How to write text for your website


What key points do you need to get across?

Often a business will have a compelling proposition that defines its brand. This may be matched to a key advantage that the business has in the marketplace. What’s your key advantage? For example, our company creates custom designs and databases for websites. We are also at a size where we have specialist people working in areas of Internet Marketing, and project management. So themes that should exist throughout our website include custom design, solutions and advice.

What content to include on your home page

Commonly businesses include more about us type information on their home page. Your home page should include enough “why choose us” information for a potential customer to at a glance understand your unique buying proposition.

Your home page should provide a summary of the key sections of the site or focus specifically on achieving the key objectives of the website. For example, if the focus of your website is to satisfy the informational requirements of existing clients in order to reduce phone support demand, the real estate used for promoting this type of information to consumers will be evident vs other needs.

Dynamic content in the form of news, blogs, or special offers should also be evident on the home page so that consumers are encouraged to take further action on the site.

Your home page is commonly the first point of call for many website visitors so it is suggested that you spend a significant amount of your time writing copy for this area of the site.

Working on the about us page

While many customers may be interested in the great history of the business and whether the owner is into fishing etc, make sure you provide enough buying information about your business. Ask yourself “what does my website visitor need to know about my business”? What makes my business different from my competitors? Is there something different about it physically, is their something different about my product or service, do we price differently?

A could way to start this section is with a brief intro paragraph which summarises what is to come. Stick with the Who, What, Where, When approach if that helps. For example, we could say “Myth Limited is a Website, Design and Marketing Company based in Dunedin New Zealand, developing custom website solutions for customers, who understand the value of the Internet.” Then we could expand this to talk further about solution capabilities and unique technologies, a brief history and key people. Depending on how big you want to make this you can keep this short and to one page, or you could break this up into a section with pages for each key piece of information.

Writing about products or services

Create categories for your product or service offerings. Put your products or services into groups so that you can clearly describe them to potential customers. Ask yourself “if I was buying from me, what would I need to know before I could say yes”.

Match up each group to a set of consumers. You could say this product or service is ideal for these kinds of people or businesses. Get clear on the key benefit or set of benefits that your product or service gives to customers. For example, we could say that our email marketing system “allows you to communicate more efficiently with your clients saving you both money and time.”
Start off by brain storming notes about your product or service. Once you have these listed down on a piece of paper or in an article, being to expand on each of the items that you think are important. You should soon have a decent list of reasons why your product or service satisfies the needs of clients/consumers better than your competitors. Why not check out the competitors website at this point and ensure that you do indeed have a better offering. If you do not then it may be a good time to refine your selling proposition.

Use language that is consistent with your business and your consumers

The language used by your consumers is a good starting point for the kind of language that should be used on your website. If you sell skateboards and surf boards you will use vastly different language to a law firm. This is an extreme example but I hope that it gets you thinking about the tone of the voice of your business. For example, is your business approach “straight up” and “to the point”? Perhaps your business requires a romantic writing/selling approach, frequently used in accommodation websites? Perhaps you are a romantic comedy, or a war novel, are you an academic journal or a magazine. Figure out what suits you.

Work on one section at a time

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the website copy required to complete the sections of your website. Remember that your website designer exists to assist you to complete your website when you need help. So get in touch and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember it is better to complete the website and get it live with some information, than wait to every little section of the website is perfect. If you have content management you will have complete access to update and tweak your website on an ongoing basis after launch.

By Hayden Breese