How To Write Copy For Your Website
The words you chose to include in your website are as important at the design and the images. It’s these words that will capture the user to take action in one way or another, which is our main goal. Even if you’re not selling a product or a service, I’m sure you won’t have gone to the trouble of setting up a website if you weren’t trying to encourage the users to do, think or feel something before they leave.
It can be easy to get caught up in the appearance of a website, after all the visual branding will be the first thing that strikes the user. Which is why it is key that have crafted a brand that reflects your company ethos through colours, fonts, imagery and graphics because this is what ties everything together. However, branding isn’t just about the visuals, it carries through to the words you use to interact with your audience.
THE OPENING STATEMENT
Once a person lands at your site there are two things that will hit them straight away, the overall appearance and the top headline. From the appearance, they should already have a feel for what kind of business you are, for example if they see bright colours, bold fonts and pictures of children laughing, they’ll assume they are somewhere that offers some kind of fun service for children, maybe birthday cakes or a party entertainer. The next thing they should see will confirm exactly what it is you offer, so sticking with the kids theme they should see a headline that reads ‘Cake Pops for Kids Parties’. So now the user thinks “Perfect! I’m definitely in the right place to order 50 cake pops for my 5 year olds clown themed birthday party, I’m going to do that now…” Which is why you should always follow up your headline/mission statement with a link to take action, in this case it will be an ‘ORDER NOW’ button.
Whatever text you are including on your website, your language should reflect your brand and your target market/ideal customer. Firstly, you want to reflect your brand throughout all of your writing which means reading any of your copy should convey the type of company you are, for example a law firm working with professionals would use more formal language than the kids baking company we were discussing earlier. You don’t wan to alienate people by using words and a writing style that is going to put them off before they’ve even found out the ways you can help them.
Secondly, the actual content of what you’re writing needs to appeal to your ideal customer. Think about the language they use when talking about the problem you solve. What are the exact questions they ask? What are the exact words they are using when talking about your service? You might wonder how on earth you are going to figure this out, but all you really have to do is listen and be aware. Check out Facebook groups where your target market hangs out, check out the questions they are asking and what they are discussing. In real like, when you meet customers or clients, what do they ask you about? Use all of this when writing the copy for your website, and don’t be afraid to use the exact words they have used. When someone reads about a solution to that specific issue, they are having they are going to be that much more eager to find out more.
Not all words on your website are created equally. They can be broken down into a hierarchy of importance.
As we talked about earlier, this will be the most obvious text at the top of your webpage. This should be just one sentence or statement that conveys one key message. If it’s your homepage it will be your mission statement, if it’s a secondary page it will be the goal of that page. Be brief and to the point.
The sub-heading can expand upon that key message but shouldn’t get too bogged down with details. A sentence or two at most. This gives additional key information but should also be brief. Think of it as a bullet point type statement.
This is where you can start to expand more, but don’t get too wordy in the text used throughout your site. It’s important to always keep your goal in mind when writing for your website. People are short on time and have a limited attention span, especially online, so you want to get your point across as quickly and effectively as possible. Short paragraphs of text dropped in throughout your site are best. Explain what you need to and remember to talk in the language of your audience, but don’t start writing War and Peace, that is reserved for blog posts and articles only.
This is the one area of your site where you can write long form pieces, expand and start to go more in depth on particular topics related to your business. This is where people will be more invested in the text or the subject and have an expectation that what they are reading will take more time. Which is great, but if they start reading and find that they’re not getting anything from the article, no new information, nothing helpful, insightful, then they are going to peace out pretty quickly. So, long form blog posts are great, but always keep in mind that they need to be of value to your audience.
All killer, no filler. Your copy should be fluff free!
Talk in your audience’s language.
Talk directly to your ideal customer.
Keep the overall goal of your website in mind.
Remember the hierarchy of text on your site and write accordingly.
In blog posts, be useful and provide value.
I hope this helps you when writing content for your new website. If you have any questions about the topic, please drop a comment down below. If you’re interested in a website to hold all your new wonderfully written copy, then I’d be delighted to help you out! Use the button below to head over to my contact page.