Sure, you could hire someone to write copy for your website but that can get expensive and you’ll still need to communicate to them, verbally at least, everything about your business.
We find a lot of our clients like to save money on their website costs and choose to write the text themselves. In most cases, they’re also the best qualified to write about it – they have the passion and enthusiasm for their craft and are eager to preach that to others.
So, to direct that positive energy in the best way, we’ve put together this short guide to help you channel your ideas into good website copy.
Writing for the web doesn’t have to be hard
Writing is hard work and even when you’re passionate about it (your business) it is still difficult to find the right words and communicate clearly to prospective customers.
The good thing about a website is that it is an evolving, living document. You don’t have to have it perfect the first time. Revisit your content regularly and refine your message. It’s easy to do with the content management system (CMS) included with your PogoStick website.
The page headings in this free Word doc template are only a suggestion based on the most common bits of information visitors to your website will be looking for. PogoStick websites allow you to add, change or remove pages as you like – and it won’t cost you a thing.
Writing user-friendly website content
It’s important to know your audience so your writing content that’s relevant to them. If it helps describe your potential audience (create a persona).
- Speak their language – Use the words your visitors are likely to use. Not only will they understand you but it will help you rank in the search engines for the queries they are most likely to be typing in.
- Break up your text into paragraphs (chunking) – Chunking makes it easier for readers to scan and take in your text. White space can also help.
- Put the most important stuff first – In journalism they call this the inverted pyramid where they key details are put in the first paragraph or two.
- Use pronouns – It makes your content more personable when you use the words ‘you’ and ‘we’ instead of referring to your official business name.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs – In general it is recommended that sentences are no longer than 20 words and paragraphs are no more than five sentences.
- Use bullets and numbered lists – Good for when you have two or more points to make.
- Use short, descriptive headings – Questions can be particularly effective. Try to think of what is important to the visitor and address their information needs.
- Visualise – If possible, use images or embedded videos to explain your point.
- Recheck spelling and grammar – This is critical. Even a single spelling mistake can significantly lower the confidence a visitor has in your professionalism. Also check for US English spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. It’s always a good idea to have someone else read through your text to make sure it’s clear and accurate.
If this seems like a lot to take in, don’t stress. It gets easier with practice. As a rule of thumb just put yourself in the visitor’s shoes – they want answers to questions about your product or service so make it as easy as possible to find them!
When you’re done writing the text for your website, you can email us the Word doc or, even better, upload and share it as a Google Doc. Make sure each page is clearly headlined and remember it doesn’t have to be perfect – you’ll get a login so you can update it at any time.
Still stuck for what to write?
If you’re stuck we do offer a copywriting service – get in touch for a quote.
Can’t you just copy the text from this other website? The short answer is no. The longer answer is: Heck, no! Why not? For several, important reasons. Most content on other websites is protected by copyright law. It is illegal, and could get you in serious trouble. Please, don’t even suggest we do this for you – we won’t, ever.
Copying and pasting from another website can lead to being penalised by Google for duplicate content, and besides, your customers want to hear your unique voice, not a copy from some other place.
Do you provide boilerplate templates for things like privacy policies? We don’t due to the unique requirements of each business, however check here for free resources for NZ businesses.
PogoStick Web Services is not affiliated with, and does not endorse any of the 3rd-party services listed on this page.