There’s a lot to consider as you continually improve your business website. There’s overall design and layout, photography, graphics, search engine optimization, support for mobile devices and integration of video and other content types. Ironically with all the focus on website content assets, the one area that is often overlooked or approached as an afterthought is the actual website copy.
At the most pragmatic level effective website copy helps your site perform better. Whether you run a commerce site or a site designed primarily to capture leads, providing clear, focused messaging directs visitors to the content and actions that ring the register for your business.
Voice and tone
Humans are the primary audience for most websites and humans like to feel like we’re reading and interacting with other humans. We also typically prefer copy that has some warmth, texture and personality, not copy that feels like it could have been generated by a machine or lifted from a technical manual. Most website content is copy, written words. These words allow you to define the voice and tone of your business, to share your business personality and engage in a more personal and engaging style. Get this right and people will be more likely to read what you have to say and respond to the directions and incentives you provide.
Tell your story
Stories are powerful vessels for your business message. The ability to tell a story with your copy improves the impact of your message and ultimately makes your story more memorable. Everyone loves a good story and most stories begin with great copy.
Speak to specific audiences
Most businesses, even small businesses, have multiple buyer profiles. Each of these audiences will have specific needs they would like addressed, specific concerns or desires associated with your product or service. Your website copy should speak to each of these audiences and address their unique needs. This includes adapting your voice and tone where applicable and potentially shifting terminology to support unique industry or market needs. Something as simple as creating content adapted to a target audience can have a significant impact on the performance of your website.
Tee up other assets
Done right, all the elements of your website work together. Clever, effective copy does a better job of driving engagement with other website assets. Things like overview videos, slide shows, infographics and product demonstrations perform better when the surrounding copy drives visitors to interact. Inversely, other assets can be used to encourage visitors to “learn more” and drive them to informative copy.
The most beautiful website in the world without effective copy will not be an effective website. A poorly designed website can be dramatically improved with strong, well-crafted copy. A beautiful website with compelling copy can help your business take over the world.