Is your web copy working?

Often throughout my career, I’ve seen companies invest heavily in the visual elements and usability of their website, but neglect one of the most powerful sales tools in the website mix – the wording.

Many companies will happily bring in web designers, branding experts, user experience specialists, professional photographers and videographers to whip their website into shape – all of which are vitally important – but then cobble together the wording from outdated brochures and marketing collateral.

We’re definitely a visual nation – images and colours will always catch our eye first – but after that, we want information. We want a clear sense of who a company is, what they offer, and – ultimately – whether we want to purchase from them.

That’s why hiring a professional copywriter to draft or edit your website copy is a crucial part of creating an irresistible website that helps you effectively communicate with – and sell to – your target audience.

Have a look at the questions below, and if the answer to any of them is ‘no’, it could be costing you sales…

1. Is it absolutely crystal clear what we do?

Companies often become so ingrained in the terminology of their industry that they slip into the trap of assuming everyone has the same level of understanding. What might be clear to you may not be clear to potential customers or other future stakeholders – so clarity is critical. Your target audience should immediately understand what you offer to them, and how it will benefit their business.

2. Does it pass the 10 second rule?

You’ve generally got about 10 seconds (or less!) to leave your audience with a clear impression about your company or your services. Clarity is critical, but so is copy length. If it takes 250 words to explain what you do, users will quickly switch off.

3. Does it present complex information in simple, understandable terms?

Businesses operating in niche sectors or who offer highly technical products and services have the added challenge of communicating complex information in simple, understandable terms. As with our first point, it’s useful to remember that not everyone who visits your site will automatically understand your offering – particularly if it’s complex.

4. Is the language consistent with my industry and my brand?

The language you use on your website should closely reflect the industry you’re in, as well as your brand’s identity. It you work in wealth management, for example, your tone should be focussed on trust, reassurance and expertise, while a hotel operator might instead use language that’s more warm and welcoming.

5. Does it inspire and excite my potential customers?

Whatever tone and language you use, its ultimate goal should be to leave your audience inspired to take action. Having frequent ‘calls to action’ and easy links for users to quickly get in touch is essential, but the copy must be engaging enough to inspire that action.

6. Does it rely too heavily on acronyms?

This links in with points #1 and #3 – wherever possible, try to avoid relying too heavily on acronyms, even if they’re commonplace in your industry. Would you know what I meant if I ‘worked closely with NGOs to define KPIs for SMEs seeking to improve their ROI through VR and AI by COP?’ No, neither would I!

7. Is it over-laded with adjectives?

“Our beautiful, stunning and delectable range of delightful, exquisite and luxurious accessories are designed to give you a unique, unforgettable and sumptuous experience.” That’s all very well, but the problem with using way too many descriptive words and adjectives is that they completely lose their impact. Select two or three adjectives that reflect your offering, and leave it at that.

8. Does the syntax flow?

Syntax is defined as ‘the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language’. It’s the magic behind your wording that ensures it flows well and doesn’t cause the eye to ‘stumble’ over unstructured copy, helping the reader move through it with ease. Syntax is a crucial but frequently neglected element of good web copy.

9. Is the spelling and punctuation perfect?

Errors do occasionally happen in website copy, but if there are glaring errors on your site’s main pages – particularly within the first paragraph – it can be distracting and off-putting to readers. For some, it could suggests a lack of attention to detail which could ultimately deter them from proceeding with an enquiry or sale. Even if you don’t notice spelling errors, your audience will – so do make sure your copy is correctly spelled and grammatically accurate. 

If you think your website copy could benefit from some professional editing, Venti can help! Drop us a line today or head over to our contact form to leave your details and we’ll come straight back to you.

Lara Page

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