To be honest, I used to be judgmental of websites with tons of spelling errors or incoherent passages. As a copywriter, though, I finally get it. As a business owner, you are way too busy actually working to worry about your website copy. You’re responsible for managing employees, working out finances, ordering supplies, plus tending to the daily operational concerns related to the business. I understand your apathy toward finessing essays for online consumers.
The temptation to copy and paste a hastily written paragraph onto your site template is strong. But I’m here to remind you that your online content is a vital part of your business’ brand, and therefore its success. To jump start the content upgrade, I’ve listed four simple ways you can improve your website copy quickly and relatively painlessly!
1. Set your brand’s tone
Your website copy literally speaks for you. Each section of your website should exude positive branding. Read through your existing website text and ask yourself, what does this content say? Am I being bland and boring, or am I actively and invitingly describing what I do in a unique way? If I came across this content elsewhere, would it be obvious that it’s talking about my brand or company? Does the narrative leave me nodding in agreement, or frowning at its lackluster delivery?
If your site reads like the ingredients list on a can of cheese whiz (fake junk, lots of fluff, added extra random unknowns), get out a notepad and pen! Start brainstorming all the ways your business is different from competitors. If you pride yourself on being honest above all else, highlight that. If your mission statement is about delivering an impeccable product, brag it up! The idea is to be straightforward about what you offer, but at the same time noting what makes your business stand out.
2. Be yourself
People who visit your website want to know not only what you sell, but also who you are. After all, there is an actual person behind the scenes, and you are what makes your business. Does your website have a little bit of you in it? Apart from the branding in step one, you want to zero in on your About section, or the Contact section, and slap your face on there! Now is not the time to be shy or modest!
Being yourself can go a long way in attracting clients, particularly if you’re offering a service or product that a hundred others are pushing too. Your story is what propelled your business to where it is today, and your customers would love to hear more about the why behind the what! Try and share something about yourself in at least one of the main menu items on your website, whether it’s your love of everything Pumpkin Spice or your ambitions toward running a marathon. If it’s part of who you are, then it is bound to be relevant to your audience too.
3. Encourage action
In the copywriting realm, the term ‘actionable’ is thrown around often. Essentially, actionable content is a tidbit that encourages the reader (or viewer or listener) to do something, other than simply consuming.
For a small business, website copy that invites visitors to like a social media page, view a gallery of past projects, or visit links to affiliated companies has the potential for actionable results. For example, when you’re done reading this post, I’ve got some sidebar links that invite you to follow me on social media, check out past blog posts, or even hire me.
Not everyone will click, but if you haven’t set up the opportunity, you’ll never know how much business might be escaping! Scan your website and ensure that you have strategically placed at least one contact form, any relevant social media links, and a call to action (click here to read something awesome, follow me on Twitter, visit the blog– something like that!).
4. Spell check
This can be a challenge when you’ve read and re-read your own writing a zillion times before hitting publish, but it’s important! Proper spelling and grammar is huge- because a few discerning clients won’t take you seriously once they’ve caught a number of errors in your copy. My secret weapon here is to send my copy off to a trusted friend or relative before posting it for the world to see. As grammar and spelling obsessed as I am, my eyeballs get tired too. A second opinion can’t hurt, particularly if there are some obvious [but not to you] discrepancies or omissions.
I know it’s tough to focus on something as mundane as web copy when the basics of your business demand your attention 24/7. But I urge you to invest a little time in improving it! Sprucing up your website copy only increases your potential for client visibility, which we know is the first step to keeping the biz afloat in the first place!