How to Write Website Content That Sells

Effective website content, including text and images, can help improve interactions between your visitors and your website.  It can work to entice visitors to stay longer and look deeper through your pages, generate interest in your business, and help sell your products or services.

This article teaches you how to write content that addresses your customer's needs and wants and convince them to buy from you.

Creating Effective Website Content

The trick to creating effective website content is to think like a customer. This can be much harder than it sounds, as you're coming from the completely opposite view point.  You have to consider what your customer would want to see on your website, as opposed to what you think should go on there.

Your visitors are looking at your website to find out how you can help them and why they should trust you over your competitor.

Show them by telling them:

  • How you can solve their problem
  • Why they should choose you
  • How you'll guarantee satisfaction
  • Why they should act now

How You Can Solve Their Problem

If they're looking at your website, chances are your visitors are trying to solve a problem or meet a specific need. You need to show them how you can help them with that problem or need.

To show them how you can help, you'll need to consider what their specific requirements might be. You then need to show them how you meet those requirements.

For example, if you sell personalized t-shirts your customers might ask the following questions:

  • Can I put my own design on a shirt?
  • Do you offer a variety of images to choose from?
  • Do you offer different sizes and styles of shirts?
  • Do you embroider silkscreen, or both?
  • What are your prices?

You can address these questions a couple of ways:

Use Text or Copy. Write sentences or paragraphs that answer the customer's questions.

 "Show your individuality with personalized shirts from Topsy! Use your own design or one from our catalog and put it on a shirt that suits your personal style.
Whether you're looking to embroider initials on your dress shirt pocket or silkscreen an image on to a T-shirt, we have tons of choices that suit your budget, size, and style!"

A Product Catalog. This allows you to display images and information about your individual products.

A product catalog for an outerwear website


An Online Portfolio. This lets you display images of past work. This works well for service-oriented businesses, where the end product varies depending on the customer.

An online portfolio for a business card designer


TIP! Most website builders help you quickly and easily create image galleries like catalogs and portfolios.

Why They Should Choose You

Your visitors want to know why they should trust you and spend their money with you instead of going to your competition.  Providing outside sources or references are a great way to prove that you're trustworthy.

The following tools reinforce your credibility:

Customer testimonials. If you already have happy customers, ask them for a testimonial showing their satisfaction with your services/products.

"I wanted to show my love for my wife with shirts made especially for our anniversary. Topsy helped me put my own design on shirts for both her and me, at a price I could afford! Thanks so much!!" John, New England

Third Party Endorsements. Many online shoppers look at review websites to check the quality of products or services. If you're positively reviewed by a trusted source, people will be more likely to buy from or hire you. Either quote the review or provide a link to it.

A positive review for the Olympus digital camera on Cnet


Awards. If you've received awards for your products/services visitors will be reassured that you offer quality. Refer to the award or include its logo on your website.

Research In Motion Inc., the makers of the Blackberry PDA list the many awards they've won


Professional Organizations. Affiliations with professional organizations make shoppers feel more confident that you're accomplished in your industry. Include the organizations logo or link, or refer to them.

Case Studies. A detailed example of how you helped another customer will show visitors how you can analyze problems similar to their own and create solutions.


How You'll Guarantee Satisfaction

Your customers want to know that their investment is protected should anything go wrong. There are a couple of ways to reassure them that you'll back up your product/service.

The following will help give visitors peace of mind and feel safe spending their money with you:

Risk-free trials. Depending on your product, you may be able to offer a free trial. For example, if you're selling software, you may want to let customers download a time-limited trial to see if the product meets their needs before they invest their money.

Techsmith offers free trials of several of their software products, including both the Snagit and Camtasia programs


Guarantees. You want to promise to make them happy should they go with you. There are several different types of guarantees, including:

  • 100% money back
  • Service level
  • Performance
  • Delivery
  • Make it right
  • Low price

Your product or service will be a deciding factor in what kind of guarantees you'd want to offer.

Why They Should Act Now

If you provide your visitor with a reason to buy your products or hire you now, you'll reduce the chance of them going to your competition. There are several tactics that you can use to persuade them to act now.

You can offer incentives like:

Discounts. Offer a price reduction if they choose to commit now.

Minit-tune offers a great price for a maintenance package with this coupon by April.


Bonuses. You may want to offer a free gift that compliments your customer's purchase. Example: "Receive a free matching coffee mug with your personalized t-shirt".

Free Offers. Depending on your business, you may be able to offer something free that will lead to a sale. For example, a car repair shop could offer a free brake inspection with a lube, oil, and filter service. This may lead the customer to buy new brakes from them as well.

Extended Service Plans. You may be able to offer extra service if they decide to buy now. Example: "Buy before December 15th and receive an extra year on your warrantee!


For more information about developint content for your website, read How to Write for the Internet and How to Make Your Content Easy to Scan.


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Senior Writer
Rodney Scott
Senior Writer
Senior Writer
Eric Rancic
Chief Researcher

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