5 Web Copywriting Golden Rules You Should Never Break

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Web Copywriting Golden Rules

5 golden rulestb_640x480Let’s face it. Your reader has a million and one things to do other than read your sales letter. He’s got bills to pay, a train to catch, and a million other things on his list. That’s why you’ve got to get his attention – fast.

And once you’ve got his attention, you’ve got to keep him there right with you.

Here’s the big problem.

Your site looks like a billboard ad. Visitors hate to be bombarded with ads. Even if they’re looking to buy something, they want information on the product they’re looking for.

Not an advertisement about the product!

Worse, you’ve wasted $1,000s on “copywriters” whose copy can’t bring in a single sale! That’s because they’re clueless when it comes to web copywriting.

So why isn’t your copy converting?

Advertorial Copy

daily newsdownloadLet me lay it out for you. Your job as a web copywriter (or the person you hire to write your web copy) is to present your copy so that it reads like an editorial or a testimonial. It can also read as an endorsement – like a press release or a case study.

See, when you write copy that comes across as advice or testimonial-like, it looks less salesy and more credible.

Here’s the good news! I’ve got some dos and don’ts of web copywriting I’ve learned over the years that will help your sales page look and sound like an editorial and rocket launch your sales.

So… What are the “Web Copy Dos and Don’ts?”

Web Copy Dos

1. Do Write in a Conversational Style

Nobody talks like a robot. So write like you speak. It’ll form a connection to your visitors.  Why? Because you sound friendly and approachable. Your visitor will feel like you’re speaking their language – like you’re on the same page.

2. Do Use Contractions

contractionsCertain copy, like business to business copy, should never use contractions. But with consumer to business web copy, using contractions is a must. When people speak, they use contractions.

Using contractions sounds intimate and draws the reader closer to you. So instead of saying “I have”, you’d say “I’ve”, and instead of saying “It is” you’d say “It’s”.

You get the picture.

By the way, I hate when I outsource an article, and it comes back littered with non-contractions. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. It sounds too formal!  It puts distance between me and my target audience.

So what do I do? I end up re-writing the article – lacing it with all kinds of contractions – which makes my readers happy, happy, happy!

3. Do Use Colloquialisms

idiomsOkay. You have to be careful with this one. You want to use common colloquialisms. The idea behind using colloquialisms in your copy is that you want to come across as familiar, friendly – up close and personal – as opposed to distant and at arm’s length.

When you speak the same language as your visitor, they’ll feel like you understand them.

…and when they feel like you understand them, they’ll trust you.

Remember the Golden Rule: People buy from people they like and trust.

Here’s the kicker: Since the web is worldwide, you’ve got to use colloquialisms that are understandable to people who have a good understanding of the English language. To avoid misunderstanding, use colloquialisms that have found their way into mainstream online communication.

Colloquialism Examples:

“Dough” v. “Money”

“Slam Dunk” v. “A Sure Thing”

“Laid-Back” v. “Calm, Relaxed”

“Come Up For Air” v. “Take a Break”

You get the idea….

Lastly, avoid using regional or locally-based colloquialisms and slang as they too can be misunderstood by the masses.

Web Copy Don’ts

4. Don’t Use Fancy Vocabulary

The-English-Rebellion-Long-WordsOkay. I know you want to sound brilliant. You’ve spent $1,000s on your education, and you want your readers to see just how your education has paid off in spades. So you figure you’ll sprinkle your copy with big words you learned in college and impress them. Right?


In direct response copywriting, you need to use clear, direct, easy-to-understand communication at all times. Why? Because if your visitor doesn’t understand you, they won’t buy what you’re selling.


Your copy must provide everything your prospective customer wants to know in clear, uncomplicated language.

5. Don’t Toot Your Horn

Nobody likes a bragger. Your visitors don’t care how great your company is. Or how many shares you hold. They care about what you can do to solve their problem.

What’s more, you’ll look like an ass – and your customers will click the back button.


And there you have it. 5 top web copy do’s and don’ts to create great sales copy. If you’re planning to write your own web copy, practice these principles like a religion. Or, if you find you’re not a good writer, you can always hire a great web copywriter who can skyrocket your sales.