Take a look at your home page. Does the writing on your website make it easy to understand—at first glance—what your business does and for whom?
If not, it’s time for a rewrite.
Your website makes the first impression for your business. And there are too many websites out there with vague writing that turns visitors away. Let’s make sure yours isn’t one of them.
Our tips on how to write website content for your business will help you take it to the next level. We’re talking about writing for your home page, about page and sales pages, not blog articles.
The writing on your site can:
- Bring in leads from prospects who truly fit
- Tell visitors you understand what they really need
- Show how your business is different
- Bring in more leads
You don’t have to be a writing master to get your point across. Just use these tips as a guide to save time.
First, be clear on your key messages
Before you write a word, be clear on your top-level messages. Because they’ll be used throughout your site.
Define these key points first:
- What does your service/product offer?
- How do they benefit?
- Who uses it or needs it?
If the benefit is hard to define, ask yourself:
- What’s the problem your solution solves?
- How does it solve that problem?
- How does it make your customers’ lives better?
When describing who uses it, focus on your ideal customer. Is it homeowners with families? Busy entrepreneurs?
Try not to include everyone. It might be true that anyone 18 or older can use your product or service, but this is too broad.
You want to appeal to the customer who will benefit most from your offer. Writing for everyone tends to be too generic and vague. And that appeals to no one.
Keep your main goal in mind: to use messages that will convince your ideal customer to buy.
How to write website content
After more than a decade of online marketing, we’ve found these tactics bring the best results for clients.
Clarity trumps all
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, your website should provide the things visitors need and expect. You want them to call you instead of a competitor, right?
So, we’ll give you some unconventional advice:
It’s not worth being super creative and clever with your small business website.
Especially with the writing.
Being outside-of-the-box is usually a good thing, but here it can confuse visitors. We’ve seen it happen.
That’s why we say clear writing trumps clever words online. So don’t stress about being super clever or writing stylistic prose. Just get to the point.
Sell with specifics
Be as specific as you can about the benefit of using your service/product and even your company or founder.
Because that ideal customer we mentioned? They want to know what they can expect and who they’ll be doing business with.
Focus on them, not you
Yes, your website is about your business, but visitors still want to hear how it helps them. So, ask what’s in it for them and write from their point of view.
Turn every “we” or “our” statement focusing on you, into a “you” or “your” statement to highlight what they’re getting.
Here’s an example:
- Your point of view: “We Build New Homes in Great Locations.”
- Customer’s point of view: “Build Your New Home in Your Favorite Location.”
Avoid walls of text
Your website visitor today is likely to be seeing your site on their smartphone.
You know what they don’t like seeing? Walls of text. This is where the entire screen is covered with paragraph text.
Keep mobile visitors in mind and write with:
- Shorter words – no jargon or buzzwords
- Shorter sentences
- Shorter paragraphs – not more than 2-3 sentences
- Simpler vocabulary – grade 5-8 reading level is ideal
This doesn’t mean the page itself has to be short. If your product/service needs some explanation, feel free to explain to help with the sale.
Just don’t use 1,000 words when a couple hundred will do.
Don’t forget headlines & subheads
Headlines, subheads and captions are the first things to be read on a page.
That’s why it’s important to have a headline on each page and maybe a few subheads as well.
By the way, “About” and “Our Services” are not good headlines. They’re good titles for the menu, but don’t say anything about you on the page.
Don’t let that space go to waste. Be more specific, even if you keep “About Us.”
An example: “About Us: Work with a Team of Skilled Builders to Create Your Custom Home.”
Be especially careful with the headline on your home page.
Vague home page headlines to avoid:
- Welcome to Our Website
- Thanks for Visiting Our Website
- Over # Years of Experience
- Serving the Community for # Years
- More than # Customers Served
- Your company name as the headline
- Best X in the Business
- Contact Us Today
- Free Consultation
They’re easy to write, but they waste the most important real estate on your website. And they could apply to any business out there.
Spend the extra time writing one that conveys the benefits you offer.
To get attention from Google, you need to use keywords. These are search terms your prospects are using in Google. So “custom home builder” or “design and build” would work if you’re a builder.
They’re a bit of a necessary evil in website writing. Because including them sounds easy, but you need unique keywords for each web page. Creating this list involves research that’s best done with the help of a professional. Contact us if you need help.
Speaking of professionals…
A professional appearance helps build trust in the eyes of prospects. This applies to writing too. Tips to look professional:
- Avoid exclamation points.
- Don’t use adjectives or superlatives (best, greatest, top, etc.).
- Check your grammar and spelling to avoid errors.
- Contractions are OK (isn’t vs. is not), but slang isn’t.
- Personal pronouns (you, we, etc.) engage visitors and are a good idea. Writing in the third person (“the company”) is more formal and distant.
- Avoid moving animations or multi-colored text, unless done by a professional web designer.
In the end, you want to dress up your website so it’s engaging, persuasive and professional. So that anyone who lands on your site will understand what you do and how you can help them.
Once your website is dressed up with good writing, see the many ways you can use it in our guide to Online Marketing for Small Business Success.
Let us know below if you have any questions or send an email.