Great website copywriting is all about strategic word choice and persuading readers to take action. But how do you craft a message that not only connects with the audience, it also stands out from the competition? Let’s review the fundamentals.

1. Know your audience. How can you convince readers to take action if you don’t understand their wants, needs and motivations?

2. Develop a unique selling proposition (USP). Why should the reader take action with you rather than a competitor? Your USP should instantly grab attention while stating your case in as few words as possible.

3. Establish an objective. Whether you’re developing copy for your website or a newsletter, you should always focus on one core objective and call to action (CTA).

4. Keep copy clear and concise. The best way to stay on message is to avoid adding unnecessary fluff.

5. Write compelling headlines. Headlines provide the perfect opportunity to grab your audience’s attention early, often by stating your USP.

6. Use active language. As Lucy used to say, don’t be so wishy-washy, Charlie Brown! Avoid passive voice and use words that encourage specific actions.

7. Make it SEO friendly. Web copy has to be easily classified by Google and other search engines. Make sure you’re integrating key terms and phrases for search but not at the expense of readability.

8. Focus on benefits, not features. Features without context mean little to your readers. Emphasizing the benefits of those features, however, gives readers a reason to take action.

9. Approach the CTA carefully. CTA conversions are your ultimate goal, but you have to give readers everything they need to take action. Provide them with information, show value and desirability, and make it 100 percent clear what action you expect them to take. Here’s a good example: “Receive a free demo today!”