What Do You Mean, Original Copy?

Web designers and developers are usually funny about content. In fact, many seem to have decided that content is really not our problem. The client will supply it, or the users will generate it over time. We instinctively know that dealing with content can be complicated, messy, painful and expensive.

And yet, good sites are good because of their content. You can rank really well organically because of good website content. You can educate and engage your visitors if you have good website content. Website content needs our time and deserves our attention and that’s where Content Strategy comes in (we will step off our soapbox now).

I AM TASKED WITH CREATING GOOD CONTENT FOR MY WEBSITE! WHERE DO I START?

When asked for the copy for your site, most people either don’t know where to start, or make an assumption that they can just grab bits and pieces from their business plan and policy documents and put it together. This doesn’t work. The difficulty for many others is in being original. The importance of original website content cannot be emphasised enough.

Most important of all, you will need to hone in on your target audience. Understand that it is impossible to target everyone. Trying to target everyone makes it much harder to target the people that matter most to your business.

To write good web content:

  1. Write targeted web content that has a purpose
  2. Follow our basic structure guidelines
  3. Review your content

WRITE TARGETED WEB CONTENT THAT HAS A PURPOSE

Things to think about before you create content for a specific page:

  • What is the main goal of this page?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Where is the customer in the conversion funnel?
  • What do you offer that your competition doesn’t?
  • What are the key benefits you want to the customer to understand?
  • What keyword phrases do want to optimise for?

FOLLOW OUR BASIC STRUCTURE GUIDELINES

So, what should you include on every page?

A COMPELLING TITLE

Grab the reader’s attention, draw them into the copy. Make sure you include the primary keyword phrases in the heading.

A CLEAR INTRODUCTION

In as few words as possible, describe the one thing you want your readers to understand.

Sum up the benefits of reading the rest of the page. Remember, you are talking directly to your customers. Write down what you would say if you were meeting them face to face, then refine the content until it is clear and relevant.

The rest of the content on the page should:

  • Strengthen the points made in the introduction
  • Sum up the main benefits you want your customer to understand

Make sure the content is easy to quickly scan through. Use headings and bullet points.

END WITH A CLEAR CALL TO ACTION

Visitors should never be left wondering what to do next. Tell your readers exactly what action you want them to take. Do you want them to contact you? Subscribe to a mailing list? Order your products and services?

  • Strengthen the points made in the introduction
  • Sum up the main benefits you want your customer to understand

Make sure the content is easy to quickly scan through. Use headings and bullet points.

REVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW

  • Is the page content 250 to 500 words?
  • Have you checked for spelling and grammatical errors?
  • Does the headline grab the reader’s attention?
  • Have you used short sentences?
  • Have you broken up paragraphs with headings?
  • Is it relevant to your target audience?
  • Have you clearly stated your unique selling proposition?
  • Is there a clear call to action?

And remember to stay clear of jargon and industry buzzwords, as your visitors may not know what they mean. If you have to use them, make sure they are defined.

NEED MORE HELP?

Contact us. We can help you create an inventory of your content, and a comprehensive plan for monitoring and improvement. We can discuss style guides and information architecture and explain how they fit in your website strategy. We can guide you through media selection, publishing options, and look at how to gather feedback afterwards.

2018-05-19T21:17:08+00:00September 25th, 2015|Blogs, Online Stores, Websites|

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