Are you considering re-writing your business’ website copy? You’re not alone. A lot of websites are born quickly and out of necessity, so they often have a TON of excellent information, but don’t necessarily have web-optimized copy.
Many companies copy straight from sales papers, brochures, and other print collateral because there isn’t enough time or expertise on-hand to write website content. Other sites were originally written by the machine operators, engineers, or other subject matter experts who had primary responsibilities beyond website writing.
So, if you’re looking for a place to start, we’ve outlined basic steps and information for you to consider as you begin.
WRITING FOR WEBSITES IS STILL JUST WRITING…
You’ll be happy to know that the lessons you learned from middle school to high school still apply. Writing for your website will be a lot like writing in general—your audience, purpose, spelling, and grammar are still the stars of the show.
Who is reading your website?
The most important thing to consider while reviewing your current website is your audience. Businesses often know a lot about their consumer and might even have research on them. Who’s buying your goods? What are their demographics, values, challenges, and behaviors?
Keep your audience front of mind at all times as you write and edit your website copy. Don’t write for yourself – write for the people who will be using your site.
What is your site’s purpose?
Specifically identify your website’s goal. If you are selling, make sure your copy provides the benefits that would convince a visitor to purchase. Also, as people often skim, make sure you are redundant with your main point. Keep a tight focus on what your primary goal is and delete superfluous content that does not support that goal.
Have you spell checked?
This is Writing 101, but make sure you spell check and grammar check all of your content before you go live. Make sure all of your stakeholders review your copy for spelling, grammar, and readability in addition to the message you are trying to convey.
…EXCEPT WHEN IT’S NOT
Web copy, however, is not the same as writing a brochure, sales sheet, or any other printed piece. It is living—it is searched for and can, in turn, gather valuable data for your business. Web copy is different, so make sure you take the following into consideration.
Web copy must be concise and easy-to-read (keep it simple,…). Unlike most printed content, your audience can and will read your website anywhere —on an elevator, in between dashing to the supermarket and home, while pumping gas—and anytime. Your readers are on the go and they need copy that is easy to read on their mobile devices.
To aid with keeping it simple, you must use formatting to its greatest strengths. “Chunking” content, or using many headers, bullets, and smaller paragraphs, helps the reader consume and retain information. That said, ensure your headers and subheads are informative and not snappy or cheesy. The more direct your copy, the easier it is for readers—and search engines—to find information.
Just as the web connects people, your copy should connect to itself. When pertinent, hyper linking the copy to other pages within your site boosts your website’s credibility to search engines. It also makes it easier for your website’s users to navigate to other content they may be interested in.
You’ve heard the words before—search engine optimization—but what do they mean? True and complete optimization is its own specialty and evolves constantly. However, by revising the copy of your site to speak more like your audience, you are integrating specialized keywords that will be picked up by search engines. The more direct, concise, and linked your copy is, the more likely it is to be served up as a search result.
MAKE THE TIME TO REVISE
Hopefully this post has been a good refresher on what to consider as you revise your site’s copy. That said, the most important and difficult task to accomplish is simply making the time to do the work. You probably already have more than 40 hours of responsibilities, but you realize the importance of a clean, professional website. You know that your website is how potential customers view you and is often the first place they’ll go to research you. Make the time to polish your site, or find professionals to help.
If you are looking refresh your website’s copy, consider partnering with NuGrowth. To find out how NuGrowth can help, contact the team at 800-966-3051 or fill out a contact form and we will be in touch.