Why your words on the web matter

Think about why other people’s words on the web matter to you
In order to realise the importance of your website content, you need only think about your own online experience. Why do you visit other people’s websites? You probably wouldn’t need too many fingers to count the number of times you’ve bought a product or service on the basis of design alone.

Beyond that, consider the sort of information that you’re looking for when you visit a website. That leads us to…

Tell your readers why it matters to them
When you land on a company’s website, you’re probably not overly impressed by being bombarded with information about what generation of the family is currently running the business or the minutiae of what the business does. Similarly, people visiting your site don’t really care about these things. The reader needs to know what’s in it for them. Insular, self-centred copy is off-putting to readers. Continue reading

You’re more exciting than you think you are

Your business really isn’t that dull.

When you sit down to write about your business, there is always a temptation to reel off a few historical but mundane facts about your business. It is probably your primary school English teacher’s fault. She succeeded in drumming a linear narrative of beginning-middle-end into your head.

Unfortunately, online reading habits mean that if you haven’t grabbed your potential customer in those first couple of sentences you have probably lost them for good. You need your opening salvo to leave your reader in no doubt as to why they want your product or service.

The uninitiated will often ask a copywriter: ‘Why should I get you to write about what my business? Nobody knows more about my business than me.’

That’s true, but it’s not just about knowledge. It is just as important to pick out the key facts and present them in a way that hooks your target audience.

For instance, imagine Steve Jobs decides to overhaul the Apple website. He is really watching the pennies, or cents, so he decides he will undertake the copywriting himself and starts writing about his business:

“Founded in 1976, Apple is a computer hardware manufacturer based in California.

“We specialise in supplying well-designed desktop and portable devices to a global audience.”

A silly example, but hopefully it illustrates my point. It is factually correct and details exactly what the company does. But you and I know that it is only half the story and is a massive undersell of some of Apple’s key values and selling points.

You need to think about the first impression you want to leave on visitors to your website. What are the most interesting or exciting things about your company? And – here’s the important bit – that means interesting or exciting to your potential customers, not to you or your employees.

If you would like more input from Voz on your website content, we are currently offering free copywriting to one lucky business website.

Give some Valentine’s Day love to your web content

Since it is Valentine’s Day, Voz has decided to give you some encouragement to rekindle the flame with your website copy. Here are a few vaguely romantic tips…

Have some alone time
That’s right: just you and your web content. Sit down for a heart-to-heart and make sure your relationship is still as strong as you thought. Are you still pulling together in the same direction in joyous union or has one of you moved on? Don’t go breaking things off just yet though. Your web content can change – it can be what you want it to be. Continue reading

Video: Gareth Dunlop on the importance of the written content of websites

This video was recorded at last month’s Bizcamp at the Ulster Museum, Belfast. Gareth Dunlop, of digital marketing company iON, gave an interesting talk on corporate websites.

If you are a web designer or you are currently overseeing the re-design of your corporate website, it is probably worth watching the entire talk. From Voz’s point-of-view, we are particularly interested in the section from 4mins to 7mins.

Gareth underlines the importance of copywriting and written content in the creation of corporate websites (that is what your clients are interested in, after all). He also has a bit of a laugh at the lack of thought many businesses currently give to the text on their website.

We thought we would help to spread the word a bit further: words not images.