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Writing your Website Content?

It’s funny how often the same problem comes up when writing a website, no matter who the business owner is… That problem starts with “knowing what I want to say – but not knowing how to say it”. When the person makes this statement, it often sets off little alarm bells…

Unfortunately, almost every small service or retail business owner I’ve met who is getting a website designed, has not thought to do market research first. This is the most important step in getting great content. Honestly, once you’ve gone right into who you are writing for, what they need, and how your offering meets their needs… the copy ALMOST writes itself!  (Well, for me anyway).

You could follow Copyblogger’s 6-Step content marketing research process.

This preparation can also reduce the cost of writing your website. The copywriter does not have to sit down and do an hour’s research on the ‘net, look at what competitors are doing, and also fumble a little if there is no customer profile/descriptive target market.

Not only that, what magic discoveries will you make when you ask questions on forums, surveys, through social media comments, and so on… what is on your ideal customer’s minds?  Often there are objections to your service or product that the owner had no knowledge of — naturally she only sees the benefits. It is writing to counter these hidden objections that often makes killer sales copy (or engaging content, if you prefer to warm them up gently).

While I always recommend at least a little keyword research for some low to medium-competition phrases, if the client can give good knowledge of their ideal customer, then that job is made less of a guessing game. It’s easy to weed out the non-monetising phrases, but it’s harder to narrow down to the top 5 that would be winners specifically for the client.

Firing up the Copy Yourself
Perhaps you’re thinking of writing your own website content to save costs. If so, I hope you use some ‘power words’, like save, new, love, free, improve, and the word YOU more than the word WE. Back up your statements with proof, make specific claims not general ones, and don’t use hyperbole and lots of exclamation marks. Another idea is to hire a good copy editor to trim down the content and eradicate the typos.

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