Website Copywriting 101September 9th 2010 Sally Ormond copywriter, freelance copywriter, SEO copywriter, Website copywriting
As a website copywriter I know how difficult it can be to create text that is appealing, interesting and that converts readers into customers.
So if you insist on going it alone and writing your own web copy, I can sympathise with you.
But sadly, when companies do write their own copy they start by singing their own praises. But, guess what, that’s not what your readers want.
They don’t care if you’ve been in business for decades or how many staff you have or whether you operate from state of the art premises. There is only one thing they want to know – and that’s what you are going to do for them.
There’s something else self-written websites tend to have – jargon. It is vital that you write simply. And that can be a challenge because so many people believe…
“I’m writing for the public so I’ve got to use really big words and complex structures to show how clever I am. Then they’ll be really impressed and want to do business with me.”
Oh boy – if you do that your website will be a very lonely place because no one will be reading it.
Be true to yourself
Even if you manage to avoid the above horrors, you still have to be very careful about the words you chose to portrait yourself.
Getting good rankings for local searches on the internet is big business. Normally these keywords and phrases (which incorporate your geographical location) are less competitive than the more generic terms so a business can rank much quicker.
But there are a lot of businesses out there that actually want to make themselves look bigger than they actually are. So they drop the localisation or faceless national identities. But if you do that you’ll be competing with the big boys that have bottomless marketing budgets.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after more generic terms, but do so whilst also competing for the local phrases. At least that way you’ll get good local rankings while you’re working on national ones (which will take longer to achieve).
Size isn’t everything
You can still use words to create an illusion of your company’s size. If you use the word “I” (especially if you’re a sole trader) you will come across as a one man band. But simply using “we” instead and other words such as “fleet” and “team” you’ll give the impression of being larger than you really are.
But before you get carried away, there is a reason why people search for local businesses. Small, local businesses conjure an image of high quality, personal service. If you try to show yourself as a large company you could inadvertently be conveying negative connotations – expensive, inferior service, customers not being treated as individuals etc.
Why am I telling you this?
I want to illustrate some of the pit falls when writing your own website copy. It can be very easy to get carried away when writing about your own business.
If you have the budget it really is worth getting a good freelance copywriter to write your content for you. They aren’t directly involved with your business so can distance themselves from it and write what the reader wants to know – what’s in it for them. Plus, they will also be able to create great SEO copywriting which will help your local and national search results.