Download.” To get more clicks, you’ll have to make your buttons more engaging than that. For example, an online writer who wants to get more people to sign up for their newsletter could use a button that says, “Get my free ebook” or “Save me a spot.”
Similarly, an SEO agency could have a button that says, “Get me 3X more traffic” or “Show me the results.” The key is to use actionable language that tells users exactly what they’ll get by clicking on your button. Be specific, and make it something they can’t resist.
7. Use social proof to increase conversions
Social proof is a powerful psychological phenomenon that occurs when people are more likely to do something because others are doing it. It’s the reason why we’re more likely to buy a product that has good reviews or try a new restaurant that our friends have been talking about.
You can use social proof in your copy to increase conversions. For example, you could say something like, “Over 100,000 people have used our service to improve their SEO.” You could also include testimonials from satisfied customers or social media posts from people who have used your product. Place these prominently on your landing pages to increase the chances that people will see and consider them.
In the world of UX design, copywriting is often overlooked, but as the first step in the user’s journey, it’s crucial to get right. By following these seven tips, you can create better copy that leads to a better user experience and more conversions.