I have 10 seconds to keep your attention.
This is why Stephan Krauska at Evermore, a website design company, warns organizations to carefully craft the copy on their website.
Because a website has a lot more real estate available than a brochure or flyer, it can be tempting to communicate too much. But this is where organizations can hurt themselves.
Consider these best practices when developing web copy:
- Know your audience. You can’t write valuable copy unless you know who you’re writing for. Spend some time learning about your audience. Are they mostly female, male or a mixture of both? How old are they? What problems are they trying to solve? What questions do they have? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you steer your web copy in the right direction.
- Keep it short and simple. Nothing will send somebody running for the hills more than a huge blob of text that they have to scroll through. As I said earlier, you have 10 seconds to get somebody’s attention. Do so by making your content easily skimmable. Make use of sub-heads, bulleted copy and numbered lists that will make content easier to digest.
- Avoid jargon and wordiness. Using jargon and acronyms that external customers don’t understand will only frustrate them. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and explain things in short, concise sentences.
- Answer the user’s “so what?” When people come to your website, they’re coming there to get a question answered or to solve a problem. Your website copy should reflect that. Tell them why your company or organization is of value to them without being aggressively salesy.
- Tell a story. Providing examples is great. Providing examples with real-life stories that your customers can relate to is a way to engage your readers and keep them interested.
- Identify keywords for search engine optimization. Make your website copy work for you by including keywords and keyword phrases that will improve your search engine result rankings. Long-tailed keywords are especially beneficial to use as they will generate more specifically targeted visitors to your site. For example, rather than using high-volume keywords like “marketing,” on CorComm Creative’s website, we might use a keyword phrase like “nonprofit marketing agency.” [Not sure where to put the keywords on your website after you’ve identified them? Check out this helpful article from Lifewire.com.]
- Include a clear call-to-action. Here’s the chance to tell your customer exactly what you want them to do. Do you want them to sign up to receive a newsletter? Send you an email? Call a phone number for more information? Whatever it is, make sure it’s obvious to your customer.
If you’re going through a website redesign, don’t fall into the trap of worrying so much about the design and functionality of the website that you forget about creating quality content. Your website will only generate more business if the content truly provides value to your customer. By following the tips above, you’ll be on your way to bypassing that 10-second mark.