When launching a new website, business owners commonly focus on the look and feel of the website, the design, before considering the words that will communicate the actual intended message. There’s no doubt that the design is important, as are all the technical components that lead to the user’s complete experience. However, the web content (also known as website copy), is also a critical element of a website in order to attract the right people to a business.
When it comes time to create the content for the website, it’s important to consider not just what messages need to be presented – but also the tone of the words and the feelings you want to invoke in site visitors. Often, when people attempt to write web copy for themselves, they end up documenting their life story instead of focusing on the product or service and its benefits to their target audience.
Whether you’re attempting to write your own web copy or writing copy for someone’s business, here are 7 questions to answer in order to get started in the right direction.
6 Questions to Ask When Writing Web Copy
1. To whom are you communicating? What do we know about them? In other words, describe the IDEAL person who will resonate with the brand.
It’s important to consider who will be visiting your website! Write in a way that will feel comfortable and familiar to them. Consider their pain points or what they are searching for when finding your site. Be sure to address that with the words as soon as they arrive!
2. What tone should the writing have?
Examples of words, such as these, can be given to clients to think about when determining the tone of the writing that is appropriate for their website.
Casual, formal, familiar, professional, whimsical, natural, friendly, promotional, sincere, business-like, serious, fun, straightforward, upscale, trustworthy, compassionate, encouraging, motivating
The person writing should have at least 2 to 3 of these words in mind when creating the copy. For example, a summer camp website would likely want to feel friendly, joyful, and trustworthy – while a business consulting agency will want copy that is more formal, professional – but also trustworthy!
3. What inspired the creation of this brand? Talk about the origination story.
The “About Page” is usually the 2nd most visited page on a website. Spend time understanding the motivation and purpose behind the brand. Then, focus on why this is important to the customer! The customer benefits should still be present within the About page.
4. What are other brands that the target customer might enjoy?
By looking at other websites of brands that the same audience probably likes, you can get a feeling for the tone and type of writing that may appeal to your audience.
5. What key details that should be included regarding the mission of the business? What is important to the founders as the business grows.
Document the key takeaways regarding your business that you want the audience to know. For example, does the company donate part of its profits to an important cause? Be sure to include this on the website.
6. Explain what is unique about the approach to the service or product?
What makes the business unique? It may be a technology, it may be the people, the pricing, the materials…whatever it is, highlight that so that visitors to the site know what is special or different.
Finally, keep in mind that the copy on a website will not be permanent. It will evolve with a business and should be reviewed and updated regularly. This will keep it fresh and be good for SEO as changes can be made based on analytics of search terms bringing people to the site.