We’ve all seen it before; you’ve landed on a website and you’re immediately impressed by its trendy design features and functions – an absolute masterpiece of web design prowess. Yes, you think you’re already sold on the product or service, that is until you read the copy.
While impressive visuals are crucial to creating a website with impact, too many businesses drop the ball when it comes crafting web copy that can seal the deal on a sale, bag those leads or encourage enquiries. So, don’t let your designers down. When it’s about delivering an all-around engaging website experience, here are some tips to help ensure your web word-smithery is every bit as sleek as the visuals around it.
Watch your language
Sure, this might sound contradictory but great web copy really isn’t about showing off your impeccable language skills, fancy words, favourite idioms and abounding knowledge. Why? Because, believe it or not, your visitors aren’t there to read.
The reality is, your web copy will mostly be scanned or glanced at, so make sure your wording and phraseology are easy to understand, sentences are short and sweet, and technical facts and statistics are used as helpful to explain your product to your audience.
Avoid chunks of block text
Nothing is more off-putting for website visitors than giving the immediate impression they’ve got to work hard for key information. Avoid rambling through an endless flow of paragraphs and think about how you might be able to use bullet points, lists, headings or even accompanying visuals to make those key messages stand out and your copy easier to scan. More white space on your screen can make it easier to follow the copy you do include on your website.
Always have your target customer in mind
By putting yourself in the shoes of your target customer when crafting your written communication, you will have more of a chance of creating meaningful connections with those sought-after visitors. Factors such as age, background, interests, and knowledge level of your target persona will help you determine the language, tone of voice and complexity of information needed on your website to help resonate with prospective customers and leads.
Does your copy really do what it says on the tin?
Your website is probably made up of a few different pages so, for each one, don’t just put pen to paper and hope for the best. Think about what visitors will be expecting to learn or discover as they click through each page, and try to answer all the questions that they’re likely to have. For example, does your ‘About’ page really tell your story, or have you slipped into sales mode by promoting your products or services? Or, perhaps you’ve focussed so much on your product or service descriptions, you’ve forgotten to make your calls-to-action clear and obvious – like how to buy.
There’s no doubt information is much easier to digest when it’s delivered in bitesize chunks, but that can be challenging when faced with the task of explaining complex concepts. Take a methodical approach when conveying complex ideas and concepts; stick to one key point per (short) paragraph and use headings wherever possible to help visitors navigate the page and understand what they’re going to learn. Providing a graph or chart to explain complicated concepts might help to aid your audience’s understanding, also.
Consistency is key
Websites are a perpetual ‘work in progress’ – always being added to and updated as businesses grow and develop. But there can be a few consistency issues when copy is written at different stages of the business cycle, and by different people. The advice here is simple when adding to or updating your website, make sure the communication style is accurately aligned with the rest of the website. Alternatively, if you’ve had a change of approach, embrace it, but avoid going off on a tangent and bring the rest of your site in line with your new style.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to revamp an existing website, these simple tips are just some of the things you can do to help keep your small business’ copy consistent, concise and catchy.