Badly written or disjointed copy can be the death knell for your website, so important is quality written copy that in a recent survey undertaken by Salesforce/Pardot, it was determined that consumers trust in a company’s content is three times more than that of the brand’s actual employees and that 97% of the same people surveyed suggested that bad copy negatively affected their trust in a brand.
And so, because written content plays such a key role in the success of your website here are our 7 great tips to help you create some amazing copy.
Before put pen to paper and start writing, ask yourself who and I trying to reach – who are my primary audience and who is my secondary audience, once you have that clear, you can then start to plan out what it is you want to say, the points you need to cover off and the tone you want to use, also think about the word count needed to convey everything you want to say – too few words might lead to miscommunication and failure to connect, while too many and you’ll send your audience to sleep – that’s if they even bother to keep reading.
As we know, having a resilient SEO strategy is by far the best way to appear at the top of the search engine results page – the more search visibility you have, the more qualified traffic you can direct to your website. So again before you start writing, it’s vital that you do your SEO research to understand what words and prompts you need to include that are key to your audience when they are searching for your type of brand, product or service. But, remember it’s a fine line between being relevant and overkill, don’t ‘shoo-in’ words for the sake of it, they should be there on merit and contribute to the flow of your writing, not because you want to get your SEO word count up.
Unless your website is extremely specialised and needs to use very precise words and phrases, create your content in easy to read digestible plain English. Choose your word with care and craft them so they engage and interact with your audience as an equal, it’s okay to use descriptions in your writing to bring the reader closer and add value, but don’t feel the urge to ramble-on or to use terms or phrases just because you think they’re cool – after all a football is still a football – nothing more.
While your copy needs to powerful, clear and direct in a tone that is audience relevant, try using short, simple sentences to get attention, and then longer more complex ones to flesh out ideas. Where ever possible use interesting verbs to highlight important actions, then more conventional ones for variety, and while you should try to be ‘passive voice’ free it does have a place sometimes — for example, when you want to share background information or highlight a particular action. Always look to write as if the person you’re trying to reach is sitting next to you.
Nothing is more off-putting than written content that’s full of spelling mistakes or poor grammar. There are literally loads of FREE online dictionaries and grammar checkers, so don’t be afraid to use them and if you come across a word you’re unsure about check it out.
Lastly, remember to consider where the majority of visitors to your site are going to be coming from, and write using their way of spelling – if in doubt go with American English.
Remember as humans, we have an incredibly short attention span, so make sure your copy is scannable. In addition to putting the most important information at the top of the page, make sure the copy is easy to skim. The majority of web readers will scan the page to search out the specific piece of information they’re looking for—if they can’t find it easily, they’ll move on.
So instead of using text laden paragraphs, perhaps use strong images, bullet points or numbers to highlight key points or phrases and don’t forget white-space is your friend so use it – white space around text makes it more legible, and more enjoyable to read.
One of the great aspects of a website is that it’s easy to direct readers from one page to another. Using hyperlinks from certain words and phrases is a great way to direct readers to find other related content. By hyperlinking both within your website and to other relevant sites not only helps to keep people engaged and moving smoothly through your site it also helps to give your content credibility.
Building in these internal links within your site also helps your SEO, but keep in mind that links should always be relevant and helpful. Visually, if you overload your text with links, people won’t know what to click on, so keeping the number of hyperlinks on a page to a “reasonable number is always recommended.
If you’re not an experienced writer, it can be hard work writing copy for your website. But remember, you don’t need to write perfect copy the first time around, once your content is live, you can do weekly and monthly checks to monitor and optimise its performance.
But hopefully, our list of tips will help you get prepared to create some amazing engaging content that resonates with even the most fickle and time-pressed of internet readers.