The Role of Persuasive Language in Website Copy
  • 9-minute read
  • 20th February 2023

The Role of Persuasive Language in Website Copy

Have you ever wondered why consumers prefer one brand over another when shopping online? Factors like product quality and brand loyalty may encourage someone to buy a specific item or use a specific service, but it often has more to do with compelling and engaging website content. If you market a product or service in a way that resonates with a consumer, they’ll be more drawn to that brand over others. You can do this by using persuasive language in your website copy

You may already know that your content should be clear, concise, and simple, but you also have to convince a reader to buy what you’re selling. Simply explaining what your product is or service does isn’t enough in a competitive market. A potential customer needs to assume your brand is the best. 

Writing persuasively can be difficult, but the benefits outweigh the time and effort you put into it. Good persuasive content will improve your chances of winning new business and maintaining the customer base you’ve already grown. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of compelling writing and how you can engage your audience by using persuasive language in your website copy.

Understanding Your Audience

The first step to creating persuasive content is knowing your customer. Your marketing campaign will struggle to find its footing if you don’t determine to whom you want to sell your product or service. According to the market research company, Perceptive, “Understanding an audience is at the core of any brand’s growth. It’s what drives effective marketing strategies, increases brand equity, and ultimately improves a company’s bottom line.”

By performing a demographic analysis, you can recognize your ideal customer’s needs and desires. Consider the age, gender, location, marital status, and income of the group you would like to target. Through this market research, you can narrow down your customer base and increase your capacity to attract qualified leads.

After determining who you want to target, you’ll need to understand your audience. A highly effective way of doing this is by creating a buying persona – a character based on your demographic analysis. By developing a detailed example of your ideal client, your team can gear their marketing efforts to a specific reader. 

From there, you can identify your audience’s goals, needs, and problems. Getting inside the mind of your potential customer will help you craft copy that resonates with them and gives you an edge over your competitors. You can do this through empathetic marketing. This strategy allows you to create copy that affects your reader’s emotional response, subtly persuading them to look to you as a valuable source who truly understands them. Once you build trust and authenticity, a potential client is more likely to choose your product or service over someone else’s.

Creating a Unique Value Proposition

Once you’ve developed a buying persona and gotten to the core of your customers’ wants and needs, the next step is to create a unique value proposition (UVP). A UVP is a clear statement listing the benefits your brand offers. It’s different from a product description or mission statement and is usually found on an organization’s homepage. 

Your UVP is an assertion about what you can provide to your customers, why a client should choose your brand, and how you’re better than your competitors. Most UVPs are two or three sentences long or a header with a short explanatory paragraph included. 

This is how consumers will come to identify your brand, and it often determines whether a reader will remain on your website or continue searching.  

Here are the key steps for creating a powerful UVP:

  1. Identify your client

Create a buying persona to gain a better understanding of what you should include in your UVP. If you have more than one product or service to offer, develop multiple buying personas.


  1. Determine the value

After defining your target market, you’ll want to outline your product’s or service’s benefits. Identify the value a customer would receive and list what makes your brand more valuable than your competitors.


  1. Write a clear and direct message

Now that you have an idea of who your message is for and what it’s going to say, you can clean up your rough draft. Make sure what you’ve communicated is clear, concise, engaging, and compelling – one way to do this is by creating an outline


  1. Test your UVP

Once you’re happy with the results, set up customer interviews to determine how much the messaging resonates with your targeted demographic.

To create a winning UVP, there are some common pitfalls to avoid, including: 

  •     Trying to be too clever: It’s better to be clear in your UVP than come up with a clever phrase that could potentially muddy your message.
  •     Overpromising: If you can’t deliver something, don’t add it to your UVP. This would degrade your authority and turn off customers.
  •     Not fully understanding your ideal customer: Without performing a comprehensive demographic analysis, your marketing efforts might miss the mark and fail to attract the right customers. 

A UVP is a key conversion factor. People buy something because of the value it adds to their lives, and an effective UVP communicates a product or service’s worth. Ultimately, your UVP should be persuasive and turn a prospective shopper into a paying customer.

