Website Copy Do’s and Don’ts

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Launching a new website can often feel a bit scary… after all, it is your brand’s virtual home! In this post, I’m telling you all of my website must-haves (and definitely-must-NOT-haves) so you can launch your site with confidence. Keep reading for all of my website copy do’s & don’ts!

DO: Speak directly to one person.

Your ideal client, to be specific. You know what they say… you can’t be everything to everyone. And if you try too hard to cater to an audience that’s too wide, you’ll miss the opportunity to connect with the people you really care about and actually want to work with.

DON’T: Forget to protect yourself legally.

Including your Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions pages is a website nonnegotiable. These documents help you legally cover your @$$ when it comes to things like collecting IP and telling your users what they are and are not permitted to do on your site. There are plenty of places you can purchase a template drafted by an attorney online, which will ensure that you’re absolutely protected. Click here to shop my attorney’s templates.

DO: Include lots of calls to action.

You may feel like the next step is clear to you user, but you can never be certain that they’ll be able to infer what to do once they land on your site. It may be abundantly clear to you, but the cardinal rule in launching a new website is always to make everything abundantly clear. You want your call-to-action to be painfully obvious for the customer. Don’t let hot leads slip away by forgetting to tell them what to do with their interest!

Related: 3 Common Website Copy Mistakes To Avoid

DON’T: Forget to customize your 404 error page.

This is the easiest way to spot a DIY website, and adding a bit of customization can turn the otherwise annoying situation of finding a broken page into an opportunity to connect with readers. Click here to see what a customized 404 error page looks like.

Side note: this is a tip from a fav web designer friend of mine, Stepfanie for the SM Collective. If you haven’t read my interview with her, check it out after you read this—you’ll love it, it’s packed with tons of info about everything from SEO to Squarespace design.

DO: Add an about page (even if you don’t think you have much to say about yourself!)

About pages are the most visited web pages on the Internet, but yet some business owners feel like they don’t need to add them. As a website copywriter, I’ve probably visited thousands of websites with an analytical eye, and the best websites always have a dedicated place to tell their readers about their story. People are inherently curious, and they always want to know more about the owner behind the business.

Now, I completely understand that writing your About page can be difficult. Talking about yourself can feel so weird! Begin with your “I help X do X” statement, and experience, and throw some relatable facts about you or your brand into the mix to foster a connection. Click here for more About page tips.

DON’T: List your resume on your About page.

You wouldn’t introduce yourself and immediately list your credentials on a first date, so you shouldn’t do it on your About page. While the goal of your website copy is of course to sell your products or services, you should do so in a manner that also fosters a connection with your ideal clients. If they wanted to read about the details of professional and educational background, they’d stalk you on LinkedIn.

Depending on your industry and the nature of your business, there is a place for this type of information on an About page, but it should always be secondary to introducing yourself as an actual human, and never be painstakingly described at length.

DO: Familiarize yourself with best practices for search engine optimization

Please don’t ignore SEO, i’m actually begging you. At the very least, make sure your website loads fast enough (on desktop and mobile), is set up on google search console, and has H1 headlines, unique title tags and meta descriptions for each individual page, and appropriate amount of keywords, and at least 2,200 words on each page that you hop to rank for.

Side note: if you want to learn more about how to optimize your website and blog posts, download my SEO guide for beginners to gain a comprehensive understanding of search engine optimization!

DON’T: Publish without proofreading!

Before you make a new site (or any changes to an existing site) public, make sure all of the links work, all of the copy is free of grammar and spelling mistakes, and that everything is final, formatted, and perfect.

Now, promise me you’ll refer back to this post next time you’re updating your site! And, of course, if you decide website copy is a bit too intimidating to remain a DIY project, check out my website copywriting services!

If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:

Subscribe to my newsletter! I send one marketing tip, once a week – and, according to my subscribers, it’s “the best marketing newsletter on the Internet” and “the only reason to wake up on Tuesday mornings.” So… yeah. You’ll love ‘er. 😏 Click here to subscribe!

Check out my services. I write website copy, sales pages, email sequences, blog posts, and brand messaging guides for entrepreneurs of all kinds! Maybe you’re my next favorite client.

Read the rest of my blog. It’s home to everything from copywriting tips, to marketing education, to freelance advice, to portfolio-worthy projects… if you like this post, you’ll love the blog. Here’s a quick roundup of my most popular posts.

Sign up for my web copy course. Actually, it’s not *only* about website copywriting—I also teach modules on copywriting basics, developing your target audience, search engine optimization, blogging, and email marketing.

Enlist me as your mentor. I have an entire in-depth blog post about my one-on-one consulting process for new and aspiring copywriters, if you’re interested in having a big-sis-style mentor to help you grow your freelance copywriting business & get results.

To get in touch with me directly, send me a DM or email Have a great day!

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Hi, I'm Sara—Website Copywriter & Marketing Mentor.

If you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or course creator with big dreams of success and growth—and a big, scary blank document standing in your way every time you sit down to write your own copy—nice to meet you, I'm your new solution. 

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