Energize Your Website: 5 Strategies to Improve Website Copy with Verbs

Energize Your Website: 5 Strategies to Improve Website Copy with Verbs

Written by Karen Carps

May 2, 2024

“I LOVE GRAMMAR!” said no one, ever. Well, maybe except me and a few other grammar nerds out there. I know I can’t be the only one, right? You probably haven’t thought much about parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.) since high school English. They do come in handy for the occasional Mad Lib. If you want your user to DO something, however, pay attention to the verbs in your website copy.

1. Make Your Reader the Hero

Why do people love stories so much? We love them most when we can relate to them. Your website copy should reach out, grab the reader by the collar, and pull them into the picture you paint. Allow your reader to become the hero of the story.

Heroes take action. Verbs are action words. Therefore, heroes need verbs. Superman doesn’t just sit around; he LEAPS tall buildings in a single bound! Make your reader feel like Superman.

The cool part? Heroes need guides to help them solve the problem at hand. Use the verbs in your copy to make sure they identify YOU as the guide they need.

2. Freshen the Verbs in Your Website Copy

Your English teacher always told you not to overuse common words, right? BOOOOORING!

Ensure the verbs in your website copy prevent your audience from yawning. You can almost always find a better verb to replace a common one.

  • Your customers don’t lose money; they hemorrhage it.
  • Potential clients don’t feel sad; they lament.
  • You don’t build houses, you construct homes.

Anyone can “boost” results. It takes a special person or company to “amplify” them.

5 Ways to Energize Your Website with Verbs in your Website Copy

3. Maximize Active Voice

Much like point of view, many of us have forgotten the difference between active and passive voice. In most cases, passive voice involves the use of verbs ending in -ing. He was walking; I am crying. The active forms of those verbs impact the reader on a deeper level. I found some awesome examples here.

Which of these sentences affects you more?

  • You’ll be losing weight before you know it!
  • You’ll shed pounds and notice looser clothing in no time!

How about these?

  • With my plan, you’ll be decluttering your home and getting rid of extra stuff!
  • With my plan, you’ll rid your home of clutter and create a peaceful, calming space.

When you are finding yourself (see what I did there?) using lots of -ing verbs, consider changing them to their active counterparts. (Yes… that sentence was a bit painful to type.) I even found a cool free converter that helps change passive voice to active voice!

4. Customize Verbs in Calls to Action

This is a biggie. A Call to Action (CTA) urges the website visitor to DO SOMETHING. That is the literal definition of a verb! If you can customize the verbs in your CTAs, you’ll skyrocket the potential for having them convert.

Fish Food: Customized CTAs Can Convert Up To 42% More Visitors

Verbs in website copy: Customized CTAs Can Convert Up To 42% More Visitors

Jay Schwedelson (whose podcast you should totally listen to) talks about this a lot. How often do we see “Learn More” as a CTA? People don’t want to learn more; that reminds them of school and seems like work. Try these:

  • Dive Deeper!
  • Get the Discount!
  • Grow Your Business!

While we’re on the topic, why are we using “submit” as the button on our forms? This is another of Jay’s soapboxes, and I wholeheartedly agree. People don’t want to submit. In a weird way, if they submit, it’s almost like they surrender power to you. What a turn off!

Instead of Submit as your button text on your form, use verbs that say what they get by filling out the form.

  • Cast my vote!
  • Subscribe me!
  • Send me the guide!
  • Register me!
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5. Leverage AI to Help Write Verbs for Your Copy

Fortunately, we live in an amazing time with AI at our disposal… for free!! Using AI for help finding verbs to use in your website copy is not cheating any more than using a thesaurus would be. If you asked AI to write everything and then just copy/pasted it to your website, that would change things.

Here are some prompts you could use in Chat GPT:

Please (Yes, I always use please. If/when bots take over the world, I want them to remember that I was polite…) give me 5 alternatives to “Learn More” on a button that leads from my home page to my about page.

I’m writing a call to action inviting users to subscribe to my newsletter about <insert topic>. Please suggest some options of verbs I could use for them.

Sometimes, you’ll really like what AI generates. If you don’t, you can ask for more options. A few times recently, I didn’t like its ideas, but they did spark a few of my own.

The right verbs inspire your user to TAKE ACTION, which is exactly what you want them to do. Make your reader the hero, find verbs to help your website copy convert, and keep swimming along!

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