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Website Content Guidance.

This short guide aims to help you create and curate the best content possible for your new website. If you want any further clarification or guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Site Media

Site media refers to any images, videos, animations, and PDFs/downloads on your website. These elements are incredibly important when building a site that conveys quality and trust to your website visitors. 

Here Are Some Golden Rules for Website Media:

1 – Quality Over Quantity

A website is only as good as its media. It is better to avoid cluttering your website with low quality images/videos and instead focus efforts towards fewer, high quality elements. Poor quality site media can completely diminish the effectiveness of your website, no matter how well it’s been designed.

2 – Compression is King 

Website speed is a huge determining factor in providing a good user experience, and uploading huge image or video files can immediately bog down your site speed. Optimising these elements for your website requires compression to a more manageable size.

Check out our blog post on file compression here.

3 – No Content > Bad Content

Your website gives you a chance to make an impactful first impression on site visitors. If you don’t have good photo/video of a service, your team, or office, we’d always recommend utilising stock libraries or designing around a lack of site media for the first iteration of your site, then switching out to high quality elements when you’ve got them at your disposal.

4 – Version Control & Accuracy

If you’re offering downloadable elements like pricing packs, service specs, PDFs or certificates, it’s imperative that you keep these up-to-date so they reflect accurate and reliable information to site visitors.

How Do I Optimise Website Copy?

Site copy is the lifeblood of your website. It is how you will tell your story, drive conversions and showcase what makes your products/services so special.

So what makes effective and compelling copy? 

Develop Your Brand’s Tone & Voice 

The tone of your copy needs to match your brand. If you’re a legal firm targeting FTSE 100 companies you’re going to communicate differently to an e-commerce store selling pick & mix sweets to teenagers. 

Making sure your tone is appropriate and directly speaks to your target audience can be hard, and it all starts with knowing exactly who you are and exactly who you’re trying to reach.

Let’s break those points down…

1 – What’s Your Mission?

Starting with your brand’s mission statement can help you to really drill down into the key elements and ideas you’d like to weave into your content & help form the basis of your brand’s tone/voice.

It’s a good chance to familiarise yourself with what your ambition, purpose and values are before trying to represent these on the page.

2 – Who is Your Target Audience?

In order to successfully develop the right tone (and the right content) for your audience, you need to know who that audience is.

It might sound obvious, but taking the time to develop and understand your target niche is often overlooked. It’s time to take a step back and really think about your audience…

  • What gender are they? 
  • What age are they? 
  • What do they like in content? 
  • Do they want content to be funny and lighthearted or straight talking & informative?
  • When are they consuming content?
  • How are they consuming content?
  • What level of education do they have?

If you’re answering these questions (and more!) then you’re on the way to creating a buyer persona – these are detailed descriptions of individuals who represent your target audience.

Once you’ve crafted your own buyer persona, you can write for them, giving you a great reference point to build the voice, tone and content of your brand around.

3 – What Content is Popular & Why?

If you’re already creating content for your website or social media, this is the chance for you to sit down and dig through the data. 

What have been your most popular posts? What hasn’t gotten any engagement at all? 

Putting aside outliers like competitions or polls, pay special attention to the tone and content of these posts and make notes for both what you think you want to focus on and avoid in future copy.

After you’ve done this, it’s time to look into your competition. What is working for them? What would you do differently? Why would/wouldn’t their tone work for your target audience?

This doesn’t mean you have to try and emulate this – it simply gives you a better understanding of what the competitive landscape looks like and how your brand tone/voice will fit into this arena.

4 – Create Your Guidelines

After all this research, you should be in a position to establish what your tone is and isn’t. This is often the step that feels the hardest, as you’re boiling down all of your notes into set parameters. 

Whilst there’s no set formula to do this, we think it’s usually easier for you to start by contrasting what you’re not with what you are. For example:

“We are fun but not silly. 

We are informative but not dry.

We are casual but not sloppy.”

However you do it, you should end up with some guidelines that you can rely on to ensure every bit of copy associated with your brand carries the same voice and tone to your target audience.

