Write Web Content that Works
Get Ready to Write A Great Website
Welcome to the second post from DesignGood in our series on how to create and write a great website. Last week, we talked about what makes a website truly effective and why a well-designed, well-written site is vital to your success. This week, we dive deeper to show how to shape your web “copy” — the words you use — so that it sends the right message, sounds like you and calls in the audience you want to work with!
The DesignGood Approach to Creating Web Content That Works
Here at DesignGood, we've created website content for a wide range of entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations. Along the way, we've discovered some universal principles for creating web content that works. Our approach to writing a great website is designed to generate more results, connect you with your ideal audience and encourage your website visitors to take a much-desired action. Are you ready? Read on!
Write to Your Audience
To write to your audience, you have to first know who they are and what’s important to them: What do they like and dislike? What key problems are you solving for them? Where do they get their information? What influences their decision to work with you or buy from you? What do they really need? How is your product or service going to make their life or business better?These articles from the DesignGood blog can help you pinpoint the clients you want to work with:
Once you know who your audience is, we recommend keeping a description of your ideal clients handy as you start to plan and create the content for your website. Write everything for your website with your ideal clients in mind — right down to the parts that may appear to be cookie cutter, like a contact form. Use the words they would use. Talk to them the way they want to be talked to. Throughout your website, show that you understand who they are and what they need. Tell them how you can solve their problems, or provide a solution to what they are needing.
Explain Why You Stand Out
Your prospective clients have a lot of choices about who to work with, so why should they pick you? Your website visitors will be looking for answers to a couple of key questions.
- Why are you credible? Your prospects want to know that you're qualified to take on the work they need you to do. Throughout your website, look for ways to highlight your expertise, including using testimonials, case studies, client logos, media coverage and any facts and figures that demonstrate your results.
- Why are you different? You can take another step toward captivating your ideal audience if you show them how you do things differently from your competitors – and, in turn, why that makes you better at serving your target clients. Infographics are one effective way of illustrating important information. They can quickly and visually convey your process, results, relevant statistics or any other info that set you apart.
Sound Like Yourself
When you write your website content, imagine that you're speaking one-on-one to your perfect client. What would your conversation sound like? Visiting your website should make prospective clients feel like they're meeting you person.Don't fall into the trap of trying to make your web content sound like someone you admire, or like other businesses in your space. That's no way to stand out! Your ideal clients will respond to your authentic voice.
More Best Practices for Effective Web Copy
These tips are industry best practices. We didn’t create them, but we live by them!
Write Simply and Clearly
To make your web content more readable, choose simple, strong words. For example, write "use" instead of "utilize" and "begin" instead of "commence,” and keep your sentences short. You’ll also want to avoid the passive voice. For example, instead of “Our website was built by DesignGood,” write "DesignGood built our website.” The active voice is easy to spot because it’s shorter and more direct. (You can even use the free website Hemingway to check the readability of anything you write.)
Don't Be Wordy
Remember, people are busy. If they come to your website and see big, unbroken chunks of text, they're going to bail and find a business whose site they can more quickly understand. We know that you're excited about your business and there's so much you want to share about your work. But as you create your web copy, stay focused on the key points your prospects need in order to understand you, like you and hire you.
Make Your Content Scannable
This goes hand-in-hand with our first point. To help visitors to your website understand key information quickly, use short paragraphs, subheadings, bulleted lists and other techniques to make your website easy to scan. Infographics, icons and other visual elements can help you convey information quickly.
Use Calls to Action
Don't forget to always ask site visitors to take the next step in creating a relationship with your business, whether that's scheduling a call with you, filling out a contact form, or signing up for your newsletter. This request is known as a “call to action” (CTA). From any page on your website, it should be easy for a site visitor to take the next step toward working with you. Your calls to action should be clear, compelling and speak to your target client’s needs. Need ideas for writing your CTAs? Check out some of these inspiring examples.
Lots of businesses fill up their websites with the insider lingo of their profession, including technical terms, business jargon, clichés and buzzwords. But this kind of language usually just makes it harder to connect with your potential clients.Like us, you've probably visited at least one website so filled with jargon that it's hard to tell what the business even does! Instead, when you write in a natural, conversational way, you instantly stand out from similar businesses. And you may even give your site an SEO boost: When you write about your services in the same way your target audience would talk about them, they're more likely to find your website when they’re searching online.
Speaking of SEO...
SEO is first up in next week’s post! In the meantime, if you need more help crafting copy that sends the right message and sounds like you, reach out to us at DesignGood. We’re experts in creating and writing websites that work.