What kind of people do you want to attract through this website – who are your ideal customers (e.g. general public, small business owners, men, women, teenagers, the older generation)? How can you tailor the content to those people?
What are the BENEFITS of my product/service?
Why should they buy from my business, i.e. what is different about your business?
What action do you want them to take once they’ve read your website – do you want them to call you, fill out an online form or buy something online with their credit card?
Most people will not read huge complicated paragraphs of text online, as it’s all too easy to click on to another website or another page, so it’s vital to keep your information simple, and to break it up into bite sized chunks. Here are some guidelines for the length of your content:
Headings: 8 words or less
Sentences: 15 – 20 words
Paragraphs: 40 – 70 words
Page word count: 250+ words
Provide a summary of your information by clearly communicating the direction of your discussion. Use informative headings and subheadings with a paragraph of 4 to 5 lines that supports them. You only have a few seconds to grab your visitor’s attention.
Most will simply scan for the information they are seeking.
Use bullet points or numbered lists, boldface or coloured font
to emphasize the points you wish to make. Include links
at the end of your paragraph (or within the text) to direct
visitors to other pages of your site for more in-depth
The most powerful word in the English language is “YOU”. As hard as it may be to swallow, let me be the first to break it to you that the people reading your website are not interested in you or your business – they are interested in themselves, and how you can help THEM. So your content must be written from THEIR perspective, not yours, and must answer the question they will be asking themselves ‘what’s in it for me?’
Most websites will focus on the FEATURES of their products or services, not the BENEFITS. Put very simply a feature is what a product does or has; a benefit is the reason why that is important, for example:
Feature: It comes with a timer.
Benefit: Your house will be warm when you get home from work.
Feature: revolutionary triple-blade shaving system
Benefit: You will a closer shave
Recordable Digital TV Box
Feature: Pre-programmable recording function
Benefit: You’ll never miss your favourite shows.
So you may have the highest quality service, or the very best product, but your reader will always be asking themselves ‘so what?’
What is the next step you want people to take? Each page should lead the reader on to another page – perhaps you want them to read about everything you offer, or perhaps you just want them to get in touch. One of the most common mistakes for a website is to have pages and pages of content which are all dead ends – if someone is reading about, for example, your new brand of widgets then they are interested and it is your job to tell them very clearly what to do next. For example: ‘enquire now’, ‘call us now to order your free brochure on 01234 5678910’, ‘come down to our showroom to talk to one of our team personally’, ‘add to cart’
The search engines will read the text on your website, so if you want to be found for certain keywords it is very important to use those keywords in your content. For example, if you are a building surveyor in Birmingham, and want to appear high in the search results for ‘chartered surveyor in Birmingham’, then you should use those specific words, and make them bold so that the search engines know they are important words.
You may be highly intelligent, you may have a fantastic vocabulary – but if your customers DON’T then they will not be impressed by your clever language or technical jargon. Similarly if your customers are highly technical and will want lots of detail make sure your writing style reflects that – and get help if needed.
We have a team of experts who specialise in writing customer-focussed copy that converts and is search engine friendly. Our writers can provide the following: