No website is complete without copy. Whilst some may see it as an unfortunate necessity, others see it as an opportunity. The bulk of your site’s text will perform two duties:
1) Provide visitors with all the information they need to convince them to explore the site further and use your services; and
2) Let the search engines know exactly what your website is all about and persuade them to rank you higher for key terms.
Without investing in your copy, you could be losing out on untold online riches. However you choose to market your website, the ultimate sales pitch is done through the quality of your content. You could divert thousands of people to your homepage each and every day but still not get a single sale, why? Because people aren’t buying in to what you’re selling.
Whenever we purchase online with someone new it is a complete leap of faith. Reassurance for consumers can only come in the content of the page that we arrive at. Whether it’s a product page or your main homepage, your copy needs to sparkle and engage with the audience. Each page needs to be treated as a unique entity; visitors won’t always find you through the most obvious channels, so you need to sell yourself right throughout the site.
The next issue to conquer is how exactly should you market yourself? If you’re not a proficient copywriter it can be daunting trying to coax out a couple of hundred words for each page, especially with the added pressure of having to do the covert hard-sell and integrate elements of SEO too. In truth though you needn’t be overly concerned, the first and most important thing to remember with any copy is accuracy.
People want to be sold to, that’s why they visit websites in the first place. What most visitors don’t like though is inaccuracies and errors. It shows a lack of professionalism that transcends the initial typo and ends up reflecting badly on your website and your business. Accurate text, even if it isn’t the most lively or cutting edge, should always be your first priority; then as you advance, you can start building in the more complex aspects of SEO copywriting.
Emotive language shouldn’t be too difficult to come by. If you’re passionate about your business and the products that you sell, then it will come naturally. Whatever you’re writing and wherever it is going to feature on the site, you need to focus on getting a strong message in at the start of your copy and then a solid call to action at the end. The content of the filler is down to you, however getting in these two key features will have visitors intrigued at first and then compelled to act upon their intrigue.
Now comes the SEO. Some people question the value of SEO and whether or not SEO copywriting really exists any more. Well in short, search engine optimisation is as important as ever, perhaps even more so with the added competition faced in every market. SEO copywriting, well that’s more debateable. Copywriters who write for the Internet invariably look out for things like keywords and how best to target their copy in order to optimise the page, both for the visitor and the search engine. It’s not like it was ten years ago with all the keyword stuffing and black hat techniques, today SEO copywriting services are far more refined and customer focussed than ever before.
However you look at it, the bottom line with copywriting is that it must fulfil its primary obligation to the site and to the two areas mentioned at the outset of this article – the customer and the search engine. Impeccable copy should always be the primary goal, whilst unflinching accuracy should always provide the benchmark. If you can write something that engages with your visitors and gets your site to the top of the search tree, well, that’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.