Having great content is vital to any successful Marketing Strategy, but in the world of Digital, it can be the difference between customers clicking the “add to cart” button or heading back to Google to find another option – usually one of your competitors.
Here at Sites n Stores, we’re blessed to have a professional Copywriting Team, to whom writing great content is a skill that’s been artfully honed over years of experience. However, for most Small Business Owners, thinking about what you want to say on your Website (and how to say it well!) can be a difficult and daunting task. After all, you’re not in the Business of writing!
But fear not, because the Sites n Stores Copywriting Team have come up with a few hints and tips to help you write killer content that engages your readers and can turn those clicks into customers, even if writing isn’t, well, your strongest suit.
Start with a Clear Navigation and Layout
Although this point may not strictly be about content writing, getting your Website layout sorted is always the best place to start. A clear, straightforward layout, makes both writing and reading content so much easier.
Ensure the pages on your Site are easy to find and logically ordered, so your visitors aren’t forced to search for what they’re looking for. Remember, nobody likes clutter, and that includes the customers on your Website. Customers won’t spend time searching for hidden content, or the details of a service that’s tucked away at the bottom of an unrelated page. They don’t have the patience to search, and if they have to dig they’ll just go elsewhere.
Write for Scanners
Do you actually read every single word on a Web page in every minute detail? We mean really read Web pages?
Like most people, the answer to this is probably not. In fact, recent research suggests that only 16% of people read Websites word for word. The vast majority of people will glance at each new page, scan some of the text and click on a link that catches their interest, or most resembles what they’re looking for. This doesn’t mean great copy isn’t important, it just means you need to write it for these kind of readers – the “scanners”.
With this in mind, here’s a few things to implement to help you write for scanners:
- Your headline should communicate what you’re writing about. That is, it must easily and quickly communicate the topic of the subject matter.
- Your sub headings need to summarise your key points and entice the reader to keep reading.
- Leave enough breaks and spaces in your content to make it easily scannable and not overwhelming.
- Eliminated unnecessary words and information to avoid content clutter.
Use Conversational English
Despite what your English teacher may have taught you, just because you know how to use big words, doesn’t always mean you should. In fact, by using grandiose or overly bombastic language, you’ll not only deter your visitors from purchasing from you, but also serve to alienate them.
When writing your copy, write as though you’re speaking directly to your readers, in terms of “you” and “we.” Avoid corporate-speak and be friendly. This doesn’t mean you should start using slang or being overly casual, but aim to sound approachable and real while still maintaining a level of professionalism. Creating the feeling that there are real people in the Business will help build trust and encourage people to call you.
Avoid Industry Jargon
Don’t use words or phrases that visitors to your Website may not recognise. This will intimidate them, and making customers feel stupid because they don’t understand the technical jargon of your industry won’t encourage them to pick up the phone.
People are likely seeking out your services or products because they want you to solve their problem, or because they don’t know how to do something. Befuddling them with complex and confusing terminology won’t do anything to make them feel like you’ll lessen their confusion.
Instead, demonstrate that you can effectively simplify and solve their problem by using familiar terminology and by putting things in terms they’ll understand. If a customer wants technical details, that can follow deeper in the Site, but for your main pages, try to be as simple and straight forward as possible. You don’t need to use industry jargon to prove you’re an expert!
Provide All the Relevant Information
When people search Online, they’re seeking answers. If your Site doesn’t provide the facts, the customer will move on to the next Site in the search of what they’re looking for.
Don’t be afraid of sharing too much, and that includes prices. Studies show information-rich Websites are the most effective in converting visitors into paying customers. As we’ve already discussed, keep it simple on the surface, with the basic, most important details and leave the in-depth information deeper in the Site, where people can find it if they want to know more.
Leave Out the Hype
Visitors don’t want Marketing spin and Ad speak. No, with the average consumer now exposed to upto 5,000 Ads every day, what most people want is a Business that’ll be straight up with them.
Yes, your Business is great – we know that! But nothing is more off putting to potential customers than a Website filled with content that sounds like it’s been written by an overly sales-y used car dealer.
While you should certainly emphasis your Business’s accomplishments, expertise and experience, you need to ensure you back this up with facts and evidence, so you sound credible and trustworthy. Start making huge claims and your readers could begin to wonder if you’re telling the truth!
Your customers expect honesty and transparency. They crave facts so they can make an educated decision. Place all your cards on the table and let visitors draw their own conclusions.
It also pays to be humble. Remember that you’re there to serve your customers and clients, so reiterating that you can tailor your services to suit their needs and accommodate them will work wonders in your favour.
Make your home page a to-the-point summary
Since your Home Page is the most common entry point to your Website, it should give a fantastic overview into your Business.
Briefly explain who you are, what you do, the crux of your Business and how customers will benefit from your content, products, or services. If visitors can’t quickly figure out what’s in it for them, they’ll click that back button and you may never see them again.
Include Trust-Building Content
Creating content that helps to build trust between you and your readers will significantly aid in turning those readers into conversions for your Business.
Explain why your Company is uniquely qualified to provide its products or services and provide some details about your company’s history and achievements. This will be proof that you’re as excellent as you say you are!
It also pays to include a photo of the founder, or maybe some happy customers, alongside written testimonials. These can also be a great way to build trust, as they show that many others have benefited from your Business in the past, proving that your products or services can help to solve the problem your Site visitor is experiencing. These demonstrations and third-party endorsements hold weight and, without a doubt, customers buy from companies they trust.
Keep your Website Up to Date
If visitors notice that your content isn’t current, then your Site loses a lot of its credibility. Continually updating your Site shows them that your Business is not only active, but also that it cares about keeping them in the loop about what’s going on.
New content could mean updating your services pages every couple of months, changing your product descriptions, uploading new photos or generating new posts for your blog. This kind of content isn’t just helpful for your readers, but will also serve you well in the organic rankings of Search Engine result pages, as Search Engines such as Google favour Sites with regularly updated content – it’s a win win!
Ultimately, the key to successful content is to express yourself and your Business. Follow the tips above, but never lose sight of what has made your Business a success and what your customers love you for. If you can get this across on your Website’s content, you’ll have cracked a winning formula.