Web copy, the “sales speak” that is written specifically for website, can be a challenge to write well. Some people hire that part out, to insure that keywords, etc are added into the text. And other clients like to write their copy themselves. Here are some tips to help you develop and write web copy. And even if you decide to hire the job out, this will help you to get your thoughts on your web copy organized first.
1. Decide early on what you want each page to accomplish. For instance, if you want to sell your mechanical services on a mechanical page, focus on the benefits of your services there and perhaps list specifics such as prices. Always end the page with a “call to action” (i.e. “Click to email or call to schedule today”) or at least have an easy way for the reader to find how to contact you quickly.
2. Decide if you want to write in the third person or not and stick with the same style throughout the site. For larger companies, we usually recommend third-person (i.e. “ABC Office Supplies strives to always put customers first”). For small companies, third-person can be used but some prefer the more personal approach of first-person (i.e. “We strive to always put our customers first”). Make sure and double check your copy before posting as it is easy to flip back and forth between styles as opposed to staying consistent.
3. Web readers need shorter paragraphs than what you often see in books or magazines. If we see a page with a ton of text without paragraph breaks, we tend to click off. Paragraphs should be short with 3-5 sentences and have one or more full line spaces between paragraphs.
4. Keywords are highly recommended. In fact, the search engines like it even more if the same keywords are included both in the tags of the site and within the text (it tells them it is genuine content). So even if you are writing your own copy, check with your web developer to see if they added keywords within the code of the site and what those are.
5. Each page should have at least 150 words of text on it, even if that page is featuring something like pictures or videos. This introduces the page to the search engines and tells them how to index it. And it also is an important introduction of the page to your readers.
6. Include testimonials. Often people will have a separate page for testimonials, and this is fine. But consider also sprinkling some throughout the text on the various pages. Do you talk on a certain page about how timely you are? See if you can dig up a testimonial that mentions how timely you were and add that in. It not only helps to break up the copy but is a great selling point as it backs up your “timely” claim.