Is your website copy letting you down?

16 November 2020

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The words on your website matter. Well-written copy can help you communicate to and build a connection with customers, strengthen your brand, and boost sales and enquiries. But it’s easy to get the words on your website wrong, especially if you’re short on time or not a confident writer. Here are a few tips to help you create better copy for your website.

Be original

The pressure to populate the pages of your website can make it tempting to lift text from a competitor’s website. If they offer a similar service or product, surely it makes sense to save time and “borrow” the words they have already written?

Easy as it may be to copy and paste, it’s never the right approach. Copied text, or duplicate content, can negatively impact your search engine rankings. Visitors to your website also want to read engaging copy that’s unique to your brand, not the same text they just read on your competitor’s site.

Bear in mind that duplicate content is any text that appears in more than one place on the internet, which could include copy provided by a manufacturer, supplier or partner company. If in doubt, write it out in your own words.

Stay on-brand

Your website allows you to talk to potential and existing customers. But whose voice are you speaking in? Readers should recognise your brand’s character in your website copy, whether that character is fun, formal, friendly or functional. Your website copy should match this brand personality – or have a distinctive tone of voice.

Establishing your brand’s tone of voice will help you communicate clearly and consistently across all channels. Clear, consistent communication on your website will help you build stronger relationships with your audience, improve brand awareness and ultimately increase conversion rate as consumers learn to trust your brand’s voice.

Double-check for errors

Whatever your industry, your website can help you create a professional brand image. But this image can be easily damaged by grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in your website copy.

Poorly written text gives the impression that your website was created in a hurry, not with care. It suggests laziness and a lack of attention to detail. This undermines your brand’s authority and professionalism, and at worst could result in losing a sale or turning off a potential customer.

Bad grammar or spelling errors could see visitors quickly leaving your website, affecting your website’s bounce rate and negatively impacting its search engine rankings. Avoid this by reading your copy aloud to hear the mistakes you might be missing. Ask a colleague to read your text too, as a second pair of eyes will often spot what you can’t see.

Watch your word count

Too little text and visitors to your website won’t find the information they need. Too much and they might suffer from information overload. Word count matters when writing copy for your website.

Different types of text require different amounts of copy. For example, keeping the copy short and concise on a contact page will help readers find your contact details more easily. While on a product page, more detail and description could help clinch a sale. Consider the purpose of each page or part of your website before deciding how many words to write.

From an SEO perspective, it’s recommended that regular posts or pages should be more than 300 words in length. The more words you write, the easier it is for Google to understand what your text is about, and in turn rank your website higher in its search results.

The balance lies in writing enough words, but never just for the sake of it. High quality, well-researched and user-friendly content of at least 300 words ticks Google’s boxes, while appealing to human readers too.

Consider content design

Communicating with visitors to your website relies on more than words. Formatting is equally important when creating a web page, so consider how your text is laid out. Font choice, point size, paragraph length and density of text can all affect the readability of your copy. Your website text should be easy to scan so readers can quickly understand its meaning. Could a long paragraph be spaced out with headings, or would an image help illustrate your point and break up a block of text?

Remember that many people will visit your website using a mobile device. Long passages of text are even less user-friendly when viewed on a smaller screen, so always bear mobile visitors in mind when designing your website content.

For help crafting original and engaging copy for your website, get in touch with Unity Online.

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