Developing Effective Emotional Language

People tend to be driven by emotions over logic and reasoning. Researchers discovered that the decision-making process is so tied to emotions, that you can’t make a choice without them. In fact, a study headed by neurologist Antonio Damasio found that people with damage to the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for generating emotions) struggle to reach decisions.

Since our choices are primarily based on feelings, your marketing strategies should be focused on emotional language and content. Connecting to your customers through their emotions is the cornerstone of any good marketing campaign. When you invoke a reader’s feelings, whether it’s through humor, anger, happiness, or something else, they’re more open and accepting of your ideas – which means it’ll be easier for you to guide them to your desired outcome. 

You can create an emotional response through language in the following ways:

  •     Storytelling: Stories are incredibly powerful. People relate to certain narratives, which triggers an emotional response.
  •     Establishing authority:If a product or service promises to be distinct, high-quality, and special, an individual will be more likely to buy it.
  •     Creating a sense of achievement: People want to attain their goals. If your content promotes your brand’s ability to help someone reach an objective, they’re more likely to purchase the product or service you offer.

Forming an emotional bond creates a level of trust. By focusing on emotional and psychological triggers, you’ll get prospective customers to convert into actual customers.

Leveraging the Power of Scarcity and Urgency

When someone is worried about something, they try to determine the steps they can take to find relief from their concerns. Scarcity and urgency can trigger those feelings of anxiety. Activating that emotion can help persuade someone to choose your brand over another.

Scarcity provokes a rushed response. If a consumer thinks an item or service is limited or hard to obtain, they’ll be more likely to buy it before it runs out. In a similar vein, if an individual is faced with an urgent task, they know they need to act quickly. When there’s a sense of urgency to purchase something, people will likely jump at the opportunity to buy it. 

The language you use in your website copy can trigger the idea that something is scarce or urgent and that the product or service may not be around for much longer. 

There are a few ways to create a sense of urgency and scarcity in your website copy:

  •     Short supply: If a consumer believes there’s a limited quantity of an item, they may think they should purchase it before it’s sold out. 
  •     Limited time: Using phrases such as “don’t delay” or “act now” can make a customer think may the product is only available for a certain period and won’t be offered again. 
  •     Deadline: If you set a deadline to buy something, potential customers may feel they need to get it before the designated cutoff date.

This is an effective marketing tactic if you use it properly, but if you don’t get it right, you can turn off potential customers. Here are a few things to avoid when using this method:

  •     Using it too often
  •     Extending the deadline
  •     Pushing too hard or coming off as aggressive

Sense Checking Your Existing Website Copy

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of persuasive language and how to use it effectively, you’re probably wondering how your current copy holds up. Assessing existing content requires an in-depth audit. By conducting a copy review, you can analyze your past content to figure out what works and what could do with some improvement. 

After completing your audit and determining how successfully persuasive your current copy reads, the next step is to fix what isn’t working. Luckily, by repurposing your website copy, you won’t need to start from scratch, but it will take a little effort.  

Below are a few options to rework your website copy:

  •     Follow the E-A-T strategy to recreate your content. As you amend your copy utilizing the steps outlined above, it’s important to ensure that it’s SEO-friendly, so potential customers have a better chance of coming across it in their research.
  •     If you don’t already have one, consider building a content team. Having dedicated staff members to refocus your website copy will help you stay organized and achieve your goals.

·      Another way to redevelop your current content is by hiring a proofreading company. For example, here at Proofed, we have a team of highly trained editors and proofreaders who can improve your existing content and help you revise any new copy that you and your team create.

Final Thoughts

Using persuasive language in your website copy is crucial to converting customers. By incorporating these elements into your content, you can tug at the heartstrings of potential clients and form a bond based on understanding and trust. In turn, you’ll be able to influence their purchasing decisions. It’s one of the most relevant writing tools you have at your disposal. 

Want to learn more about crafting effective content? Our knowledge hub is full of invaluable information about marketing, content creation, and writing, including our complete guide to writing great web copy.

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