7 seconds. That’s how long you have a millennial’s attention before they move on to something else. And for audience members in Generation Z, that window shrinks to only 3 seconds.
As new generations of consumers determine what effective content marketing tactics and proven best practices look like, marketing professionals in the B2B and B2C spaces must tailor strategy as their purchasing power grows.
But why is this important for website copy?
As digital transformation continues to spread across and through industries, brands that lack effective messaging and copywriting will struggle to capture and win the loyalty of their ideal customer profile (ICP).
And for professionals in the B2B marketing space, understanding how to write engaging, educating and exciting website copy is what distinguishes your brand from competitors.
Let’s cover the basics of website copywriting, and learn what that means for content.
One of the most valuable brand assets in modern-day business, a business’s web domain is the center of inbound marketing.
While outbound marketing typically relies on outreach and interrupting your audience even if they’re not currently in the marketing funnel, the inbound methodology relies on attracting customers through the efforts you put into your online presence: your website, content, SEM, social media, branding, and more.
When driving inbound marketing strategy, your website messaging is one of the most important parts of your brand. If you can’t communicate with your audience within the parameters they give you, you’ll miss your shot to engage and excite your prospects.
However, communicating effectively is a challenge most people face, inside and outside of marketing.
Ethos, pathos, logos -- you’ve probably heard of these words before with (or without) vaguely remembering what they represent.
But 2,300 years ago, these modes of persuasion were coined by philosopher Aristotle as his “three artistic proofs,” and have since been used universally when communicating with an audience.
They cover three very basic concepts of communication:
Understanding what these rhetorical appeals mean is important, but knowing how they’ll direct your writing is even more critical to effective website copy.
Empathize with your Ideal Customer Profile's fears and dreams. Understand how your solution solves their struggles. Know what benefits they'll experience, and speak directly to your audience in order to drive these concepts home.
However, it’s also important to use logical appeals and ethical appeals in your website copy. Use social proof, case studies, metrics, and other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that reflect the impact of your product or service.
Convince your audience that your company is the best equipped to solve their problems, whether that's through years of industry expertise, endorsements from global players, or taking an innovative approach to the problem your audience wants to solve.
Every company’s brand will have different messaging and positioning frameworks, so understanding your unique company tone and voice (as well as how to integrate that into your copy) will be a company-by-company challenge.
When you're writing website copy, just remember this: regardless of brand tone and voice, your copy should empathetic, credible and intelligent. What you say is just as important as how you say it.
Just as any project, organization and methodology is everything when writing website copy.
Websites can have 5 pages or 50 (or even 500), so writing and implementing your website copy should be a process of continuous improvement. From competitor strategies to industry trends, make sure you’re capturing your ICP's interest in a unique yet effective manner.
Making sure you have a solid foundation to build your website’s copy is the most important part of this because, without it, you may end up re-doing work, re-writing the same copy over and over again, or misplacing precious resources.
When writing copy, make sure you include the following in your strategy:
Additionally, if you have multiple authors working on the document, include sections for original writer, editor(s) and approvals needed. This will ensure your copy is properly edited and approved before implementing the website copy onto your live domain.
Successful website copy is carefully planned and optimized, so don't rush through this stage of planning.
Now that we've covered the basics, let's get into the good stuff.
Here’s how to write effective, compelling and clear website copy for your B2B SaaS website.
Before you start anything, ask yourself the following questions:
You should identify the type of CTA for each persona and make sure the copy is mapped to drive the right actions based on the end-goal you’ve selected. But don’t just think about YOUR end-goal -- consider the user’s intent of exploring your web page.
User Intent refers to what the person intends to do when landing on your site. This can be signing up for a consultation or new service, buying a product, or reading more about what you offer on your blog.
Whatever these “end goals” are, tailor your language toward your personas that subtly directs your visitors to that desired action. Whether it’s a form fill, a consultation request, or a button-click, make sure that you’re not missing any important steps or information throughout your reader’s initial experience.
For many B2B SaaS companies, marketers use website visits to drive buyers down the marketing funnel and request a demo through a form fill. Capturing contact information is the value of much inbound marketing, so your calls-to-action need to be strategically aligned and mapped out for each persona’s journey.
Plan out your website’s CTAs and user behaviors like this:
To further improve your website’s conversions and impact, you can use third-party tools like HotJar to analyze and see into user behavior on different pages. These insights will reveal where prospects are bouncing and where prospects are converting to best optimize these rates.
