There’s a lot involved in creating a great website for your business.
You want it to look fantastic, you want it to load quickly, you want people to find it… and then what do you want them to do?
Whether you build your own website or get someone else to do it for you, there are a number of things to consider. One area which often gets neglected is the words.
You won’t be surprised to hear that I think the words on your website are important – really important. So when you write those words, what do you need to consider?
Writing Great Web Copy for Your Website
1. What’s the point of your website?
Often business owners decide they need a website because someone else has told them so. While I’m not denying that most businesses will benefit from having a website, I think you need to have a clearer vision of what you want from your site if you’re going to get one which works properly for you.
- Do you want to sell directly from your website?
- Do you want to rank highly on searches so you get more customers?
- Do you want those readers to book in? Come and visit? Call you?
- Do you want your website to be a portfolio, showing potential clients what you do?
You need to know the purpose of your website because this will make a difference to how you build and communicate through it.
2. Getting the top spot
If your plan for your website is to be found, one element of your wording which can’t be ignored is keywords.
These are the words, or phrases, which people will type into their search engine (or ask Alexa) when they are looking for what you offer.
Do you know which terms you want to be found for?
Identifying the right keywords for your business is a magic mix of art and science (honest). There are many things you can do yourself to try and get some sense of what people are looking for, but you then also need to consider how many other people are already answering that question.
While you can do this research yourself – there are MANY blog posts out there to help you – there are also fabulous people who make a living out of doing this research and will likely do it much better than you can. So think about how important, or valuable, it is for you to be at that top spot.
3. Who are you talking to?
(I had a bit of a quandary here, I feel that for many people the next natural question is – What do you need/want to say? But although that’s often our focus, it’s the wrong focus. We will come back to this, I promise.)
So next, who’s looking at your website?
It’s likely you’re planning your website for people who will become your customers – so what do you know about them? Do they know much about your services or industry? How much information will they need? What are their reasons for researching your products? And what will make them choose you over someone else?
You may have potential collaborators or partners visiting your site, those who aren’t planning on using your products or services directly but who know that a relationship with you would be beneficial. Again, think about what such a visitor is looking for.
Before you go any further, think about all those people you want to be able to send to your website, because when we plan the next steps you’ll need to be clear what they’re looking for from you.
4. What pages do you need?
This is where we think about what you want to tell people – what does your audience (identified in 3 above) need to hear?
This stage isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. It will be a balancing act to tell your reader what they need to know about you and your business, without getting into too much detail and overwhelming visitors to your website.
For example, it can be tempting to include separate pages for each individual product or service you provide – but too many pages can make it difficult for your customers to navigate and runs the risk they’ll give up and leave.
Focus on your readers and what they are looking for, give them enough information to know if you are the right person to help them.
And, as we’ve already mentioned, you may be writing for more than one audience – there is no harm in pointing your readers to different pages by identifying those services they’re looking for.
5. Get them engaged
This article by SWEOR reveals some very interesting statistics about websites, including the following quote:
Users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content.https://cxl.com/blog/10-useful-findings-about-how-people-view-websites/
We’ve all been told how short people’s attention spans are now – particularly with websites, but it’s important you think about what that means for you and your reader.
You need to ensure you tell your website visitor what they need to hear, and do it quickly and clearly. Don’t bore them, don’t lose them, don’t confuse them… and make sure there’s not too many words on the page because a big blog of text puts people off. Can you do that?
I’m sure you can, just focus on your reader and don’t be put off if you don’t get it right first time.
6. Don’t forget the Call To Action
Going back to our first point, your website exists to serve a particular purpose – don’t be scared to tell your visitor what you want them to do next.
If you want them to call, show them how you’ll help and then – TELL THEM TO CALL (preferably making it as easy as possible with a link too). This isn’t pushy, it’s helpful.
If you’ve explained how your service will work and you want them to book, create a link to make that booking.
If you feel they might want to get to know you a bit better first, a link to your About page will show them what they need – and once they’ve met you, show them how easy it is to Get in Touch (with a link).
Think carefully about how your website will be used and give your reader the nudge they need to make a decision or get in touch… honestly, you’re not being pushy, you’re being helpful!
7. Check it out – or get someone else to do it for you
Whether you use online grammar checkers or those built into your word processing software, these tools are great. But they may not be enough.
Do your own proof-reading checks too I’ve written a blog with some suggestions here.
It can be incredibly helpful to ask someone else to read through your work – particularly someone who doesn’t already know all about your business, and someone you can trust to be honest.
Your website is the face of your business, you want to make sure you’re confident and proud of it.
So, how do you feel about writing your website words?
I hope these pointers will help you get the copy your business needs and if you need any further support, I’d love to hear from you.