Web Copywriting Tips: Why New Words Matter

One of the most interesting things about the pandemic to me is the new lexicon we’ve all adopted. If you had talked about having to “shelter in place” in January 2020, your friends would have been perplexed. Today, they’d nod and empathetically shake their heads.

To explore the full depth of our new vocabulary I turned to the Oxford Dictionary online, which shares a digest of new words it adds every month. You might not be shocked to find out that all of April’s have to do with Covid-19.

They are:

  • social distancing
  • infodemic
  • RO
  • self-isolate
  • self-quarantine
  • to flatten the curve
  • PPE
  • social recession
  • elbow bump
  • WFH
  • uncertain times
  • shelter in place
  • Covid-19

Then, I checked a few top eCommerce companies’ websites (Amazon, Google, and Facebook) to see what words they were using that might feel relevant to this time. And I searched those terms in Google Trends just to confirm there was an uptick. Those other words I’ve seen used more frequently now, include:

As a marketer, these words matter to me – and should matter to you – for two reasons:

  1. I want to use the words my customers are using.
  2. I want to identify new popular words before anyone else to rank best for those keywords for SEO.

Let’s take a look at how to use these web copywriting tips:

1. Using your customers’ lexicon builds connection that increases conversion.

People who mimic the language of the person they’re interacting with are trusted and liked more, whether this mimicry entails how they talk (pronouns like “I” or “we,” articles like “it” or “a”) or what they talk about.

For example, in response to a customer inquiry such as “Will my shipment arrive soon?” one would be better off saying “Yes, your shipment will arrive tomorrow,” rather than “Yes, it’s being delivered tomorrow.”

Employees’ linguistic mimicry creates affiliation with the customer, and research in progress by Francisco Villarroel Ordenes, Lauren Grewal, and Panagiotis Sarantopoulos has linked mimicry to customer satisfaction.

Because a brand “talks” and has a voice, this type of linguistic mimicry works at the brand level as well. So, it’s critical for your brand to use words that your customers relate to.

Use the words on landing pages to increase conversion, emails to increase click-through rates, in your product to increase feature usage, and so on.

2. Owning new words: If you’re not first, you’re last

When you’re one of the first to begin using terms Google grants you more domain authority in that topical space and for that term than others. It’s sort of like starting a track race right before the whistle gets blown. It doesn’t guarantee you’ll win, but it certainly helps.

So based on how relevant the term is to your business, consider creating a word-heavy landing page (2000 words), as well as three topically related blog posts all optimized for variations of and angles on the new term or terms. Link the landing page from those three related blog posts, thereby creating a mini-hub.

Tie the word specifically to your niche in your keyword. For example, if you’re in the wedding business, you’d target “social distancing weddings”.

Then create your SEO-friendly content, optimized for that keyword.

3. Next steps, to stay ahead of the word pulse with your copywriting

Here are a few simple ways to catch new words before everyone else:

Use these web copywriting tips today.

Up next, learn pick up some quick SEO tips to keep the lead traffic flowing in.

If you enjoyed this article, would it be too much to ask you to please send a $5 tip to my Venmo tip jar? @megsterr.

Or my Paypal:

Thank you!

By Megan Mitzel

I'm the wearer of overalls behind the marketing advice website Marketing Overalls. I'm also a senior marketing director with more than ten years of experience leading acquisition and lifecycle marketing at successful startups. Before that, I got a business degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before that, I owned a seashell shop. And that's the tea on me.