If you’re starting to think about a new website, you’re likely getting fired up about the colors, pictures, how everything will work, and of course, what’s the website going to say. That’s where amazing website copy comes into play. Content strategy and website copy can make or break your website’s ability to do a job for your business.
In this article, I’m going to explain what content strategy vs website copy is, and will tell you the really important things to do (and avoid) if you’re planning to write your own content for your website.
Website content strategy is often lumped into website content (maybe because it shares 2 of the 3 words haha), but honestly, strategy and copy are different things. The content strategy primarily focuses on the objectives of the copy that we’re going to write. Here are things we cover in the content strategy side of things:
- Who is our audience?
- What are we trying to get that audience to do/buy/understand?
- What pages do we need to accomplish those goals?
- On each page, what sections are required? What is the goal of the section? Where is it leading them?
- What’s our UVP (unique value proposition)? Are we communicating that in about 3 seconds?
These things really stand as the frame and the foundation that we’ll use to hold the website copy.
The website copy is where we actually craft the words that go on the website. This would include areas on your website like:
- Body Copy
- Calls to Actions
- Button Text
- and lots more…
This is the part we’re really going to dive into for the rest of the article, but I just felt it was important to explain the difference.
The BIG DOs and DO NOTs for writing website copy
The DO – NOTS
Number 1. Mimicking a website you love is cool, stealing content from them is not cool!
It’s way easier to find a website you like and just steal their content, but boy can it come back to bite you. Not only can Google de-rank your website for doing it, but there are also legal implications for stealing content as well. Your business should have original, and useful content, specific content to your business!
Number 2. Long Content Blocks
You’ll really want to avoid using super long blocks of content. Website users typically have the attention span of a toddler, so you want to avoid putting things in their way that cause them to want to exit. A long content block – with 10 paragraphs (other than a blog post where the reader really wants the information) will likely cause a bounce where they just leave the site.
Number 3. Write things your audience will not understand
If you happen to be a plumber, remember that your clients don’t really care very much about the type of faucet you put in, they care about how it looks, or how it works FOR THEM. So avoid writing copy that they will not be able to understand. In any business, you want to be in a very technical business you really want to be sure your audience will understand how it benefits them.
Number 4. ONLY talking about yourself
If you’ve ever read Story Brand by Donald Miller, you’ll know that the person reading your website really wants to be the hero in the story. Talking all about your business and what you offer and forgetting to tell your users how it will improve their life or business is a BIG DON’T for us.
Number 5. Don’t stuff your site with keywords
One big trend in the world years ago was to stuff your website full of works talking about “what you do”. So you might continue to say the same words over and over again for the benefit of SEO and think you’re doing yourself a favor, but you aren’t Keyword stuffing is bad for your users which makes it bad for Google, which makes it bad for your business! Write for your users, not for the search engines and you’ll come out way better!
Number 1. Drive the User to Take Action
Make sure that you’re dictating what you want the users to do by using Calls to Actions on the website. Things like “Book Your Trip”, “Contact Us”, “Get Started”, etc. Things that will push the user to actually take an action are VERY important to have across your website.
Number 2. Make a Plan
You should have a plan for every single page that’s on your website. Don’t write content for pages that don’t have a purpose. Make sure you know how your pages intersect, how they help each other, and ultimately, what each page is trying to accomplish.
Number 3. Give it some personality
One thing that ALWAYS helps your website work for your business is personality. Make sure the website is telling your story with your audience in mind. So don’t sound robotic or boring, write your website content in a way where someone who didn’t know you could understand what you’re about by reading a page or two. This is why it’s so important not to copy other people, but write in your own voice and using your own words!
Number 4. Organization
Try to organize your content into blocks where you have an engaging and short title, a small block of paragraphs, and then a call to action. That keeps your copy short, sweet, and to the point. It also makes it easier for your users to follow if you’re organized. Always think, if I didn’t understand my business, would I understand what I’m saying here? If not, you might want to reorganize it.
Number 5. Read your copy
Once you’ve written it – you really need to READ it back to yourself in context. It’s easy for it to make sense in your documents, but when it makes it way to the website, the meaning can quickly get lost. So really try to leave it be for a while, and then come back and read it again.
We hope this is a helpful guide when you’re thinking about handling your website content. If you find yourself getting stuck – don’t hesitate to reach out. In our website projects, we almost always will just handle this for our clients, so if you’re working with us, this might not be that helpful
Website copy is a really easy thing to get hung up on – so don’t let it stop you from getting your website online. Let us know how to we can help!
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I hope you’ve found this information useful. As always, if you’re not sure what you need, or you know exactly what you need, you can reach out to us online and book a FREE consultation.