How to Give Your Site the “Write” Stuff

copywritingWhen Susan’s brother decided to create a website for his painting business, she seemed the perfect fit to do the copywriting. Graduating (with honors) with a degree in English, she was ready to make her brother’s website something special. She couldn’t wait to create!

The results? Imagine if William Shakespeare owned a painting business.

The content that Susan created was nothing short of a disaster. As floral as a valentine and as long-winded as certain politicians, it was completely wrong for this business’ (or any business’) website, stylistically and structurally.

The lofty prose that earned us As in our creative writing classes, while no doubt lovely, is not quite the stuff of which good website content is made. The vast, expansive paragraphs in our term papers that impressed our professors will not have the same effect on a website viewer. Website copywriting is its own game. It has goals that are different than those of other types of writing. It has its own guidelines which, when followed, may not win the Nobel Prize for literature, but can produce a website that delivers.

Tips For More Effective Website Copywriting:

1) Headline is Number One – If you don’t grab readers right off the bat with a headline or title that is strong and solid, then not many people will read the rest. There isn’t one perfect way to do this, but some that are effective are the “reason why” headline (“10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Mobile App”) and the “how to” headline (“How To Give Your Site The “Write” Stuff”). Also, the headline or title is important from an SEO perspective, so choose your words wisely.
2) Use Bullet Points and Numbered Lists – When presenting a grouping of things (items or statements), bullet points and lists break up the monotony of the text and produce a page that is cleaner and more “digestible.” It makes your page so much easier on the eye of the customer.
3) Keep it Short and Sweet – On a web page, nothing is quite as off-putting as enormous blocks of text. Excessive wordiness often gets in the way of potential customers finding the information they seek. Know what it is that your viewers want when they come to your site, trim the fat away, and put the important information there.
4) Write in the Right Style – While you should not be striving to impress readers with your abounding vocabulary, neither should you “dumb it down” when it comes to your copy. Know to whom you are speaking and speak to them in a way that represents your brand well. The type of language used to sell baby furniture would be different from that used to sell motorcycles. Also, remember to avoid specialized terms that are used mainly by people “in the know” in your business, as they are often meaningless to visitors to your website.
5) Know How To Use Keywords – It is important that writers of website copy understand how Google and other search engines rank websites and the role that content plays. Additionally, they must be able to grasp how customers are using keywords to search for their products or services in order to facilitate the connection.
6) Finish With A Call To Action – There isn’t much point to your excellent copy if it isn’t getting your readers to actually do what you want them to do. So what do you want them to do? Do you want them to join your email list? Add something to their cart? Call for more information? Spell it out for your visitors so they will have a clear and satisfying experience on your site.

By understanding the goals of website content and adopting the strategies listed here, a good writer can become an excellent website copywriter. While you may not create the great American novel on your website, the financial rewards you can reap will prove most satisfying.

It’s a sort of poetic justice, wouldn’t you say?

This post is from Bola Olonisakin, Creative Head & Online Strategist at GTechDesigns LLC. Bola specializes in web design and development techniques, standards and methodology. She works to enable organizations to grow their web strategy and increase the visibility of their websites. If you’re interested in improving your web presence, feel free to contact her at [email protected], or @gtechdesigns on Twitter. This post was originally posted at www.gtechdesigns.com.

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