5 Free Online Tools to Help You Write Great Copy
If you don’t think of yourself as a writer, website copy can seem like an afterthought. You may think that all you need to do is describe what you or your business is offering and be done with it. It doesn’t have to be written all that well, as long as the copy mostly communicates what you’re trying to say… Right?
Every single component of your website is important. From a user experience perspective and even a brand perspective, poor copy makes for a poor website and an even poorer brand reputation.
If you don’t clearly communicate through your copy what action you want the user to take, then they won’t do anything. They’ll leave your site and forget all about it. Plus, spelling mistakes and bad grammar just look plain unprofessional. Would you trust a person or brand that can’t take the time to proofread? Didn’t think so.
If writing copy is truly outside your wheelhouse, ideally you should enlist the services of a professional copywriter. If that isn’t possible, with a little time, effort, and some helpful tools, you’ll be on your way to vastly improve your website copy.
Why Good Website Copy is Essential
Before you start, it’s important to remind yourself of the point of website copy. Good website copy should:
- Encourage action
Ensure your copy ticks each of these boxes by writing clickable headlines, educational copy, and ending with an irresistible call-to-action.
Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a novice, the following tools will help bring your copy to the next level and make your life a little bit easier.
Grammarly is a great resource for everyone who wants to write—beginner and advanced alike. It provides detailed feedback about your writing, giving a whole host of suggestions about how you can improve. Contrary to the name, Grammarly will help you improve your writing well beyond just grammar.
Feedback is broken down into several categories, such as conciseness, clarity, and punctuation, so you’ll be able to determine where your strengths and weaknesses lie. You can even adjust the kind of feedback you get based on criteria like your main goals and your target audience.
Write or paste your copy into the online editor, or install the browser extension to improve your writing across all online channels, from social media messaging to email (and even Google Docs!). Grammarly’s basic package is free, but there are premium and business plans available, which provide more advanced feedback.
2. Hemingway App
Ernest Hemingway was famous for his straightforward, pared-back prose. Inspired by the great American writer’s writing style, the Hemingway App will help make your copy bold and clear. With this editor you clear the clutter from your copy, delivering your message without any distractions.
Whether you’re a fan of Hemingway or not is negligible. Save the flowery prose for your novel; Internet copy is best left concise and to the point.
The app works by color-coding your text to highlight errors, complexities, and overuse of adverbs and the passive voice. It also grades your text’s readability level (the lower, the better).
The Hemingway App has a free web editor and paid desktop app.
If you’re concerned with sentence length and character counts, the WordCounter text editor is a basic but helpful resource. Features include a grammar and plagiarism checker. Keep track of your top keywords in the keyword density section to prevent the overuse of certain words. Like the Hemingway App, it also grades the reading level of your text.
4. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
If you’re concerned about the clickability of your headlines, the Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule is a good place to start. Simply submit your potential headline and this data-backed tool will analyze it and give you feedback on its strengths and weaknesses. It will grade your headline based on criteria like word balance, title length, and headline type. It also shows you how your headline will look in Google search results page. If you aren’t confident about headline writing, this is a great starting point.
5. Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin
If you’re writing for the World Wide Web, SEO (search engine optimization) should be on your radar. If you feel you simply don’t have time for things like keyword research and technical configurations, you should consider using the Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin.
It will help you write better with its readability check, while also evaluating your text based on key SEO considerations and your keyword target. If you’re concerned with SEO but don’t have the time to dedicate, Yoast takes care of much of the heavy lifting.
Get Ready to Improve Your Copy
While none of these tools will magically transform you into the 21st-century equivalent of William Shakespeare, they’ll help you build an awareness of what makes good copy good.
Ultimately, the best tool for improving your copywriting skills is writing a lot, reading a lot, and writing some more. Writing is a skill that takes practice. These tools will guide you along the way.