When writing good B2B SaaS website copy, the different sections of the website should tell a story about the end-user.
At Kalungi, we like to use the “Pain, Claim, Gain” messaging framework. This communication style aligns with the buyer’s journey funnel stages of awareness, consideration, and decision, and allows your audience to understand what your solution offers.
This is why having a proper page layout and copy flow is critical to ensure your reader doesn’t bounce or leave your page confused or frustrated because they can't find what they're seeking.
When organizing your page’s layout, you may or may not already have a design outline or page example you’re following. However, when you assess your website’s page flow, make sure that a first-time reader can seamlessly navigate down the home page (and all other pages) and understand the "what, how and why" of your company's solution.
Use copy that carries your readers from one point in the buyer’s journey to the next without friction, and make sure you’re not jumping around between stages without the proper context or transitions.
The popular business messaging tool Slack’s homepage does an awesome job of guiding the reader down the page:
Above the fold, Slack’s copywriters discuss the difficulties and benefits of teamwork, and why they made Slack: to help people get work done together.
In the next section, they describe how their product accomplishes this: by offering a better way to communicate. And the bottom section states that over three-quarters of a million companies use Slack, followed by third-party-validated social proof and a call-to-action to try for free or request sales.
By guiding website viewers through the what, how, and why of Slack, they are seamlessly carrying readers down the page and anticipating their next questions.
World-famous-marketer Seth Godin wisely states:
“People don’t want what you make. They want what it will do for them. They want the way it will make them feel.”
Very few people will know (or care) about the technical details of your B2B SaaS product’s functionality and features when they’re in problem awareness. How your product works is much less important than what the product does.
When you’re writing website copy, you have very little time to explain something extremely complex to your reader. Start with benefits your end-user will experience throughout using your product or service and let them visualize their life with you in it.
Use adjectives and action verbs that emphasize the benefit received. Give your audience the power and excitement of feeling your product or service in their lives, and then take it away.
Adobe’s home page has great examples of using benefit-first and describing what you can do with their product, rather than talking about what their product is:
By using copy like “Turn amazing views into landscape photos that pop,” you can visualize the end benefit of using their products and solutions in your own life.
Alignment with your design team throughout website creation and development is essential, as it can make or break the reader’s ability to absorb the information you’re presenting.
Insider Tip: Once you've educated your audience on the benefits of your solution and they become solution-aware, it's also important that you educate readers who’ve entered into solution awareness. Then, taking a deep dive into your product’s features is critical for buyers comparing your product to others on the market.
Because of this, we recommend B2B SaaS websites always include “product” and “features” pages to differentiate and engage with different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Personalization is highly effective for Outbound marketing, and we often see this in effective Inbound strategies, too.
If you have 3 different personas, make sure you’re including content that will resonate with all of their pains, fears and dreams. Avoid the “one-size-fits-all” messaging you are pulled toward and focus on engaging with everyone, from your user-level to executive and C-suite.
In this example pulled from B2B SaaS provider Salesforce, each possible ICP has a unique call-to-action. Using direct segmentation by ICP makes your services easier to communicate because you understand their pains and dreams.
By using clear identifiers for small businesses, sales, service and marketing teams, the audience can easily self-identify and you can communicate in a personalized manner.
When writing content, keyword research is a must. Because your website will be crawled and scanned by Google’s bots, ensuring your HTML code is full of keywords that accurately describe your product or service, and match the words or “search terms” your main audience is using.
The pages of your website should be optimized for high-volume search terms within your industry with regular domain audits that assess your rankings.
Check out the below homepage of B2B SaaS provider Performio, which does an excellent job of using the high-volume search term “Sales Commission Software” in the H1 tags to rank higher on Google’s search engine results page:
If you’re not sure how to get started when optimizing your content with keyword research and content, research your competitor website and note what keywords are in their header tags, meta descriptions, and URLs.
From the language surrounding product features, benefits, and your own company, there should not be any discrepancies or inconsistencies across this language. Creating and applying a brand style guide for content production is essential to standardize messaging.
When you create messaging around your products and services, you’re templatizing the value your readers can expect to gain from your brand. This allows you to nail down your competitive positioning across the industry and reinforce your brand promise.
B2B SaaS company Beezy does a great job at using consistent and clear language on their website:
The brand knows exactly what they provide -- collaboration, communication, knowledge and processes through an intelligent workplace -- and uses these same pillars across their menu structure and product messaging. This communicates what Beezy allows companies to do, and differentiates their solution from other competitors in this space.
