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.

It’s your online sales pitch
Too often web pages are seen as a void to be filled; an empty space to be topped up with information about your business. Instead think of it as your online sales pitch. You wouldn’t greet a visitor to your premises with a mundane rant about what you do, so this probably isn’t the way forward online either.

Poor spelling and grammar puts off customers and Google
Google has recently confirmed that, while spelling and grammar are not directly taken into consideration in its algorithms, studies they have conducted show that sites with better spelling and grammar tend to rank better in search results and become more reputable. Even more importantly, error-strewn copy deters real people far more than it does search engine robots.

Jargon deters your customers
Your content should be accessible to your readers. You need to demonstrate expertise and competence within your field, but baffling people with specialist language and acronyms is not the way to do this.

Information overload is off-putting
As with jargon, while you need to show your readers that you know what you’re talking about, it is not necessary to equip them with the same level of information that you possess. Good website content is as much about knowing what to leave out as what to put into your copy.

You can subtly or unsubtly tell your reader what you want them to do
Well-written copy can influence your readers’ actions and movements around your site. Carefully crafted calls to action can help your website visitors to begin the buying process, to visit a particular page or to sign up for your newsletter.

The words should be part of the design
All too often people go to a web designer to get a website and assume that they will deal with everything. I can think of one, possibly two, people I’ve met with web design skills I would trust to be used on my new website who also have competent copywriting skills. They are few and far between. The best web designers want to see the copy at the outset of any project so that they can incorporate the words into the design.

It’s an opportunity to stand apart
Market research is one thing, but you shouldn’t be aiming for a drab reworking of what your competitors decided to put on their website. Your website is an opportunity to establish a distinct voice for your brand and stand apart.

Get in touch to discuss your words on the web.

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