[This article was first published in 2010. It’s been updated and adapted to help you achieve online greatness in 2020 and beyond,]
Search engine optimisation never stands still. To remain in the game, you have to keep an eye out for the latest tips and ‘how tos’.
One thing you should never do is underestimate the importance of your website copy. Making sure it’s written by a professional SEO copywriter is a step in the right direction but here’s a list of eight quick tips you can use to optimise your web copy.
Open a second browser window and take a look at your web copy as you read – is there something you can improve.
8 Steps To Optimised Website Copy
As with any form of marketing, your headline must grab attention and draw your reader in. It must sell you, your company and your products and services.
A weak headline will result in people navigating away from your site to one that offers them what they’re looking for.
2. First impressions
Assuming your headline has caught their attention it’s vital that the rest of your website does. Do the first few lines of text live up to their expectations? Do the images you use complement or detract from your copy?
To work, all the elements of your web page have to compliment each other and work together.
This is the question that sits firmly at the forefront of your reader’s mind – what’s in it for me?
Make sure you tell them the benefits of your product/service straight away. That’s not the features here we’re talking about what it is that your product/service will do for them – save them time, save them money, make them more attractive, make them healthier etc. Something that they will value (that’s why it’s so important you know who your customers are and what they want).
4. Easy on the eye
This is where readability comes in. People don’t generally like reading from a screen so you must ensure your information is accessible and readable. To help you reader skim your content for the most relevant points use headings and subheadings, break the text up with bulleted lists and use images to help get your message across.
Above all keep Bryan Eisenberg’s 5 R’s of Search Engine Marketing in your mind:
- Relevance (make sure your copy is relevant to your market)
- Reputation (great content will build your reputation and encourage links)
- Remarkable (only truly great copy will build your reputation)
- Readability (use the right HTML, tags, headlines, bullets, subheadings, font size etc.)
- Reach (don’t cast your net too wide)
How many times does ‘we’ appear on your website?
A website full of ‘we’ comes across as being very self-centred. The reader doesn’t care about you; they care about what you’re going to do for them.
Go through your copy and change your ‘we’ for ‘you’ to shift the focus firmly on your customer.
The tone of voice you use is very important. The information you provide has to be accessible so avoid jargon. Also, to make it more readable avoid using the passive voice. Be active and involve your reader in your text.
7. Other wording
The wording on your website isn’t just confined to your body text. There are also ALT tags, captions, banner text etc. Are the words here really adding value?
The hypertext links are the words you use to link out to other relevant information. Make sure you use your keywords within these links to get the most value from them.
That is a quick and simple list of things you can do on your website to help attract visitors and boost your conversion rate. How many are you missing on your website?
If you need help with your website copywriting, get in touch with Sally Ormond. She is an international freelance copywriter who really knows her onions.