You’ve heard the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, well I hate to say it but people do. Not only that, but they’ll also judge you and your company by your written content whether in emails, on your website, blog, articles or brochures.
Going back to your school days, wasn’t it always the best looking kids that got to be Head Boy or Girl, or head of the sports team?
Looks do matter (even though we try to convince ourselves that in today’s ‘equal’ society it doesn’t) so you have to make sure all your marketig materials are as good as they can be – in content and aesthetic appeal.
To me, as a copywriter, the copy on your website or blog is paramount. Of course, your website designer will tell you it’s your sites design and your graphic designer will tell you it’s your brand, logo and print materials.
But it is your copy that does the hard work engaging with your reader and getting them to place an order. But if you don’t have a good looking website or blog no one is going to hang around to read it.
Mind you even if you have a stunning website but your copy is shocking, they’ll leave so you have to attack both issues and get them right if you want to be successful.
There are many things you can do to make your website gorgeous, but rather than listing them all, let’s take a look at the things you should avoid and all costs.
- Think about your copy
Understand your audience. They have a specific needs which you must identify and satisfy.
Don’t try and talk to everyone. When you write your copy just have one reader in mind. If you try to cater for everyone you’ll end up with a confused mess that won’t tell anyone anything.
As for the length of your articles and blog posts, be sensible. Your reader is going to be time limited (aren’t was all?) and so although they’ll want answer to everything they won’t want to site and read their way through an encyclopedic work. So make sure your copy is well balanced and complete but keep it relatively brief.
- Make it easy to read
It’s not just your website site design that should look attractive, your text should too. But I’m not talking about which font to use, I’m referring to the use of short paragraphs, bulleted lists, headings and sub headings.
If your reader is faced with a wall of text that extends down their screen which the have to scroll through, they will be severely turned off.
By breaking up your copy up into manageable chunks, they can dip into your copy and read the most relevant parts to them.
Make it easy to read using a high contrast between text colour and background – go for black on white or white on black.
- Be engaging
Your headline must grab your readers’ attention. If it doesn’t you may as well forget everything else I’ve mentioned as no one will be reading your copy anyway.
Produce dull copy and no one will read it; write about yourself and no one will read it; fill it with jargon and no one will read it. There is only one thing you must keep in mind – what does your reader want to know. To give you a clue it will probably have something to do with ‘What’s in it for me?’
- Less is more
Don’t overdo colours and graphics in an attempt to make your copy stand out and look appealing. Going over board will end up looking messy. Stick to a few colours that tie in with your company’s image.
Basically, keep it simple.
This is important because…
Getting your copy or design wrong could kill your site. Remember to consider both elements and ensure they work together.