Writing is only for professionals, they said. Nobody but experienced marketers can write the content to make a good website great, they said. Well, whoever they are, they’re not quite right: everyone can write. If you know what to look for, you can create your own great website copy without spending thousands on that expensive copywriter. Here are 5 secrets that can help you get started:
1) Know Your Audience
Funnily enough, the first step to great web writing has nothing to do with typing words on a keyboard. Instead, you have to begin by understanding your audience. More specifically, answer the following questions:
- What are the demographics of your ideal customer?
- What are their common pain points, or pressing questions they need answers to?
- How are they looking to answer these questions?
Once you know the answer to these points, you can get started in writing web copy that actually speaks to your audience.
2) Identify a Core Goal
Each piece of content you write needs to have a specific goal in mind. Ideally, your website exists to increase your customer base and grow your business. But within that overarching goal, each web page serves a slightly different function.
Your homepage is a first introduction to your business. Your about us page builds credibility in the eyes of your audience. And your pricing page gives potential customers the final piece of information before the purchase.
Each of these pages plays its own role in solving your audience’s pain points. Once you specify exactly what each piece of content needs to accomplish, writing copy that accomplishes it becomes much easier.
3) Get Personal
The above two points give you the purpose you need to get started. Now, it’s time to actually work on the content. Above all, your web copy needs to be personal to your audience.
Nearly three quarters of visitors get frustrated, and eventually leave, when the content appears to have nothing to do with them. How can you prevent that worst case scenario from happening?
The answer is simple: get personal. Try to speak directly to the audience you’ve established in the first step. Address your audience, and write in a conversational style.
4) Keep it Simple and Skimmable
You might want to write a treatise about your business and products. And that’s great; you should be proud of it. But that doesn’t mean your audience will find the time to read it.
In fact, our online attention span is now at 8 seconds, and shrinking. To keep your visitors’ attention, stay away from long paragraphs. Instead, use bullet points, lists, sub headers, and other trips to make your content skimmable.
Simplicity also applies to the writing itself. A common tip is to keep your writing at a 5th grade level, especially when targeting consumer audiences. Online readability tests can keep your writing on task.
5) Edit and Optimize
Finally, an important note: to paraphrase a famous soccer quote, after the content is before the content. There is no such thing as a perfect draft.
Once you’ve done a first write-through, look over the text for typos, awkward phrases, and other easy edits. Then, run it by a second set of eyes for evaluation and suggestions.
Even after these two steps, you can improve your copy. As your content goes live on your website, check out how your visitors are interacting with it. Through analytics, you can determine which links are popular, and which calls to action may need improvement.
Everyone can write – you just have to know where to start. Rather than outsourcing your copy, spend your marketing dollars on a partner that can help you build a beautiful presence and marketing strategy around it. To read more about our services, and how we can partner to promote your business, get in touch with us.