As web developers, we’ve seen, built and improved our fair share of websites. Among the lessons we have learned along the way, is the crucial importance of polished, targeted and properly formatted copy for making your website do what it’s meant to do; attract custom. No amount of flash graphic design can undo the damage sloppy messaging can cause to your brand.
We asked our go-to copywriter, Michelle Reiber from Prose and Comms, for some of her ‘Top tips of writing for the web’.
Check them out below and visit her website for more on how she can help you with your business. www.proseandcomms.com.
The seductive art of writing for the web
So you’ve got yourself a website. An online platform through which to display your wares and convince potential customers and clients that your goods and/or services are exactly what they need.
Only, what should you write?
Writing for websites is bit like online dating. Often it’s the first interaction a potential customer will have with you and your business. So you need to make a good first impression.
Whether you sell mortgage advice, a body wash that’s gentle on the environment, or the ultimate non-stick fry pan, your website needs to grab your customers’ attention and answer some key questions they, consciously or not, have ticking over in their minds.
Here are a few handy hints to get your website visitors ‘swiping right’.
1. Get to know me first
It’ll do you no favours attempting to appeal to every man and his dog. Find out what makes your target audience tick and speak to them like they are the only one in the room. The language, style and tone of voice used on a kindergarten’s website should be significantly different to that of an engineering consultant’s.
2. Tell me why I need you in my life
Don’t be backward in coming forward about why your customer needs you. Your website is a golden opportunity to inform people about what your business or product does and how they can get in on the action. Tell them what you can do for them, or sell them, that no one else can. They want to be convinced. That’s why they looked you up in the first place.
Photo Credit: freepik.com
3. Keep it classy
By this I mean simple and brief. You’ve heard the saying ‘I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead’; punchy, articulate copy will communicate your key messages best and says a lot about how you present yourself. Complicated acronyms, big words and unnecessary jargon are as attractive as that piece of spinach stuck in your teeth that I’m too polite to tell you about.
4. Don’t play hard to get
So you’ve hooked your reader in with your targeted content, succinct language and amazing sell job, now what? If you want them to book a consultation with you, tell them how. If you want them to buy your amazing natural, vegan deodorant, tell them how. If you want them to book their dog in for a groom at your place, tell them how. And just so everyone’s clear, tell them a few times. Having strategically placed calls to action throughout your site makes it much more likely you’ll get to second base. We’re all too old for games now.
Photo Credit: freepik.com
* I’ve dropped the metaphor here to make the point as clear as possible *
For the love of all that is holy, please spellcheck. Even if it means you have to copy and paste the text from your web development page into Word and run it through the Microsoft language filter, DO IT, because spelling errors on a website are the number one turnoff for many a prospective customer.