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Writing Your Own Copy? 5 Things You Need to Know First

writing your own website copyIf you’ve decided to write your own website copy instead of hiring a copywriter (cough, cough), there are a handful of things you should know first.

5 Things You Need to Know Before Writing Your Own Website Copy

When you’re writing your own copy, remember:

writing your own copy1. Get to the point. You have a lot to say about your product, service or whatever else it is you’re offering — and that’s great. But your website attracts people with short attention spans, so you have to use it to hook their attention. They’ll call you or email you for more information; they won’t, however, sit there and read for two hours.

Keep your copy short enough to get the main point across. If you need to write more than 500 words, do it on another page. Link to it from the page you’re working on.

2. For Pete’s sake, break up your paragraphs. A wall of text on the computer screen looks like the Great Wall of China to a potential buyer… one brick blends into another, and it goes on forever.Use subheads or numbered lists — people like those a lot better because they can scan for the information they need.

how to write your own website content3. Write like you’re talking to your best buyers, because you are. You don’t want to write for astronauts when you sell boats. You don’t want to write for nutritionists when you sell cotton candy.

How do your buyers respond when you’re talking face-to-face? Write like that and you’ll be golden (but don’t forget to check the spelling and grammar before you let your website copy out into the wild).

4. Make it about your customers, not about you. Nobody wants to read “We will do this for you because we are the experts, and we know everything there is to know about our service.” What are your customers’ biggest problems, and how does your product or service solve them?

“Working in Los Angeles is stressful. You contend with traffic every day, battling your way to work where you’re underappreciated… you deserve to unwind with the wind blowing through your hair as you sail into the sunset.” (Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic — but you get the point.)

5. Stop with the keywords already. A long time ago, people could pepper their content with keywords and come up on Page 1 of Google. You can’t do that anymore. In fact, that kind of tactic will get you kicked right out of the search engines altogether. It’s called keyword stuffing.

Don’t do it.

Figure out what keyword (shoot for just one, really) you’re trying to rank for and write around it.

Think of your website copy like a pyramid. The keyword is at the top. Everything below it is supporting it, and the keyword couldn’t stay up there if there wasn’t enough pyramid beneath, right? Mention the keyword when it makes sense to mention it, but don’t mention it on purpose (at least not more than twice). Instead, build a great foundation that explains your keyword. The benefit to that? That’s how search engines read content now.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget a call-to-action. Something as simple as “Call (800)888-8888 for more information” can vastly improve your conversion rates.

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About Angie Papple Johnston

Angie Papple Johnston was formally trained as a journalist by the U.S. Army and now makes her living writing engaging and informative B2B and B2C sales copy, website content, press releases and more. Connect with Angie on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.