So! You’ve been asked to write out the content (aka copy) for your business’ new website? Great! Since you know your business, its culture and your team better than anyone, you’re the ideal person to make this happen.
But what seems like a simple task at the outset can turn complicated very quickly. Sure you know your business, but how exactly do you write about it on your website?! Let me tell you, you’re not the only one to encounter this problem!
People often reach out to us regarding writing their content and it can ultimately end up being one of the slowest parts of building a website. But it doesn’t have to be! So let’s talk through how to write content for your website pages.
What is Your Website’s Purpose?
The most important thing to remember when it comes to writing website copy is its purpose. Ultimately, your website should function as a tool for your business (and to not just be a ‘vanity website’).
If you’re one of our clients, we would have talked about the end goal of your site – whether that’s to get online bookings, make sales or generate leads through another form. This is generally what your main Call to Action (CTA) will be on your website.
With that in mind, consider what someone might need to know on your site to help them make this decision. Nothing more, and nothing less! You want your words to lead someone to that logical next step of booking or buying, and not lead them astray or even away from your goal.
This could mean you need to cut out unnecessary information that is overly long-winded, or could cause people to leave before they reach your CTA. On the other hand, if visitors still have questions about your product or service, this can become a barrier to that sale. So making sure you provide the details they need to feel confident in using your business is just as important.
Less Copy is (almost always) More
Do you know how long the average visitor spends on a website? Around 1-2 minutes! That’s not a long time, especially if they’re visiting multiple pages or completing an action (such as a booking).
Consider this when you’re writing out your website copy. Short and succinct is best. Get to the point and do it at the start of the page! Any less important information can be placed lower down on a page if it’s still necessary.
If you’d like a number to aim for, around 300 words on a page is good. It’ll give Google enough info to figure out what the page is about in terms of SEO, and isn’t too long to read.
Your Website Content Isn’t About You
One of the biggest mistakes we see businesses make on their website is that they’ve written it all about themselves! How is this wrong, I hear you ask?
A website should be written around your ideal customers’ needs and desires, and how you can help them. That means you’re free to take out all the ‘I’s, ‘We’s and long-winded histories.
It can also help to understand who your ideal client is, or have a customer persona. This way you’ll be better able to address their wants, needs and desires when you put this step into action. Which leads to the next point:
Use the Problem – Solution Scenario
Let’s just take a step back. If a user has managed to land on your website, its likely they’re already interested in what you offer (unless they came by mistake)!
The problem – solution scenario confirms to visitors that they’re in the right place. Repeat their problem back to them and put your business in the position as the solution.
Let’s say you are a physiotherapist and someone has landed on your site because they’ve made a Google search for knee pain. In this case, confirm the problem – ‘Is knee pain stopping you from living your life to its full?‘. Then, position your business as the solution – ‘Our team can help treat the cause of your pain to help get you pain free, healthy and active once again!‘ Simple!
A Few Do’s and Don’t’s to keep in Mind When Writing your Website Copy
- Consider the end goal of your website and make sure your copy is leading visitors to that point (and not off on a tangent).
- Use writing features such as paragraphs, dot points and lists to help break it up with white space. Text is a lot more tiring to read on a screen, so keep that in mind.
- Keep your content free of industry jargon. This can lead visitors to check out. Instead, use easy to understand terms (this is best for SEO too!)
- Talk to your visitor. You can address them (eg ‘are you in need of xyz?). There can be a disconnect when writing for a screen and when we don’t actually see people reading our websites. Speaking directly to them can help create that connection.
- Don’t forget to add an FAQs page! Think of your website as a tool to break down as many barriers as possible when it comes to getting a sale. If people can easily find an answer to a question, that’s one less barrier they’ll face before choosing you.
- Be sure to proofread your words so they’re free of errors.
- Make it all about you. Speak to your visitor and tell them how you can help them!
- Write thousands of words. Let’s be honest – no one is going to read it! Keep your website’s purpose in mind.
- Get creative. In terms of easy navigation, SEO and being found online, the more simple & obvious you are with your word choices, the better. For example, call your FAQ page ‘FAQs’ rather than something like ‘still curious?’
- Don’t just describe a problem – write about your solution. On the physiotherapist example, don’t just write about all the possible reasons someone’s knee might be sore on a page about knee pain. Most people just want to know if you can help (so tell them that you can)!
If Nothing Else, Don’t Forget the Most Important Step – Editing
Editing is your friend! Just like you wouldn’t be expected to get a new skill perfect on your first try, it can take a few revisions to really make your website copy sing. Even the world’s top copywriters spend time revising their content and writing out numerous headlines so they can end up with the best one.
So if you forget the above points, remember at the very least to edit your content. And a little time away from your work can shed a whole lot of light on what needs improving when you return.