Website Content: What’s Important and What’s Not
There is great web copy out there, but it’s overshadowed by the vast amount of terrible content that clogs up the Internet.
Despite numerous blogs and articles like this one, people are still treating their websites like static brochures.
Their content is descriptive, predictable and all about them.
If that sounds like you, you’re not alone, and it can be salvaged.
This is what your website copy should be like
Believe it or not, your website is there to sell.
But not sell in the conventional sense.
Let me explain.
As well as the descriptive sites I mentioned earlier, you also see a lot that go in for the multi-coloured fonts, bold text and brazen ‘buy now’ messages.
The fact is that people don’t like being sold to.
It’s important you make your reader believe that they bought from you because they wanted to, not because you convinced them to. They arrived at their informed decision all by themselves without being influenced by a sales team.
You and I know that’s not true.
OK, they weren’t pitched to by your sales team directly, but because the words on your website were carefully crafted by a professional copywriter, they were subtly persuaded that your product or service was right for them.
How did that happen?
Who are you?
The most important thing to think about when writing your content is your audience.
Yes, it’s your website, and it is selling your products and services, but your audience couldn’t give two hoots about you; the only thing they want to know is that you are going to make their life easier.
Everything you write must resonate with your audience, showing them you understand their pain and that you will make their life easier.
To do that it’s time to abandon your usual third-person formal business writing and to adopt a more casual second person, engaging tone: that means replacing ‘we’ and ‘I’ with ‘ you’.
Who are you?
Yes, I know I’ve already used that subheading, but this time the focus is on you, as in your company.
Look at your home page; you only have a few seconds to show the reader what you do and how you’re going to make their life easier.
That means cutting through the waffle and getting straight to the benefits.
Oh, and make sure you prove that you can do what you say you can do through testimonials, case studies or reviews.
That’s a lot of information to get across in a very short space, so I’ll break it down for you.
- Why you’re different
Tell them about your unique selling point. But that doesn’t mean trash your competitors. You have to show your superiority regarding your product/service, customer service, after sales service, etc.
- How you’ll help them
Lead with your primary benefit, showing them how you’re going to make their life easier. They have found your website because they are searching for the solution to a problem they are facing. It’s up to you to show them you can solve it for them.
- Where’s the proof?
Just telling them isn’t good enough, you want them to delve deeper into your website. Have testimonials and introductions to case studies on your home page that draw your reader further into your website. Real life examples will go a long way to convince them you’re the right company for them.
Make your website work for you
Writing website copy isn’t as straightforward as you think. There’s a lot to think about, especially for your home page, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I haven’t even mentioned your call to actions, about page or product/service pages yet.
Creating powerful website copy is more than just describing what you do:
- You have to sell your company in a way that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch
- You have to prove you can make their life easier in a way no other company can
- You have to do all that as succinctly as possible
Above all, you have to do it using natural, simple language that your reader understands and that Google will love.
It’s a tall order, but doable. When you get it right, you’ll have a very powerful sales tool, that’s always open for business.
Sally Ormond is a copywriter based in the UK. Through her business, Briar Copywriting Ltd, she works with a broad range of clients around the world, from SMEs to blue chip companies, creating eye-catching, compelling copy, which boosts their sales and market visibility
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