Let's face it – we can't all afford to hire professional copywriters to develop the content on our websites. At least not yet. If you're a small business owner just starting out, you may not have a lot of extra cash to spend. But that doesn't mean you can't have language that engages your audience, reflects your brand, and turns viewers into customers. Here's five tips on how you can make your website's copy devilishly good.
Write For Your Customer: Most of us have had the experience of walking into a store and thinking, this is my kind of place! or reading a book and saying to ourselves, it's like it was written for me! These scenarios are not accidents, just well targeted marketing. Before you can create website content that is appealing to your customers, you have to know exactly who your customers are. Are they men or women? How old are they? What is their income level? What is their highest level of education? Do they live in a house or an apartment? What flavor popsicle would they choose? The more information you have about your potential customers, the easier it will be to "talk" to them on your website and the more relatable your business will be.
Let Your Tone Match Your Brand: The tone of voice you use to write your website content needs to match your brand. For example, if you own an edgy, online business that specializes in high-fashion clothing and accessories for teens, you wouldn't want your website content to read like a pediatric doctor's office, or visa-versa. Your customers would be a little confused and a bit turned off. When writing your website content, imagine who the spokesperson would be for your business. How does that person sound? Professional? Conversational? Witty? Sarcastic? Write your content as that person.
Create An Experience: Todays consumers are well acquainted with typical sales lingo, so content that heavily relies on phrases like "if you buy this product now…" or "we provide a high-quality service" or "customer satisfaction is our top priority," will seem empty and a little spam-y. Instead, try to appeal to your target audience by creating an experience for them. What is it like to use your product or service? To have a solution to a problem? To work with you or your employees? How does that feel? What result will it bring? You want consumers to be able to connect to that.
Be Concise With Your Wording: Because half of all internet users are using a mobile device, and because most people will only spend a few seconds on a site before clicking away, it's crucial that your website copy do its job – and fast! Avoid having huge walls of text; your viewers won't read it. Eliminate words like really, very, kind of, probably, and other fillers that don't change the meaning of your sentence but still take up space. Remove sentences that say the same thing as the sentence that comes before or after it. Think of your copy as a train that's taking its readers to their final destination: buying your product or service. You want a nice smooth ride that makes sense for your customers, so tweak any section where they might slow down or stop.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread: Have you ever attended a play where you were taken out of the moment? Maybe you noticed an actor waiting to walk on stage, or a sound effect didn't line up. The disruption breaks the illusion, so instead of being immersed in the story, you're thinking about what's going on behind the scenes. The same holds true for your website copy. You could have the most beautifully worded website in the world, but a few misspellings, grammatical mistakes, and typos are a big enough distraction to turn your viewers' perceptions sour. Proofread your work, let it sit a few days, and then read it again. Have someone else read it. If you're unsure about punctuation or sentence structure, you don't need a dictionary, thesaurus, or style guide – the internet is filled with resources that can guide you.