A great website needs great content. My recommendation is always to get an experienced copywriter to do this for you. Copywriters are experts in their field who know what is needed for excellent ‘copy’. They will get your message across succinctly where needed while going into detail where appropriate. They will be experts at appropriately weaving in keywords and much more. That said, for cost, authenticity or other reasons many people choose to create their own website content. Once that decision has been made many people are then unsure where to start. Those that do make a start are unsure about the level of details that’s required and what to write about. This article is designed to help you create the content for your website.
Think about everything you write from the point of view of your visitors. This can be hard to do. Especially when you know your business so well. Everything you write must be aimed at your visitors. Think about your audience as you write. It can help to think about a particular person or your ideal client. If you don’t have an ideal client. Spent some time trying to work out who they might be.
What do you offer?
This needs to be made very clear, very quickly. I was completing a mini MOT recently. After I had read the whole front page of the website I was still unsure what the company did. I knew they were very ethical and they offered an excellent service. But what they did was rather more vague. For some businesses, their name makes it obvious what they do. For example Jack Finch, builder. Associated accounting services. But, for CJ-Services its rather less clear. Even for the account and builder, they may well specialise in certain areas. So at the start use one or two sentences to make it clear what you offer.
“We are Associated Accountants. We offer a comprehensive accounting service for small businesses.”
How do you help people?
Potential clients want help. They won’t be looking at your website because life is rosy. They have a problem and they’re hoping that you might be able to help them. So, what problems do your products or services solve? People aren’t interested in your product. They are interested in how you can help them solve their problems. So go through the problems your clients had and how you helped them solve them. Including testimonials here can be powerful.
These are a brilliant way to show how great your product or service actually is. Visitors are far more likely to take a clients word for that, than yours. If you don’t have any testimonials then start asking for them. Make it an integral part of your processes that you ask clients for testimonials. Ideally, ask clients to add testimonials to Google my Business. This is great for helping your website get found. You can copy and paste the reviews from there into your website content.
You can have a testimonials page full of people singing your praises. This is OK and potential clients who are keen on you and want a final confirmation of how amazing you are may use this. Most website visitors aren’t interested in a page that sings your praises (apart from your Mum). So put testimonials amongst the relevant products.
Visitors want to know how much you charge. For some businesses this is simple, for others, it’s much harder. If you have fixed price services or fixed price products to sell then displaying your prices is easy. Lay these out as clearly as you can on your website. Some businesses such as translators or plumbers give quotes for specific jobs. This is much more difficult. But, potential clients want to know how much your services cost. I would suggest having some fixed price products to show (even if you’re not that keen on selling them). Or give some case studies with costs, to give visitors an idea of what they might be paying.
These are great and are like a detailed testimonial. Its a story about a client, the problems they had and how you solved them. These can be well done by a third party coming in and interviewing your client about their experiences. You could write it yourself but from a third-party point of view. This shows in detail to a potential client, how great your client journey is and how well you can solve their problems.
Some website visitors are ready to buy from you and just want to see the details. They will be in touch and if all goes well, you have a customer. Most are much less sure and are investigating options, or whether to spend any money on their problem. These visitors can often read the details of your site and then leave. Being able to give these visitors something to take away while getting their contact details is very powerful. You can offer a newsletter sign-up. But more useful, is being able to give these people something to take away in exchange for their contact details. It could be a pdf document, a free 15-minute telephone consultation or a video. It needs to be useful enough to a potential client to tempt them to take it and to show how great your business is. Once you have their contact details you can follow up the lead.
Your webpage needs lots of detail and content. This does need to be structured correctly. Five paragraphs of dense text at the top of a page are not going to tempt anyone to read it. The top of the page needs lots of single sentences, short paragraphs and great images. Clean succinct writing to get your message across. Further down, detail is good. Google loves it and some visitors do too. Go into some of the more technical details of your product or service. Again nothing to text dense. Everything needs breaking up with paragraphs and arranged into relevant sections. But some detail is vital and part of a strategy of getting your website found.
Calls to Action
All your pages need calls to action. These are usually a button. The key is that they tell your visitors what to do. “Call us for a quote”, “Click here to download your free guide to VAT”. They direct visitors. Without them, your website will have little impact. If a visitor reads all about your amazing product and gets to the bottom of the page. What do they do? Something else. If they get to the bottom of the page and it says “Click here to buy” some of them will.
Before you start, have a plan.
Who is your ideal client?
What products/services do I offer?
What problems do I solve?
What testimonials do I have
What do I want visitors to do?
Then start to think about page structure. What pages would make sense? Fewer pages with more content are better than lots of short pages. Remember that links can go to exact locations within pages so sections of pages can be linked to. Once you’ve thought about the questions about and you have a page structure, its time to start writing.
Proofreading and checking
This can be done with a mix of automated tools and using people. There are two great tools for checking your writing. The first is Hemmingway This looks at the quality of your writing. It looks at how easy it is to read, points out complicated sentences, use of the passive voice and other issues. It gives your work a readability grade. This is roughly the year at school a child needs to be at, to be able to read your writing. Aim for year six or below. This means children at the top of primary school should be able to read your writing. After Hemmingway, move the text into Grammarly. This is a spelling and grammar checker and its excellent. Better than Word. There is a premium version available, but I’m not sure it’s needed. As well as these checkers read the text yourself, or even better, get someone else to read it. Remember you already know what you offer. Have you managed to make this clear to someone else?
My preference would be to get the text professionally written. If you decide not to go down this route then this article should help you. Remember to plan and to aim the writing at your ideal client. Think about solving visitors problems rather than selling them your product or service. Write clearly and concisely, but further down the page go into more detail. Add in testimonials and case studies if you can throughout the website. Use call to actions on every page to direct visitors what to do next. Break up text into paragraphs and sections. Check your text using online tools and proofreading. Enjoy the writing and please share with me any results.