You can’t have a good business website without having great content. Unfortunately, most companies seem to treat the content on their website as an afterthought.
They either plug in some old content from outdated print marketing materials, or they quickly scratch out boring “we, we, we” content that doesn’t connect with visitors or motive them to take action.
The first thing you need to realise is that your content matters. It matters as much as the design. Maybe more. Your website can look great, but if it doesn’t have a powerful sales message, you’re never going to see any results from it.
The second thing you need to know is that writing copy for the web is different than writing copy for print marketing materials in many ways. So, your approach when writing the content needs to be slightly different as well.
Questions To Ask Before Publishing Your Website Copy
How can you make sure your content is ready to go live on your website? Here’s a simple list of questions to ask yourself before publishing it.
- Is it keyword optimised? You want people to be able to find your website, don’t you? The best way to ensure that happens is to create a strong presence in the search engines for your website. Whenever someone goes to Google or any other search engine looking for the products and services you offer, you want them to be directed to your website. One important factor in search engine rankings is the content on your website. Your web copy needs to be optimized around the keywords related to the subject of the page. For example, let’s say you have a page on your website selling men’s sunglasses. You’d want to use a keyword research tool to determine which phrases your customers use when looking online for men’s sunglasses. Then, you would use those terms seamlessly in your web content.
- Can you scan through it easily? Multiple eyetracking studies have shown that computer users tend to scan content rather than actually read it word-for-word. What does this mean for your website? It means your content needs to be easy to scan. You can achieve this by bolding important phrases, using bulleted lists, having clear, descriptive subtitles for each section, and keeping your paragraphs short. Someone should be able to scan your page quickly and get an idea of what it’s about so they can decide if they want to explore your website deeper.
- Does it have links to guide visitors forward? Interlinking is an important part of web copywriting. You don’t want visitors to read the page they land on and leave. You want them to keep moving forward through your website in a logical manner. By strategically placing links in your text that drive visitors forward, you keep them on your website longer and move them one step closer to becoming a customer.
- Have you proofread it to ensure no mistakes? This is pretty simple. If your website is riddled with typos, no one is going to take your company seriously. You need to go over your copy with a fine-toothed comb to ensure there are no mistakes. A simple “Spelling Check” from your word processor won’t cut it. Spend the time to do it right, so you don’t damage your credibility.
- Can anything be cut? If it’s interesting, people will read it no matter how long it is, but if your copy isn’t tight, you’re going to drive people off of your website. Take a look at your content. Is there anything that can be cut without sacrificing the overall clarity of quality of the message? I’m willing to bet you could probably eliminate at least 25% of the content in your first draft. Tighten it up!
- Does it have a strong call to action? The call to action is what ties everything together. If people aren’t doing anything when they arrive on your website (e.g. placing an order, filling out a form, requesting more information, etc.), everything else is for nothing. You have to get people to take action, and guess how you can do that? By telling them what action you want them to take! If you want them to buy now, tell them to “buy now.” If you want them to subscribe to your enewsletter, tell them to do so. It’s not really that complicated. Be clear, concise, and convincing.
Now, take a look at the content on your website. Is it truly web ready?