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What Is Website Copy? A Guide On Writing Your Website Text

What is website copy

In more than a decade of building websites for small businesses, we have repeatedly seen that the biggest challenge for our clients is creating website copy. The text and content on the website are the number one reason a website project slows down. 

Copywriting for websites is a special skill, and we’ve got pros on our team who can help you get it done. But if you want to take on the task yourself, this blog post will help guide you through the process.  

What is website copy?

All of the text on your website is your website copy. The text you’re reading now is the copy for this blog post. It’s as simple as that! The text on your homepage, about page, and every service or product page is copy, and together it makes the copy for your website.

Why is it called copy? There are several theories on why we use the term “copy” to mean text. There is a historical interpretation where previous versions of the word have transformed into “copy” over time. For example, “Copie” in Old French which meant written account or record, and “Copia” from medieval Latin which meant reproduction or transcript. Another theory goes back to the early days of journalism when the text would be copied over and over to print a newspaper, eventually leading to the text itself being called “copy”.

What pages should I include on my website?

Every website needs a homepage, a contact page, an About page, and other pages to describe products or services. Some websites have just a few pages, while others have hundreds or even thousands of pages. For example, e-commerce sites can be huge because they need a unique page for every product they sell. 

For many small businesses just starting with their website, you absolutely need the following:

  • Homepage – Think of this as the elevator pitch for your website. There may not be a ton of text on this page but it should set people up to understand what to do and where they should go next (like your product pages, or contact page). Think of this page as a postcard or brochure that entices viewers to learn more. 
  • About – Small businesses must focus on what makes them unique, especially when competing with big businesses. An about page is a great place to share your unique selling point or USP, and explain why clients should choose you over competitors. 
  • Contact – You must give your clients a way to contact you. Whether you prefer phone calls or email, your contact page is an expected part of your business. The copy on this page should explicitly invite users to reach out. 
  • Product or Service page(s) – Depending on your business your site may only need one page to describe what you sell, while other businesses may require many pages. If this page is daunting, start with just one page describing your products or services. It can be expanded as you grow.  

How to write text for a website?

The blank page can be intimidating, especially if you have never written website copy before. When we build a website, we always start with a sitemap. This sitemap determines the website architecture and outlines the pages and subpages you plan to create. 

Once your sitemap is complete, jot down a few bullet points of what needs to be covered on each page. This can guide your writing and break it down into much more manageable bits. For example, when writing this blog post, we brainstormed what sections needed to be covered, this gave us a solid outline that we were able to go back and fill in when inspiration hit. 

It is also helpful to review the websites of your competitors and similar businesses. You must avoid copying and pasting from other websites, but understanding what content they deem important to cover can help you to start your bullet point list. 

For pages on your website that are more stylized, it can be helpful to reference a wireframe, or the rough design of the page to guide your website copy. For example, when writing the homepage copy, there are not usually large areas for lots of information, so seeing how the page is laid out can help you narrow down what information must be covered. 

How many words should be on one page? 

Although you should be writing with your customer in mind, you also need to remember Google’s requirements, especially if you want your site to rank in search results. Because search engines control what shows up on the results page based on the text that is on the website (this is called SEO) you need to provide enough text that Google recognizes your page as relevant. A minimum of 300 words is recommended for every page you write, but often more is better. 

Technology Can Help You 

You don’t need to go at it alone! Here are two apps that can help you on your writing journey:

  • Grammarly – If you struggle with punctuation or grammar, Grammarly can help. It’s a browser extension that helps correct your writing to make sure it’s professional. Grammarly has free and paid versions that have different levels of support. We always recommend reading your copy through even after using Grammarly to ensure there are no mistakes that are missed. 
  • Chat GPT – We’re sure you’ve seen tips on using Chat GPT to write your website content. We would highly discourage you from relying on Chat GPT to do your copywriting for you. Instead, you can use it as a brainstorming tool! Ask Chat GPT what needs to be covered on your About page and it can provide you with a list of questions you can answer. Or feed your page outline into the program and ask it to generate a few paragraphs. Then use that as a starting point to create copy that is unique to your brand. Please be aware that using Chat GPT to write your website content for you can work against your SEO efforts. How? Google is smart enough to recognize content generated exclusively by AI and it lowers your website in the search results. 

Writing for Google

As we’ve mentioned, you’re writing the website copy for your prospects and clients to read, but Google is reading it too! Making sure your website is giving Google the information it needs to show up in the search results is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Writing for SEO is incredibly important when it comes to building your organic traffic and website strength. It is helpful to write with SEO in mind when you’re writing your website copy, but SEO is a tricky job. When you’re ready for search engine optimization, get in touch, and we can help!


When attention is scarce and competition is high, the importance of your website copy cannot be overstated. As you write, remember why your brand is different, and why your prospects should choose you over the competition. All of this works together to give you impactful website copy! 

Need help getting the copy done and dusted? Ask us today about our copywriting service. 

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