I recently discussed the need to refresh your website to stay competitive in 2021. My first point was to review the content.
Your content, or copy, is an essential part of your site, so I thought it would be helpful to expand on this and offer some suggestions on revitalising your content for the new year.
Out with the old, in with the new
You may have content that's been on your site for years or specific phrases you use to describe your products and services. Are you sure these are still fresh and engaging, or are they outdated and lacklustre?
According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second, which is a staggering 3.5 billion searches daily. Competition is intense, so how can you ensure you feature in the searches and keep people interested once they visit your site?
How to write effective website content
Good copy is the key to success, so here are some simple tips to help you breathe new life into your website's content.
Easy to read - I've written before about how corporate jargon, buzzwords, and technical phrases can be a turn off. Write your website copy clearly and concisely and in the vocabulary of your audience. Visitors to your site are busy people, so they want to be able to find information quickly and easily.
Websites are scanned rather than read in depth. You should have your most important information first. Short, simple sentences, broken down by bullet points and into sections, will help people to find your core information quickly and easily.
Make it about your customer - Write the content for your audience, not your company. People don’t care that you see yourself as a “market leader,” you have the “best engineers,” or all staff are “professionally trained”; they expect this. But what people are interested in is how you can help them. So think about your customers' problems and challenges and how you can help them.
Captivating headings – Any copywriter will tell you that the headline is probably the most important part of the page. We often spend more time writing the heading than we do the copy.
It’s estimated that 6 to 8 people out of 10 will read the heading, and the remaining 2 to 4 will read the copy in full. So if the headline doesn’t hook the reader, they won’t read further. But that doesn't mean writing a clever headline. This may work in print, but it doesn't online. People want to know precisely what they're about to read.
Good headings follow the SHINE principle of:
Make it conversational – Avoid sales talk and write in the second person to give your visitor the feeling you're speaking directly to them. Using "You" and "Your" instead of "We" or "I" will make them feel included in the conversation and encourage them to complete your preferred action.
Focus on benefits, not features - People are more interested in how you can help them and make life easier. Write about the benefits of your products and services and less about the features. The benefits are what turn a prospect into an actual customer. At the end of the day, all a customer wants to know is, "what's in it for me?"
Clear on actions – Be clear on what you want the visitor to do with clear sentences or CTAs. ‘Sign up for our newsletter,’ 'Download our brochure,' or 'Click here for technical details.'
Read and re-read – Once you've refreshed your copy or written new content, read it through carefully. Get someone else to look at it; sometimes, you read what the copy should say, not what's actually there. Take a break, then re-read it.
Proofreading is essential. Copy full of spelling mistakes, inconsistencies, or errors will come across as unprofessional and can make your reader question what you’re saying and your reliability.
Be competitive and update your website content in the new year
You may already be making regular changes to your website, but it’s important to take a bit of time and review your content. Updating keywords and refreshing your pages and the copy can help you to improve your website’s performance, attract and engage customers and increase sales.
Sometimes you can be too close to your business to see what needs updating or how to do it. If you want to be more competitive, it’s worth thinking about outsourcing your content refresh. An external copywriter doesn’t have in-depth knowledge of your business, so they will write copy from a customer’s point of view, addressing their pain points and helping them to understand how you can help.
So if you want your website copy to draw in new readers and search engines, encourage revisits, and generate sales, then it's worth tapping into the expertise of a copywriter.
Need help with your website content and web proofreading? Get in touch; I'm here to help you.