Great Copy Has Great Clarity

Copy that lacks clarity is not going to drive conversions on your website. It’s as simple as that.

Your copy needs to be focused and clear; if it isn’t, site visitors may miss what you are trying to communicate and you won’t be able to generate leads, sales or interest in your brand, product or service.

Here’s what to avoid:

  • Unnecessary phrases
  • Long paragraphs
  • Pretentious language
  • Filler words
  • Repetition (unless used for a purpose)
  • Overcomplicating phrasing
  • Spelling & grammatical mistakes

Website copy is typically brief, only giving site visitors the amount of information required to move them onto the next section, page or action.

Attention spans are short and only getting shorter – if you don’t keep things clear and focused you will struggle to keep traffic from bouncing off your site.

This doesn’t mean you should exclude more detailed content entirely from your site, but you should be hesitant about flooding landing pages with dense copy. A blog page is ideally positioned to house more lengthy and in-depth content, so keep that in mind when building out your site.

Speak To Your Audience From The Page

When you’re writing about your own business or brand it can be tempting to focus on yourself rather than the audience. This is where personalisation comes in.

Take a look at your copy and notice how many times you’re focusing on the following: 

  • We
  • Our
  • I
  • Us
  • Me

It’s so easy to slip into this way of writing as it’s what comes most naturally when trying to express something about yourself.

Unfortunately this present us with a problem:

People don’t care about you. 

They care about what you can do for them.

By switching the focus of your copy to “you” and “your”, you can craft copy that feels like it’s personalised entirely to your audience and appeal to them on that deeper, more personal level. 

This means you’re speaking to them directly from the page and, if you’ve got your target audience and tone truly dialled in, you’ll be able to persuade, impress and convert site visitors with much greater success.

There are times where speaking about yourself really is necessary (an “About Us” page would be pretty tricky without it…) but always try and personalise where you can.

Provide Value Through Research & Detail

Your copy needs to deliver something of value to your audience. That could be anything from answering a question they didn’t even know they had to presenting them with original content that’s unique and interesting to someone in their position.

To achieve this, you need to put some effort in. There’s no other way to do it.

Shallow copy with no real meat to it is very easy to see through by site visitors and search engines alike. If you’re not delivering value, your site visitors won’t be encouraged to engage or convert whilst on your site.

It’s the same story with stolen or cloned copy from competitor’s websites. There’s a fine line between taking inspiration and being too close for comfort and it’s imperative that you don’t slip into the latter.

You don’t want to be perceived as a knock-off version of another brand, you want to be seen as an authority all of your own.

That’s where research, detail and informative copy come into play.

When I say research, I don’t mean you should be donning a lab coat or breaking out the coffee machine in the early hours of the morning…

I just mean you should be providing yourself with enough information on your subject, product, service or industry to be able to speak with expertise and detail.

Positioning yourself as an authority in your industry means site visitors will be much more likely to listen, trust, and convert.

Optimised Copy Is Always Keyword Driven 

Aside from communicating effectively with your audience and driving conversions, your website copy is the foundation of your SEO efforts and can have a huge impact on your visibility in search results and how organic traffic is driven to your site.

Want to know more about SEO, here’s our guide to the basics.

Keyword driven copy ensures that you’re targeting the right niche with your content and enables you to compete for organic positioning on relevant search queries on Google, Bing and other search engines.

It also enables you to generate the most effective titles for pages and posts and optimise URLs.

To successfully target keywords, you will need to use some tools and services.

Here are some great free ones:

As these are free, there may be some limitations to how much data is provided or how often you can use them. 

If you’re really serious about SEO, you’re going to need some paid for tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush.

When it comes to keyword research, it’s safe to say that the most frequently searched terms are going to be the most competitive and therefore the hardest for you to improve your rankings on.

It’s better to start out with keywords that have lower search volume and competition and get ranking for these before working your way up to keywords with higher competition and volume. 

If you stumble across any relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition, you’re in luck!

Make sure to utilise Google Analytics and Search Console so you can see what is working to drive traffic to your site.

