What is web content? Content is any creative element on a website: most often it is text, graphics, and images but can include videos, apps, or sounds.
All successful websites have great content. Great content is inherently good- it is the meat of your website. It informs readers and it sells your business. You need content to get your business online. High quality content also boosts your search engine optimization!
Content is something the majority of people take for granted. We consume it without putting much thought into where it comes from, and what makes content good. At a minimum a website needs good copy and visuals such as images or graphics. This post covers copy, and some basic tips for writing it. In the second post in this series I will give you some insider details on images.
Text = Copy
In the advertising industry, the term copywrite (copy for short) describes the text that promotes a business or product. Copy for the web is unique. It is not the same as copy for print, a compelling email, an article, or an essay.
If copy for the web isn’t written with the correct strategy it will be ignored and fail. Here is my brief take on successful copy for websites.
People Don’t Read Websites
We don’t have time to read every sentence we encounter on the web. It’s information overload. People may take time to get cozy and read an entire page when they are in familiar territory on the favorite site, like a newspaper or blog. Small businesses don’t have this luxury or buy in on their site, they need to be very deliberate with their copy.
When a user goes online and uses a search engine and/or visits a new site, they are looking for answers to a very specific question or problem. Web users quickly skim search results, yelp listings, websites, and so forth looking for these answers.
Anticipate Customer’s Questions
To write successful copy for your business, you need to anticipate what questions your customers are asking when they go online and make certain your copy quickly and clearly answers that question.
Bait Attention With Headings
Each passage of copy will benefit from a larger heading containing keywords or answers to a customer’s question. Successful headings bait customers attention while they are skimming. If your heading grabs their attention, then they will slow down and read more.
Keep it Short
Keep that copy as brief as possible, people don’t have the patience for beaucoup text, irrelevant information, or long sales pitches. They want answers to their questions and they want to move on with their life! Large passages scare away readers. It’s easier to just go skim the next site, than risk wasting time reading verbose text.
If you want to learn more about copy for the web, read "Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works". This book covers the topic of this post very clearly and deeply.
We're Up on Copy
At Madrona Web, we take copy very seriously. As web designers and developers, we design for our clients around their content. We believe that writing good copy starts with good listening. We take our time to learn about our clients' businesses and customers. We want to know what makes a client’s services and products stand out from their competition. By understanding our clients, we write copy that connects with their ideal customer with the goal of high quality leads. We don’t rush through projects and settle for half ass content. Our client’s success is our own.
If you've made it this far in the post, I sincerely hope you have found it helpful. If you want more help, please don't hesitate to reach out to us to discuss the content of your web design.