A guide to structuring website copy for your service business
Writing website copy isn’t like writing anything else…You need to get the structure and flow right, or else you’re wasting your time.
Has your current website copy turned into a bit of a mess, with an unclear message and no real plan? Or are you planning a new website copy structure for an upcoming launch or website redesign?
Either way, this guide will help to deliver the right information to potential clients clearly and persuasively. It goes into different types of pages you need as a service-based business, what to include on them, and how to make sure it’s relevant to your business goals.
Why do you need to review your website copy structure?
There are many reasons why your website messaging can feel all over the place. Has your business changed since you last updated it? Your current website copy may no longer service your business, as your services might have changed, your ideal client profile could have shifted, and you could have streamlined what you’re offering…
So, first, understand what’s not currently working about your current website copy structure. Then go through this blog post (or bookmark it for later) to properly plan your copy and start selling how awesome you are!
Copy for the most common types of website pages
For most businesses, you need these main pages:
- Home page
- About page
- Services/products page
- Contact page
However, many businesses also have an FAQs page, blog/news page, portfolio/work page, testimonials, and multiple service pages.
What you offer in your business and what your niche is will determine the exact sitemap and information layout for your website copy. Each page has its own requirements for website copy to make them a success…
Set your website page goals before writing copy
Before you start writing or editing any copy, you need to first know what each page of your website’s goal and purpose is.
You should stick to one core message on each page (where possible) and match this to your call to action (CTA). Otherwise, you will find it impossible to work out what messaging and copy you need and it will be a jumbled mess.
Is this page to direct people to the right place? Is it to encourage sales? Is it to get email sign-ups? Or do you want people to book a call?
When you know where your priorities lie, you can more effectively structure your website copy to hit those goals.
General rules for structuring your website copy
For good practice, you should structure the website copy pages in a certain way. This gives your readers the information they need in a clear, easy-to-navigate way.
But alongside structuring your website copy for humans, it also keeps Google happy (and therefore boosts your SEO reach).
Each website page should include:
- H1 – one clear title (only use one on each page)
- H2 – subheadings to separate the page structure (use multiples)
- H3 and H4s – other subsequent subheadings (relevant to the H2 they fall under)
- Call to actions (CTAs) – to guide people through to the next step
- Copy that’s easy to scan and grasp quickly
- SEO keywords throughout the page
As a guide, your website copy should be a minimum of 300 words per page. There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ amount of copy, but any fewer doesn’t give Google (or your readers) enough information to properly learn what the page is about.
The diagram below showcases the heading and subheading hierarchy in a visual format.
(Image source: Seobility)
Improving the readability and accessibility of your website copy
Making your website copy easy to read benefits everyone, because it also improves accessibility. This should always be a priority, so here are a few top tips alongside the subheadings mentioned above…
- Add bullet points to break down lists or multiple benefits/pain points
- Use short paragraphs as seeing huge chunks of text puts people off
- Highlight important points in bold text or larger font so it’s easy to scan
- Choose simple words instead of using lots of jargon, so everyone understands it
- Make sure your font and background have high contrast for better readability – you can check that for free here: WebAIM
All of these things improve your readability and make the information easy to digest. The clearer you get your point across, the less chance you have of losing your reader’s attention or making them frustrated they can’t access what they need.
Learn more about improving your website accessibility with these W3C guidelines.
Writing website copy for your home page
One of the trickiest structures to get right is your home page. Too many businesses over-complicate it or simply don’t explain what they do and lose people’s interest right away.
In the simplest terms, a website’s home page should be an introduction to your company, showcasing:
- What you do and who for – identify your ideal clients
- Your brand personality – using a unique tone of voice
- Your experience/story – building credibility
The purpose of your home page should be to direct your readers to other relevant pages so they can find out more specifics about what you offer. Usually, that’s pinpointing them to one of your service pages (more on this later).
Copy for the hero section of your home page
The hero section of your home page is the section that’s seen before you scroll down. Also known as ‘above the fold’, this section is vital real estate for your brand. You want to quickly introduce what you do, who for, and why in your hero section.
Studies say you have 7 seconds to grab someone’s attention. Others say 5, which is even shorter… So, use this section wisely.
Ahrefs does a great job of this, as you can see in the image below. They are clear on their audience (people who need help with SEO), and explain what they do (an all-in-one tool to help you). Anyone who’s looking for SEO help will relate to this header.
Things to avoid in your home page copy:
- Welcoming people to your website
- Your brand name (and nothing else)
- Vague information about what you do (be specific!)
- No mention of who you work with/for (your audience)
- Bragging about an award with no context
A special note about website image and header sliders…
Do you know the ones that move before you’ve had a chance to digest what’s on it? They were all the rage a decade ago, but home page sliders harm your website’s initial impact. Instead of focusing on one key message you want your audience to see, you’re leaving it up to chance which one they focus on (if any). It’s not only a frustrating user experience, but it weakens your message. Avoid them!
Direct readers to the right place
If you have multiple key services or audiences, your home page should make this clear and give the reader a prompt to self-identify. This means they can click through to the right page to find out more information about the relevant service/product.
