New Year, New Website?
If the idea of having to write the words for your website fills you with a sense of dread, then this post is for you.
Now that we’ve settled in to a new year, many of you will be thinking about updating your website.
Unless you’re experienced in writing for websites, there is more to it than you might first think.
Writing for the web takes some amount of skill, and can be time consuming to get right. It’s easy to make the mistake of over-complicating it by adding too much unnecessary information, leading to potential customers being turned off and looking elsewhere. On the other hand, ignoring information which will bring customers to your door, not taking advantage of key words and phrases on which people can search, and failing to give a definite call to action can be costly.
As a freelance copywriter, I am often asked to review new web content which has been created by business owners, and have ended up re-writing text which is rushed, poorly-written, and in some cases blatantly stolen from other websites. I understand that small businesses need to keep costs down and have limited time to put into writing content, but it really is worth getting the job done right.
If you are re-designing your website, and are writing some or all of the content yourself, here are some things to consider:
When you run your own business, you are passionate about what you do, and want to tell your readers every little detail about it. By all means, write it all down. And then EDIT. Cut out anything that isn’t absolutely essential. Delete any information that has been repeated. Omit fluff words. And write simply, in a language that your readers will understand.
Make it search-friendly
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and think about the words you would use to search for your business. Those are the words you’ll want to use in your writing, known as keywords. But don’t cram as this will make your writing look clumsy. Write naturally and ensure that it flows well.
Get someone else to read what you have written. I’d recommend at least three other people, both within your company/industry, and those who don’t know your business too closely.
Don’t rush it
Once you’ve written your content, leave it alone. Go back to it after a week or so with fresh eyes. Be critical and edit out anything that sounds off. A useful technique is to read it out loud, as this often brings up errors which you miss by reading alone.
Outsource your writing
If you haven’t got the time or the skills to write for your website, ask someone else who can. You might be surprised to learn how little it costs, and the outlay is worth it for having peace of mind that your website is well written, and is working to get you more customers.
I hope that you found this blog post useful. Please feel free to share it, and if you are in the process of working on your own website, I’d be more than happy to assist you with writing your content.