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If you plan to write your own website copy, there are a few key things you should bear in mind. Writing your own website content can be tricky because you are so close to your business. Sometimes you’ll find it difficult to know what to include and what to leave out.

It’s vital your website is engaging and interesting, so where do you draw the line? Your content should be comprehensive enough to make people want to use your services – but without boring or confusing them. The search engines should be able to find you easily too.

It is easy to be distracted by focusing on how good your website looks and neglect the written content, or copy. Getting a new website can be exciting, especially if it has been designed by an expert and looks beautiful. Hopefully you or your website designer will have worked carefully on the site map to make it easily navigable by customers. It should look and feel inviting, appealing, and interesting.

Why is your website copy important?

Like the window display of a real shop, your website should entice people in to browse further. But if the content doesn’t match the overall design, all that money, time, and effort could be wasted. The words need to match.

Your website copy needs to give the right impression and clearly (and consistently) explain what you do. It should be engaging and encourage people to act. You need to provide all the relevant information to demonstrate your company is the one to use.

Seven things to check when writing your website copy

1. Who is your target market?

Your words, tone of voice, and how you present your written information will depend on who your ideal customers are. Writing for people in their twenties interested in sustainable fashion will differ from writing for retired professionals who play golf, for example. If you know your target market, you can write to appeal to them.

2. Is your copy engaging?

Will people get bored after the first few sentences, or will they want to read on to find out more? Try to avoid jargon and don’t over-complicate things with long words and lengthy explanations. Your target customers don’t need to know everything there is to know about you immediately. It can be off-putting, and you’ll run the risk of alienating your audience.

How often have you ended up on websites offering ‘solutions’ and ‘transitions’ and had no clue what those companies really do? Or how they do it?

  • Keep your copy interesting and relevant. It’s a good idea to give an overview or your company and your services on your home page. You can save the detail for your services page, FAQ section, and your blogs.
  • Explain clearly what your services are and why they are useful.
  • Focus on the problems you can solve for your customers, or in marketing speak, their ‘pain points’.
  • Instead of using passive constructions for your sentences, try to use active ones. So, for example, instead of writing ‘the website was written by a professional’ you would write ‘a professional wrote the website’.
  • Try to use ‘you’ or ‘we’ to make it more conversational and engaging.
  • Using shorter sentences and paragraphs and breaking your copy up with headings and lists also helps. It is easier for people to skim your copy and focus on what is interesting to them.
  • Maintain consistency throughout your website.

3. Have you optimised your copy for the search engines?

Why do you need SEO-friendly website copy? Well, the search engines need to understand what your website does. They do this by crawling the web and indexing what they find. They look for keywords to help them categorise your webpages, so they know how to return them in searches. The more you help the search engines, the more they will help you.

Make sure you’re answering the questions people are asking in relation to your services. However, it is vital your copy reads well rather than being stuffed with keywords. Search engines know we want to read natural, engaging copy so that’s what they will reward. Remember to name the local towns, cities, and counties you work in so you show up in local searches too.

Publishing regular, good quality blogs and answering frequently asked questions (FAQ) will help with search engine optimisation too.

4. Do you have easy-to-find contact details and all the legal information necessary?

Make it simple for people to find you and get in touch. Do you need your address and a map or directions? Offer options and links for getting in touch: you could include a contact form as well as your email address and phone number, for example.

Include links to your social media that people can click on. An online booking system or link to your diary for an introductory call should also be available if appropriate.

Don’t forget you will need to be compliant with any and all policies relating to your website and business offering. This includes GDPR, terms of business, and so on.

5. Are there clear calls to action?

If people want to work with you or buy your product, you should make it easy for them. Make sure you have buttons and links in the right places for ‘get in touch’, ‘read the report’, ‘book a call’, ‘arrange an appointment’, ‘buy this product’, and so on.

6. Is who are you and what you stand for clear?

Your customers want to feel like they are dealing with companies with real values, not faceless brands. People are right to be sceptical about scammers as there are so many of them about. Don’t give anyone a reason to favour a company that is more forthcoming about its people, history, or values.

There’s a balance between giving information to build trust and opening your company up to cyber security risks. You don’t need to use job titles, names, or pictures of individuals unless you have good reasons to. If it matters to your brand or you’re a solopreneur, you might choose to.

No one wants a long-winded explanation of why you do what you do or how your company came into being. However, they do want to know something about the human side of the company they will be dealing with. So, keep it succinct, relevant, engaging, and interesting.

7. Have you checked and rechecked your copy?

Before you hit publish you need to know your website copy is well written and free from errors. It is a good idea to leave some time between writing your content and going through it. Leaving a gap between the two will allow you to look at it with a fresh perspective. You will spot errors you had missed and notice things you can add or delete.

If possible, ask a friend or colleague you trust to go through your website content to make sure everything is clear, consistent, and correct.

Writing your own SEO-friendly website copy is hard, so remember to give yourself a break if you’re finding it difficult. And if you’ve given it a go and would rather pass the stress on to a professional copywriter, why not get in touch?

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