Some businesses take this one step further and have a full website for different audiences. A great example of this is Monzo bank. They split their website into two main tabs – personal and business. No matter where their customers land on their website, the tab is available at the top left of the screen and users can easily switch between the two. Below, you can see the two different versions…
Show off your brand’s tone of voice
Your website copy on the home page should also give a flavour of what you’re about with the language used and your tone of voice. Give readers the right first impression about what to expect when they work with you.
If you’re a service provider who’s the face of your business, it’s a great place to showcase your personality.
Writing website copy for your about page
First things first – your about page is about you, but it should be flipped to focus on your potential customers. When you can tell stories about why you do what you do, but focus on why that’s good for the reader, you’re on to a winner.
Most businesses will have an about page (also known as a ‘mission’ or an ‘our story’ page). Although there can be different types of story pages (such as a founder story vs about the team), the main premise of these pages is to build trust and credibility.
What is it about you that makes them trust your business? Use it as an opportunity to connect with your reader, telling your story in a relatable way and showing off your expertise. Usually, the reason you set up a business makes for a great origin story.
Examples of different company about pages
There are different types of about pages, as the website copy you need varies based on your company, your audience, and your goals.
In all instances, the company’s purpose, mission, values, and vision may include how you hope to make the world a better place. So, what’s your reason for being in business?
For example, if you’re a one-person service provider offering your expertise to clients, then your about page may include personal anecdotes. It’s more than likely going to include your past work and what makes you qualified to do what you do (either through actual qualifications or life experience).
A previous client of mine, Lucy O’Reilly of Designs for Growth, nails this on her about page. It’s a page we live-edited together during a copy polish session, as she didn’t feel like it was telling her story effectively. See a snippet below or read Lucy’s full about page here.
Whereas when your company has a wider mission and team, you are more likely to talk about why the collective business exists.
When you have a larger team, your about page can also include mini bios and images of who works in your company, what they’re skilled in, and even mentioning personal interests. Your staff may be a huge selling point of your business.
An example of this is the CRM company HubSpot. They separate their about page into different sections, communicating the story of their mission, story, and history, all the while explaining why that benefits their users. See a snippet below and read HubSpot’s full story here.
Writing copy for your service pages
I mostly work with service-based clients, which is why this blog post focuses on service pages rather than product pages. If you run an e-commerce business and need help writing product copy that sells, head to this resource.
Your service page (or multiple pages) is where you explain exactly what you offer and it’s your chance to shine. It should highlight your unique selling point, the specific problem it solves, who it’s for, the process, and the price. Each specific service type should have its own page or a clearly defined section to make it easier for your reader.
Within the service page website copy, you are aiming to remove any potential doubt from your readers as to why they need this service in their life (providing they fit your ideal customer profile, of course!). It also should deter the wrong-fit people, which is an underrated aspect of successful website copy.
So, how do you communicate this?
Structuring your service pages
Every service page is different to the next. But a good general service page website copy structure includes the following…
- Introduce the service and the main benefit (addressing your ideal client)
- Explain why they need this in their lives (sell the transformation)
- Specific information about what’s included, the process, and the price
- Integrate customer testimonials and case studies throughout
- Add multiple CTA buttons to encourage people to buy/get in touch
- Include answers to your most frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Add images or videos if relevant to your service and audience
Don’t forget to always add a clear heading (H1) and multiple subheadings throughout the website copy to break the sections up into digestible chunks (H2, H3, H4s and so on).
If the service has other related levels that you might need to point people in the right direction, you should also make this clear somewhere.
A couple of examples of how to lay this out include…
- This service is for you if X… but if not if Y… Here’s another service that might be more suitable (directing people who aren’t right to another option if available).
- Including ‘package levels’ or ‘upgrade options’ to your service information, so your reader knows the different levels of support available to them. Clearly showcase what they get and the cost. You can also offer a comparison table if that works for your business.
Repeat this for each service you offer. Where possible, try to keep a similar structure and layout for each page so it’s easy for users to navigate between and see the differences.
Writing website copy for your contact page
This is likely going to be the shortest page on your website – and that’s ok. If you don’t meet 300 words on this page, don’t worry. The main thing you want to do is provide your readers with the information they need to get in touch. Make it as clear and simple as possible.
You may want to include:
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- A contact form they can fill out
- Information about what happens next
- Your opening or response hours
- Your social media profile links
- Your location (maybe adding a map if it’s somewhere people can visit you)
Don’t overcomplicate it!
The curveball: One-paged websites
Some businesses start with a one-paged website, which provides an introduction to your company and what you offer. I don’t recommend them where possible, as they don’t offer flexibility as and when things change, but they can be useful as a starting point while you figure out your audience and your offer in more detail.
If you choose to go down this route, add a menu with navigation buttons so people don’t have to scroll down the long, winding page. The information in this blog post will still be useful, but you will only have space for a small section that’s usually its own page. So, choose wisely what you write…
Want help writing and structuring your website copy?
This guide should have given you a good insight into how to start planning, structuring, and writing your website copy… but it’s no small task.
If you decide you want an expert’s help, I offer full done-for-you website copywriting packages to take everything off your hands. You get copy that showcases your personality and explains what you do, all tailored to your ideal clients.
Or if you want a second pair of eyes on your current website copy, book a copy polish session where we go through and make live changes to your copy on a Zoom call.
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Helping misunderstood creative business owners to capture their personality, connect with ideal clients, and sell themselves better.