When developing your website, you may have spent a lot of time making sure you covered all the necessary functions to make it attractive and easy to navigate. Color scheme? Check. Tabs clearly visible? Check. Photos of your business or product? Check. You then placed your “Open for Business” sign on all your online and printed marketing pieces to attract visitors to your site.
But, what happens when visitors get to your site?
Do they find merely words or are they greeted with a message that invites them to do business with you? Having a website that visually looks good, but doesn’t read well, is like pairing a tuxedo with the grubby tennis shoes you wear to the gym. It is important to complete the polished look from top to bottom to give a fully professional image.
If you are wondering if your site has polished copy, here are three questions to add to your website checklist:
1. Does your website have just words or a clear business message?
What is the most important message you want visitors to understand about your business? Is that stated clearly on your home page? If you find your site filled with paragraphs that ramble on with your most important message buried at the bottom, too little text that doesn’t tell enough about your business, or if your copy sounds like it was written for (and by) machines rather than human beings then, it is time for a rewrite. Your copy needs to tell who you are, what you do, when you do it, the features and the benefits of your product or service, why you are different from your competition and what you guarantee to assure your visitors they have made the right choice by working with you. Check and double check for grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. You may have a quality product, but if your copy is a sloppy mess then your business will scream “unprofessional” to your prospects.
2. Does your copy include SEO rich keywords?
If you search for information on SEO (Search Engine Optimized) keywords, you will come across varied information ranging from companies who promise top page rankings if you go with their expensive service (be weary of those), do-it-yourself methods that can be time-consuming or techie talk that is confusing. Let us simplify it for you.
Your copy should include specific words in your industry that are most commonly used when a person is searching for your type of business, service and product. Why is this so important? Websites that are crawled organically or naturally for keywords are ranked much higher than just adding tags or categories to your content. Recently, we were doing a website evaluation for a seafood restaurant. In all of their copy, there was not one mention of the word “seafood.” We saw the word on a photo of the restaurant, but the problem is that Google doesn’t crawl a jpg photo file (unless the photo is named using keywords when uploaded which in this case, it was not). You will also want to use keywords when writing posts on social media. In our Social Media copywriting class, we explain in greater detail how important it is to include your keywords when posting on your Facebook page, tweeting on Twitter and posting on LinkedIn.
Be sure to also include local SEO keywords so people in your geographic area can find you, for example “New Jersey chiropractor.” We recently spoke with a business who complained that they couldn’t get local people to hire them for their services. When we looked at their website, they didn’t have their address anywhere on their site. These two examples may seem silly, however, it is often the most obvious things that are overlooked.
3. Is your copy in line with your business and marketing plan?
It is near impossible to write quality copy without consulting your business and marketing plan. It is from your marketing plan that you can find the golden nuggets to check off the first and second points of your copywriting checklist. The overall goals of your business need to be reflected in the messages you craft on your website and should be consistently carried across all your online channels. For example, the same succinct summary that describes your business on your website should be repeated on your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn summary boxes.
What to do if researching and writing are not your strengths
Fortunately, there are professionals available to help. A skilled copywriter will be knowledgeable on creating content for your entire website and social media pages that speaks to your target audience. At Virtual Business Solutions, the most important element in our copywriting services is to make sure the copy we write sounds like you. We pride ourselves on conducting extensive research on our clients’ business including learning industry trends, their competitive advantages and top industry specific keywords. We develop a comprehensive marketing plan that focuses on their business goals and ensures their entire online marketing presence is working hard to achieve the same end. To see how your website copy ranks, contact us for a consultation and website evaluation.