While the design of a website is of very high importance, often the content – and specifically the verbiage – is neglected, which is a big mistake. You can create one of the most dazzling, well-designed websites in the world, but if you fail to keep people interested and explain your business, then you will be unable to market effectively. To get yourself noticed and ensure your clients and customers keep coming back for more, avoid the following common mistakes when creating your website’s copy.
In many ways, using slang or common jargon can be a great way to get people interested in your business. Readers might feel like they are able to identify with the company and could be tempted to work with you. However, using too much slang or informal language puts you at risk at seeming unprofessional. Would you want to hire a lawyer who talks about “yeeting” your opponent’s case out the window? How about a doctor who says her treatments are “on fleek?” I think not.
This is a big issue for people who don’t write often. Most modern readers, especially those browsing the Internet, will be put off by websites that have massive paragraphs of five sentences or more. While this format is acceptable in books, it doesn’t fit the online style.
To avoid having a wall of text, limit your paragraphs to three sentences and avoid having sentences that include tons of commas or semicolons. This keeps the format simple and ensures your potential clients will continue to read your website.
You want your homepage to be the appetizer that gets people interested in checking out the rest of your website. You should give your visitors just enough information to chew on and include plenty of hooks and leads to ensure they click on more pages and spend time getting to know about you and what it is you offer.
To make an effective homepage, you should limit how much text is included, and link to other pages that have more information. Try to keep your paragraphs short and sweet and give a hook to have people investigate further. For example: “To find out more about why our cupcakes are so sweet, click on our menu!”
This is a big issue with a lot of company websites, especially those related to highly specialized matters like law. You don’t want to make the assumption that your potential clients are well-versed in your field’s jargon and rhetoric. You can use professional terms like “civil litigation,” but try to include context clues and definitions to keep your readers informed about what they are reading.
On the other hand, don’t assume your readers are dumb. If you have a website about pet grooming, you don’t need to explain what a haircut is. The best way to determine whether a fact or term will need some explanation is to imagine talking to a friend who is not in the same business as you. Would you need to give some extra details?
If you follow these four simple guidelines, you can create copy that is simple, informative, and easy to read. Having a website that is engaging is the key to drawing in more clients and will help boost your ratings in the search engines. Just remember to avoid keyword stuffing and making too many assumptions about your target audience!