When thinking about updating or creating a website, the first thing most business owners do is consult with a web designer. While this is advisable as good design attracts the eye, the business owner must not forget the words that are used on a website.
Your website should have two main aims – promote your business and engage with customers and prospects.
Search engine optimisation experts focus on keywords and ensure high rankings on the search engines while copy-writers focus on the readability of the message and how to engage with prospects and customers. Both are in the business of words and want to help you achieve your website aims.
Another way to look at the content on your website: You can only be in one place at one time but your website which portrays your business can be seen and read 24 hours a day.
Here are three gems of wisdom when you’re sitting down to write content for your website:
1. Believe the Customer is in Front of You
Most business people that I write for feel comfortable expressing themselves verbally but some feel that it is harder when it comes to the written word.
Instead of thinking about about how hard it is, imagine that your customer is in front of you. What would you say to him about your business? Would you talk to him about the benefits of your product, would you speak to him with passion about why they should buy from you?
Yes you would. So turn that passion into words to describe the benefits of why someone should buy from you.
Imagine your customer in front of you when you have your pen and notepad, write down what you’d say to them. This is the beginning of the process and getting started is always the hardest bit.
2. Solve a Problem
When you are talking to someone that is in front of you, you think about the problem that they have and how you can solve it. Keep this in mind and brainstorm all the problems you solve and all the benefits your product or service brings to your customers.
The products and services that you have may serve different industries, different clients or different sectors. Think about all the problems you solve for each of these different target markets.
To write good content, you can take all of these problems that you solve and and write them up.
3. Decide on the Style of Writing
There are two main types of writing style on websites – formal and informal (or conversational). You have to decide which works best for your business.
Don’t mix formal and informal styles – it doesn’t work. It appears confusing to the reader and the message gets mixed up.
My writing style for denisefay.com is mostly conversational – I want to build a relationship with my reader, hoping to engage with them to keep them coming back for more and take action on the tips that I share.
Your style depends on you and your business. However, think about points number 1 and 2 above, If you’ve actioned those tasks like I’ve recommended, then it will become clear what style you have.
- When a customer or prospect is in front of you, what do you talk about? Write it down
- What problem do you solve or what benefit do you bring when you’re talking to a customer or prospect?
- What is the style of your conversations when you’re talking to customers and prospects?
When you have the basics written, you just need to polish it and then publish it.
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This post is part of the HP SugarTone contest: “Making your business amazing”, sponsored by Hewlett Packard