If you haven’t checked out my first part in this series of The Web Design Process please click here.
Today is all about copywriting, specifically for your new website.
Step 1: Brainstorm and organize content.
Now is the time to let your stream of consciousness flow. Write down your ideas for the content on each page. Make lists, write paragraphs, and organize them based on importance. You want to determine your goals for this project you’re working on (now is the perfect time to reference that list we created in part 1), and decide how to go about achieving them. It’s okay to be messy during this stage, because the rest of the process is all about refining the content. Keep in mind you need to spend a lot of time brainstorming, make sure you’re exploring all avenues. Once you have a few pages of rough content, move on.
Step 2: Think “search” oriented.
Now is the time to think about searches. The best way to generate traffic to your website is to provide answers for search terms or questions. Create a list of keywords you want your copy to focus on, be sure you include those keywords when necessary, explain how they are relevant to your website and your content. When you think in terms of search engines it’s important to focus on a specific target audience, flooding your copy with loads of keywords will never help you reach a specific customer base.
Step 3: Sales techniques for the web:
Headlines: Engaging and accurate.
I could write a whole blog post just on headlines (maybe I will some day). These are roadmaps for your users to determine if they are on the right page. Most users will scan headlines first, then read content if they feel they are in the right spot. Be sure to make your headlines engaging and accurate.
Motivate your users to act.
Use action oriented language, motivate your audience to perform actions (call you, purchase products, fill out a form, register). Give them good reasons to perform these actions and explain the rewards for their time and energy. Most users aren’t going to perform actions for you if it’s not easy and clear, so make sure you take the guesswork out and explain everything in your copy.
Accurately describe and sell your products and services.
It’s important to think in terms of advertising, tell your audience what’s so great about your services or product, explain the benefits of a purchase or phone call. More importantly, make sure your products and services are described accurately, especially if you are targeting a niche market. “Brown Shoes” doesn’t quite have the selling power as “Brown Leather Slip Resistant Work Boots”.
Step 4: Review, Edit, Reduce
Now is the time for spellcheck, and a couple of read throughs of your content. Make sure your grammar is correct, all words are spelled correctly. Reduce your content if you have to, make sure the most important material is present and leave out all the fluff, this will show your users that you value their time.
That is a quick crash course for anyone willing to put forth the effort to write their own copy. Of course, practice will make you better over time, along with research. I am by no means a master of the skill, but I definitely want to be able to write copy, as a web developer, when I need to. It is for that reason that I constantly research and learn more about the interesting world of web copywriting. If you have any additional tips please leave them below.