Why You Need Great Website Copy
Everyone is impatient
Yes, even your website visitors. They need a reason to stay on your website and they need it now. When you begin working on your new website, before you start thinking about how big the logo should be, you need to consider how your visitors will use your website which means planning and writing your content.
- Keep it simple. People do not like to spend their time reading lengthy copy.
- How may I be of service? Make it clear what your website offers.
- Boring copy is boring. You can’t sell to people if you’re sending them to sleep.
- Don’t believe the hype. If you can’t back it up, don’t say it and definitely don’t say it with jargon.
Chances are, there will be places where a lot of text is essential. Just use these simple tricks to make it work better.
- Review, revise, repeat. Never be afraid to delete clutter.
- Headings and subheadings. Descriptive enough to do their job and entertaining enough to entice.
- Bullet points and short paragraphs. Not walls of text.
- Pagination. For when a single page just can’t take the strain.
Talk the talk
Your website copy should speak to your audience in the right tone of voice, this will vary depending on who they are. For example, consumer facing copy tends to be informal and lively whereas business to business websites often go for a more conservative approach.
This doesn't mean to say that an engineering website has to be formal and technical. Creative copywriting can add spice to even the most boring of products, just be careful not to overdo it and ruin the flavour.
Whatever voice you decide on, be consistent:
- If different people are writing different parts of your website, have one person responsible for bringing it all in line before publishing it. A style guide may also help here.
- If your website is aimed at different types of visitors then certain areas may need a change of voice, make sure the it’s the right change.
Our good friend Google
Never, ever, write your website for search engines. Write for your reader, the same good practises benefit search engines just as much:
- See the wood for the trees. If you sell Big Forks then say so, don’t assume everyone knows it just because you do.
- Read between the (head)lines. Ignore all content between the headlines, you should be able to tell what the page is about.
- Do what it says on the tin. If a link goes to an information page about Big Forks make it obvious – more information on Big Forks. Not “click here”, that doesn’t mean anything! (especially not if you're using an iPad, how do you click an iPad?)
Decent copywriting isn’t a five minute job for the work experience kid. It's one of the most important things on your website, so if you need any help please get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to advise on how you can start your journey to a better website.
Don't end up like this!
By Colin Richardson | 27/07/2011