5 Sure-Fire Ways To Achieve Conversational Copywriting In Your Web Copy
What makes you open a website or a blog post? What keeps your eyes glued to the text?
You probably have read hundreds if not thousands of websites, and while some of them leave a lasting impression, others are just meh. At best, you scroll down but don't bother to read it.
And that has nothing to do with your attention span (here's an interesting article on the fish attention span myth). It all comes down to the quality of the content and the tone of voice. The fact that you don't want to read a full blog post isn’t caused because your brain is fried scrolling 20-second videos on TikTok but because the content sucks.
Textbook writing doesn't work for human readers.
So, what makes those other websites and blog posts so easy to read?
A conversational tone.
Back in school, I was always confused about the requirements for essays and other written projects. All the fancy words, complicated sentences, and long paragraphs — who talks like that in real life? Even if you tried reading those essays out loud, you would struggle to make sense of them.
And why is that? Because we don't talk like that. A conversational tone, on the other hand, does the exact opposite — it puts your words into written text. But if you have a business website or blog, you know that overcoming those old rules and making your content more conversational is a challenging task.
In this article, I'll give you basic methods to make your web, social, and printed copy more conversational without being too casual or foolish.
What is a conversational tone?
A conversational tone is a tone used in a conversation. I know your landing pages aren't dialog scenes, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be talking to someone.
Your copy always addresses readers, potential customers, or existing customers. They want friendly and familiar content that would make them feel heard and appreciated, not stupid for not knowing the words and phrases you use.
A conversational tone is casual but respectful. It uses familiar words, short sentences and paragraphs. The writer directly addresses the reader using "you" and refers to themselves as "I or we."
To understand it better, imagine you're having lunch with a customer. Do you try to impress them with your vocabulary or just make a friendly and professional impression trying to make them feel comfortable and buy your product? Probably, the latter. So why push it when it comes to written text?
What is an example of a conversational tone?
The best conversational tone example websites manage to write in a professional, respectful, informational, yet entertaining way. One of my personal favorites is Morning Brew.
It's not their website that impresses me the most, but their daily newsletters.
They put serious topics like finance, politics, and healthcare in a way that keeps your attention until you finish the email Wise wording and tasteful jokes make it even more enjoyable.
BarkBox is a company that sells dog toys and treat boxes. Their copy goes right to the hearts of dog parents. Everyday language, targeted words, and phrases make it easy to read and relate to. And if their copy can make you smile, the toy box will do the same for your dog.
Surfer is a software dedicated to easing SEO work. It allows you to improve your rankings with the help of AI. Their copy is an example of how a conversational tone can be professional yet personal and engaging. Although it's a complex topic, they write about SEO in simple language, addressing the reader and using familiar terminology.
Why is a conversational tone good?
A conversational tone is easier to read and respond to. When you visit a website for the first time, you want to know what's in there for you or what it is about. You don't want long paragraphs with convoluted wording to make you feel inadequate.
When you write in a conversational tone, you make your copy sound like a conversation. It brings you closer to the reader. People can relate to you more, even if you write for a large corporation where multiple writers craft the copy, the right tone makes it feel familiar and warm.
Easy tips to achieve conversational copywriting in your web copy
You don't need to correct yourself or make yourself sound less formal when you talk. Verbal language comes naturally, and so should your written copy. Here are 5 tips on how to make even the most rigid copy sound more casual and relatable.
1. Write with one person in mind
For a long time, when I used to sit to write, I would outline what I needed to mention, add information resources, do SEO research, and set the style and tone. I used to put a target audience, not as someone to address, but rather as how to put the information so that the “ideal” audience would relate. And more often than not, that information didn't come up as intended because the audience was too broad to address.
Now, instead, I try to imagine I'm writing to you. Yes, to you. I address one person in my mind. You might be wondering: what a creep. Don't worry, I don't know who you are or where you live. But I try to imagine a person who will read this blog.
It's easier to write to one person than to a whole group of people.
So, before you sit with your coffee or a cold glass of water, think about a person you want to address. It doesn't have to be specific. It just has to be a person and not some abstract group or idea.
2. Write as you speak
It might be harder than you think. We're not used to writing as we talk because if you did that in school, you wouldn't have graduated.
But now you're an adult, and no one can force you to write soulless, fluffy copy. And the good news is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Why? Because first of all, when you speak, every word comes naturally, you don't need a thesaurus to help you sound sophisticated.
And secondly, you overcome writer's block (eventually). You don't have a talker's block, do you? (Well, as an introvert, I wouldn’t judge you even if you did).
Of course, it doesn't have to be a transcript of a conversation you have in your head. You just have to remove the awkwardness, add credible information, edit your mistakes, and voila!
3. Simplify your language
By now, you probably know better than to use difficult words like utilize, facilitate, reconceptualize, etc. But I rarely see any writer using them, yet they are in every example of simplifying your language.
How I understand simplification is that you have to get back to the roots. Write to a person as you would talk to them. You don't need to come up with a long list of synonyms for the word "big." Big can just be big, not megalithic (yes, I googled synonyms for the word big, but just for the sake of this example).
Most people read at the eighth-grader level, so why give them words no one knows? Also, don't forget that we live in a global world, and many of your readers aren't native English speakers, so they might not understand some of the words you use. So why risk it when you can make your copy easy to follow?
4. Use stories, references, and narratives
Stories can be effective in grabbing the reader's attention and keeping it until the end of the article or a post. References to cultural and social events, famous people, or familiar situations can be used to bond with your readers. Let's say you want to illustrate something amazing your product does for the customer. You can say, "do you know that feeling by the end of the day when you finish the final task, close 20 tabs, and turn off your computer? Well, that's the feeling you’ll get after using our product."
Of course, check in with your customers to see what they relate to, but some witty stories, narratives, and references can turn a reader into an engaged customer.
5. Have a conversation
To make your web copy and blog posts sound more conversational, you can see it as an actual conversation. You can use rhetorical questions, add, "you might be wondering, you would be surprised, etc."
These simple phrases make your content feel more natural and compel the reader to think while reading.
All the tips mentioned above can be effective in bonding better with your readers and making them relate to you. However, you should remember that they won't work if this type of writing doesn't come naturally to you.
If you've written in more rigid language for years, it takes time to relax and befriend your readers. But by implementing one tip at a time, you'll notice a tremendous difference in your copy and readership.
And as for now, if you're looking to improve your business website or create more blog posts in a conversational tone, I can help you. I write conversational web copy with the best SEO practices in mind to keep your readers interested and search engines happy. If well-ranking and engaging content is what you're looking for, let's talk!