It doesn’t matter how amazing you are, how your skill-set may be your unique point of difference or how incredibly useful, time-saving or beautiful your products or services are. Without a website that is easy to navigate with professional, readable copy, visitors simply won’t stick around. Your company’s website is its virtual front door and if it’s uninviting, visitors will quickly move on. Incorporate elements that attract traffic, display professionalism, educate and speak to your visitors in an immediate and clear manner.

 

Use a Headline and Subheadings

A text heavy website or landing page is a massive turn off.  Keep your headline clear and simple and use subheadings to offer a brief description of what you do. Keep your paragraphs brief with a focus on one idea per paragraph, brevity is key. Vary the lengths of your sentences to create a varied rhythm and try using some white space around your copy to allow it to breathe/stand out.  Remember, if your website is a cluttered mess, how do you think this reflects upon your business? Keep it lean, clean and sharp. Clarity is everything.

 

Use words that matter

Be a savvy marketer and give your time-poor visitors some kudos. Try to avoid repetition and use synonyms where you can to bring a fresh appeal to your copy. Give the oft-used hyperbole (exaggeration,) unnecessary words and jargon the ol’ heave ho. “Ten dollar” – those ‘highfalutin’ lengthy words designed to make you sound sophisticated in place of shorter ones – only serve to either bamboozle or make you sound pretentious.  If there are any words that can be removed without damaging the message, cull. Remember, sometimes, less is more.

 

A Call to Action

Put simply, a call to action (CTA) is an instruction, pure and simple, but its effectiveness can vary hugely. There is no point outlining your wonderful services and/or product(s) if you don’t give your potential customers a nudge to do something. While no one particularly likes being told what to do, the point is to direct your site visitors to a desired course of action. But your CTA must provide a benefit. Everyone will think What’s in it for me? so your CTA has to impress, be bursting with enthusiasm or perhaps even offer a deal that won’t be around for too long.

No one likes missing out, so provide something for a short-term offer. It could be something as simple as “Call or email us today to find our more” or “Download your copy of…” or “Find out how” to encourage your audience to do something, rather than leaving them hanging. It’s the point of conversion, where a reader’s interest may just be piqued enough to act on your call.

 

Differentiation

What is your unique point of difference? What sets you apart from all the rest? Are you more affordable than the next guy? Or is your service/product bespoke? Can you fill a niche market? Can you offer something the others can’t? If your business is in a crowded and competitive marketplace, differentiation reigns king. As Oscar Wilde famously said: “Be Yourself; everyone else is already taken.” It’s the same for business. Be precise about what you do, leave generalisations for the amateurs and stand out and be heard amidst the clutter.

 

SEO – know your keywords

While people won’t usually search for your business name unless you are the Top Gun, what they will search for is information about their needs. Go beyond using words that simply describe your business and address what your visitors/potential clients are actually looking for.

Place your keywords in your heading and subheadings and use them as often as possible without sounding contrived – keep it natural. Use them in links, lists and ensure your most important keyword is in your title page. It’s not enough for your web copy to simply be relevant to your visitors, it must also be relevant to Google.

 

Testimonials

They bring credibility, authenticity and show the human side of your business. Edit your quotes to provide a pertinent snapshot of your professionalism and provide the specifics of what sets your business apart. Ensure you use names too so that visitors can see there is a real person/business behind the words. You can sell yourself until the cows come home but there is nothing like a real life testimonial to demonstrate you’re not a one-trick pony.

  

Spelling & Grammar

Remember the “Let’s eat Grandma” vs “Let’s eat, Grandma” test? Ah, how a single slip up (in this case, the humble comma,) can make a world of difference. Why waste money paying for a professionally built site with (or without) all the bells and whistles only to leave your visitors shortchanged with amateurish oversights?  Not only can poor spelling affect the functionality of a site, but it can also impact on an organisation’s credibility. After all, you want your visitors to feel like they are in safe hands, right? So, don’t forget the boring bit after all that hard work and edit your web copy, or better yet, have someone proofread it for you.

Remember, it’s all about first impressions! Be creative, specific and succinct. Take the time to craft and correctly format your web copy – the virtual front door of your business. The average visitor spends 15 seconds on each web page so make it clear and make it count.

  • Write On! Copy

    Samantha Coombs has been writing professionally for a number of years as a freelance writer. Her work frequently appears in newspapers, magazines, blog posts and websites. Sam is very keen to work with small business owners, passionate about 'storytelling' as a way to increase the authenticity of a business' brand.