Website copy can be a real challenge. It is usually the element that delays most website builds. As a business owner, you’re called on to manage a variety of tasks from marketing and accounting to being chief cook and bottle washer! Even so, communicating your message in your website copy is one of the key tasks that needs addressing. Because your copy needs to capture your audience’s very short attention span.
It’s not just about you!
In Britain we tend to dislike ‘arrogance’, object to ‘sales talk’ and we don’t care for people who talk about themselves a lot. And that’s why you need to be very careful about the way you write your website copy, your blogs, and your newsletters. You need to be able to tell people how good you are without blowing your own trumpet.
One of the services we offer is a website review and we often have to tactfully inform clients that they are “we-ing” all over their prospects.
Website visitors aren’t really interested in the fact that “the company” or “we were established in 1800”. So you’ve got to tell people what you can do for them rather than simply how great you are. It’s no good having rambling mission statements or visions of the future. You need to make sure your website copy really helps the visitor.
Web content is more conversational, so should write your content to feel personal – as if you’re speaking to your audience. Try to use words like:
There’s a difference between content published in newspapers and some magazines and content published on most websites. The content on your website doesn’t need to appeal to a broad audience and doesn’t need to be on a broad topic. Quite the opposite, your website copy should be specific to the benefits your clients can expect from working with you. Newspapers and magazines are generally more formal. They use the third person perspective.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes
One of the questions I always ask my clients is “what do you want a visitor to do when they land on your site?”. If you want a website visitor to call you, then you have to make sure your phone number is easy to find. There is no point having your number buried on the Contact page of your website. Rt needs to be on every page at the top, ideally in the footer too. It also should be in a font and size that is easy to read.
It’s important to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and not assume one size will fit all!
Website readers will not sit and read through long paragraphs. So you need to format your web content for easy reading.
Start with a headline. Then follow this by a short overview highlighting how your product or service will benefit the customer, rather than simply how it works. Next, it’s important to vary the layout, so that you break up your content into bite-sized pieces, with:
- bulleted lists.
Make sure you have identified and included keywords, alt tags, and titles so that your content is found by the search engines. And be careful about constantly repeating keywords, as this can have a negative effect and your website could be dropped down in the rankings for that search term.
It is important to remember that web content is a conversation. Don’t forget that people buy from people they know, like and trust. This means that your content should appear as a direct dialogue between you and the reader.
This article was first published by Kim Morrison on the Morr Marketing website
Kim Morrison works with many different professional service businesses ranging from lawyers and accountants to holistic therapists, and believes the right marketing and social media is critical to the success of your business. Visit Kim's website.