Website Copy – What Is It Saying About Your Business?

Website-WordsAt the end of another week of riveting client meetings that have posed many great questions about a variety of topics, these questions are my inspiration for this week’s blog – WEBSITE COPY – What Makes It? What Breaks It?
Many of our clients are concerned about how their website copy represents their business. Is my website copy too long? Why isn’t my website traffic converting to leads and sales? Is my website copy too product focused?

Recycling Copy

Unfortunately, there are many ways businesses fail with website copy.  The No. 1 common error is recycling product copy from the suppliers websites, including: webpages, white papers and product brochures.  Not only will your website visitors be bored with generic content duplicated from another website, but if you are using the same website copy as your supplier or vendor, there is absolutely nothing unique about what you are offering your prospective customers.  Not to mention you will be penalized by the search engines for using duplicate copy.  Original copy will appeal to your readers and the search engines ranking your website.

Short Copy vs. Long Copy

The debate on short copy versus long copy is endless; however, in our experience, content matters more than the length of the page.  As long as your content is valuable, relevant and easy to consume, your audience will scroll down the page – short or long.  The easy to consume portion of this equation is overlooked on many websites, meaning, make your content digestible with white space, bullet points, headlines and sub-headlines.

Unlike books, where the reader must read every word to understand the story, your website should be laid out to be skimmed or scanned by the reader; allowing them to get the gist of what you offer from the headlines and bullets. This provides the reader with the ability to dive into the sections of the webpage that intrigue them most.  The layout of the webpage is just as important as the words on the page.

Website Traffic Does Not Equal Leads

There are many reasons that your website may drive traffic but not drive leads or sales.  In order to address the root problem you must be able to answer the following questions:

  • Is there a clear call to action identified?
  • Does your webpage copy resonate with your audience?
  • Is your website copy original or duplicated from others’ webpages?
  • What have you offered that is different from your competitors?
  • Are focusing on the product and not on your business?
  • Have you identified the lead source of every lead in your sales pipeline (some could be from your website, you just have to ask)?

Answering these questions can provide ways to improve your website copy and lead to improving conversion rates.  Even with websites that are Search Engine Optimized (SEO’d), if the website copy and website offers do not relate to your target audience, you can increase website traffic but see little in the way of lead conversions.

Products Can Be Bought Anywhere

As mentioned previously, you should evaluate your website to see if you are positioning yourself as a unique competitor in your market. Are you too product focused in your website copy? If your big push is that you offer a certain product, then your prospects can buy that from any reseller.

Do you offer proprietary add-on solutions that enhance the performance of that product? Have you cornered a niche industry or market, delivering flexibility, scalablity and proficiency to a niche (e.g. engineering firms)?  Are you a one-stop shop that can offer a full range of service?  Your market positioning should be apparent throughout your website, communicating what makes you unique from the next software reseller and why you are the right business for your prospective customers.

The Evolution of Website Copy

Website copy is never complete, in this way it is also not like a book. You don’t get to publish the copy and never look at again. Your business is dynamic – your business is learning and gaining experience every day.  Let your prospects know.

Not only is it important to keep your content fresh and relevant for search engines to feed from, but your potential clients should also be aware of a new industry you serve or add-on product you have developed.  Share this information through a variety of forums on your website– with a weekly blog, testimonials, proprietary offers, case studies, servicing a new industry (publishing a new webpage) and the list goes on.

Remember to reevaluate, assess and consider endlessly – does your website accurately represent your business and what you have to offer?

 

– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.

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Insight written by Leokadia Rucinski

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  • Great post Erica!

    I think many organizations can be categorized under the sphere of “leveraging” the publishers’ content. I believe the intention is always to achieve the temporary fix – borrow content until they develop unique content of their own. However this rarely comes into fruition! One exercise that hit the point home was when I visited the sites of my top three competitor’s homepage. I copied their content and pasted it into one document. I then removed any reference to company, years in business, and geographic location. Once the slice and dice process was completed I presented it to a few of my colleagues and asked them to tell me which one best describes our organization. The startling reality was that they all did! If our homepage is the new “first impression” in the digital world then we definitely needed to differentiate ourselves.

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