Words can make or break your visitors experience – so how do you get them right?
The words that you put on your website can either entice visitors to stay and read more or can send them hitting that cross in the top right-hand corner.
The words you write can leave a huge impact and create a lasting memory–either good or bad–so it’s super important to choose them wisely – you only get one shot at a first impression.
So how do you find the right balance of words, the right words, the right phrases and how much is too much or too little?
When considering the words (web designers will often call it copy) for your website, you need to think in terms of what is your target audience looking for.
Consider the search terms they might use that will lead them to your website. Those words should appear on your home page more than once, but not so many times it appears to be spammy.
You can use a tool like trends.google.com to research your keywords and find out which keywords are searched more often and who searches for them.
For example, if I am looking for someone to service my car, namely a mechanic, am I going to search for “car service near me” or am I going to search for “mechanic near me”?
One search term is using the product (the car service) that I am looking for, the other search term is using the title of the type of person (mechanic) that I might use to provide the car service.
Both terms might land me in the same place, but from recent data you can see that people search more often for mechanic than they do car service. So which key word would you use?
Finding the right keyword will then determine how you word the copy on your website.
You also want to consider the way your target audience wants to perceive your services. If being clean and leaving the car in better condition after the service is important then you will want to include some words about the things that set you apart.
Setting out your Copy
Since the evolution of social media, we have become quite lazy readers:
- Twitter forces us to stick to a limited number of characters
- Instagram posts are mostly about images with short captions
- Facebook allows longer posts, but they can be off-putting.
We have become lazy scrollers, looking for the next dopamine hit via the internet. Most people don’t often read long on-line articles.
So your website needs to reflect the way people prefer to read, if you want them to stay.
Most of what we read on line that is easy to comprehend and connect with is in short paragraphs, with one point to a sentence, and a reading age of around 12 years old.
Got a favourite tween in the house or in your extended family or group of friends? Ask them to read the copy for your website and see if they can understand it and ask them how it makes them feel.
Copy isn’t about showing your target audience how clever you are, or how many long, convoluted words you know.
It’s about connecting with them and finding a way for your product or service to resonate with them.
Simply, easily, clearly.
What do you want visitors to do?
Great website copy will take your visitors on a journey, from the initial impression of your brand, through to a decision to make contact, purchase your product, book a call or a quote or find out more.
Your copy should:
- introduce the solution that you provide to your target audience
- show them the benefits of that solution, and
- inform them how to take the next steps
Good copy should not get in the way of them taking those next steps. I know you know a lot about your business, but you don’t need to tell them all of it on your website.
Give just enough to keep their interest and encourage them to further engage. Your website is not a place for your thesis of the theory of your business, all the ins and outs and pros and cons.
Your website is the place for you to reach your target audience and move them to take the next step. That is all. Choose your words wisely. Set them out in easy to digest chunks.
Once you sit down to write the copy for your website, all sorts of questions will arise in your mind. Spend time clarifying your offering, understanding your target audience and knowing where your profit is in your business before you start to write. This will help focus your efforts.
Develop a map of dot points of what you want to tell your target audience then fill in the blanks. Images alongside the words can be just as powerful as the words themselves, so choose images which complement and correspond with your text. You can find some hints and tips about using images here.
Writing copy for your website can be challenging – the most challenging part is reducing the number of words, while maintaining a good coverage of key words throughout your copy. And writing it in such a way that your target audience will stay.
Copy will always look different on the screen than what it does in a text document such as Word or Google docs.
So be prepared to spend some time developing the copy for your website, or engaging a professional copy writer to do the job for you.
Often your web designer will be able to assist you with this task to make sure the words, web design, images and page flow all work together to convert a visitor to an enquirer, a looker to a booker and a browser to a buyer.
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
– John Keating
Get in Touch
If writing your own copy seems too daunting alongside all the other things you do, then get in touch.
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Found a spelling or grammatical error in this post? Then contact me as soon as possible and let me know. In return for your super proof reading, I will offer you a free 30-minute review of your digital presence and some fresh ideas you can try out for free.
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