Good website copy will educate customers, bring in more clients, broaden your company's exposure and reinforce your brand name. Without effective copy, your website may fail in its mission to sell your product and bring in more business. If you're planning to write your own web copy, it's important to understand what goes into writing quality text. The following 5 tips will help you write better copy for your website.
Do Your Research
Research the industry before beginning to write. Armed with information, you'll be able to create more authoritative and digestible content for your clients.
- Look at the competition. Familiarize yourself with websites from competing businesses. Make notations of what works and what doesn't, and look for conventions that clients will expect to see in your website.
- Know your customers. Do market research before writing your copy. Knowing what your customers want, who they are and what they like about your product will help you write text that speaks to them and addresses their needs.
Work from an Outline
Working from an outline will give you a starting point, prevent wasted text and help you keep your thoughts organized. Before writing the actual text, draft an outline.
- Make a list of points to cover. Know what ideas you want to convey before you get started with your text. Working from a list will ensure that all salient points are included.
- Organize the points into categories. These categories will eventually become your subheaders.
- Put the categories into order. Addressing each category in a logical order will help your text flow and will make it easier for visitors to your website to find information.
Use Friendly, Accessible Language
Using complex language, big words and insider jargon narrows your audience and makes your product inaccessible to new clients. Keep your words simple and straight forward, so more people can read your text and understand your message. When drafting text, it helps to imagine that you're talking to a customer or friend. This helps keep the tone of the copy conversational, accessible and universal in its appeal.
Lead the Eye with Smart Formatting
Most audiences don't have time to read every word written on the screen. Successful web copy will be scannable, enabling readers to glean the important points without digesting all written text. As you write web copy, implement smart formatting to structure your text and lead the eye around the page.
- Use bolded words to highlight important points. Bold text carries visual weight on the page. Readers can use bolded text to find the information they seek in the document without needing to start at the beginning.
- Break text up into subheaders. Keep subheaders short, limiting them to about 5 or 6 words at most.
- Keep paragraphs short. Short paragraphs of three or four sentences are easier to read and make their point in fewer words.
- Use bulleted lists. Bulleted lists help readers search text for important information.
Edit and Revise
You don't have to be a genius to produce effective web copy, but the writing you produce should be grammatically correct and free of misspelled words, with sentences that flow from one idea to the next. After drafting your text, give yourself a break. Return to your copy after giving yourself time to forget what you've written. Reviewing the text with a fresh perspective can help you more accurately gauge the ebb and flow of the text and can make it easier to catch grammatical errors.
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