When it comes to your company’s website, well-written copy that’s been optimized for search engines can be a key component to increasing traffic and netting new sales. Here are some strategies for writing captivating web copy.
Get to the point quickly. Most readers have short attention spans, so if you don’t catch their interest early on, they’ll simply move on to another site and you’ll lose your opportunity to reach them as customers. Rather than writing a long paragraph about your company, use a bold heading and catchy subheadings with short sentences to break apart the text and keep your visitors engaged. Keep the language simple enough for a 5th grader to understand—going overboard with complicated language is likely to alienate your potential customers. Keep each page short as well: As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to include more than 300 words or so on a given webpage.
Use words that relate to your company’s products and location. If you want people to find your website, it’s important to focus on incorporating the words and phrases that people type into Google and other search engines when they’re looking for a company like yours. To find out what terms you should be using, type a few relevant words into Google’s Keyword Tool to see what variations come out—the tool provides data on how many searches there are for each keyword phrase, so that you can tell which words are most important to include. Additionally, if you serve a local market, you should always prominently include your city and state or province in your page headings.
Answer the questions that customers care about. When people visit your website, they’re likely looking for information on your product or shop, and wondering if it’s better than similar options. Instead of writing about what’s most important to you about the company, focus your web copy around the topics that will be most important to the consumer, such as the product’s value and how it differs from your competitors. You’ll also win over more customers by keeping the tone warm and personal, referring to the reader as “you.”
Include calls to action. After each section of text, consider what action you want the reader to take. Would you like him to check out your product catalog or sign up for your newsletter? Tell him so in a short call to action, which may be featured in a bold font or different color so that it stands out from the rest of your web copy. You might also want to add an incentive for the customer to complete the given action—for instance, “Sign up for our newsletter and you’ll receive 10% off your first purchase.”
Focus on your core demographic. Chances are, you already know what type of person is most likely to use your product or service. Instead of casting a wide net, use targeted language that’s designed to cater to your core market’s interests. If you have numerous target markets, you may want to develop “buyer personas” and create custom sections for each type of prospect, such as individual consumers and corporate buyers.
Proofread. Nothing hurts your brand’s image like a misplaced apostrophe or glaring spelling error. Before launching your website, be sure to do a thorough proofread of every page of web copy to check for errors yourself, and then pass the copy on to a friend or colleague who can double-check your work. If you’re not a confident writer, it may be worthwhile investing in the services of a professional editor who can reframe your words in a more polished tone, or even hiring a content marketing consulting firm to help you create your content.
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