Page Specific Copy Guidelines:

So what makes good copy on your website’s pages? Let’s look at a few popular page types and look at how copy might vary between them.

How Do I Write Copy For My Home Page?

Your home page is your digital shopfront and will likely be the landing page for many of your site visitors – overlooking its importance can be a costly mistake!

Your first 5-25 words on your header banner or first block have a huge impact on conversions, bounce rate and click through rate. This is your chance to immediately show visitors they’re in the right place, demonstrate what you do and what benefits you can offer.

A good home page has a single focus, like summarising your services, products or blog categories. You want to encourage site visitors to go somewhere or do something, whether that be clicking through to your services or products or heading to a contact form.

Use call to actions to direct your site visitor’s behaviour.

We usually recommend writing homepage copy last, as content from other pages can inform the approach & content here.

How Do I Write A Great About Page?

It might sound counterintuitive, but a good about page shouldn’t just focus on yourself. Take your story, experience and unique offering and explain to customers how you can benefit them.

A good about page covers the following areas:

  • Communicate the journey/story of your business – why it was started and what it hopes to achieve

  • Outline your values and ethos
  • Identify and describe the customers, clients or causes that you serve – cite examples of key clients
  • Further explore your services and products – Why are they different? How are they made?
  • Showcase what your customers or clients will get from your business

What About My Team Page?

Getting to know the faces behind your business can help customers trust your brand. A good team page demonstrates experience, role and hierarchy within your company, but also conveys personality in line with your brand’s tone.

Here’s what a good team page:

  • Introduces your employees/key stakeholders
  • Gives a human face to your company

  • Showcases experience and strengths

The approach may differ between companies. For example, if you’re a smaller company you may want to feature your whole team and have more of a flat hierarchy. If you’re a larger organisation, it’s most likely that you only want to feature key decision makers/executive level management.

For each, a standard format would be a professional headshot with a short biography detailing your team member’s name, role/job title, experience, and a bit more about them. This is where you can inject some personality!

How Do I Write High Converting Copy Product Pages?

This is your chance to showcase your product offering, and can be instrumental in driving more conversions on your product pages. 

To start, you need to clearly define your audience – the more you narrow this down, the more you can tailor your copy to these individuals. 

Do you know what problem your product is solving for this niche? Do you know the main features (factual elements) and benefits (emotional elements) of your product?

This is where you want to let benefit-oriented copy shine by emphasising key selling points and weaving in key customer testimonials to further validate your claims.

People don’t care about your company, they care about how your company solves their problem.

Put yourself in the shoes of a new customer – you need to answer every single question they may have: 

  • What does it do?
  • Who is it for?
  • How much is it?
  • How reliable is it?
  • How long does it take to ship?
  • What if I want to return it?
  • How easy is it to use?

Between product page copy, technical specs and FAQs, every product page should give site visitor easy access to all the information they’d need to make a purchase decision.

What Makes Great Copy For Service Pages?

Service pages can get messy if you’re not careful, with confusing layouts and unclear pricing. 

We recommend thinking of service pages as clear sections:

  1. Define your service & who it’s for
  2. Explain your deliverables
  3. Show off client testimonials
  4. Deep dive into features/benefits
  5. Pricing
  6. Contact/booking form

Each section gives you the opportunity to push page visitors down toward the next step of the funnel, all with the aim of producing valuable leads.

How Do I Write A Contact Page?

Contact pages follow a relatively standard format site-to-site. 

You may want to consider a contact form and the questions contained within it, as well as providing contact details, addresses of your business offices or stores, and maybe even some FAQs. 

There’s no need for extra waffle here. If a site visitor is on your contact page, make it easy for them to get in touch!

Help! Can You Write Our Website Copy?

You may have got to the end of this guide and thought “ That sounds like a lot of work…” Good news – if you don’t fancy writing copy for your entire website, we do!

We’ve been writing effective results driven copy for websites and ecommerce stores for over 4 years. If you’d prefer us to take the wheel, our in-house copywriting services are here to help drive organic traffic and maximise your conversions through professional, keyword driven copy.

Get in touch today for more information.

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