We’ve designed you a website so attractive it makes your eyes water.
From a graphic design perspective, it’s a thing of beauty: perfect navigation delivering a seamlessly enjoyable visitor experience. The structure is beautiful and flat, making it easy for people to find what they need quickly and efficiently without getting lost. The imagery is stunning, evoking the exact message you want to put across. Then you add the content and everything falls apart… OMG!
The thing is, a website can be as beautiful and functional as you like but if the written content you add to it isn’t equally well thought through, everything goes dog-shaped.
Here’s what you need to consider before creating website content. Follow these guidelines and you’ll do our web design – and your business – the right amount of credit. If you don’t have the necessary skills, time or inclination, not to worry. We have some top class content creation talent at hand who’ll do an excellent job for you.
How to write great website content – Fewer features, more benefits
What’s the ideal website content balance? Realism and honesty expressed in a positive, creative way. And that means, first of all, majoring on the benefits of your products or services and relegating the features to second place.
Say you’re selling cars. The model you’re selling has passenger airbags. That’s a feature, and it’s deadly dull. So what if a car has passenger airbags? The ‘so what’ bit is the benefit: because you have airbags for all your passengers, wherever in the vehicle they’re sitting your whole family is safer.
The car might have another neat feature, a sunroof. Which is, again, spectacularly dull. So what if it has a sunroof? The point is – the benefit is – that it’s lovely in hot weather, keeping everyone cool without blowing them out of the car.
Fewer small print and caveats, more confident, open statements
There’s nothing like small print and caveats to put people off. It makes it look like you’ve got something to hide. It’s much better to take a direct route, transforming every negative or less-than-cheery statement into a positive message, expressing it loud and proud instead of trying to bury it.
Too many businesses hide negative stuff in their T&C, where it can catch people out. That’s what we call toxic marketing – there should never be any need to hide or obscure the facts.
Almost everything can be turned into a positive. In the unlikely event that your caveats and small print are so awful there’s no way you can transform them into positive messages, perhaps you need to think again about your business model.
Expressing enthusiasm without cringing
There’s a lot to be said for confidence and enthusiasm, but some companies are scared to express it just in case they come across as arrogant or over-confident.
In the USA it isn’t an issue – Americans are so much better at blowing their trumpets. In Britain, we tend to be much more self-effacing, even self-deprecating, and it doesn’t always work in our commercial favour. There’s a big difference between arrogant and confidence, and relaxed, calm, confidence is always more attractive.
How to pull it all together – Plain English rules
You can do all of the above and still end up with a dog’s dinner. The trick is to express everything in pure, plain English.
Plain doesn’t mean boring or dull. Plain language is clear and concise, with no jargon. And when you use it correctly you show people that you’re proud to ‘own’ your products and services.
‘Own’? How do you do that? Here’s an example. Say the car you’re selling has been re-sprayed orange. Instead of saying “It was decided to re-spray the car orange because it is perceived people respond well to orange” you’d own your decision by saying, “We decided to respray this cool little car bright orange because it makes our customers smile.”
Politicians use phrases like “It was decided” all the time, and it makes them seem horribly untrustworthy. The last thing you want to do is remove yourself emotionally from your products and services the way they do.
The keyword bit…
Keywords aren’t necessarily about being positive, but they have a very positive outcome when used. To make the best possible job of website content, you need to use the same words and phrases people search Google for when looking for products and services like yours.
Put as simply as possible, if people frequently search Google for a ‘resprayed orange car’, you need to use the words ‘resprayed orange car’ on the relevant web page so Google can make the connection. While it’s a simple concept to grasp, it isn’t quite that simple to do! And, even if you’re brilliant at writing, it might prove the thing that trips you up.
Scared to put pen to paper?
If you’re about to make a start writing your website content, make sure you create content that’s positive, plain, simple, enthusiastic, honest and transparent. Then you won’t go far wrong.
If we’ve put you off, you can always hand over to an expert copywriter. Or, alternatively, write your content then let one of out copywriters edit it into a state of perfection, just get in touch!