To learn more about brand messaging and development, read this 7-step guide to developing your brand’s messaging strategy.
The father of advertising, David Ogilvy, famously said:
On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
Because you have such a small amount of your reader’s attention, write for the skimmer. Focus on optimizing your headings and sub-copy to convey the benefits of your service without a lot of time or effort from your reader.
Less is more -- use bullet-point lists instead of paragraphs, and clear text hierarchies that tailor to skimming headlines.
Keep your sentences short and avoid complex sentence structures. If you’re not sure how to break down your sentences, identify where your first clause ends and where your second starts. Then, simply break them apart and edit as needed.
The fewer words, the better. On this B2B SaaS site Pendo, their copy uses plain language and short sentences to communicate their product’s features:
All of their website copy uses one-word headlines and short blurbs describing the product’s functionality below, making it easy for readers to absorb and interpret information about the product or solution.
Customer testimonials are nearly always one of the most valuable marketing assets a brand can have because they’ll tell you how they think about your product. Often the best solutions and product descriptions come from the customer testimonials you collect throughout your marketing function.
From including short quotes from longer testimonials on your home page, or including a 2-minute raving video from your happiest customer ever, it’s critical to make sure your inbound audience is both hearing what YOU have to say and what your customers are saying.
This will drive your ‘marketing flywheel,’ adding and accelerating your momentum and ability to grow even more.
Here’s a great example of using social proof on your website from German B2B SaaS provider DataGuard:
By using verbatim quotes with profiles linking customer testimonials to real-life companies and problems, you reinforce the value of your brand without directly telling them.
After all, modern-day consumers are distrustful of marketers, so using someone else’s positive feedback about their experiences brings validity and reliability. Third-party platform review sites like Capterra and G2 Crowd are popular sites for collecting and sharing these customer reviews.
If you don’t have VOC testimonials or quotes to include on your website, you can get started with these 24 questions to ask during a customer testimonial interview.
Words are great, but everyone has a different learning style--from visual to auditory, using numbers, graphs, statistics, and even videos can be a hugely impactful way to emphasize credibility and establishment in your space.
Showing off the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) your company has empowered across different clients will give your readers a sense of what they can do with you, rather than what you do. Your audience doesn’t want to
Think about what’s especially important to the personas, industries, or companies you’re serving
Hubspot’s homepage has a great example of this--by using icons and stats organized in a chart, readers can easily scan the information and get a solid sense of scope and diversity of Hubspot’s capabilities.
Any company can do this with the data they already have--it’s more about scraping client cases and identifying the real key performance indicators your clients care about. Once you do that, you can communicate effectively with a broader audience.
While last on this list, tip #10 is certainly not least.
Returning to the concept of empathizing with your audience, using "you" and "your" allows you to connect with your audience and help them feel the power of your service in their own lives.
Rather than talking about yourself or who you are, tell your readers what they can do with you, and how you'll empower them.
Of course, there are times when talking about your company is appropriate. Striking this balance is important because your reader needs to become educated enough about what you do without bragging or seeming self-centered.
B2B SaaS Public-Sector provider Clariti uses “you” and “your” to provide the experience of what Clariti does to its public sector audience, even if the reader’s still at the top of the funnel and is unsure of what their platform provides.
In the example above, Clariti segues from talking about what they provide to their reader in the same sub-copy that talks about themselves.
By using statements like "automate and streamline your operations to save money, meet demands, satisfy compliance and achieve remarkable results" across your own website, you're providing the reader with a glimpse of the power they can possess.
Using customer-centric language is an effective, compelling way to communicate both who you are and what you can do for others.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t trash all of your existing website copy or keep searching for guides. The tips above are all you need to create a high-converting website.
Rather, see what you already have and analyze different ways to optimize the language using the 10 tips above. Your current work is valuable, and it’s easy to tailor for UX once you understand what your reader desires.
Fill out the form & check your email. We'll send you the checklist and you can save it for all of your future website projects.
With time and practice, you'll find yourself writing effective website copy with your eyes closed.
To find out more about effective B2B SaaS websites, check out our guide to building landing pages that actually convert, or how to increase your website traffic with topic clusters. Or, listen to our Podcast, “B2B SaaS Marketing Snacks” for a new episode every Monday and Wednesday.
Thanks for reading, and happy writing!
Need some personalized support for your own website copy? Feel free to email me at email@example.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.