• Community, Advice

5 fast fixes to make your web copy sparkle

Got 15 minutes? Time to boost the potency of your freelance website.

Whether you have a degree in English or you couldn’t write your way out of a paper bag, you can use pro writer know-how to make a few quick and easy tweaks to your freelance website.

It’ll only take a few minutes to make a big impact with these five easy fixes.

1. Get that headline popping

It’s really, really easy to get wrapped up in the headline or tagline for your site. Folks get so absorbed in being original or clever, they can totally lose sight of the goal.

If someone reads the headline — or at least scans the header section — of your home page, will they know who you are and what you do? Will they see themselves in it?

Your home page needs to let the reader know that they’re in the right place. Make it crystal, sparkling clear that you’re the person who can solve their problem.

Think about what you’d tell your friend’s mom about what you do, in about one line. "We do [service] for [customer industry]" is never a bad bet.

Let’s look at a couple of headlines from some design sites:

“We build websites that work. And fix ones that don’t.” —

Cool, we get it! Sounds like you’re not going for a very adventurous customer, but someone who’s looking for a safe bet.

“We Can Help Take Your Business to the Next Level.” — Anonymous

Vague, boring, not convincing. What are you actually doing to accomplish this lofty, ambiguous goal?

Make your headline clear, concise, and just specific enough to catch your ideal client's eye.

2. Bolster each page’s call to action

Every page on your site has a reason to exist. And each one should have a call to action — something for the reader to do next.

Think about the function of each page of your site. Who’s landing on your home page, and what action do they take next in the customer journey? Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter or book a consult? Are they ready to do that from the home page, or do you need to coax them along with a peek at your killer portfolio first?

Use CTAs to guide potential clients down the path you want them to take, rather than just clicking randomly around on your site and leaving.

Once you’ve figured this out...

3. Level up your button copy

What do your website buttons say?

“Buy now”?

Or maybe “Learn more”?

You didn’t spend that much time thinking about them, did you?

Most people don’t.

But buttons are where conversions live — and conversions are why your website exists in the first place.

There are LOTS of thoughts, theories, and practices for writing button copy. In short, make it about your customer.

Consider adding a little helper text near your button if it’s not totally clear what magical journey is in store for someone who clicks.

4. Offer a guarantee

For freelancers, the idea of a guarantee is scary territory. There’s no way you want to lose cash after you’ve spent time serving a client.

But it doesn’t have to be the pervasive 30-day money-back guarantee. It just has to be about reducing risk for your potential client. Buying from a new freelancer is a big leap of faith.

How do you make it easier for the client to say yes? Do you offer revisions, discounts for larger orders, or payment plans? Can you bundle services? Can you lay out very clearly what your process looks like, and how available you are, so that more meticulous decision-makers feel comfortable making the next step?

5. Proofread. Again.

I know, you’ve already proofread your website copy! But the problem is that humans suck at proofreading their own stuff. Trust me, as a former copy editor, it is embarrassingly true.

After you make any changes to your site, proofread before you publish. Proofread it again the next day, when your brain is fresh.

If grammar is not your strong point, hire someone to proofread it for you. We’re talking about a low-three-figure amount to just make sure everything tidied up. (Yes, you CAN ask a buddy to do it for free, but we’re freelancers here, and we understand that you have to pay for professional services. Unless your mom is a proofreader. Then you can ask her. Though, really, you should offer to pay your mom. Moms need stuff, too.)